Life on our Farm

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I just knew that the cold wet winter months of January and February were meant to be for rest.  The month of April began with lots of energy.  During the month of February we were puzzled by the huge holes dug at night in the garden compost pile.  Way too big for an opossum.....one of the children could stand in the hole and only their chest and head would show.  We set up our handy little camera that evening and retired for the day.  The next morning we were suprised to see this picture.  Ah, coyote!  Within the month four lambs were killed.  They chased the sheep until they singled out a lamb then bit the throat and killed it.

The month of March continued to be predator month.  The broilers (meat chickens) were safely brooded in the brooder house until they were strong and ready for pasture.  We picked a beautiful day to move the chicks to pasture, secured the housing (last year a coyote tour the wire and broke into their secured covering), and settled them down for the night.  To our disbelief, the next morning when we arrived to feed and water there were chicks dead and scattered on the pasture.  Coyotes?  Ugh...here we go again...frustrating...the first night on pasture!   That night we set the camera and retired for the evening.  The next morning we were rewarded with pictures of detail.  Fox, he has one in his mouth and running!  Coyotes and Foxes!

The month of April arrives buzzed with energy.  One of the cows gave birth to a bull calf.  Brian and I went out to the pasture to put our hands on it....so tiny, so soft, so brown, so warm laying there in the afternoon sun.  Oh, the mama cow is coming across the pasture with purpose....she sees us stroking her calf...time to go and quick!  Four days later, little bull calf is not gaining weight nor do we see him up and playing.  The next morning Brian comes walking into the backyard with little bull calf in his arms.  Little bull calf is dehydrated and looks bad.  Thankfully the coyotes did not get him...but then again little bull calf's momma was very protective.   Now it's my turn to get him on his feet again.  He doesn't even have the energy to suck.  Gosh, this little guy may not make it.  He had a good mamma, but he was just never strong enough to get up and suck and get that colostrum from her.   It was touch and go for the first seven days.   We are working on getting him stronger.  Finally, he's up and somewhat following the children in the backyard.  They are enjoying bottle feeding him.  Hopefully little 'tootsie' (no bigger than a tootsie roll) will continue to make improvements.    
Farming.....small, sustainable family farming....deligence, grit, frustration, determination, hard work, love, sweat, tears, joy, hope and rewards.