Calving is always our favorite time of year around the farm. It is like Christmas in the spring. When the cow goes into labor, it feels like the excitement of Christmas Eve when you can't wait to see what is inside. This spring will be our 6th year of calving, and the excitement has not lessened with time.
Daniel likes to play a game with the vet. He keeps a pretty close eye on the cows when we have the bull in with them. When he sees a cow come into heat, he makes sure to mark it on the calendar. Twenty-one days later, he is keeping an even closer eye on that cow to see if she comes back into heat. If not, then he knows that she was bred on the last heat. When the vet is out to palpate all the cows, Daniel just stands back and watches. He has a notebook with all the dates of when he thinks the cows were bred. Then, he waits for word from the vet. It never fails that the vet is always within a few days of Daniel's calculations.
My job is next. I sit down with the gestation chart and figure out the specific due date for each cow. I then fill in the calendar and wonder how we are going to fit all these calves in between the fair, trips out of town, etc. So far, we haven't been out of state for a birth (much to our neighbors relief).
We are trying very hard to get back onto an all spring calving schedule. It is taking us longer than we had hoped, but each year we are inching closer and closer to all spring dates. This year it is kind of all over the board....which is good and bad.
March - Rachel is due sometime this month. Rachel was further along when the vet palpated, so it is harder to get an exact date.
June 18 - Missy due - Her last calf was a bull (Mitchell), so we are really hoping for a nice heifer out of her this year. She has thrown us a reserve champion heifer and a reserve champion bull. Can we get a grand champion?
June 28 - Rose due - Rose is one of our older cows that has thrown decent babies in the past. Her 2014 calf, Rain, is turning out to be pretty awesome. Breeding Rose, a nice cow, with the right bull can result in an exceptional calf.
July 6 - Roxi due - Roxi throws the most gracefully walking cows on our farm. She had a heifer last year so will we get a bull?
July 11 - Daffodil and Cece due - Daffodil is going to a new home today. She is a great mother and will make a great herd at her new home. This will be Cece's first calf, so we are excited to see what we get.
July 18 - Bunny due - Bunny is very deep bodied and throws deep bodied calves. We are hoping to add the length from Boomer to this calf.
July is our busiest month with camp, the fair and the bow shoot, and now we are adding calves to the mix. We may be a little sleep deprived and grouchy for a few weeks.
Last month, Isaac and I had the privilege of attending the ACRES USA Conference in downtown Columbus. While visiting the trade show, Isaac signed up for every drawing available. To his surprise, he was the winner of a weather station.
A few days later, a large box arrived with our new Acu-Rite 5-in-1 Weather Station. We had no idea how fancy it would be. I am not sure who likes it more, Isaac or Daniel.
The outside sensor, or what we call the spaceship, is mounted on one of our fence posts. This is the unit that measures the outside temperature, rainfall, wind speed and barometric pressure. You can tell I took this picture on a lovely winter day.
The inside unit has a huge color screen that is easy to read. It shows you the daily rainfall, monthly rainfall, wind speed, inside and outside temperature, humidity, and the windchill reading. There is a ticker at the bottom that scrolls through all kinds of information including weather forecasts specific to our house.
Like most country dwellers, the local television station is about 45 miles south of us, so the forecasts are pretty much a wild guess. As you can see from the picture above, we had some lovely weather last week. Our inside temp is not really 64, it is just sitting on a drafty windowsill. The boys (big and little) can be found most any time standing in front of the weather station. Walker loves to give us a running update on the windchill.
One of Daniel's favorite features of this new weather station is the phone app. He is able to log on while he is at work and see exactly what is going on at home. It doesn't really matter what the weather is at home when no one is there, but he is just that obsessed with the weather. I can only imagine how glued to his phone he will be when we have hay down.
We are all enjoying our new toy.
By the way...it is currently 25 degrees with 5 mph winds that makes it feel like 16 degrees.
We have added a new feature to the blog. You may now subscribe by e-mail to be notified when a new post has been published. On the right hand side of this page is a box to enter your e-mail address and subscribe. You will receive an e-mail in your in box with a link to confirm your subscription.
We hope this new feature will help you to keep up with what is going on here at 4 Wiley Farm.
One of the main reasons that we want to set a list of goals for the year is so that we can prioritize and budget the items that we feel are most important to the success of our farm.
We are not typically people who make lists of goals. There really isn't a reason, we just don't usually do it. This list is meant to motivate us and keep us from losing sight of what we really want to accomplish. We always have grand plans, but the money usually runs out more quickly than the ideas.
This list isn't in any order and it isn't exhaustive. There are always frustrating days...or weeks...or months when you feel that you are moving backwards instead of forwards. Hopefully we can look back at this list and see that we really have accomplished many things. All of these goals are not quantitative, but the goal is to always be moving forward.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.