Archive for the ‘Cows’ Category

Baby Times, Busy Times

March 31st, 2018 by Kim

The calves enjoying some rare spring sunshine.

I’m in the midst of a busy calving season here.  I love having new calves around, and this year there sure are going to be a lot of them!  I have six on the ground already, with five more due between April 8-15…yes, in one week!  There are three expected in May, then a few stragglers due over the summer, and a handful I bred for fall calving.  I’m really excited to have Mooch & Cecil in the herd, and can’t wait to see what their calves look like.  So much fun!

I am planning on selling quite a few Dexter cows & heifers this year (I just don’t have room to keep them all!), so keep an eye on the Sale Barn page.  I’ll have some heifer calves available, as well as some cows all trained & ready to go as family milk cows.  I plan to start listing them within the next few weeks, so check back soon.

I’ve also been keeping very busy with ADCA business.  I’ve been working hard with the Education Committee, of which I am Chairperson, to plan the Educational Program for this year’s AGM in Salina, KS.  I am delighted with how things have come together there.  We have some very exciting sessions planned that we think people will really enjoy.  Be watching for more information in the next Dexter Bulletin, and plan now to attend.

Hope to see you in Salina!

A Few of My Favorite Things

February 28th, 2018 by Kim

Nita & Cash hard at play.

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.”

Cash & Ellie having a good run.

On that note, it’s time for me to remember a few of my favorite things.  I hope you like them too.

There’s nothing that brings joy to the weary soul quite like watching the new calves run & play in the pasture.  No matter how bad things are, their playfulness always puts a smile on my face.  We’ve been having some lovely spring weather early this year, so not only does it make the calves feel frisky, it also makes me feel better. (more…)

A New Year on the Farm

January 31st, 2018 by Kim

Weanling heifers out in the snow.

It’s hard to believe we’re already into a new year.  January graced us with one big, beautiful snow, and that’s quite enough for me….winter can be over now.  But the Dexters don’t seem to mind a bit & just stand out in it, letting the snow pile up on their backs.

More exciting for me, Bonnie has kicked off the calving season with a lovely, spunky little heifer.  I’m very happy with the looks of little Lady Bonita, and Bonnie is just cranking out the milk.  This is one of my favorite parts of having cows.  You can check “Calf Corner” throughout the year to see all the new arrivals.

Belle Fourche Mon Bonbon & her new calf, Lady Bonita.

2017: A Year of Surprises

December 27th, 2017 by Kim

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Hope Refuge Farm!

A not-so-white Christmas in KY.

I’ve had a rough year personally, so have ended up taking an extended break from writing again.  It’s time to catch up!  At this time of the year it’s natural to look back over the last 12 months, and oh, how things can change!  A lot has happened with my herd in a year’s time.  It’s been a year of surprises…mostly good, but some not-so-good as well.  Here are some of the good surprises I’ve encountered in 2017. (more…)

A Problematic Month

September 30th, 2016 by Kim

I love my Dexters!  Anybody who talks to me about them will quickly see that.  As a hardy heritage breed, they are known for not having much in the way of problems with health, breeding or calving.  It’s one of many things that we really love about them.  But no breed is 100% free of problems.  Sometimes management or diet related issues can cause health problems.  And then there are always those individual animals, that for whatever reason have a weakened immune system or some other issue that makes them more prone to problems.  And sometimes, crap just happens!

Janie's lovely udder, 2 weeks after calving.

Janie’s lovely udder, 2 weeks after calving.

Apparently, August was my month for major problems with my Dexters.  And on top of the cows, the Anatolian pups have also been experiencing bone-growth related issues common to large breed pups.  So I feel a bit like I was in crisis mode the whole month…not fun.  Now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, here are the two big “Dex-asters” I faced.

Janie Gets a  Chance

CPR July Jane was due with her first calf mid-August.  Even though Dexters are known for having few calving difficulties, I usually keep a close eye on my girls when they’re getting close to calving, especially my heifers.  I put them in the barn overnight so I can check on them easily, and if there IS a problem they’re in a convenient spot.  Janie had started bagging up & getting ready early, so was being put to bed in the barn at the beginning of the month already.  I put her in on the evening of the 4th just like normal, but didn’t see any significant changes to put me on high-alert…so I didn’t check on her during the night.  We got up to a dead calf on the ground the next morning…and will never know what went wrong or why, or if I could have changed the outcome by being there.  Janie had been AI’ed to Belle Fourche Clay, and the calf was a red heifer, so I was extremely disappointed. (more…)