Tag Archives: baby

Wordless Wednesday: Brockle Baby 

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Wordless Wednesday: Piglet Pile 

  

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Wordless Wednesday: Guardian Hoot Dog 

  

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Birthday Baby Calf

The shit my Dad has been giving me lately, about not having kids, is reaching rather remarkable proportions. Why, you ask. Because our new neighbors have one of the cutest little boys, ever. Wyatt is 3, soon to be 4. His Parents, Megan and Jared, moved next door to our summer ranch in the mountains and I just got to meet them this spring.
I was already a fan of these neighbors before I even met them because they wanted pigs. They had some of my heritage pork last summer and knew they need to raise their own. This just tickled me because, as you all know, promoting heritage pork is one of my pet projects. The first time I met them in real life was when I delivered 5 pigs to their house. Since then our pig plans have grown, but that’s for another post.

Wyatt and his pigs.

Wyatt and his pigs.

They’ve been a huge help around the ranch, we tend to get really excited about that. My Dad and I both have really enjoyed getting to know them, and hanging out with Wyatt, which has lead to my Dad’s grandpa fever. I’ll even admit, Wyatt is starting to even make me think about dating again (DO NOT TELL MY DAD I SAID THAT!).
As I mentioned before, Wyatt has a birthday coming up, so it was decided that he needed something special. Something that he could grow with, teach him stuff and maybe eventually make some money from (you know, for school). Obviously, the answer was a little heifer bottle calf.

Yes, I know I put the ear tag in backwards. But since Wyatt doesn't have a brand yet, this will help in case she gets lost.

Yes, I know I put the ear tag in backwards. But since Wyatt doesn’t have a brand yet, this will help in case she gets lost.

We always end up with a few bottle babies every year, some we sell to neighbors that need to graft a calf and sometimes I keep them to sell as a beef. We started looking for just the right calf for Wyatt, one that would make a good cow in a few years. She also needed to have a nice attitude. We had a poor old cow die during birth, it does happen once in a while. The little heifer that was born, that now had no mama, was sweet and calm, perfect for the birthday boy. Wyatt named his calf, Sally.

I'm going to warn you all: do not let me around your kids. I am a horrible influence. By the time I'm done there will be pigs and calves everywhere and college will be paid for.

I’m going to warn you all: do not let me around your kids. I am a horrible influence. By the time I’m done there will be pigs and calves everywhere and college will be paid for.

It’s important to my family that we expose kids to production agriculture. We know we live a unique existence and we want to share that with people that have an interest in what we do. We’re also being terribly selfish because in just a few short years, Wyatt is going to be amazing help on the ranch!

Wyatt getting  a little help from his Mom the first time he fed Sally. It almost made me cry, it was so cute.

Wyatt getting a little help from his Mom the first time he fed Sally. It almost made me cry, it was so cute.

Wyatt is going to feed this baby all summer. When we move down to the valley she is going to come down with the rest of the cows and enjoy a mild winter with lots of grass. Next year when it’s time for Sally to have a bullfriend, we’ll make sure that happens so Wyatt can expand his herd.

Look at this little cowboy! As soon as he learns to read, I've going to give him some Dr. Grandin books and this kid will be unstoppable.

Look at this little cowboy! As soon as he learns to read, I’ve going to give him some Dr. Grandin books and this kid will be unstoppable.

We’re excited to watch Wyatt and Sally grow up together. We can already see it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship and hopefully a long line of black angus cows and delicious meat!

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Wordless Wednesday: Newborn Moo

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Happy Friday

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Wordless Wednesday: Our House Herd

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Help! New Bottle Baby Needs a Name!

It’s that time of year again. Calving season. Inevitably we always end up with a bottle calf or two. It’s actually a good thing because if we have a calf die (it does happen, no matter what), we can give the Mama  cow a new baby, thus keeping that cow productive (that is her only job on the Ranch, to raise a healthy baby calf). If you want to know more about calf grafting please read this blog I wrote about it last year.

This is my new ward. What should I name her?

This is my new ward. The pink on her head is just chalk. It’s so we could identify her in the field.  What should I name her?

In this calf’s case, she was born a twin. Typically with commercial beef cattle, you tend not to let them raise twins. If we had a nice little dairy barn and a lot of extra time to play with the cow and twins, we might consider it, but in this case we like having a replacement calf. Because this heifer is a twin with a bull calf, there is about an 90% chance she will be a freemartin. A freemartin means she will never be able to conceive a calf – for more Ranch terms check out this blog. 

