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Floors Down in the Cabin, Baby Cows and Ducks, and Biggers' Farm Enters the Pig Rearing Business

| 4/3/2012 5:00:00 PM

Samantha BiggersWell it has been a long time in between blog posts, but that has been because we have simply been so busy on the farm. Spring came early to the mountains of North Carolina, so we really didn't get much of a winter break.

We have been working on the house a bunch. Most of the light fixtures are in, but the biggest news is that we have a brand new hardwood floor now. We went with locally milled #2 Hickory in 3-, 4-, and 5-inch widths with Southern Cypress in the bathroom. Neither of us had ever put down hardwood before, so it went pretty slow. Hickory is the hardest domestically produced wood for flooring, so the cheap hardwood flooring nailer we used jammed a lot. A whole lot. Our best day we put down around 150 square feet, which is about half the rate of a professional. About as good as we could expect to do. The Southern Cypress was very easy to put down, as it is much softer. We chose it for its superior water and rot resistance.

 Living Room Hickory Floor 

Hickory Floor in the Loft 

A few weeks ago, we bought 4 jersey/holstein cross dairy calves. I know I have said before that we were not going to do that again. I wish I had heeded my own advice. We lost 3 of the 4 to E-Coli. Matt and I spent over a week tube feeding and giving large doses of antibiotics to no avail. This was one of the most heartbreaking times I have had farming. We did absolutely everything we could, but it hit so fast. A calf would be fine one day, and the next morning unable to take milk. I found it interesting that the youngest calf was the one that made it. We got him off the farm when he was hours old, while the others were at least several days old. I have a theory that the ones that were at the dairy longer simply had more time to be exposed. The scary thing is how antibiotic-resistant things like E-Coli have become. Dairies use antibiotics in almost everything they feed a calf, so when they actually need them, they simply don't work or provide little relief. So, lesson learned. Commercial dairies are never getting any calf business from me again. I took too much of a loss, and the suffering and loss of life was too much.

Lucky The Holstein 

4/10/2012 12:07:05 AM

Samantha, sounds like you have taken on a lot of new things. I really like the idea of going led 12 volt in your house. It will save a lot in the long run. The led lights of today are really bright compared to those of the first generation. I expect that some day that will be the lights of a house. The ugly spiral florescent lights will be short lived. At least I certainly hope so. Caring for farm animals can be the best of times or the worst of times. To see new life come into the world does something in the heart. To try to bring an animal back to health but have it succumb to an ill fate of nature also does something to the heart. Homesteading can be an up and down kind of life. That's for sure. The successes are what makes it all worth while. I'm looking forward to hearing about your next post about your life experiences on the homestead. Have the best day that you can in the garden.

4/7/2012 2:28:25 AM

I like the color of the floors, very pretty wood. We had a dairy farm, nothing like having 20 or so with scours at the same time.

Cameron Bingham
4/5/2012 9:13:09 AM

Brilliant! Sad to hear about the calves....but...still...for us trapped in the city, this was a GREAT READ!

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