I have been neglecting this blog. It has been such a rush to get the insulation put in the house we are building. The temperatures have been frigid in Western North Carolina and working in them is no picnic. On a farm you have to do what you have to do. Over Christmas we got a snow storm that dropped about 9 inches on us.
Luckily all the animals are doing well. We are expecting Bessie to have her calf by January 5. Hopefully she does not have it on the coldest day of the year like she did in 2009. This will be our first Dexter calf born on the farm.
We were not planning on going anywhere at all during the snow storm but low and behold we had to go get surplus milk for our pigs about 15 miles away on Christmas day. If we didn’t go we risked it not being available to us next week. That was quite an adventure. The roads got terrible very quickly and on the way back the windshield wipers quit working on our 1987 Ford F250! Besides that we had a nice quiet Christmas at home. There is still 9 inches of snow or better on the ground but it is expected to melt off late in the week.
When it snows it always amazes me how excited our Great Pyrenees dogs get. They snow bathe. They love it! Our youngest Pyrenees, Ruby Pearl, had never seen more than a sprinkle of snow in her 9 months. She doesn’t seem to like it quite as much as Jeb our 2 year old male. Ruby has decided to spend half her time inside sleeping in the shower. She has decided that a shower pan is an excellent dog bed. I am not sure if I should warn any potential house guests or let them discover the giant dog that lives in the bathroom.
I wish I had got some pictures of the pigs in the snow but to be honest with you we stayed inside a lot. We hadn’t had a day off in a very long time so we took advantage of the weather. The goats look puffed up because they have their fuzzy winter coat. They seemed to not care for the snow too much. I guess that is understandable when one considers that goats are originally from the desert.
Our bull will be a year old in a week. He is starting to look like a real bull and not a calf. We have to get the brass knobs on his horns soon as he is getting quite a set on him. He is actually starting to get a hump on his back! I mistook him for a pregnant heifer today when I saw him from behind. If he wasn’t still growing we would put him on a diet. When he is grown he will need to be kept in a seperate lot from the cows most of the time so that we can monitor his food intake a bit more. The same for George who is our future ox. It can be really easy to let a bull or ox get too fat. This can happen even more easily if the bull doesn’t have enough cows to breed or he is cooped up with his cows so he does not have to pursue them around the pasture.
We found the most important thing during the cold was just to make sure everyone had plenty to eat.