Saturday, August 14, 2010

Down by One

Well, after a hectic morning...we are now down by one animal here on the farm. Our steer, Buck, was slaughtered and went to the butcher this morning. I will miss him dearly but not his attitude. It is hard sometimes to say goodbye to an animal that you have raised for over a year and spent a great deal of time with them. Still, it needed to be done. He was fast becoming a safety hazard around the farm. He was hurting the calves, was destroying things and was hurting me on occassion as well.
He went off in quarters weighing in around 455 pounds of carcus, after hide, head and internals were removed. That should put somewhere around 225 lbs of meat in the freezer for the winter. And there is nothing like home raised meat!
I shed a few tears as he lay there on the ground, but he had been a good boy most of his life and now needed to serve his purpose. I know, I know...It may sound horrible but really, you just need to put it in your mind that he was raised to feed you. That he had a good life and lacked for nothing. His life had been mapped out to become meat for our freezer and the only way to get him there was to do what had to be done.
I am sure that he is in good hands now, enjoying a lush green pasture with a big ol' shade tree...I can almost see him laying there under the tree, chewing his cud and wagging his tail. I am sure that once in awhile, some man or woman will come by to stratch that secret spot on the top of his head or rub his fat belly. I will hopefully get to see him again someday when I pass on to the next world.
Yeah, a few tears are slipping down my cheeks but, again, I know that he was predestined to become food for our home. I also know that he will live on forever in my memories and in my heart. He was, generally speaking, a good boy. I know that God can now enjoy him as much as I have and I thank God that he gave me the opportunity to be able to raise him and supply food for my home.
So, I ask you, on this sad and somber day, please remember my Buck and say a prayer for him in heaven...if only to say "Hello"...Buck would like that.
God Bless you all and keep you safe from any harm. May you find the peace and mercy all your days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sad Goodbyes

Well, the time to say "goodbye" has come. I am sad in a way but I know that it has to be done.
Buck, our steer, has developed a very bad temper and has hurt one of the calves. He will meet his demise early Saturday morning. I am sad to see him go but it really needs to be done. He is getting nasty, as bulls (even though he isn't really anymore) will do. This evening at feeding time, we went out to find Norman injured. We are unsure of the exact details but, Buck was being mean when feeding time finished. Mean by head butting and attempting to slam the calves into the barn wall. Rich is afraid that he will turn on one of us next, so he has to go. Needless to say, I will miss him. He is my first steer in many years. I knew this was going to happen but, I thought I would have some more time to prepare myself for this step. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is what he was raised for, that this was his purpose for being here on the farm.
I do have one thing to console me with all of the heart ache due to mean and injured animals....I have a baby bird here that is temporarily with us. Our new little friend is a week old morning dove. The dog found him under or near the front porch...What a noisy affair that went on for such a tiny little bird! I could not find the nest or a mother anywhere close by...I couldn't let the poor thing die. I read some information online about what they eat and how to care for them. Now, I am exhausted from lack of sleep and stress out with business, personal and farm issues. Not a good combination but in the end it will all be alright.
Norman, poor little guy, is the calf that was injured this evening. Poor kid has had a rough life already and really didn't need to be hurt again. I will keep everyone updated on how he is and exactly what is wrong with him.
The other two calves seem to be alright, but by morning hours that could be very different. Hopefully, the dark will calm Buck down. If not, I will put him in the stall until Saturday morning. I hate to do it, but I will if it keeps the other animals safer.
It is already after midnight, so I am keeping this short.
I pray that God Blesses each and everyone out there that is in need tonight and even those that aren't.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Friends...

This last weekend was a great weekend. I got to spend time with BigMomma and Lil Momma! Having the farm is all worth while to see the smile on the face of a four year old.
Big Momma and I have not sat down to talk in ten years or so! It had been way too long. Big Momma was actually a friend of my sisters. I love her just like a sister and am so happy that she is still a good friend.

