Tuesday 28 March 2017


That's right, Moo.  Not Baaa.  Moo.

We've talked about getting calves since we moved here.  It's happened.  I bought three new buckets:  Blue, Green and Red; and those are the names of the calves.

If you enjoy consuming dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and yogurt, then you indirectly support veal farming.  It is not nasty or bad.  It just is.  Bull calves are not wanted by dairy farmers.  A fellow farmer knows of a local dairy farmer from whom he got us the three calves.  The first calf, Blue, is a Holstein.  The second and third, Red and Green, arrived about ten days later.  Blue was just over three weeks when he arrived, while Red was 4 days of age, and Green was 5 days old.

From left to right, in the photo at left, are Green (lying down), Red (with the bell on his collar) and Blue (the black and white Holstein).  Jerseys are TINY compared to Holsteins.  They are all cute.  I like the bucket colour names better than some other name ideas, such as T-Bone and Sirloin.

In this next photo you can see their sizes better.  This is a fuzzy shot of Blue as he was shaking his head.  Red is on the right.  He is all red, while Green has the white markings and his collar is green.  Blue's collar is green - just because.

They got cold and I made them coats.  I even put up a heat lamp which you can see in the photo.  At first their coats were "superhero capes" made from towels and held on under their chins with alligator clips.  The best were some pillow shams I do not use.  I was able to put a towel or remnant of something warm inside the sham.  I sewed on velcro at the front of the chest and then under the tail.  Yes, it got dirty and then it got washed.  The desired effect was achieved and the boys got warm.

They are now eating solids, consuming some Starter Ration and nibbling on some hay.  The goal is to wean them off of milk replacer and have them graze all summer.  

Maple syrup is another sign of spring.  We are using the BBQ this year and it seems faster.  It's less work than stoking the cook stove in the cabin and the BBQ is pretty close to the kitchen.  We 'finish' the syrup on the kitchen stove.  That is, the last hour or so is completed in the kitchen. 

Black gold, indeed!
It is yummy stuff!

Bruce the ram is a rammy guy, a real danger.  He has nailed me a few times and it hurts.  He weighs more than me and he can move quickly.  I am very cautious around him.  Here he is in his corner of the barnyard.  I separated him from the flock with a length of electric fence and gave him access to the chicken coop.  He is an outdoor guy, having come from a farm where there were no barns, only 3-sided shelters.  I have not seen him lay down in the chicken coop.  He has helped himself to their food.

I have several people in line for some of his fleece...

I have just put Bruce and Zeuss back together in one pen.  I was worried but they are getting on fine, with minimal bashing by Bruce.  Zeuss is old and thin and I have been feeding him lots of extra grain twice daily.  I am able to let him out of the pen to continue to do this, leaving Bruce with a morsel to keep him occupied.  My plan is to use both rams again this next year.

So, Spring is springing.  Stay tuned for baby lamb photos after April 7th!