Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week 17/52: Dental day and Calving 2013 (Part 2)

This week Mark asked me if I realize that Andy is NOT human!  Well, duh, of course I know that but it is way more fun to treat him kind of like a human.  My guys just laugh at me and this Andy photography project that I have going this year.  I think they should just be happy they are not the subject on a weekly basis!

Great news since last week's post - we've had warmth and sunshine.  I glanced over at the park on my way from church on Sunday and noticed the snow was almost all gone!  That would make Andy happy.  Yes, I plan to have a photo of him playing - oops, pretending to play - there this summer.

That same sunshine and warmth melted snow around our place too.  Today the wind is blowing about 50 miles per hour so that will dry things out too - except for when the snow falls.  Yes, we had a few mini blizzards today (and I don't mean the Dairy Queen kind of blizzard).

Calving has been steady.  It will start slowing down now but we have had good luck for the most part.  We've had 5 sets of twins born - with only one of the 10 dead.  Twins really are a pain since most cows do not produce enough milk for two calves to grow the way we'd like them to.  We have found foster cows for one twin from each set.  These foster cows might have had a calf born dead or for whatever reason it died later.  Because the cow was still producing milk, we put one of the twins on her.  This process is not always easy, but we got lucky this year.  We are just over 80% done calving so have about 40 cows left to calve.

Back to Andy ...

Andy went along with me to the dentist recently.  Dr. Maercklein tried to take a little look - but you can see how that went!  :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 16/52: Summer Dreamin'

Here in north central North Dakota we have felt like we've had an unusually long winter.  We are used to having snow from October/November to April/May.  However, this year we have so much.   Hubby drove tractor across a field today and reported the snow to be about 2 foot deep.  The temps have been unusually cold as well.  Our average high for this time of year is about 58°F but we have had trouble hitting the mid 30's.  In fact, this past Saturday our area set a new record low temp.  The area had a temp of 13 breaking the former record low which was set in 1927.  It is difficult for the snow to melt with temps like this!

Everyone is sick and tired of this weather.  The forecast:  50% chance of snow on Wednesday!!  The good news is the weather folks are predicting near 60 for the weekend.  We will definitely see snow melting then.

Today Andy went to check out the park in town.  It was sad.  Here he is on a park bench dreaming of playing on the equipment.  He had to just dream about it because there was too much snow to get there.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week 15/52: Wash day

The day that Andy & I have been worrying about finally arrived.  I was not sure how to go about washing Andy.  What if he "died" when I was only a third of the way done with my 52 week photo project?

I gathered up my courage, placed him in a pillow case and threw him in the laundry with some other items. 

(before the pillow case)

He appeared to come out of that okay.  I decided he could "hang dry" so I clipped him up on the line in the basement.  It would have been freeze drying had it been outside!


Andy is just fine and ready for more adventures!  I wonder what the next week will bring?

(A funny side note - mostly appreciated by those who know us - Brett read this story like it was a horror story - try it, it is funny!!)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Calving 2013 (Part 1?)

We will pretend that I fulling intend on writing more about calving season and call this entry "Part One"!! 

I just don't think I have shared anything about calving this year.  It is basically the same every year, but still, it is our business so I should share something, right?

Today I was helping Brett with some of the chores so I snapped a few photos to share.

This little guy would "graze" inside of the bale feeder for a while then jump out to wander for a while and then go back in the bale feeder!  For a little while he even was chewing on the twine string that is hanging from the feeder.  It is fun to watch these young ones at play!  In a few months he will be quite big and we will have him for sale as a bull.  Maybe I will remember to post a photo when he is bigger and for sale - remember 0735A  (that is his number).

This guy entertained me for a while (it doesn't take much when one is running on little sleep!).  He kept grabbing his tail to chew on!  Calves have sharp teeth so I would have thought it might hurt, but perhaps it was more sucking than biting!  He should go find his mom to eat -  not his tail.

Here are two of the dogs that run around at NoDak Herefords.  Eli is the black one and Lori is the white one.  Eli belongs to Christopher and Paige but he spends most of his time at the ranch (especially during calving season because he gets so dirty & stinky!).  Lori is our White German Shepard.  She loves attention from anyone and everyone.  She has gone deaf in the past few months but still enjoys running around and playing - especially with Eli.

0520A was born just minutes before I snapped this photo.  This was the first time it had stood up so it was maybe 15 minutes old.  In this photo the calf is looking for mom's udder to get some of the very important first milk called colostrum.  Colostrum is vital in the newborn calf if it does not get any it likely will not survive.  Colostrum contains the antibodies the baby needs to grow "big and strong".

Well, that was a little bit about what happens on the ranch at calving time.  I don't take photos of the routine stuff - like putting bales in the bale feeder or feeding silage.  I suppose I should really do that sometime too.  If you ever have any questions about what we do here or something I have written about, feel free to ask and I will do my best to explain things to you.  Thank you for stopping by.  Be sure to leave a note so I know you were here.