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Expectations of Expecting

Jul
9

Today, the vet comes to check Glory Bee, figure out where she is currently in her cycle so that the shot to throw her into heat can be scheduled. This will be followed up with the insemination, so this is the first step of artificial insemination. Glory Bee and I are so excited!
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Or at least one of us is.

I’ll be back to report. I’ve never had an artificial insemination done here, so I’m really looking forward to learning about the whole experience!

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A More Permanent Path

Jul
7

Last year, I had this temporary chute of fencing set up to get Glory Bee across the access roads between fields for milking.
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It worked all right for Glory Bee, but anytime I was also moving other cows with her, especially calves, they’d just sprint under the wires and dance off. Calves think they are so funny. You should have seen Moon Pie chasing the chickens around the barnyard last night. Anyway! I decided to fence in this area between the access roads this year.
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It was, previously, being mowed and that needed to stop. It’s grass for cows to eat, not to be wasted on mowing. Robbie and Rodney used telephone poles to set as heavy gate posts for the new 16-foot gates that had a double purpose….
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But first let me tell you about my new hay spear!
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I’m planning on round bales this winter for the cows and horses, which will make my wintertime feeding job so much easier. And now that I can drive the tractor, and have a hay spear, I can move round bales! But here is how the hay spear got used this past week, for fencing.
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To hold the roll of barb wire while it was being pulled along the fence line. I thought that was rather ingenious.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s going on with the gates. The original temporary chute used the big gate at the back barn yard to come across one of the access roads. This provided the only truly secure portion of the temporary chute–the rest of it was made up of wire that was hooked on to make a chute (and that calves would go under or break down). When I decided to fence in the field between the access roads, it occurred to me–why not put up more gates that can be opened so that they make what is still a temporary (because I can’t permanently block the access roads) but secure path for the cows between the fields?
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When they’re closed, they make gates on the fields, but when they’re open–
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–I have a secure path between the fields that even calves can’t break. (The field in between is fenced in, so it’s just the areas of the two access roads I have to secure now.)
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I love it! The only problem I’ve found so far, in testing this out with the cows, is that when they see me coming, they start pounding over to me, barely giving me time to get the gates opened and set up right before they’re on me. I’ll have to practice sneaking up on them, I guess….

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  1. IMG_2383

    June 16, 2014 - Angry Baby

    Moon Pie looks a little sullen here, doesn’t she?

    I’ve started milking Glory Bee twice a day.

    When milking Glory Bee once a day, I milk her in the mornings. After she finishes working, she gets some time off with the children. I put her in the field with Dumplin and Moon Pie. Moon Pie gets to eat … Continued…

  1. IMG_2324

    June 3, 2014 - A-Milkin’ We Will Go

    It’s workshop season, and Glory Bee and I are in full milking swing. This makes everybody happy except Moon Pie and Dumplin, who do not like to be separated from MOMMY. Sometimes there’s a lot of bellowing. And crying. And whining. And pitiful cow eyes. But everyone is surviving. I load up my little cart and take it to the … Continued…

  1. IMG_2155

    May 21, 2014 - Maia Has a Mini Me!

    Lizzie is my little goat with the lopsided ears.

    When I first heard about Lizzie, the lady told me that she thought she’d end up having to keep Lizzie because she had this lopsided ear issue. One ear is shorter than the other. Of course, then I said, “I’ll take her!”

    Because I’m weird like that…. Continued…

  1. poster2

    May 6, 2014 - Tutu Incoming

    I will be speaking at the Clendenin library this Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m., and also at the Elkview library on Monday, May 19, at 6 p.m. about farming. Maia will be coming with me, in her tutu, on a leash. I will also be bringing a chicken. Not sure which one. Whichever one is unfortunate enough to fall into my clutches … Continued…

  1. heavyudder3

    April 16, 2014 - A Stinky Question

    A few weeks ago, a friend who I shall not name, called me and said, “Is it true that if a buck is kept with a goat that is giving milk, his buck odor taints the milk with his scent?”

    Me: “Yes, I’ve heard that can happen.”

    My friend: “WHY did you never tell me this?!”

    Me: “I didn’t know it was that fascinating!”

    My friend: “Of … Continued…

  1. IMAG2807

    April 8, 2014 - Pack of Girls

    They all look alike, don’t they?

    Morgan wanted to get the names straightened out last night. After all, she named them. Mr. Darcy, Jane, Lizzie, Mary, Kitty, Lydia. After characters in Pride and Prejudice, her all-time favorite book. (Did you know there all kinds of Mr. Darcy spin-off books? She’s read them all. Recently, she discovered P&P vlogs (video blogs) and has spent … Continued…

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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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