25 November 2017 – Sunny and 58°
It had been a full month since the Mayflowers (the 5 calves from this spring) had been corralled to wean them from their mothers. Cowboy Dave said a month should be plenty to ensure nobody tries to go back to milking off of their mother, so we decided to release the calves out into the pasture where the moms have been grazing for the last month.
Cowboy brought down three bales of hay to the pasture and some cake. The 9 cows were all grazing up the road in the northern fields, and he put the hay in the south field at the end of his driveway. That way the calves could just go down the driveway, and the moms could just come down the road and they could have a big hay social right south of our house.
Pilot Dave and I spread the hay around the intended pasture, and took our mule back up to Cowboy’s corral. Linda and our friend Matt were waiting there, and we said we were ready so they opened the gates to release the calves.
The calves were so excited, they took off running, bucking, and kicking. It has been a month since they have been free on pasture land and I think they forgot how to run. Plus, they have all put on quite a bit of weight and are bigger than they realize. One of them was running so fast she lost her balance and fell over as if sliding into homeplate. No matter, she recovered quickly and all the calves ran down the drive to the new pasture.
Meanwhile, the mother cows heard the commotion and came running down the road to meet them. We were all quite happy to see that after an initial greeting, everyone went for the hors d’oeuvres (hay and cake). Not one calf tried to go back to milking off its mother, and the moms seemed to really not be that interested in their babies anymore.
It only took a few minutes, however, for the calves to find their new and favorite guardian: Pilot Dave. They went up to him to get their heads scratched. They are so spoiled.
The reunion was successful and uneventful in everyone’s eyes, and now we are quite happy to see the whole herd back together grazing every morning out on the Holler.
Thanksgiving was really nice, too. We just had dinner here, but unlike last year, we had walls and it was not 40 degrees inside!
After the holiday, it was back to more farm work. Pilot Dave is trying to fix an old disk that he found in the junk yard and use it to pull behind the tractor. He rigged some weights on it and it was heavy enough to disk up the area we plan to plant oats or alfalfa in the spring.
Fortunately, Rocket Man returned the tractor so Dave could get to work!
The weather has been really warm, with record highs set on Thanksgiving Day. The chickens were enjoying the sunshine and decided to dig an enormous hole and take a dirt bath.
About five minutes after taking this picture, I was in the basement doing some laundry and I heard a loud thud. I looked out the back door and saw nothing but feathers and I thought, “Oh NO! Not again!” But I opened the door and saw Arrow, Cowboy and Linda’s dog, standing there looking at me and looking very guilty. I said, “Arrow! What did you do?” And she came over to me like the good girl that she is. I grabbed her collar and I heard Cowboy Dave on his mule coming up the driveway so I told her, “Arrow, go kennel up!” She knew she was in trouble so she ran to Cowboy’s mule and jumped in the back.
I set about looking for the chickens. The two islanders and Smithy were hiding under the porch but I couldn’t find Farrah Fawcett. I finally came upon her hiding under the propane tank and I had to drag her by her tail out from under there. She had obviously been mistaken for a squeaky toy by Arrow, her feathers were slimy and drooled on and very disheveled. BUT she did not have any blood or puncture wounds. I pulled on her wings and looked at her feet and eyes and she was just messy, but nothing was injured as far as I could tell. Poor little Farrah Fawcett! Terrified little chicken!
I let Cowboy know that everyone was okay and not to get too mad at Arrow. She didn’t kill anyone and she was just doing what dogs do, but I know she was in trouble for running over here by herself, which she is not allowed to do and has never done before today. Maybe the wind was right and it smelled just like KFC….irresistible!
November is coming to a close, and it has definitely been an exciting one around here. Let’s hope for a less eventful December. Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone!