Calves in the Pasture

Calves in the Pasture

It was finally warm enough to take the doors off of the Ranger.

They’d been on the ATV for six months, having been hung on their hinges as soon as the wind started to bite. Every time in May I considered taking the doors off, the temperatures would drop.

Finally, the 80s showed up, and I swung the doors off the hinges and laid them in the garage for a (hopefully) six-month break.

This is usually a sign of summer.

For a few days after removing the doors, temperatures dropped again, and I wondered if I’d jumped the gun. It’s been wet and rainy and cold this spring, preventing crop producers from entering their fields to plant their corn or soybeans. The five-year average amount of Indiana corn planted at this time is 73%. Right now, we only have 14%. This has made for stressful times for many farmers.

Because we focus on livestock and hay, we have not had these same travails. However, we have been working in a lot of mud and wet conditions while feeding the livestock, and work on a chicken tractor (a movable coop that will allow the chickens to forage while being protected from predators) has been delayed several times. The up-and-down temperatures have been tough, as well. 

As of late, though, there have been good photo opportunities. Calfie has started eating Big Calf feed, along with her milk.

Calf eating grain in feeder.

Continue reading “Calves in the Pasture”

Bottle Calf

Bottle Calf

It was a long winter. The temperatures were up and down, one day in the negative 30s, the next day in the positive 40s. Spring has been cold and wet, and there has been uncertainty as to whether it’s even here at all. Beasts and humans alike are ready for warmer weather.

Every so often, the sun does peek around a cloud and warms the face. While waiting for that moment, the heart is warmed by new calves galloping through the pasture, playing chase as a kindergarten class. Continue reading “Bottle Calf”

Of Curious Calves and Communications

Of Curious Calves and Communications

2018 calves
Curious calves creep close to sniff at my Carhartt coveralls.

I can feel Spring itching to enter Indiana. We thought the Big Snow we had on the last Saturday of March was Winter’s last big showing, a last hurrah before consistent warmer temperatures and flowers finally reach us. But then it snowed on Easter. I enjoyed The Big Snow, crunching through it, watching new calves gallop around their mothers, tails held high, silhouettes in the coming dusk and falling flakes. The cold weather and snow, especially The Big Snow’s cold and dense and quiet six-inch fall, have helped me readjust to the Northern Hemisphere and, for the first time in three years, experiencing all four seasons in one year.

The spring has brought new opportunities, as well.

I’ve embarked on a new career. I am a farmer and a writer. I don’t consider one occupation more important than the other, as one exists at the same plane as the other for me. There is no writing without farming; there is no farming without writing. Take away one, and you might as well take away both and toss me into a car mechanic’s shop and ask me to fix the worn-out brake pad on a Hummer. Continue reading “Of Curious Calves and Communications”