it was a white christmas

Choring

In November we got a bit of snow, then by thanksgiving it was pretty much gone.  That is until we got a couple of snowstorms.

Window

Snowy chairs

This year we cut down a tree from our farm small though it is, we ended up putting only a few ornaments on it.

Tree

Christmas has come and gone, and the New Year is upon us in a few days.  We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all did as well.  The animals are all doing well and survived the below zero temperatures we had just before Christmas.  I'm quite happy to see those cold temps gone at least for the time being.  I'm sure we'll be getting some cold temps again come January.  Believe it or not I'm actually starting to think about spring planting already...LOL...It's going to be a long winter for me I guess :)


calves on the homestead

Rose red

Lucy

2calves

When these photos were taken, we had snow, but it has since melted just before the Thanksgiving holiday.  The top photo is of Rose Red, she will be one we will breed for meat on our homestead.  Rose is a Milking Shorthorn and Devon cross.  Our black calf #25 is one we will be butchering next year for meat.  The middle photo is Lucy who is a Jersey heifer that was born here on our homestead this past August.  We are not sure our plans for her quite yet, right now she is being weaned from her momma and a new calf has taken her place, one that we purchased from a local dairy farm.  We name the ones that we are keeping.

I have tried to find time to post on the blog, and read blogs, but life has been just so busy for us here.  Thanksgiving was wonderful here spent with family.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.


hello baby

After checking on the heifer for what seemed like forever, doing day, evening and night checks, Lazer's baby finally arrived and it's a heifer (girl) calf.  I will admit we were not disappointed in the calf being a heifer.

Milkbarn

Lazer has turned into a very good momma, here they are when the calf is about 10 hours old and trying to find some breakfast.  I think we went to sleep around 12:30 a.m. after what could have been a disaster but turned out not too bad.  The heifer was pretty weak still around the 11:30 p.m. mark, being about an hour after she freshened, and not really standing up yet or even trying, we helped her to latch on to get some colostrum into her which is very vital for her as soon as possible.  Jim got up at 2:00 a.m. to get her to latch on and suck and Lazer would stand but wanted to continue to lick her which is great, but the calf needed to get to eating.  Jim had to tie her to a post so that the calf could suck.

Momandcalf

Jim being the always early riser that he is headed out to the barn to check on momma and baby.  He took this photo as he sat in the stall to watch the two.  Being that Lazer is a first-time momma she has been an absolute gem; we fortunately were able to get up close to not only her but her calf as well.  I'm guessing Lazer is enjoying her new home with us and trusts us with her calf.

Goodmorning

We haven't named our new calf yet and we need to do that soon.  The experience of seeing the birth of an animal here on our homestead was nothing short of amazing.


new life on the farm

Where do I even begin.  Our cow Tilly is no longer with us.  We had to bring her to the sale barn for slaughter as she wasn't well enough to be a milk cow for our homestead or for that matter any farm or homestead.  Bringing in our vet who took some blood, the results of the test he took on her we found out that she had Johne's Disease.   Hearing that was a very disappointing blow to us, we were getting very attached to her already and had even gotten a new calf from a neighboring dairy farm because our other calf was actually purchased for some friends.  The calf is with our friends who have a dairy cow that took our calf until she can be weaned.

Calf

So, we had to do some cleaning up in the corral area and pastures where Tilly had been before we could even think about bringing another milk cow onto our farm.  We cannot pasture any new milk cow where Tilly pastured for at least a year.  Our beef cow is okay and will be fine.  After we got everything all ready which was not an easy task, we were ready for a new milk cow, and I'm happy to say we found one and her name is Lazer, she's a registered Jersey and is a first-time heifer and will freshen in about 12 days.  We are so excited to have a birth on our farm other than the kittens that were born a few weeks back.

Lazer2

Laser

Lazer3

We also got pigs again this year, but we got them a bit later than we did last year.  These guys are quite small, but we plan to fatten them up pretty good.

Piglets

Our two barn cats had a total of nine kittens.  I just had to show you two of my favorite ones.  The top one is a male and is by far the biggest of all the kittens, our grandsons named him Tom.  The second one is such a pretty girl, but my photos just don't do either of the kitten's justice.

Tom

Kitten

Seeing the volunteer sunflowers growing in amongst the oats was such a pretty sight and having new life on the homestead makes up for everything.

Sunflowers


homestead update

Horseline

Dj

tilly

LIL ANNIE

Wow, I think it's time for an update on what's been happening on the homestead.  There is so much going on here.   We are the owners of 2 more cows, a Jersey milk cow and a Fleckvieh calf.  The Jersey and calf are actually at our Amish friends until our milk barn is finished which we are planning to have it done this week.  It's been hard around here to find a Jersey, and when we do find one it's gone and from what we have heard from the sellers they could sell the cows 5 times over.  Our friends milk cow hasn't freshened yet, so they are out of milk and for both of us it's a win-win situation, they house our Jersey and calf and milk her and they get the milk and we take some as well.  Our Jersey actually freshened early before the auction and didn't make it, so we were wanting to have her take an orphan calf and she has accepted the new calf as hers and has turned into a very good protective momma as well as gives some pretty good milk. 

The fencing is almost 100% done, but it's done enough that we can let the animals in the pasture.   The steer is out on pasture and with all the rain we've had he's not been able to keep up with it, so all is good.

While the livestock were being loaded into the trailer, I had to take a photo of all the horses lined up tied to the fence along with all the buggies parked.

The way this spring weather has been I wondered if we were ever going to get anything in the ground, but yay, we finally were able to work the ground and get some onions planted.  It's supposed to be nice and warm this week so what can be planted now will be.

For me it's been a long winter and the warm weather we are having is so nice to enjoy.