Things are the farm are going good. We are keeping busy with harvesting and canning. The animals are all doing great. The three calves are growing like crazy! Ma Belle is gaining weigh good and is getting back to her "normal" weight with each passing day. Buck is almost ready to head off to the butcher.
Vehicles are here are another matter entirely. Rich's truck now has a suspension shackle coming through the box of his truck that needs to be fixed and my truck blew out a brake line on Saturday. Never ending battle it seems. I can't wait for the day when we both get newer vehicles. Which is hopefully before the end of this month!
Yesterday was a rough day around here too. I blew the belt off the lawn mower and ended up dumping the water jug off the wagon that attaches to the back of the four wheeler....Let me just say that yesterday was definately a Monday.
I found a wild bird yesterday too. The bluetick was outside barking like crazy. When I went out to check to see what was going on, I noticed this little gray fuzzy thing crawling around on the ground. I had to look twice because I thought it was a rat at first...then I noticed that it was a bird! A very small baby bird! I had no idea what it was with it's fluffy little feather tips and dark colored beak. I came inside with it cradle into my hands and started looking up images on Google to try to figure out what it was. Come to find out it is a baby Morning Dove! So now, I have a coffee can with an old bird's nest from one of our trees inside it and am hand rearing it. Poor little thing was so hungry that I thought it was being agressive. It is doing much better now. It is active and eats good about every two hours. Which means not much sleep for me but I cannot just let it die either. So now, we are rehabilitating a morning dove along with the other animals here who need it.
Well, time to feed the bird, then off to finish up some chores in the barn. Then back inside to do dishes, make phone calls and get some stuff prepared for a few meetings that we need to do tomorrow at the Farm Show...
I pray that everyone has a fantastic day and God Bless you all!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rainy Days

Well, needless to say. Everything has turned on it's head now that harvest time is here. We have been making jar upon jar of various kinds of pickles. We have already completed some where around 6 gallons of pickles. They all look so beautiful stacked in the jars! I am so happy that we had such a great harvest of cucumbers this year. We have also managed to get enough beets to make several batches of potato and beet salad and some extras that we canned. We have had tons of lettuce straight from the garden, for around 6 weeks now, we have had fresh lettuce with dinner everyday. We have pulled around 20 pieces of squash that we have made into various things to eat or blanched and froze for soups this winter. We have pulled out more peas and beans out of the garden then I ever thought possible. The potatoes are not ready yet but there are around 70 we should have enough to get us through the winter months!
Our steer is just about ready to head off to the butcher. According to his measurements, he weighs around 1200 pounds now. Not too shabby for a jersey.
Our chickens are going through molt now and have cut back on egg production. But there is just enough being layed everyday to provide for our customers and a few left over for us. We only eat eggs with breakfast a couple days a week, but I use several of them a week to make my own mayonaise. I have also discovered that the chickens we raised this spring for meat go a long ways on the dinner table. We cooked one about a week ago in the rotisserre. Rich and I ate a bunch of it that night (til our bellies were full). Then the following day, I pulled off a bunch of the meat and made chicken salad enough for around six sandwiches. After mixing up the chicken salad, I looked at the carcass and there was still a bunch of meat on the bone, so I boiled the reminder off the bone. I then used the meat and mixed it with gravy and fresh vegetables. I stored it in the refrigertor and the next night we had chicken and bisquits for dinner. There was still extra meat left! So, I made up a batch of chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. I took the soup to Rich's parents and shared the meal with them. I didn't realize that there was so much meat on one of those birds!
It is raining here today, so things are a bit slower. A good day to catch up with old friends and do some updates. I am still working on some pickles today but it isn't so fast paced and relentless today. The animals are all quiet, that is except the dog who wants to be outside but doesn't want to be in the rain.
We managed to get third cutting done of the hay field this week too! I can hardly believe it but this year has been a great year for hay! That's good because we are going to need extra this year due to the extra calves this year. Belle, our adopted cow, is doing great! She is steadily regaining the weight she so desperately needed. We are going to have AI done on her this month. That means she will calf out in May. A little bit later in the spring than we really wanted, but between everything else that has gone on, there just hasn't been the time. I don't mind her calving out in May. The weather will be better by then and we shouldn't have to worry so much about the cold. I am actually out looking now for an additional heifer. I am not activily searching, just watching and listening for one. If it is meant to be, then it will happen.
Well, time for me to get off this computer and get some of the house cleaned up. It is difficult to keep up with two dogs and two men in this house. Today will be a good day to get somethings done inside, not that there is really a lot to do.
God Bless you all! Have a great day!