A bag of  colostrum. Even though she already had some, we wanted her to have a whisper more.

A bag of colostrum. Even though she already had some, we wanted her to have a whisper more.

This baby was born yesterday and did spend time with her Mama, meaning she got to suck some colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk expressed my the Mama cow, the milk is high in antibodies that will protect the calf.  Since she was still under 24 hours old when I got her, I decided to give her another little shot of it. We want healthy babies on this ranch! Healthy babies equal a healthy, happy herd!

We buy colostrum from local dairies.

We buy colostrum from local dairies.

I’m very careful to heat the colostrum on the oven, so I can make sure it doesn’t get too hot and pasteurize itself. Also I don’t want to burn the little baby!

Being oh so careful so I don't waste any  colostrum.

Being oh so careful so I don’t waste any colostrum.

Teaching a new baby how to bottle feed can be challenging.

Teaching a new baby how to bottle feed can be challenging.

Growing up here on the ranch, it was often my job to care for the bottle babies and the sick pen. I got really good at doctoring dehydrated calves and teaching the new ones to suck. It is one of my favorite jobs on the ranch because calves are stinking cute and I love to make things feel better. In fact, I got so good at bottle babies one of mine ended up getting reserve grand champion at our local fair, something “they” said couldn’t be done.

Notice my ranch appropriate clothing? Don't do this at home kids.

Notice my ranch appropriate clothing? Don’t do this at home kids.

Some tricks I use to get the calves to suck are I rub the roof of their mouths and "lick" them with my hand. I also make them get up and stand next to me. That usually does it.

Some tricks I use to get the calves to suck are I rub the roof of their mouths and “lick” them with my hand. I also make them get up and stand next to me. Also the dogs help, lol.

I have this new baby for a while, until my Dad needs a replacement. What should I name her? If you are a local and I select your name as her name, I’ll give you a pound of our grassfinished hamburger (it’s so good grilled for burgers!). What do you think???

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Adult 4-H: Congratulations Kellers!

That’s right! Kristen and Ryan will be having their first baby this spring! Baby Keller (or Megan Jr., as I have been calling her), is a ranch hand in training. Already, she’s moved cattle and pigs, she’s ridden the 4 wheeler and Polaris, she has cooked pig food, and she has nurtured a sick pig back to health (I mean her Mom has, but Megan Jr. was there). She is destined for agricultural greatness. It’s decided.

Since I am 31 and have never changed a diaper and refuse to hold babies until they are potty trained, this is going to be my Adult 4-H. I’m so excited to learn more about babies and pregnancy (right now I compare everything to a cow giving birth, I’m sure my friends hate me when I make those comparisons out loud). Megan Jr. and the Kellers are going to teach me so much and they don’t even know it yet! YAY!

The Kellers are going to be the best parents ever. I'm so excited and lucky to be apart of this time! Congrats guys!

The Kellers are going to be the best parents ever. I’m so excited and lucky to be apart of this time! Congrats guys!

Obviously, Megan Jr. will be needing a pony, I mean when she is born, so keep your eyes peeled for “the best pony ever” (I know they don’t exist so….) or “the best old gelding ever”. We’re getting a new ranch hand people! Rejoice!

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Welcome to the World Baby Alice

Welcome to the world baby Alice. It was a pleasure to meet you! I even broke my own cardinal rule and touched you before you are potty trained (new babies are scary, I don’t want to break you)! I just couldn’t help it; you are so cute and obviously deeply intellectually gifted.

New babies scare me so bad. But I sucked it up, because Alice is perfect and amazing and beautiful.

I’ve been friends with your Mom since we were 12 years old – since she is one of my oldest friends, I’m adopting you as my niece. I apologize in advance for the embarrassment I will cause you as a teenager.

Jen – you’re a Mom now! Doesn’t it seem like we were just in high school?

However, I promise to always be there for you and your Parents. I promise to teach you how to cuss properly (when you are 18, of course), open a wine bottle without an opener (when you are 21, of course) and give you your first riding lesson (with a helmet, of course).

I also promise to do everything in my power to leave this community, this country and this world a better place for you, your gender and your generation. Just promise me you’ll carry on that legacy.

I’m not going to lie. Alice made my ovaries hurt. She is so perfect! Karen and Jen! How can you stand it?

I love you baby Alice, I can’t wait to watch you grow up! Congratulations Jennifer and Karen, I’m so proud of you and honored that you are including me in Alice’s life.

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