Archive for January, 2013

Its a Boy! and The Boys are Back

January 25, 2013

I went down to feed the cow this morning and look what I found!  It was so exciting – I feel very blessed!

Twinks&Calf

We thought that Twinkles wasn’t due for another two weeks, but she managed to surprise us.  I had been concerned that she might be getting close so we moved her to the calving paddock yesterday morning, just in time!

CalfFeeding

Twinkles adores her calf, and can’t resist licking him all the time.  It is very sweet.  🙂  We went down and milked her this afternoon, to reduce the pressure in her udder as it was very engorged and to ensure that her milk supply stays good.  She was a bit unsure about it at first, but settled down pretty well and we got 2.25 litres of milk.  More than we ever got from Izzy!  We were very pleased as we are hoping to be able to milk her while she is loose in the paddock, or at most only held by a halter.  It is a very promising start.  The hope is that she can have enough milk for the calf as well as for us.  Once the calf is older and drinking more we will start to lock him away from his mum at night, and then milk her in the morning before letting him in with her during the day, but there is no need for that yet.  We are still considering names.

CalfFeeding1

I had been thinking of sending an email to show how our ‘boys’, the steers, have grown, but this morning’s news was far more exciting so it had to take priority!  However, the steers came back home a couple of weeks ago, and they are BIG now.  This is Harry.

Harry

And this is Oliver who was rather interested in the hay over the fence.  🙂  Oliver is actually no more – he is currently in pieces in a cool room in town awaiting the final butchering on Monday evening.  He had a good life and a quick stress-free death, at least it was stress free for him – he didn’t even know anything was up before it was all over.  I personally never find killing the stock stress free, but always tend to be a bit anxious until the job is safely over.  Our local dairy farmer does the slaughtering and butchering of the cattle for us, and he is very good at it so that does help me not to worry so much, but I still feel very responsible.  However it is nice that it can all be done on the property, so that the animals are very relaxed and at home – much nicer than what the shop bought meat experiences I am sure.

Oliver1

As you can see we got a good truckload of hay delivered recently.  It is good to know someone with some trucks who can make deliveries when needed.  The driver is very interested in tractors too, and was giving us some advice about ours.  We were able to get a bunch of manuals and other booklets about our tractor from the Historical Society in Morawa in WA.  They have lots of scanned manuals for tractors and farm machinery that they will put on a disk and post out for $10 a disk, and we got all that we could have wished for on one disk.  It is a valuable service.

HayDelivery

Kim has been busy working on the solar system.  We were able to purchase some more second hand deep cycle batteries very cheaply, taking a risk on whether or not they would be any good.  Kim has been slowly charging them up and we are hopeful that they will be good.  That will give us the ability to go to 24 volt instead of 12 volt, which has certain advantages but you’d have to ask Kim what those advantages are as it all gets a bit hazy in my mind.  🙂

DeepCycleBatteries

We also now have 3 new solar panels on the roof, they give a lot more charge than our old panels which is great.  The old shack looks pretty techno these days with the solar hot water system, solar panels, batteries and satellite dishes all on display out the front.

TechnoShack

We got a good crop of peas this year, and I do love my home grown peas.  That is a bucket full in the photo there.  I’ve pulled out the peas now and am waiting to see how the tomatoes go.  I had a  bunch of corn in that was growing well – until the cow busted through the makeshift fencing around them and ate them.  Gotta laugh!  I really must learn that I can only grow vegetables in my chook house/garden runs!

PeasGalore

Well, that is enough news for now.  Better go and see how the tennis is going.  Take care