Friday, March 30, 2012

Cute trouble makers..

We are down to just two very fat and sassy cows to calve.  The bull is happy because they are his lot mates.  Once they calve he will be alone.  And boy does that cause distress for him and I.  He tends to like to press his luck when there are open cows on the other side of that electric fence.

Anyway, we have a few very mischievous babes right now.  They like to hide.  Every morning, late afternoon and at evening feeding is a head count.  And I can usually tell when one has went hiding.  His/her momma will come running from the pasture when she sees me headed that way.  One she knows where he is and two she is engorged with milk!

This little guy kept getting out in the field on the wrong side of the fence and sleeping.
His momma was not happy.

Round bales are a great spot to hide.

Shes watching Mr. M.. because she will go back to hiding when we leave.

Our newest trouble maker. 
Also one that likes to get on the wrong side of the fence.

Our girl is only too happy to help move the calves back. 
 Because she gets to rub all over them.
Happy Weekend to Everyone!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Vansickle's - Part 2

Here are a few more photos of the engagement photos I did for my friends Dave and Beth.  I wish every person I met was as easy to get along with as these two.  What a wonderful world we would live in.  They always have a smile and a nice word to say.  And you can just see the love.  It's like they have been together for many years.  I can't wait to take more photos for them!

And this boy! He's a rock star.  He was so much fun.  How can you not love him..

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We learn with the good and bad..

Mr. M and I are not generational farmers.  We started farming when we got married 13 yrs ago.  And we learn as we go.  We are far from perfect, but we love every minute of it.  And especially the livestock part of the farm.  We have learned so many things. 

~how to pull calves
~how to put a chain around a calves neck when pulling without choking it
~how to do and apesiotamy on a heifer
~how to get a momma to take a calf that isn't hers

And these are just a few of the highlights we have learned.

 But what we went through last night takes the cake for now.  Little Miss's heifer was badly, badly bloated.  So bad that I wasn't sure she would survive.  Bloating is a build up of gases in a cows stomach.  And it can be deadly if left untreated.  So Mr. M gave her two tubes of stomach meds we keep for such a case.  And he proceeded to walk her and she was not having it since her belly hurt so badly.  Me not wanting to give our Little Miss news of her heifer dying, called the vet.  Here comes the scarey and oh so cool part.  We cut an old garden hose and stuck one end of it down her throat. Now the tricky part is, one side of the cows throat leads to their stomach and the other side leads to their lungs.  So you don't have much room for error.  Mr. M got the hose in and BAMB! It was like letting the air out of a balloon.  You could hear it coming out of the hose and see her belly deflating.  And the smell was one I have never smelled!  It was the coolest and scariest thing.  Dream is doing much better today.  She's a little groggy and sore, but she should be fine.  Thank goodness!

I love this life and learning all these new things. 
 I love when Mr. M and I are able to do something so amazing. 
 It makes it all worth it. 
 And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Have a great day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Vansickle's-Part 1

I was contacted by a friend to take their engagement photos.  We have known each other since High School and we see them at several of the cattle shows.  When he and his fiancee asked me to do their photos, I didn't hesitate.  They are a great match! I am so excited for them.  This is the first part of the photos we took.  We will be doing another session soon.  Oh and it was 85 that day.  It's never 85 in March!

Congratulations to a great couple and their Little Man! 
Have a great week everyone..

Friday, March 23, 2012


Last summer we had a horrible storm.  With hail the size of golf balls.  And it did LOTS of damage to the house and barns.  The crazy part we were less than a year from having our roof, facia, trim and gutters done.  So it was all taken off and redone.  Next month the siding is getting done.  We are going from gray roof and white siding.  To brown roof and tan siding.  And the hail shredded all the skylights in the barns.  So Mr. M decided to do this part by himself.  And I decided I would clean the barn that day.  Just in case.

There was 8 skylights just on this one barn.  And we had new calves so it needed done badly so they stayed dry.  And the day before we had got a snow. Needless to say I felt much better they were done and he got off that roof.  They had to be replaced with metal because all the new barns the skylights are in the side of the barn.  But that's good, because that means that shouldn't need to be replaced again.

                                                               Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

That's Our Little Miss..

Our Little Miss is growing up fast.  At the end of last summer Mr. M started teaching her how to ride the quad.  This summer she is riding by herself.  And she is doing really well.  I'm sure she will be branching out to the Skid Steer and a few of things.  She doesn't want to be out done by Little Man.  That's my girl. 

