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April 20, 2011

Right Now

As I type I am sitting in our home barn - we'll see if this works - I have never had the computer in the barn, I rarely bring my cell phone out here, it just seems like a place they don't belong.

This is my view from my straw bale:

it is Raye in the chute "allowing" Luke to nurse!
not a good pic - was taken with the camera on the laptop

to my left is our "show string" eating breakfast!

I love this barn, it is old, always a mess, full of life (which includes mice and disgusting birds - I hate strongly dislike birds) and unfortunatly sometimes death, it is has story's (a lot we know, a lot we don't) but most of all it is ours!

Raye is not "taking" to the calf like we had hoped - she is allowing him to nurse when we halter and put her in the chute (she finally for the most part stopped kicking him in the head - at one point I seriously considered giving him an aspirin because he had to have a headache).  So for now anyway about 3 times a day I am milking a beef cow!  Our hopes were that she would adopt him so that when we put the cows and calves on summer pasture she wouldn't get fat.  When cows are caring for a calf and themselves on all you can eat pasture they tend to stay in much better "shape" - they are not putting all they eat into their own body's and therefore not storing as much fat - which in turn makes them easier to breed back.  At this point not sure if we are going to be able to trust Raye to feed this calf on her own.  Worst case scenerio right now is My Midget will have a bottle calf to love and we will watch Raye closely all summer on pasture.  At this point we are pretty sure we aren't selling her - she has had successful pregnancies and calves in the past, her calf was full term and seemed in good condition - not her fault it was backwards at birth - so she is a good cow and will rebreed her for next year.  I have said this "rebreed her for next year" several times the last few days and am always reminded of this video that has been floating around Facebook and some other blogs:

So God Made A Farmer - Paul Harvey

"God said I need somebody to sit up all night with a new born colt watch it die, dry his eyes and then say "Maybe next year"."

OK so now am I not only in my pajamas in my barn milking a beef cow typing on a computer but I am also crying!

Right now - the good, the bad, the ugly (you should see how messy my house is, how much rain we have had so no planting anytime soon and a very stressed hubs) - I LOVE MY LIFE!


  1. Right there with you with the stressed hubs, but I'm not in the barn this morning. Did you weather the storms ok last night? We had a bit of wind damage, but I think we fared ok over all. No flying cows that I know of! ;-)

  2. Good luck w/your calf. <3 the video. :)

  3. I LOVE this video. I want to post it everywhere I go. My fav. part is about the visiting ladies, haha. No wait, it's the part about wrestling steers and then deliver a grandbaby (it's always a possibility on this farm!). I can't decide, but the line you quoted is definitely best in describing the heartache and hope of farm life.

  4. Yeah, I can't watch the video anymore... I cry every time! Glad to hear the update. I'm sure Luke is loving all the attention he is getting from the kids!!

  5. GREAT video!! Thanks for sharing! Even though it made me cry - it was still great!

    Sarah from The House That Ag Built

  6. it's wonderful. i recognize that voice as Paul Harvey's - played on the radio at my childhood home every day - in the middle of Wisconsin dairyland.

  7. I love your old barn! Neat video, too.

  8. I <3 the video!! Good luck with the calf:) I just love reading your posts:)

  9. Ditto on the stressed hubs and hating birds!


  10. Have you tried to get her scent on the calf? We would do this with lambs that we tried to get ewes to adopt: we would take a towel and rub it on the ewe and then rub it on the lamb. (Of couse afterbirth works really well too.) Animals use scent to differentiate each other, so perhaps if the calf smells more like her she might be more likely to accept it. Just a thought I wanted to pass along.

  11. Letting him nurse is a good sign. Sometimes it just takes a while. Next year is always full of hope, isn't it.

  12. Wow this video blew me away. Thank you for sharing it. Good luck with the calf. B

  13. I agree with OttA we do that also. Sometime it takes 2 weeks to get them to accept don't give up.

  14. A blog post from the barn! I absolutely love despite the struggles. Thanks for sharing. Hang in there and Happy Easter to your family.