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She Picked A Cold Morning

Apr
11

It snowed all day here on Saturday. April! Really??? Then Moon Pie sneaked off to the back of the upper pasture on Sunday morning to make something.
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Things are happening according to plan, except for the part where she had her baby in a back field. It’s April, time for calves, so I was trying to keep the cows close. Only they really liked the way the grass was looking in the upper pastures. A week ago, Moon Pie leaped over the fence. Yes, really. She didn’t even push it down, she just jumped over it. UPHILL. If you think a cow can’t jump over a fence uphill, I’m here to tell you different, and they can even do it when they’re nine months pregnant. I was worried about Moon Pie hurting herself in her effort to get at the greener grass on the other side of the fence, so we just went ahead and opened the gate to let them have at it for a few days. Which, of course, is when Moon Pie chose to go hide in the back of the field and pop out a baby.

She went missing Sunday morning and we went to find her–and she had her new little friend with her.
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Bradley the Dexter bull arrived here around the end of June last year. We observed the order of his attentions. First it was Moon Pie. Then Dumplin became his best friend. Then Glory Bee. He sorted them out and took them on private dates. After he finished, then they all hung out together like one big happy family. So I expected Moon Pie to deliver first, then the rest about a week apart. This means Dumplin should be having a calf by next weekend, and Glory Bee by the next weekend after that.

Moon Pie is half beef mutt and half Jersey/Brown Swiss. Her udder didn’t start filling ahead of time–we’d been watching her and checking her out. She’s a first-time mommy, and sometimes they’re like that. No sign, then boom. She had put on a nice udder already yesterday morning, and the baby is sucking nicely and seems healthy.
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Baby is a lil heifer! I don’t expect to be keeping her longterm–we already have plenty of girls here–but since it is a girl, she’ll likely stick around for a year or two and be bred before she’s sold. I’ll watch her as she grows, but I’m thinking she may be good to sell as a milker. She’s got a lot of milking blood in her. Dexters are a dual-purpose breed, used for dairy and beef both. She’s half Dexter, one quarter Jersey/Brown Swiss, and one quarter beef mutt. That’s three quarters of pretty nice dairy genes. We’ll see how she turns out. Since she’ll be staying for awhile, I’ll name her at some point, but I haven’t decided yet.

Meanwhile, Moon Pie and Baby are back up around the barn, along with Dumplin and Glory Bee. We’ve got the bull separated off with Blossom and the new Hereford to keep him company. I’m waiting for the next calf!

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The Whole Herd

Apr
4

Here she is.
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And look what she brought with her!
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A baby. And it’s a lil heifer.
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This cow is a Hereford, like Beau the bull, and the baby is half Hereford, half Angus.
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Glory Bee isn’t sure what to think about all this.
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She has so many new friends!
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“When is this going to stop, Woman?”
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Now. This is the whole herd.
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The herd is Glory Bee, Dumplin, Moon Pie, Blossom (the new dairy girl), Beau (the new bull), and the new Hereford and her baby heifer.
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The baby heifer will be staying, making six breeding girls–and a bull.
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Now that’s a whole herd!

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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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