Animals

Look Who Dropped By

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July 25, 2017

What is better than visiting puppies?

Sharing puppies!  With 10 healthy little pups and a Mama dog, that is willing to let people hold her babies, (as long as they scratch her head first), there are enough puppies for everyone.Santa left these boys an IOU about 18 months ago, for a “Puppy when the time was right”.  Guess what time it is?  Right!  There was a brief discussion with their Dad, to try to talk him into 2 pups.  Dad wouldn’t visit the pups, because he knew he’d weaken and say, “Yes”.  We’re delighted that one of these little black male dogs will belong with this great family, be trained up and learn to hunt with these boys.Fuzzy tail picture, yep, someone is ‘wagging’ it!Our Friend the Farmer stops by for a quick visit, a drink and a puppy cuddle.We had no plans to keep any of the pups, but this little yellow male is working his way into our hearts.  He is calm and sweet.  My Loving Spouse says his name is “Gunner”, however, if you are British you pronounce it “Gun-na”.

Not all the pups have been spoken for yet.  This is a bit easier on me, because as soon as I know which family they are going to, it feels like I am caring for someone else’s dog.  However, I do prefer them to go to great people we know, or friends know, so I am trying to not be anxious, that they are not all spoken for at this time.  They are 3 1/2 weeks old, which means they will be climbing out of their whelping box soon!  Some of them are showing signs of climbing out, so we spent yesterday evening securing the perimeter of the yard!

Stay tuned for more puppies adventures, and if you live nearby…come visit!

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Fresh Eggs

July 20, 2017

We have true free range chickens.Unfortunately they like to hang out on the porch on windy or hot days…or still, cool days…or rainy days.  Yep, just about everyday, hanging out, pooping on the porch.  They have a short memory, because they get chased off with a broom by me often!  Then they jump into what was supposed to be a strawberry patch-flower garden and take a dust bath.  The high price of fresh eggs.The girls do provide what I think are the best eggs in the valley.  Even Our Friend the Farmer, said, “Oh, I sure do like your eggs!”  He has geriatric hens that have stopped laying, so he has joined my small, but faithful collection of egg customers.I set out a dozen eggs, in a cooler.  I have a low tech, collection container for payment.It is all done on the honor system.  Folks pay for the eggs and then help me out by laying the sign down and putting the cooler beside the fence.

Do people steal the cooler?  No

Do people steal the eggs?  No

Do people bring back egg cartons, even when there are no eggs?  Yes, lots.Is life good?

You bet!

 

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10 Puppies!

July 4, 2017

The last week has been eventful!  It started with our pregnant black lab, Zoe not eating.  Labradors typically eat as if their last meal had been days ago not simply hours ago.  Labradors eat everything and anything, that they are allowed to gobble up.  Zoe was huge (large, giant) and resembling a pot-bellied pig more than a lab, so I was worried about this big Mama not eating, especially with a whole week left to go until her due date.  Zoe would gobble up scrabbled eggs.  She was quite partial to farm fresh, free range eggs, lightly scrambled, so I obliged…all week.

The first pup came after a restless night at 5:30 am, born on our bathroom floor.  Born exactly on her due date a little girl, black with a white blaze.  We quickly moved mom and baby into the whelping area, relieved and nervous that things were finally underway.

2, 3, 4, 5 came quickly…and then there were 7, 5 black 2 yellow, all wiggly, wet and ready to eat.  Mama Zoe then took a long break, which really, can you blame her?  I spent the rest of the day, counting little pups, and hand feeding anything Zoe would eat, fresh turkey, sliced ham and left over steak (that My Loving Spouse thought would be his dinner when he got home).  Every time I checked, they looked the same, a lot of puppies on the teets.  It took a second look to often spot another new-born pup.

8 another yellow!

9 another yellow!

After a long day, I was sure she was done.  Zoe hoped she was done.  Number Two Son came home and counted…10.  10!  We counted again, black legs, black pups, tired humans…it took a few tries, and sure enough…10.Zoe is still being a picky eater.  We are catering to her.  Under the circumstance, this is fair as she is eating for 11.  Canned dog food (stinky) mixed with high protein puppy food is her current fare.  The pups…all getting rounder by the day, each one cuter than the next.7 girls, 3 boys…

Puppy love!

