Bad Girls


This past week, with workshops coming up on both Saturday and Sunday that included cheesemaking, Glory Bee suddenly dropped off to half a gallon a day. My cow! What was wrong with my cow? Mayhap it has just been too long since she had a calf (well, yeah, 16 months, actually). Still, the drop was so sudden.

Glory Bee seemed worried. Me, too!
And then! Yes, THEN.
The clues…. A gate, not latched properly. A storm, blowing open the gate. A feeding stall then open to Moon Pie. Feeder cutouts where cows can stick their heads through to get to where round bales are placed in the wintertime. And the most significant evidence of all. Moon Pie, caught in the act, with her head through the cutout and Glory Bee with her udder backed up to baby.
Oh, those rotten girls!
Glory Bee was so upset that she’d been caught! And the milk stealing was stopped.
Moon Pie cried.
Mommy cried.
And the farmer got more milk again.

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Secret Keepers


It’s been really difficult to figure out what’s going on with the cows.
Nobody wants to tell, and they’ve been keeping their activities secret.
I guess Bradley’s not one of those kiss and tell guys.
But I’ve noticed a few things in the month he’s been here.
There was about a week when he wouldn’t let Moon Pie out of his sight for a second, hung right with her.
This was followed by a week when he was Dumplin’s best friend in the world.
And now he’s all about Glory Bee.
He loves her. I mean really loves her.
Wherever you go, I will go. And with all haste!
The fragrance of you, it intoxicates me.
The above photo was taken while the hay was being unloaded on Sunday. I’d been taking pictures of the cows, and no sooner had I turned off my camera than the bull mounted Glory Bee. She didn’t stand still long, so I wasn’t so sure about it, and by the time I turned my camera back on, it was over. The hay man was standing there watching and he said, “Look at how her back is bowed up. That means he was in there.”
Well, I hope so!

And if these observations prove to bear fruit, the order of deliveries will be Moon Pie then Dumplin then Glory Bee, calving about a week apart next April. The bull is hanging around for another month, so we’ll see if any of the cows are dating him again. If not, then they’re all bred!

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  1. IMG_5958

    July 6, 2015 - The Dance

    Poor Dumplin.

    She’s been dismissed, for now.

    Bradley’s interested in Moon Pie.

    But she’s not so sure she’s ready to be interested in him.

    She dances around him.

    He chases.

    Moon Pie enjoys … Continued…

  1. IMG_5900

    July 2, 2015 - Bradley the Dexter

    I haven’t gotten to spend quite as much time as I’d like out in the pasture taking pictures of the visiting Dexter bull because I’m still taking it easy with my hurt knee, but we took some feed out there a couple days ago and made friends with him so I could get a few shots.

    He was courting the girls down in the shady creek bottom when … Continued…

  1. IMAG3926a

    June 29, 2015 - There’s a Bull in the Building

    It’s been a long road this time around getting cows bred. Moon Pie is ready to be bred–she’s 15 months old. Dumplin has been ready to breed for a long time–she’s 2 1/2. Glory Bee hasn’t had a calf since Moon Pie. I’ve tried artificial insemination a few times. It didn’t work for me. It’s difficult for me to get the timing right between ordering the semen, the semen … Continued…

  1. IMG_5637

    June 2, 2015 - Entertainment for Everyone

    I put out bird feeders for the birds.

    Especially my favorite little fella, who tries to hide.

    Though every once in a while, I catch him.

    But nobody else seems to know….

    ….that the bird feeder is even for … Continued…

  1. IMG_5398

    May 20, 2015 - The Water Hogs

    Raising ducklings with chicks is challenging because ducks are such pigs about water.

    Ducks love, adore, cherish, crave water.

    And they’re like that right from the start, the day you take them home from the feedstore. I had little chicks and little ducklings at the same time, so they had to shack up together. While the little baby chicks … Continued…

  1. IMG_5340

    May 12, 2015 - A Word from the Wise

    Hard to believe, but the Giant Puppy will be seven this year. While the standard conversion of dog years to human years is to multiply by seven, apparently this isn’t entirely accurate because the equation depends on breed. As a Great Pyrenees, according to the dog age calculator, Coco is 54 years old in human terms and is considered a “senior” dog. She … 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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