Sunday, September 21, 2008

nimue had her calf this morning.

we'll probably name him phoenix--risen from the ashes. maybe our luck will change too.

he is a bull calf which is fine since we'll butcher him to feed us when time comes. we plan to fatten him out on milk for a long while.

so now we have two calves and two cows fresh in milk. feast or famine...

after much effort we have contacted the people who did rory's artificial insemination. she was bred to a show bull and rory's lineage is excellent. what i'm trying to say is we have a "show-heifer-calf"--jocelyn.

we have to do something very sinister. i hate the idea of it but given our circumstance we must. we have to burn off the horns on both calves. we'll do it ourselves and it will be evil. we can't leave the horns on any of the cows because we have cows without them and accidental goring happens frequently. plus we enjoy letting our kids frolic through the fields and having cows with horns is way too dangerous even if they are friendly. also we want to pasture our bull elsewhere and no one will take a cow with horns around their herd of hornless cows.

i fixed tristan's bike and put training wheels on it. he has been walking up the little hill in the back yard and riding down for the past few hours. he'll sleep good tonight. i had to walk behind him while pushing for a few trips but he got the idea fairly quickly.

kassi and toly were his support team. they would push him and cheer him on. kassi would say "keep trying, never give up." cute kids.

oops tristan's first bicycle accident.

we were going to pick apples today but we got ruined by the stress of having a new calf this morning. we might go visit the folks that will sell us our pigs. i guess they have a cheap way to make a waterer for the pigs. we plan to let them into the garden to till things up. i'll include the new garden annexed yard. they will likely root up and till the area. i still plan a scorched earth burning of the garden but pigging the area first seems like a great idea. we'll also train them to the electric fence during their term in the garden.

i'd like them to work a few areas so we can plant grass for pasture. this will be quite an adventure. controlling them with electric fence is allegedly fairly easy. they are smart creatures.

we are hoping to sell quite a bit of milk this freshening. there should be tons of cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter and so on. two fresh cows will probably cost us $8 per day. that means we need to sell ten gallons of milk per week to make them pay for themselves during lactation. rory is roughly making four gallons per day and if nimue does the same we'll be over loaded--8. the calves will take two gallons per day--6. we drink and use two to three gallons per day--3. if we sell one and a half per day--1.5. we give our friends with a large family milk three gallons per week--1. that leaves one gallon of milk per day and all the whey and milk waste for the pigs.

chances are nimue will freshen with a bit more than four gallons per day so we'll have a buffer. if we find that the pigs need more milk we can trim a few areas and shuffle things around.

our new printer has been a big help around here. the kids especially enjoy printed coloring pages and work sheets for home schooling. i'm glad that lazer printers are finally affordable. the one crappy thing is we didn't get our rebate. the fine print got us again. whatever...

i have been burning to finish my root cellar especially since ron is making such great headway on his.

i'm gonna go figure out where the fence line will go to contain the pigs.
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