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The New Imperial Potentate

May
3


What new mischief is afoot in the field?

Gingersnap is especially curious and excited….and nervous. And confused! She’s 13 months old, and barely understands what’s happening, but she knows she likes this new thing!

He’s just her size and everything, and mommy is always busy licking the butt of that other new thing that she didn’t like at all!

Meet the new imperial potentate! The Honorable Mister Jericho Jersey! Jericho comes from Spring Creek Dairy, a small commercial dairy farm here in Roane County. He’s a 10-month-old Jersey bull. He was a bottle fed baby, and is very tame (at least for now). I like young bulls. I don’t like them much after about two years old when they figure out, hey, I’m a bull! Then it’s time for them to go. Speaking of bulls who go, don’t worry about Bo the Hereford bull, who did indeed go. He didn’t go to the freezer. He went to a nice farm in Sissonville where they put a bell on him and he’s tinkling away in their pastures. I’ve always crossed my dairy girls with beef bulls, but this year I had a longing to breed them to a true blue dairy boy. I’m still waiting for Glory Bee to have her little half Hereford calf, hopefully sometime soon. Blossom is also bred from the Hereford, and she’s actually moving back home to my friend Sarah’s farm this weekend. Glory Bee and Moon Pie are so mean to sweet Blossom. They are like the mean girls club. They have been pushing her out for a year, and I finally decided it was better for Blossom to go, despite the fact that she is actually my favorite cow to milk (because she’s so sweet tempered). Taco, her little steer calf, will stay here (for now….) to be Jericho’s buddy when he’s not busy with all his new girlfriends. That is, once Jericho figures out what to DO with all his new girlfriends!

He likes leaves right now. And butterflies. And flowers. And maybe I should have named him Ferdinand.

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Little Bo Peep

Apr
18


What do we see across yonder barnyard?

It’s a baby!

And it’s a pretty one! Look at those white socks on all four feet, white underbelly, and white face (the white face being the Hereford stamp).

Moon Pie’s proud, and I can’t blame her! Moon Pie is a Brown Swiss/Jersey mix and this baby comes from the Hereford bull. I’ve never seen a cow this color before, this lovely gray. I don’t know where Moon Pie came up with that color, but I like it.

And it’s a girl! This is my 7th calf over the years, and all but one of them have been girls. That’s all we do here, make girls. When I look across the barnyard and see this sweet heifer, she almost looks like a lamb. Even her coat is a little bit curly. So I decided to name her Bo Peep. Her papa’s name is Bo, by the way, plus Bo Peep is the same initials as her great-grandma Beulah Petunia, so I like all the connections. Everybody’s happy about their new little friend. That’s Taco checking her out.

Well, maybe everybody except Gingersnap.

She might be a wee bit peeved that Mommy is so distracted by the new arrival.

Though, Gingersnap won’t suffer for long. She’s a year old, and she is for sale. I recently sold Pumpkin (Glory Bee’s year old heifer). Half Brown Swiss/Jersey, half Dexter, both Pumpkin and Gingersnap are being sold as milkers. Pumpkin went to a good home where they promised to spoil her and milk her, and I’m looking for Gingersnap’s home now. Glory Bee should be having her next calf sometime soon. Unfortunately, all calves can’t be kept–that would blow up the farm! Bo Peep might be a keeper, but I won’t decide until next year.

In other news from this past week, and I’ll make this a short story since it’s sad, Aranel had her babies–it was the most difficult goat birth I’ve ever had here, they had to be pulled, and both died. They were not positioned right.

That sucked, and Aranel has been grieving and crying and following me around. I’m milking her now.

Valentina should be delivering soon and I hope that goes better. In the meantime….

I’m really enjoying this one!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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