Spring on the Farm

April 18th, 2010 by Kim

I LOVE SPRING!

The old apple tree in full bloom.

The grass turns green, flowers bloom.  It’s a time of new life…..and new babies on the farm.  It’s so refreshing and exciting after a long, cold winter.  So on Friday, as I made my rounds visiting the animals, I drank in the beauty of it all and enjoyed the new life around me.

Lacey & her newly hatched brood.

We had eggs in the incubator when one of the hens decided to go broody.  So I gave her the eggs for the last week and she did a lovely job of hatching them out….all 14 of them.  Of course none of them are genetically hers because she wasn’t among the hens I put in with that rooster, but as far as she’s concerned they’re all very much hers and she’s being a great momma.  Once they were all hatched & dry, she took them over to the feeder & showed them what to eat.  When she was satisfied with that proceeding, she headed to the waterer to teach the drinking lesson.  The mothering instinct  just amazes me!  And the miracle of birth fills me with wonder no matter the species.  Seeing these straggly chicks hatching out of their eggs is just as wonderful as seeing a foal or calf being born.  And now they’re energetic little fluff-balls, running around exploring their new world….what fun!

We don’t have any new foals this year, but that’s OK because I’m still enjoying last year’s.  It’s hard to believe how much they’ve grown!  I’m absolutely delighted with how they’re turning out….great personalities, nicely gaited and very good-looking.  They’re so much fun to play with and this summer will be a great time to begin some fundamental lessons that will prepare them for “breaking” next year.

Yearlings, Prince Friday (spotted colt), Moondance (black filly, center), and Scarlet Lady (chestnut filly, far right).

Keira is now quite wide in the middle.

And last but not least, my largely pregnant cows.  I am excitedly & impatiently awaiting the arrival of calves.  Keira & Eavie are due shortly, the others not ’til later.  We got all bull calves last year, so I am  really hoping & praying for heifers this year!  It will soon be time to clean the stall thoroughly & put down fresh bedding, and get together anything that may be needed for calving.  Thankfully, the Dexters usually don’t have trouble calving, but I like to handle the heifers soon after birth so they’re not so shy later.  This will be Keira’s second calf, and  I plan to milk her “full time” this year.  Eavie is a first-calf heifer, so I’m now getting her accustomed to all the “stuff” she’ll experience in the parlor when we train her to milk.  I can’t wait!

One Response to “Spring on the Farm”

  1. Susan Lea Says:

    Good luck with the calves. I’ll be eager to hear how it goes. Sara isn’t showing yet, but we’re already thinking about how we want to set up a barnyard, pens, milking area, etc.