Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Squirt & Company

Our weather has been unusually warm here the last two days. No sun on Sunday but yesterday was a glorious day. Blue sky and brilliant sunshine.

We have taken full advantage of the nice weather. We hauled round baled hay for the cows and today we will refill the sawdust bin. The hen house has been cleaned and the hens are enjoying fresh shavings. They appear to be a happy bunch and the following was my reward at the end of the day.

I have five nest boxes in my hen house and 24 hens insist on laying in two boxes. I picked up 20 eggs yesterday. Not bad for beginners :)

With all the snowmelt we have ice everywhere. I haven't let Squirt out of the barn in the backyard for fear that she would slip and hurt herself. She's growing like a weed.

She loves people already and loves to have her chin scratched. She looks forward to the one on one time she gets when Jan is in the milking stall. Of course, who can resist that face ?

Remember when I posted that I wished Santa would bring me a bull? Well...............I did get my wish - sort of...


This is Gus - he is a Holstein bull calf that we picked up yesterday. Isn't he adorable? :) Jan is producing a lot of milk. Even though Squirt is still with her and eats whenever she wants, we simply cannot use all her milk. We have all we want, I skim for butter and I have milk customers but I'm still throwing out milk. I decided I could raise another calf with the extra milk instead of throwing it out. I just hate waste and I also love cows :)

Gus will be a week old tomorrow. He's been with his mother but he nursed from a bottle last night without a problem. He'll be a good companion for Squirt.

Winter is back this morning. An inch of snow on the ground when I let the dog out and very windy. They are predicting a few inches today and half a foot tomorrow. We enjoyed the early "January thaw" but knew it wouldn't last. Now it's back to reality.


threecollie said...

Congratulations on your new bull. Wish we lived closer as we could have given you one...

Paintsmh said...

...or two...or at the rate we are going three or four or five...seeing as we seem to be getting one heifer for every 3 bull calves at best...and then I wouldn't have to feed all of them ;)

Joanna said...

are these photo's from your new camera? I like Gus, now I can watch Gus and Squirt grow up.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Squirt is a doll! But, Gus has stolen my heart. He is beautiful and reminds of the Holstein bull calves I used to raise. They were all so sweet :)

Christy said...

Your girls are doing awesome! Still waiting on our first egg here. The calves are too cute.

kristi said...

I never tire of seeing brown and green eggs in the chicken coop. I wish I could get a milk express from your place to mine....guess I am going to really get that cow this spring:) I always enjoy your farm photos!

DayPhoto said...

I'm ready for some sort of thaw. Sometime more thana tiny thaw around noon, then back to the 9 above zero by chore time at 5:30. The only thing it makes is ice on top of ice on top of ice.


Deb said...

Thanks - wish I lived closer too :) I paid a pretty good price for the little guy but we aren't sorry. It's tough to get anything around here.

I hope your heifer/bull ratio improves. Do you bottle or bucket feed or leave them on the cow? I know it's time consuming regardless of how you do it.

yes - I did take the photos with my new camera. I love it!! I was so impressed with the speed and how easy it is to focus and shoot. I need lots of practice :)

Thanks....I just love them all. The hardest part for me is refraining from having a barn full. One look at those adorable faces and I'm hooked :)

It was hard for me to be patient with my hens but they knew when it was time better than I did :) It will be soooo exciting when you get your first egg!

next batch of hens I'm going to get a few of the easter egg chickens. I miss the colored eggs. Not sure the milk would hold well on the express from Maine to Ohio! Wish I could make it happen.

I really do prefer the snow to the ice. It's treacherous trying to get around. We had just enough snow this morning to cover and you couldn't tell where the ice was. We had a hard time staying on our feet. The cows have to be so careful not to slip and really injure themselves.
I hope your temps warm up for you :)

Thanks for all your comments everyone - I really enjoy hearing from all of you :)

Egghead said...

What a cute little bull. Funny how the hens always choose to lay in one or two boxes isn't it? Mine do the same thing. Reminds me...I need to clean the hen house out again.

Paintsmh said...

We usually bottle feed for the first few days or a week, depending on how well the calf does, then switch them over to a bucket. It definitely gets easier as they get older.

Taylor said...

Welcome to the family, Gus! He's adorable!