The washing, the clipping, the loading, the picnic 🙂 Nice annual tradition of preparing our animals for the county fair, having a cookout sendoff, and loading them up! This is the first year that I did not even see the veal calf after it left the nursery in the cellar. We have an area in our ground floor basement for our newborn calves. We used to keep them outside in pens or in the barn, but had so many respiratory deaths, that the best place we could find was close to MOMMA as in, ME.
We have not had one respiratory death since. So, although it is unconventional, it is very worth it.
Normally, I am very involved with the children’s 4-H projects, but this year getting outside has been a strain to say the least. The compounding issues that I have not even written about much are : Screaming Mazie (she has taken a turn for the worse in her behavior and I have had to parent her just as if she was two years old and she is eight); Benjamin imitating Mazie along with my continuous vigilance to make sure he is in a safe location; Eli, don’t say much about him, but I have to watch him when he sleeps so Benjamin does not climb into the crib with him(Benjamin is not being mean, but just for a sleeping buddy, or to wake him since he misses him when he sleeps); Ian, now Ian is big, but he has been very edgy with being fifteen and everything gets on his nerves. If he is home, I have to make sure he keeps himself under control and does not lose his cool with the younger kids; Faith in combo with Mazie has been hard…they have been bickering like cats and dogs(since Mazie is screaming all the time, she gets on Faith’s last nerve and they get into it)
So for all the above reasons, I have been pretty confined to the house. But, as with all things, this is just a small snapshot in time, and this soon will pass as my Gram used to say. I must say, the veal calf looked too lean. I think there were some missed feedings there… or they had not increased the feed amounts enough over time. Usually I check the calf and if it starts to grow and look a bit lean, we increase the milk volume to match. There was a definite disconnect somewhere; his frame is nice, but that nice fat cover, just does not exist. Oh well, it is not that important. Diligence and attention to detail is the difference between a winner and a calf that just is so, so.
The heifer calves look nice, but it looks like they did not keep up with their bedding as well as could have been done… a few stains here and there. Unfortunately, I also forgot to tattoo one heifer. We know who she is with her metal ear tag, but that will get remedied as soon as she gets off the truck when we bring her home. And last, I did not get the paperwork done to register them. That costs about twenty dollars a calf or so, and I honestly did not have the extra money yet, but I will… So, it is what it is and Shyloh and Faith are very excited to at least participate this year. Last year was the swine flu at the fairs and we stayed home.
They also took two molting rabbits. They are their pets and they love them, but they are not competitive and we all know it. But hey, love is love 🙂 And to them, their rabbits are maavaalous !! So, two days are complete, the animals were delivered, the rabbit show is concluded…and tomorrow they have two skillathon/stockman’s tests and the Dairy club milkshake sale, Tuesday the dairy show, Wednesday the veal show, Thursday the livestock auction and Friday and Saturday are mellow days but we still have to go up and feed/bed/scrub animals so they look great for fairgoers to pet and see. Our Brown Swiss babies are always an attraction in the Black and White or Red and White Holstein heavy fair barn…pictures there soon to follow!
Did I mention? Everybody needs a Josiah.