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New Digs for the Old Boys

December 5, 2016

We’ve spent plenty of time upgrading, restoring and cleaning our wonderful old barn.  My Loving Spouse has now added new function for the old space and our two old boys are very happy about the upgrade.stableOur horses are not young, sort of like us and winter can be hard on them.  Unlike us, they can easily loose weight in the cold winter months.  My Loving Spouse wanted to bring them in each night, so he set about making stalls for each horse.stable-1He managed to find lumber that matched the style of the barn and built the new stalls out of beautiful long planks.  He used EMT to create see through spaces for each horse.  Beau and SunDance can see each other, but not bite each other, which can be known to happen.stable-3He moved a bit of wiring, built a few doors, made mangers, added some straw and before I knew it, our horses were ready to spend the night indoors.stable-2The horses quickly got the hang of their new routine.  We fill their mangers at night in each stall, open the barn door and stand back as each horse makes their way to their new bedroom.  We can keep a better eye on each horse through out the winter, knowing exactly how much they are getting to eat and that each one can eat at their own pace.stable-4The barn looks so good and the horses are quite content with the new arrangement.

Beau and SunDance…every nag should be so happy.

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Farm Babies

August 25, 2016

There is a saying, that if you want to make God laugh, make plans.  Growing up, we had a dog and a cat, but even these must have been added to the household prior to any memory of mine.  Newborn animals were only experienced on Wild Kingdom or National Geographic.  There are no cows on Daleridge Road, La Canada, California and if you don’t believe me, you can Google Earth it.  As a child, I did learn to milk a cow at My Uncle’s farm, which it turns out is a very good thing.

Agnes is an amazing cow.  Cows are ‘wired’ to have ONE calf and this tends to pose a problem/situation/complication.  Once the calves are born, it seems we are not able to just stand back in the field and watch everything work out just as it should.  Fred was not nursing.  Getting Fred to latch on was very important as he needed the colostrum only Agnes could provide.  Agnes is a Black Angus beef cow, not a Jersey (I’ll stand quietly and be milked) cow.  Agnes, Fred and George were not the only ones tired from the day and just to keep it real, let me tell you My Loving Spouse and I were not happy with each other and each other’s ideas in how to move the cattle, get a calf to latch on to Mama and give them their shots….and we were loosing daylight.  We needed to get the herd into our coral, deciding to move the calves, believing that Agnes would follow.  Getting two newborn calves where you want them to go, is not as easy as it sounds and yes, everyone went everywhere and both Agnes and My Loving Spouse were saying a Bad British Word, while I was muttering ‘stuff’ under my breath.

Agnes’ bag was too tight.  Fred could not latch on.  Men you are on your own here to figure this out.  Any woman who has ever nursed a baby and that baby sleeps through the night for the first time, should have an idea what we are talking about.  I needed to milk Agnes.  I actually did get some milk into a bottle.  Agnes was trying to kick me.  My Loving Spouse was telling me that I was going to get kicked.  I was being tenacious/stubborn, but did not get kicked as I knew I needed to get this calf to drink.  I believe My Uncle would have been laughing, but proud.  Our Friend the Farmer came to lend a hand and managed to relieve the pressure on Agnes’ bag, as well as fill a bucket of colostrum (which is like melted ice cream), which I bottle fed to Fred.

Day Two of the twins life, My Loving Spouse and I promised each other to not argue.  I get up early and get Fred nursing from his Mama.  I am a happy Cattle Woman or is that Cow Woman?  My Loving Spouse then threw the calves, while I gave them all their shots.  I then sat on them and put in their ear tag, which is sort of like piercing someone’s ear, except hairier.  george

august calvesThe next few days, I keep a good eye on Fred.  I get him up and push him toward his Mama.  It takes a few days for him to realize he is part of this herd and Agnes a few days to remember that there are two of them.  august mama cowI think the twins are camera-shy, but they have commenced running around the field, which always makes us stop and watch!  Nothing is more fun than calves romping.

In the mean time Arizona the chick has grown!  At five weeks old, she is something of a teenager, but still usually found with her Mama Lucy.august chicksIf it gets chilly out, she reverts to complete baby chick.  “Mama, I am cold!”august arizona…and yes, I am blessed.

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21 Hours At Glory Farm

August 20, 2016

Somedays nothing happens here…

Other days it happens all at once.

We were having Mr. T and Z for a week.  stacy kids

We were still waiting on Agnes to calve.  My Sorority Sister and her Husband were coming to the farm for an overnight.  It was hot and there were plenty of flies.  I warned her about the flies…

“Oh, what’s a few flies among friends!”  She said, and with that great attitude we managed to cram almost all the aspects of our life into 21 hours.