Mr. M kept our old hayfield.  And we are using it for a new pasture.  It needed to be reseeded, so Little Miss and Mr. M headed out with the seeder on the quad.  She got to drive while he made sure it worked right.

I got busted taking pictures.  Mr. M isn't real fond of getting his picture taken.
 That's where Little Man gets it.  Our girl had the biggest grin on her face.  She loves being with her daddy and helping.  She's going to give those boys a run for their money. 

The cows kept following them around the field.  This is our Hostage cow and she's the loner of the group.
She also acts like a bull and she really wasn't too excited about this new intruder.

I'm loving how our children are learning all of these responsibilities.  It builds their confidence so much.
 And lets them become an important member of the growing of our farm and it's future.
 One day it will be there's, they should know all about it.  And they are never left alone to do any of it.
  We keep a close eye on them.  For those that question our methods. 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My girl..

Possum learning to sit and stay while we are out with the cows.  I love this dog.  She is loving, energetic, smart and beautiful.  And she's as stubborn as a 3yr old child.   And I'm so glad we brought her home.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

They are growing fast!

Several of the calves are over a month old now!  It has flown by so fast.  So the Little Man and I went out to get a few pictures of the munchkins.  They are so curious and want to come up to you.  And they absolutely love the dogs.

stand very still and they will come!

she's thinking about it..

the princess, she loves sneaking up on the dogs.

umm, hey you two come play with me...

these 3 are so rotten.

the little bear

my little stinker

this was my little bottle baby

the princess.  she is the heifer from Little Mans show heifer Lily last year.

The Little Man and I had fun just hanging out in the pasture with the calves.  They were playing chase with the dogs.  Kicking up their heels.  Running and hiding behind their mommas.  They are so much like human kids.  I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

She just wants to move them...

The weather was beautiful all weekend here.  So I decided to get the big girl camera out and get to know her again.  And I wanedt to get a few photos of the calves.  Most of them are over a month all ready.  And of course I had my two shadows while I was out.  Possum and Duff.

 Duff just mills about smelling and smooching on the calves here and there.  Possum can't let go of her herding instinct.  She thinks that they all need to be in a tight circle.  And she is constantly pacing a perimeter around them and wanting to move them. And nipping and barkings.   And of course our mommas do not like that.

I love this photo.  This calf kept sneaking up at Possum and she decided he need to go somewhere else.  She gets told no a lot right now.  But when you need her to move them she's all about it.  Poor girl just loves to move cows. 

Have a wonderful week ahead..

Friday, March 16, 2012

Washing show calves..

Show cattle are a long term and time consuming project.  We usually get the calves started in September or October.  And show them on and off all year until the next November.  And that usually means we have the set from the previous show season when we start a new set.  There are so many things that you need to do when you have show calves.  They need everyday care, weighing their feed, walking, rinsing, washing, keeping them cool and keeping them going for the next show.  So many people don't understand that we try and keep as much hair as possible on these calves for the time that we are showing them.  And that means rinsing them once a day.  And sometimes more when we are getting close to a show.  Then they get a good bath once a week and then we have a special oil we spray on them to help with the natural oils they need for a good hair coat.  Then they are penned under high speed fans each day.  Here are a few pictures of the process.

Dream, Little Miss's heifer tied and ready to start.
Rinse them good.

This is the soap and container we use at show.

And this is what we use at home!

One of the scrubbers that is used to scrub them .
This gets any debris and dead hair off of the calves.
We spray the soap on them to get a good cover.

It was a little chilly the day that I took these.
Then you rinse again to get all the soap out of the hair and off the hide.

We use blowers on them to dry their hair and help make it go the way we want it.

One of many combs we use to slick out water after a rinse/wash.
And there are lots of scrubbers so that everyone can help.

It takes about an hour to do Little Mans heifer from start to finish.  Little Miss's heifer has different hair so she takes almost 2 hours sometimes.  And the steer takes over 2 hours.  So we try and not wash them all on the same day.  If you do, you feel like you have been run over by a truck.

Every time they get rinsed or washed, they have to be combed and blown out until they are completely dry.  Then they are tied standing up under fans for a few hours.  This teaches them endurance when we are at the shows.  There is lots of standing and walking.

If anyone every wants to try it.  Just give me a jingle, I welcome the help.  I hope that explains a little of what we do to keep these cattle looking so good for the shows.  It's not a simple one time thing.