As I was rushing out the door to soccer I noticed the syringe full of cattle wormer on the kitchen counter next to my leftover breakfast, so I snapped a quick photo to warn you what will happen to your idea of what's normal if you farm long enough.
A couple years ago, I had sold a calf who got shipping fever, so I bought some injectable antibiotics, and carried the full syringes with long needles in the cup holder of my van for the next two weeks.
I'm pretty sure if a city cop had pulled me over, I'd have had some 'splainin' to do.
Over the years, we've helped many goats and other momma mammals deliver their sons and daughters. Mostly, birth goes well. But after our first situation involving reaching inside for a dead baby, J-lube became a commonly stocked item.
When the maids came to clean, I suddenly realized that having multiple tubes of K-Y jelly stashed in the pantry, kitchen drawers, first aid kits, and shelves is probably suspicious to those uninitiated into the goat midwifery club.
Our duck was setting on her eggs one year when an uncharacteristically wicked blacksnake started eating many unhatched ducklings each day. After his second snack in as many days, my nine year old daughter marched into the house, went to my room, and strode back through with a .22 rifle slung over her shoulder, clip in hand. I asked her where she thought she was going fully armed, and she replied, "I'm going to teach that blacksnake a lesson!"
When I told my vet that evening how I had of course stopped my 4th grader from shooting the snake, he looked at me quizzically and questioned why I thought she wasn't capable of shooting the snake.
Well, gee, I'm from the city where we don't entertain the idea of responsible young marksmen actually doing something useful with their target practicing!
Now, just a few short years later, I've become inured to armed youngsters taking care of many unpleasant tasks around the place.
If you need a powerful drug injected in a hurry, just ask. I may have it right here in my purse...
I took this photo of Becky's dairy cows while I was enjoying nature in springlike weather for a change.
Penny loves the new cow and her calves.
I wormed all four cows and put them in the yard for extra abundant and delicious grass on the day we got the new ones. Penny's milk production has gone up substantially. I don't know if it's equally because of better grass, worming, or company, or some combination thereof, but I'm glad it's plentiful and tasty!
It was good to smell the planted pines and hear the cows tearing up grass and chewing.
I wish you could all experience it.
Tragedy has struck Providence Farm.
Yesterday Tom the Kitten wanted to go outside. I let him.
When we came back from Katie's doctor's appointment and soccer practice, Tom didn't greet us. He didn't come home last night or this morning.
Laura found his body this morning down in the woods.
Dog or dogs had killed him, quickly, at least, with no marks, just a quick shake.
I'm almost certain it was my own dogs.
Debbie, the kitten hating cat, was out when we let Tom out, so we think that he ran away from her, triggering his own friend dogs to chase him.
If it had been the neighbor's dog, he would have climbed a tree in time.
I'm very angry at the two guilty seeming dogs.
These pictures of Tom are from yesterday. He loved looking up at birds above his head. Recently he'd hunted an army helicopter in the hope of bringing it down. Tom had big dreams.
He'd been enjoying practicing hunting on the weird bee/flies that frequent the cow patties in the yard.
He was Becky's special friend. He slept with her every night. I've never seen her so enamored with a pet.
That it was he who died makes me angrier and sadder than I would have imagined.
Lately the words of C.S. Lewis from The Silver Chair have been occurring to me often: "Which just goes to show how little anyone knows what is going to happen to them next."
Once again, that is true.
I didn't want to paint over the beautiful wood grain of my new bee hives, so I decided to buy polyurethane in town while I dropped Laura off for her hair cut and highlights.
I did buy the clear coat and the brush.
When I got home, however, I still didn't have a chance to start the exciting adventure of reading directions and assembling the hives. Story to follow...
Becky and I just happened to scroll down the Craigslist "farm and garden" ads today, and there just happened to be an ad for a Jersey cow with two calves at her side.
I called the number, I asked the questions, I headed out.
We instantly fell in love with the momma cow, and her son, and the orphaned heifer who nurses from her.
We swiftly paid for them and arranged their transportation home.
By the time we stopped at the feed store to pick up some Cydectin pour-on wormer for cattle and got back to the house, they were pulling into their new home.
If you're used to dealing with Craigslist, you know that the people you meet up with are good old salt-of-the-earth types. I particularly liked these cowboys and completely trusted them.
Imagine my surprise when we opened the trailer and there were absolutely no calves inside!
After my initial gasp of horror and disbelief, the man walked to the back wall and PHEW! opened it up to reveal two fuzzy babies inside a very secret compartment.
Penny is happy to have new friends. I hope to have an update about milking the new cow pretty soon.