They were here for about a nano-second and the tractor driving lessons commenced.  My Sorority Sister had already passed Tractor Driving 101 on Jubal, when she was here with the Sisters.  She quickly showed great tractor driving skills on Blue during Tractor Driving 201 and was offered the best of all crash courses…ripping stuff out!

You’re doing great!  Do you want to rip something out?’

YAY!

We quickly said ‘goodbye’ to a bit more of the old orchard and for a minute, thought we would be saying ‘goodbye’ to some of the fence.  All fences remained intact, she understood my great love of tractor driving and we commenced drinking wine, eating ribs from Manny, Moe or Jack and playing croquet before it got dark.stacy croquetMy Sorority Sister and Her Husband didn’t win at croquet, but they did score the straw hat point as well as the bringing cookies point, as they brought wine, plenty of it and it was the ‘good’ stuff!  I especially loved how they loved on our special kids, Mr. T and Z.

A farm style breakfast was planned…our eggs, our bacon and lots of our jam.

Agnes finally got in the act.

I woke up Z to come and watch Agnes, who was finally in labor.  Her Husband joined in….and it was exciting!  The full farm experience.stacy talonBefore we knew it, F-16 Ferdinand was born.stacy agnesIt took him awhile to stand up, so I was a tad concerned, but he did eventually make it to his wobbly feet.  I was planning on keeping a very careful eye on Agnes that morning, as last year we might have been able to save the second triplet, if we had known it was coming.  We did figure, that we could at least go in and eat the breakfast My Loving Spouse had made.stacy fred

We were not inside more than 15 minutes.  Her Husband had been packing their car for the off, when he said…”I think F-22 has landed.”  (Which is not actually the right farm numbering system, but you get the idea.)  We all raced outside to see, if in fact Agnes had calved again, which is not the norm, city people, cows usually have one calf.  Agnes had indeed calved again and the little one was up on its feet!stacy twinWith the white markings on the face, the parentage was clear…this calf’s father was one of the Hereford Bulls, while we believe the first calf’s father to be a Black Angus bull.  We’re not quite sure about the whole ovulation system of the cow, so we’ll leave it at that!

Number Two Son had been at work, so I had kept him apprised of the morning’s events via text.  Number Two (the original Harry Potter fan) had made me promise that, if Agnes had twins that we would name them Fred & George, as that would be the letters of the alphabet we were on, and of course it aligned perfectly with the beloved Weasley twins from Harry Potter.stacy messageWith friends, family, calves, croquet and even flies…

we are blessed.

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Waiting On Agnes

Agnes is bred.  Every time My Loving Spouse says to her, “Hey, you fat old cow.”  I hush him, because even if it is true, it just isn’t nice.  Although, she is not really very old and she is not fat, she is bred/pregnant/great with calf.  We (me/My Loving Spouse/Our Friend the Farmer) thought she’d […]

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One White Sock, Buy A Horse

In case you, my dear sweet reader have forgotten, I grew up on a paved cul-de-sac street.  We (the neighborhood children) walked on a paved street to our school.  We played on that paved cul-de-sac street after school.  Some of us had animals, a dog or a cat and occasionally a hamster or a goldfish (which […]

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Naming Animals

We take our naming of animals fairly seriously around here.  If you let kids/children/people under 13 get involved, they might not take it quite as seriously as we do.  However, it does add for some interesting humor in life. The Old Ren Hen went broody.  She was determined to sit on her clutch of eggs […]

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Puppy Placement

At six weeks old, the pups were off to the vet.  This required one strong laundry basket and one strong son to help me.  Number Two Son and I loaded them up and hauled them in.  Our basket of cuteness turned every head at the vet.Each pup was given a thorough check up, shots and […]

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Puppies and Kids

Working at a school makes one sort of famous in the school children’s eyes.  Working at the school and having puppies???  I have practically been elevated to ‘Royalty’.  It does help, that I’ll tell any class I enter, that I have “PUPPIES”  and would they like to see the pictures?  I was teaching first graders […]

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Puppies!

YES!  The puppies are here!  We were completely set to have them last Friday, because…well, My Loving Spouse had already been having our Mama Zoe sleep in our bedroom ‘just in case’ or ‘because I think it will be tonight’ for a week already.  We were sure it would be over the weekend, because after […]

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