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      I’m back! Whew! Where does the time go?! I thought the winter months were supposed to be calm and serene. Haha! Whatever “serene” means. I’m so behind I can’t seem to ever get caught up. Not just in posting farm stories, but also the dirty dishes and keeping everyone’s drawers full of clean underwear. So, I’ll do a quick rundown on the latest farm work that’s been happening. All my hard work is finally starting to pay off………………….     021.jpg     Or so I thought. Today is all about weaning calves. As soon as I think I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel…..here comes another one. This is our only Brown Swiss cow. She had a bouncing baby girl last week. Mama is a bit on the “sassy” side. That’s ok, I like her fluffy ears.   014.jpg      All those calves that I’ve been “babying” along all winter are getting to be pretty good sized. So much so, that they needed a new home. Their little “condos” were too small and it was weaning time. We built group pens and put them together in bunches. Now we’ll find out if they can socialize.   015.jpg     Yep! Look at those beautiful calves. Now, if you’ve never been around cattle or calves…..that doesn’t mean a hill of beans. To me, it’s a totally different story. I froze my butt off feeding and pampering them for the last 4 months and I have to brag just a teeny tiny bit. So now, we’re in the critical stage. Weaning them off of milk can be nerve wracking. Some of them flatly refuse to cooperate and then others will be just fine and dandy. Sorta like human babies.   006.jpg     We took out a big chunk of my calf hutches and rearranged everything. Those “hog panels” are great for tearing holes in your work jeans and overalls. One wrong move and they’ll split your pants wide open at the crotch. I don’t do patch work……that’s why our chore clothes are tattered and torn. I still haven’t had time to pick things up and organize. I’m waiting for a day when the boys don’t have school, and it’s decent weather.   034.jpg     This is how we feed them in their group pens. Earl calls it “slopping like hogs”. We pour the milk into a trough and they slurp it up. It sounds like young children at the table with no manners. We call this the “transition” time. We feed this way until we think they’ve grown accustomed to their new home and have made “friends” with each other. I do not want all my hard work to go backwards. It can happen fast.   036.jpg     They usually catch on pretty easy. This is where the “bullying” begins. We keep a close eye on all of them and if one of them seems to be failing…….back into the hutch it goes. It needs a little more time to grow and figure things out.   010.jpg      Thank goodness my row of hutches is slowly getting smaller. Or is it? Some days I really don’t know. We had another population explosion about a week ago and filled empty hutches back up again. Either way, spring is just around the corner and then calf feeding will be much easier. Soon they’ll all be weaned and I’ll be doing cart wheels and dancing all along this stretch of calf hutches. I’ll feel free as a bird. Yee haw! I am excited! Remember what it was like to finally get your kids out of diapers and eating “adult” food? Yep, now you know how I’ll be feeling. Life is good!………………….Carol