Sunday, June 01, 2008

Is she or isn't she?

They certainly look rather bored with each other, don't they? This weekend, if I got my days counted right, would be when Stella shows sign of coming into heat if she's not pregnant. She pretty much did boring cow things like eating, sleeping, grooming Doug and Nash. No sparks, no mooning about like a lovesick teenager. And her milk production has gone back up to a steady 3 quarts at morning milking, after her brief experiment with holding back milk from me. Doug still gets most of the cream, but we'll manage until weaning time.
Here's Doug, in his favorite napping spot, a bed of leftover hay, next to a stump. It's usually shady when it's hot, and dry when it rains. It's also conveniently out of the way of grown up hooves.

One of us at Seven Trees is going to have major surgery in August with about a 2 month recovery time. That means we'll be hammering on a few projects to make sure we're ready to cope with the drastic labor-force reduction. Now that the garden is mostly in (and we just laid soaker hoses in all beds to speed watering) and the perimeter fence is done, we're concentrating on running electric fencing to delineate all the grazing paddocks. We should be able to rotate them through all 5 with plenty of time to let the grass regrow and disrupt the parasite cycles. We sold our main laying flock in preparation for the younger batch to start laying anytime. They get to free range where ever the cattle go, and that helps keep the bugs down too.

The next project will be building an 8 x 16 lean-to type shelter on the south side of the barn. This will give us 2 stalls that can open into grazing paddocks, separate from each other and/or the barn & barnyard. This is where our new bull will live, and also be a holding pen for anyone who might need to be kept apart. We're designing it with our upcoming hurricane season in mind. Since it's on the side where the worst storms come from, it needs to withstand extreme wind and rain. We're also hoping to run a buried powerline along the driveway, with outlets at the chicken coop, outlet & light in the barn, and a light at the end of the drive for safety (and security).

If the stars all align properly, one last project this summer will be painting the house. It's been on the list forever, and really needs it, but painting weather and free time don't always end up in the same universe.

7 comments:

Robbyn said...

We're wishing you a smooth transition and a quick recovery after surgery. I didn't know folks in your area had to be hurricane-ready...in our area in Florida, it's a yearly ritual. Sending you warm thoughts as you shore up the homestead for the upcoming changes :)

Anonymous said...

I am in a state of sheer jealousy~ obviously you folks at Seven Trees have discovered the secret of getting more than 24 hours out of a day~
Where did you discover this amazing ability~ and where do you get the energy?
Mr. Green Genes wishes you a quick recovery from your surgery~ and if you need any help out on Seven Trees, give me a holler across the fence~
(maybe I will discover your secret as well)~

great blog, as usual....

LGP said...

Robbyn they're not 'real hurricanes' because they're not tropical.

They're just big storms with cyclonic circulation and winds of hurricane force, is all.

But since they happen in the PNW, they're not important--they aren't going to hit Atlanta (home of the weather channel.)

No eyes, though. At least, not officially...

Seven Trees said...

Thanks for the good wishes, and also the offer of help Mr. Green Genes!

The secret to getting more than 24 hours to the day is complete and utter madness! Never let anything like logic or common sense deter you from something as crazy as buying a bull or planting enough potatoes to feed Ireland. Sometimes we fall flat on our faces, and sometimes things actually come together. You only live one, as far as anyone knows....

We'd love to take a peek at Toad Hill (are you keeping the name?) when you are settled in enough for company.

LOL @ unimportant windstorms! If they named the buggers, insurance rates would be sky high. Bad enough trying to keep the greenhouse from blowing all the way to Canada every winter.

Mr. Green Genes said...

Seven tree humans~
Yes, the name shall remain the same (hmmm...showing my age~ isn't that a Led Zepplin song....yikes)!

You are more than welcome to drop in whenever you feel like it~ at this point, I am out there most weekends...the novelty has not worn off yet!

"Sheer madness" is owning a block of land, especially 8 acres... I swear, every time I look around the grass has grown a foot higher!

Seven Trees said...

Cattle definitely help with the grass, except for the parts we don't want manured. But they do provide us with plenty of milk, and next year, meat, for the trouble.

But our last attempt at leading a cow around the yard to "mow" resulted in quite a rodeo.

Mr. Green Genes said...

See, that is where I get squeamish... In my younger years, I always had a habit of naming cows/sheep/ducks/etc... at my uncle's/grandmothers farm...

Worked well, except for the fact that every so often "Bessie" (the cow) or "Flossie" (the lamb) or "Daffy" (the duck) would disappear, never to be seen again.. In some type of strange coincidence, a few days after they disappeared, we would always have a wonderful roast dinner of lamb, or beef, or duck...

So, no more animals for me, I am afraid~ plants show no signs of affection..that is the way I want it to stay....LOL