Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When The Cow Comes Home

One moment it's all jack o' lanterns and pumpkins and turkeys and the next it's tinsel and shopping and reindeer. I've always said once Halloween arrives, the year is gone in a flash.

FarmBoy and I can't believe we have lived on our farm a year. Wow. We just put the gardens to bed and are already planning next year's crops; my shelves are filled with new and exciting seed catalogs.

I'm planning something new in the way of planting: WINTER SOWING. I'm pretty excited and am collecting "planters": cartons and containers of all kinds. Planting time will begin on Winter Solstice-- December 22.


Our miniature Jersey cow, Emma, is home. After a couple of delivery snafus she arrived before the turkey on Thanksgiving. What a difference in the barnyard dynamic. We knew Rocky, our Anatolian, would be all stressed and confused and that the goats would wonder what the heck?

We isolated Rocky in another pen so he wouldn't spook Emma. Sure enough he went hyper as soon as Emma stepped out of the trailer--barking and pacing the fence. Emma took advantage of her size and stature by intimidating the goats and promptly took over the barn and the barn yard.

Willie and Coco

FarmBoy built the goats--Belle, Coco & Willie--a ramp to the barn loft so they could get away from Emma when they chose to. They exercised that option immediately! Don't let the "miniature" fool you; Emma is hefty and round and knows how to throw her weight around.

Emma discovered the zap in the electric fence so we have not had to retrieve her from neighboring pastures but she has made a cow path parallel to the fence circling the entire enclosure. The grass is long and lush so she takes time out from her travels to munch.

Rocky and Cassie

Thanksgiving evening we left for a while and when we got back home we discovered Rocky had gone to the "rescue" of his goats. He had either jumped or climbed the fence in his isolation pen and joined his little darlings. I have no idea how he managed to get inside the electric fence as he has never tried to get out of it.
That night the goats went up to their loft and Emma promptly lay down in front of the doorway blocking Rocky outside to bark all night.

So now we have a 3 ring circus: Rocky and Emma barking and butting (Emma usually the instigator) and Belle, Coco and Willie just trying to stay out of the way. It really gets hectic when I go through the gate at feeding time. Since rain was in the forecast FarmBoy and I put up a hasty shelter for Rocky, but that night Rocky got into the barn first, so Emma spent the night outside. Ei yi yi.

It rained all day yesterday and it looked like everyone was dry so they must have worked it out to their mutual satisfaction. Emma has been home 3 and a half days and the barn seems to have quieted down somewhat. She is due to calve in April...FRESH MILK A COMIN'! The goats go up and down their ramp like it was the Himalayas, Rocky does his best to stay between Emma and his goats and Emma is still searching for a break in the fence. I am looking forward to the day when the lion (Rocky) lies down with the lamb (Emma). After all we have entered the season of PEACE; a FarmGirl can hope you know.
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