Farming… some things are rough

There are some amazing aspects to living in the country.  For instance, waking to the sound of birds chirping at the window in the morning or taking the kayaks down to the river for a few hours to catch fish from places you cannot get to from the bank.  Its absolutely breathtaking at times. πŸ€—

Then there are things that happen that are out of personal control… that are just a part of nature.  This week there were a couple of those out of control situations around our farm.  First, we lost the last of the rabbit kits from the first litters of Betty and Boop.  It was really unexpected.  The first two weeks are so very critical to a kit.  If they make it two weeks they have a higher chance of living. Of the 10 kits, we lost 1 in the first 24 hours and 2 more on the second day.  These losses were all from the same litter. I believe that Betty had neglected her litter and left them to die.  It’s unfortunate, but it happens. 

At this point I decided to transfer the remaining 2 kits to Boop’s litter to see if she will foster.  All of Boop’s kits were doing just fine. On the morning of day 6, I went out to check on the babies as I did every morning before heading to work. I found Boop sitting on the kits.  I did not move her from her babies (she is nice but mommies can get mean). When I checked again after work, I found that 4 of them were stiff, 1 had a bite on the back of its neck and 2 were barely moving.  I immediately went into mommy mode for those still alive.  

I decided I would bottle feed the remaining 3 kits.  Batman took to getting the heat lamp and nesting box while I got the dropper with formula.  Surprisingly,  two bunnies took to the dropper quickly sucking in what they could.  The injured little kit did not take to it.  I anticipated that it wouldn’t make it through the night. To my surprise, all of them were stiff when I checked on them right before I headed to bed.  It was a fitful night of sleep.

I did a bit more research on rabbit reproduction. This is very common with first litters and even second litters.  When it comes to the third litter and it is still happening, that’s when you know the rabbit is not cut out to be a mommy. ‘Three strikes and you’re in the fryer!’

Yesterday was another unfortunate event. Even though it wasn’t on my farm, it’s still an uneasy feeling when helpless to the situation. A neighbor friend called on us to help him get his pregnant cow into the shoot. Now, she was trying hard to push out her calf but was having complications. So with the help of 5 people, we were able to get her into the little pin (not easily) and ultimately in the shoot (even harder).  I can only imagine how she was feeling being moved along while all she wanted was to birth her baby.  

Once we got her in the shoot we could see her contractions easier… the head was coming out first and it was a big head.  This is bad for cattle… we want the front legs to come out first which makes the rest of the delivery much easier. The neighbor went “elbow deep” to try and push the head back and grab the legs.  At this point he knew the calf was stillborn and had been for a while. How did he know this?  Well, the teeth were coming out of his mouth, the eyeball squished into his hand, and there was no movement from the little guy.

It was not a pretty sight or smell while trying to help with the birth.  She was pushing so hard that she shat almost every time. Each time the neighbor pulled his arm/hand from her it had to be hosed off.  After phone calls to other neighboring farmers and multiple veterinarians, there was a very hard decision to make.  Two choices: pull the head out and cut it off in order to get the rest of the calf out of the momma OR put the momma out of her misery and put her down.  The later of the choices was selected.  I would have made the same decision. 

She was let out of the pin to walk up the trail to her final resting place.  I walked too. I was there.  It is a part of farming that is hard… emotional.  Things like this will happen. Take the good… take the bad.  Farm life. 

I refuse to leave you with negative connotations of farming (I love this new life I am living and wouldn’t trade it for anything)… so I leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures from this weekend. 

This is Bacon. πŸ’›

Tinker Bell… city cat thriving in the country. (We get along great!)

Right place,  wrong time for this little guy. 

My trouble makers.  

Much love to ya!


Sunday, Sunday…Β 

Many people use Sunday as a day of worship.  Many people use Sunday as a relaxation day.  For those of us that work a full time job and a hobby farm on off hours, we sometimes have to use Sunday as another work day.  

Ever see the Lethal Weapon movie that starts out with the guy using a flame thrower to set the city on fire?  I think it was #3.  Well, that’s what I was thinking about when Batman started using his new toy today; a weed burner.  Made me giggle.  πŸ€—

This morning was the coolest part of the day.  Woke up to 10 hairless bunnies in a couple of boxes.  Two of our rabbits, Betty and Boop, gave birth before dawn this morning. Each doe had five babies, no stillborn. Unusual for first litters. πŸ°πŸ’™πŸ˜Š   Loved seeing how they were all cuddled together. I look forward to seeing what colors they will have once they get bigger.  I have already started the tracking paperwork for these babies.  

The flock found some spots that they could take some very dusty baths.  A few of them decided to share one particular spot in the yard.  Batman was not so happy to find them digging a hole… normally he is yelling at the dogs to stop digging… now the chickens have been added to that list. Dust baths help keep the mites, fleas, and ticks off of the flock.

Soap was finally hung.  Yep, soap on a rope was hung at the chicken coop.  I tried this trick the last time we had chickens and I never really had to worry about predators.  There is something about the smell of soap that keeps them at bay.  After finding two snakes in the barn in a weeks time, it was time to try this trick again. Soap is hanging all around the parameter of the coop. 

Even though we often times need to use Sunday as a work day around the OMHF, we always remember that it’s important to find the time to relax and enjoy the farm.  I do hope that all of my friends and family remember just how important it is to chill. Mr. Max sure knows how.  πŸΆπŸ’™πŸ˜†

Much love to everyone reading this. πŸ’›


Farm living is the life for me….

After a lot of traveling it’s nice to be home for a couple of weekends in a row. The last two weekends we have been able to get so much accomplished.  Better than that, we have been able to relax and enjoy things throughout the week. πŸ’™ The weather has been so nice this week that we had dinner and drinks outside at our gifted table and chairs in the lawn.  I feel very lucky to have my Batman and Hulk  home to enjoy.  πŸ’š

This weekend will bring some new baby bunnies to our farm. πŸ‡  After checking the calendar and doing a bit of research on what to look for as far as physical signs… well, its getting very close.  Of the 5 girls that we have, we have three showing signs that they are getting close (within 24-48 hours) to giving birth.  πŸ’›

We have found out just how nosey a chicken is when we decided to clean out the center of the barn.  Paulie is one of the cocks in out flock.  πŸ“  He had to check out what was happening before the girls ventured over to see what was happening. 

Once again I am reminded of how beautiful my OMHF is with the circle rainbow above my barn. We were in the middle of working this afternoon when we looked up to see this amazing sight.  πŸŒΌ  Not often does something stop you in the moment… I’m learning to recognize those moments and take in all moments available to me.

I hope you all recognize when to stop and see the beauty that surrounds you.  πŸŒ»