This week has been good for the soul! After the threat of two large blizzards last week, some sunshine and wind has done wonders for our farm.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a what a nasty, muddy, miserable time of year this was.
I think it is almost safe to say: we are coming out of that time!
Need proof? Here are two undeniable shots.
Green grass in our front yard, people! Yes, that’s turning green. Amen. Amen.
And, a water tank that doesn’t have a layer of frozen ice on top! Alleluia!
One part of caring for our new baby calves is keeping them in seperate “management groups” whenever possible. In this situation, a management group is a group of calves that are born in a close time window (think of it like a grade in elementary school).
This group of calves is one of our two groups (or grade school classes). The older pairs (a cow and her calf) are separated from the cows that haven’t calved yet.
We do this for lots of reasons, but one is to help prevent a disease called scours.
Scours is best described as diarrhea.
Unlike most diseases, scours can be caused by a virus, parasite, or bacteria. Most of the time, it is a combination of the three causes.
When a baby calf gets scours, their poop becomes runny, bloody and sometimes green or yellow in color. Their bottoms also get really dirty, so it is easy to pick out.
As you can see, this little guy has a perfectly, clean & healthy butt.
Scours leads to dehydration and loss of electrolytes – both of which are not good for a growing calf.
To prevent this, we keep the calves grouped by age whenever possible.
Think of how this plays out in a local elementary school. Usually, when kids in the 4th Grade class get sick, the 3rd Graders have less of a chance of getting sick because they are not in the same room all day. Get it?
Different pens for different age groups = less sickness.
And, more happy, healthy calves that stick their tails straight up in the air when they run and play in the sunshine!
Or, in this case, when the mama cows see that Roxie has followed me for the photo shoot. The mama cows are protective of their calves and not so fond of the new, yipping pup!
Another sign of spring is me dragging all sorts of pots, chairs, grills, and stuff out into our yard again.
I have three little landscaping projects in the works right now. First, I want to plant some flowers around this tree. I just got the rocks organized this week.
Second, my mom and our friend Gara gave us this really neat metal sign for a shower gift last year that says “Blachford Farms.” It was SO BIG that I couldn’t get it into my vehicle to bring back to SD. So, by the time we got it up to SD in John’s pickup the ground was frozen.
I have been no-so-patiently waiting for the ground to thaw so we can finally put up the sign. One year later! I’ve been collecting field rocks to put around the sign and I’m hoping to plant some perennials out here.
My third little spring project, is this spot on the backside of the farmhouse. My grandparents and aunt are coming to visit us for the 4th of July – so I’m envisioning sitting outside and drinking tea with them back here.
And, reading books quietly by myself!
Happy Farmin’ Friday! Hope your spring projects are starting to get into full swing, too! What flowers are you planting this year?
I love how you describe life on the farm so that anyone can understand what it takes to raise livestock and row crops! I’m thrilled that things are greening up around here and am itching to plant a few new perennials, I just don’t know what? I got a text from our local farm store that their greenhouse is open so a trip to town this weekend might be in order! I love creeping phlox and may end up with some more. I adore the purple flowers! Happy weekend!
Ya! I’m having the same problem here – what to plant! I love peonies, so I know for sure that I’d love some of those 🙂 We had a bunch growing up at my Mom’s house. They always seem to have ants though…which is a little weird!
I’m looking forward to relaxing and having some tea, also.
Sierra, Growing up in country but not on a farm, I really appreciate how you explain cattle to us and other “farming” projects! I, too, have some spring and summer gardening projects. I’m excited because I inherited a tiller that belonged to Jerry’s parents. It needs a new gas tank which we have on order. Jerry’s afraid the whole back yard will be tilled up and planted with a host of perennials and other things. LOL I can’t wait. Maybe we can all have a plant exchange sometime! Thanks for sharing and I hope spring is here for all of us!
I’d love to have a plant exchange! Having your own tiller will be great. Good luck with the planting! A few summers ago, I accidentally put the wrong type of fuel in Savannah’s tiller. It almost recked it 🙁 I got in big trouble for that one!