Monday, April 4, 2011

Setting Chickens -Milking Project- and the Ugly

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It was windy all day, but no storm or rain during the night. The temperature did drop from 73°at 12:30 AM to 47° .

Well, so far the two Buff hens are still setting. I had DH lift them to see for sure how many eggs are under there. All you see when you drop down the nest door is the rear end!

Here is what they are setting on...I may put 3 more eggs under the girl on the left.

and girl No. 2,

She is the one that pecks! That scares DH gets to do it.

In about 21 days we should have baby chicks!

Next was Willow..........she went into the barn pretty easily, but didn't let down her milk for me, nor did she eat. Of course the big baby bawling continuously didn't help. Here is the new milking area: You can see that she is not relaxed; she keeps her eye on me all the time. I didn't get much milk but tried again in the evening and got altogether counting morning about 1.25 gallons which is about half what I should have.

I have decided to completely wean her calf. He is just 2 months from having to be weaned. I will dry Willow the last of May.

I promised I would share all aspects of farm life with you. Well, yesterday morning we had one of the ugly events. Thankfully, they don't happen often. A cow was trying to calve, rear presentation. DH managed to get her up to the working area. We could tell the calf was dead and the smell was awful. We finally manage the get it out. She didn't want to get up so I prompted her a couple of times to be sure she could. Sometimes large calves will cause paralysis. She got up and then laid/dropped back down. We just left her alone. By evening she had gone back to the field. I will have the vet check her at some point for uterine damage. It was a humongous bull calf. Once again, the working alley was a blessing.

No one needs to see that, including me!

By the time all the above was finished it was 9 AM and I was bushed. I decided to fore go gardening. It was also horribly windy.

Ilene talking about cooking the l0 lb bag of chicken quarters influenced me! You can check it out here
I did almost exactly as she did. I have the Street Meat in the marinade in the refrigerator now....I forgot to skin the thighs and didn't debone intentionally but may today. I also had to ad lib on some of the spices. That is not a fair test of a recipe but so be it.

Here is the fried chicken dinner:

From Food

For dessert we had a dish of semi-thawed Red Haven peaches from our tree last year.
They have a reddish tint.
From Food

and I have to show this dinner. Our first asparagus! and it was delicious, small but very good.

The meat is ground ham from the last time we butchered.

From Food


  1. Oboy. Chick pics coming soon! :-D

    All that by 9:00 AM? Good grief!

    When you say you will 'dry' Willow, does it mean you won't have any fresh milk after that (unless she has another calf)?

    Sorry you lost the bull calf, but hope the mom is healthy. Are the llamas keeping the coyotes at bay from the other calves?

    Those 2 dinner pics look scrumptious! I never thought of grinding up ham and making a patty with it. Something to try...

    I'm off to the kitchen - I made tomato sauce yesterday (Chef's table blog) and need to portion it out for freezing.

    Hope you get some nice rain for your garden out of this front. Have a great day. :-D

  2. I'm so sorry you lost the bull calf. Hope there is no damage to the mother. If you wean Willow's calf will you put it out into the field with the other calf you kept?

    Both those meals look delicious. My dad used to grind ham and mix some spices with it. It was delicious. I'd forgotten about it.

  3. I don't know how to respond on the blog after each comment. So if any of you can tell me, I would appreciate it.

    First, Kris: I plan to keep the bull calf for a herdsire. He is a beautiful very dark reddish black and is half registered Black Angus and half registered Milking Shorthorn. He also is the largest calf she has raised. I will keep him up until he is breeding age of around 2 years. The only issue will be the white spotted face heifer we kept. She will have to be separate too.

    I think the llamas are further troubles with any of the new calves. I will do something in the blog about drying milk cows. I bet lots of people aren't even familiar with the term; I keep forgetting that.

    BTW, the ham is not cured ham. That is the reason we had it ground, no curing and I don't like fresh ham steaks so much. I now know there curing process makes for delicious hams so will do one of each next time.

  4. Granny, yes we will keep it near the house. Willow seems crazier about this calf than any of her others.

  5. Hi Glenda,
    You sure have a lot of excitement at your place! I'm excited about the prospect of chicks. I'm sorry about the poor calf. I hope the mother cow is healing.

    I think it's Wordpress bloggers that can respond to comments individually. I don't think we blogspot folks can. I'd like to be able to do that, too.

  6. The food looks delish, the calf pretty. Those colored eggs very charming.Blessings jane

  7. Sorry you lost a calf. But I enjoy reading about life on the farm and those things happen. Your meals look yummy. Glad you weren't bothered by the storms. We had them up here in mid-MO. I was afraid that pesky wind would blow up a storm and it did. At least there weren't any tornadoes!

  8. Love the chicken and egg photos! The food photos look yummy too. No storms here but we did have really high winds and some rain.

  9. So glad the cow was up and about again! We had one with partial paralysis last year, and my husband milked her in a boxpen with a portable milker for about 2 weeks until she recovered fully. She's had another calf since then, and is completely healthy now!

  10. You really have a lot in this post! So interesting!, and that food!, Oh, my!