There are babies crawling all over the farm right now. The calves had been pretty trouble free up until this week. Early this week a cow shunned her weaker daughter after giving birth to twins. We named her Ellie Mae and put her in the barn closest to the house. What a difference one week in the barn can do...she started this week having to be forced to eat, and now she can consume an entire 4 pint bottle in less than 1 minute. It wasn't long that she had to spend alone though. While we were doing our morning field checks, we happened upon a little black bull calf, with white eyelashes and whiskers. He was stuck in the clay mud of the creek bank, sunk all the way in to his belly. His mother stood over him bellowing out. He had tried to free himself from the thick clay until he was shivering, and no longer able to move. After chasing his mother off, we pulled him free, and laid him on the bank so that his mother could care for him. Well, she refused to do little more than to try to force him to follow her away, and upon his trying, he found his way back into the creek. So in the creek we went after the little guy. Never have I been so thankful for a good pair of muck boots, than on a snowy day having to wade the creek. We finally got him back to the house, and got the clay washed off of him. We sat him next to the furnace in the kitchen to warm up, and gave him a bottle of colostrum as soon as he would eat. Once he was standing up on his own, we quickly tried to take him back to his mother. We dropped him off near her, and watched her take care of him for about an hour. The next day when we went to check on him, he was curled up in the middle of the field, shivering, and starving. Another trip back to house, another bottle, and now another calf to keep Ellie Mae company, because this little guy isn't going to make it any other way. We named him Little Bit.
The ducks and chickens quickly outgrew their first weeks home. Now that they are growing their first real feathers, they are eager to figure them out....and that involves lots of test flights. One chick actually managed to make it out of the brood pen, but figured out quite quickly to stay near the heater. When I found her, she was doing fine, and was happy to be returned to the flock. That was a sign that it was time to build a bigger pen. The new one is much bigger, with the all important wall height of about three foot. They have at least doubled in size this week. I think new pictures are in order.
The last of the babies aren't here just yet. Our trusty mouse catcher, Snowy, has been steadily swelling up for weeks. I have been temporarily calling her Garfield, because she is just so enormous. I'm thinking there will be at least 3-4 kittens in this litter.
Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Lettuce, and Eggplants have all been started. All but the Eggplants have already sprouted. Its a good way to begin the growing season.
Well, that is about all for this wildly unpredictable week 9 at Crooked Row Farm.