Directions for Ava for feeding the calves while we go to the esports state finals.
We will be leaving about noon on Thursday and will be back as early on Friday as possible. It will still probably be late. If it gets too late, could you feed them one more time?
I will have everything ready to go. All you’ll need to do is add water. There will be 2 buckets with milk in them. One bucket for each feeding. All they need is water. 5 bottles of water, per bucket, one bucket for each feeding. Hot water, as hot as it runs. There is a wooden spoon and a whisk on the counter to mix them with.
Then dump them in the big grey feeder.
There is a trough out there with corn. If it doesn’t have corn in it there’s a lick tub with corn in it in the barn. Go in the door by the chute. It doesn’t matter how much they get. I’m just trying to convince them to eat.
We are feeding a calf of Ray’s. It is in the pen in front of the barn with it’s mom. It gets a bottle in the bottle holder. You can hold the bottle if you want but it’s easier to feed that calf then the other calves. He will usually finish his bottle while you mess with the others. The feeder is hanging on the gate. It has a wire on it that helps hold it onto the fence, loop it under and then around the feeder.
His mom takes it pretty well. Might watch out for her just because different people. He will usually come running over. Wont drink if you try to force him. You can leave the bottle if he wont drink.
There was fog, haze and moisture in the air first thing, even dew. We haven’t seen that for ages. It was so sticky hot and humid that stepping outside was miserable.
Then the wind came up. It howl and ripped through the yard, even harder than it has been. Which says a lot because it’s been blowing. That night one strong gust ripped down tree branches and scattered kids toys out through the yard. Then the lightning started. The fear of fire makes any sleeping hard. Especially when you know they are burning out of control not too far away.
Finally managing to get to sleep we woke to snow!
A wonderful thing to see. The forecast predicted an inch. Maybe two. We had that already. The radar showed the storm circling. It was melting as fast as it came down and water was running every where. It was a wonderful thing to see. And the snow was still coming down.
We checked cows, luckily no calves. Some were huddled in good sheltered places. Some stood in the worst possible. Ghost’s brand new calf was laid against a fence, as dry as he could get, out of the never ceasing wind. The bottle calves were hesitant to cone out of their shed. They had never seen the white stuff before. They ate quickly, hungerly than ran back to safety.
The children forced outside to play and use up energy climbed snowbanks that drifted well over the fences.
This morning the snow had stopped. Sunshine and blue sky teased us that it might be warm, but the wind is still howling. After feeding and making sure everything was safe and healthy we went out for a drive. We had heard stories of stranded travelers and people staying with the neighbors until they could get their cars out of the ditch. We wanted to see for our selves.
The highway was nearly deserted. Still closed we heard as we parked in the middle of the road to talk. People had taken it upon themselves to move the barricades so they could get through but the roads were supposed to be closed. A semi blocked half of the road, not tipped on its side only by the grace of God. Most of the wheels were off the ground. A pickup buried way off the road. The car of a pair of college professors who couldn’t get home on the usual road so instead of staying where they were decided to try taking the long way. Instead they ended up in a ditch, walking through the storm to the nearest house. Luckily for them they were taken in, given a warm place to stay, then pulled out this morning. Maybe they should teach classes in not doing stupid things at the college?
In town buildings were opened to take in more stranded travelers. I don’t remember ever hearing about that? Maybe I just didn’t know in the past? Maybe more people were caught unaware with the forecast for an inch of snow and nearly ninety degree weather the day before.
We are not complain about the snow. It was wonderful! The most moisture we’ve seen for the last year. That’s all together, not at once. With this snow we might just have a little bit of grass. If nothing else the dust might not be blowing as bad for a few days. Hopefully this will be the start and rain will come again.
The weather was alright. Cool but not cold, windy but not as bad as the wind has been recently. We got to spend it together, which is always nice.
The kids did the Easter egg hunt in town on Saturday. It was windy and really cold. They had fun though, for the whole five minutes it took them. Lots of kids, lots of candy. lots of eggs. I tried to get pictures but they disappeared into a sea of children so fast it was nearly impossible.
We declined to get up in time to make the six thirty sunrise service at church. Why do they make these things so early! Instead we stayed home and enjoyed breakfast.
After breakfast I hustled the kids out to get calves fed so I could start hiding eggs! Instead of hiding eggs around the yard we did a treasure hunt, with clues hidden all around. I sat down on Canva, the design program I use for work, and made up picture clues. Those got hidden in eggs wherever the clue led them. They had to get bikes and ride half way to the mailbox, go in and out of the house, get a 4wheeler and ride out to a certain pivot, figure out the directions to know which one. I think they had fun. I know we did following them around. Each clue egg had some candy eggs with it to reinforce their behavior, searching, and to encourage them to keep going!
In the middle of it all one clue was hidden in their bible. We had to fit some preaching into the middle of the whole pagan undertaking. It also gave them a chance to sit and rest from their running around so they could finish running.
Yes, it would be easier to do it myself Heaven knows it would be faster. The waiting is hard. Watching as expensive milk replacer gets sloshed around and spilled or nearly spilled has me gasping and holding my breath. I can’t stand to watch. Teeth clinched my husband and I both stand back and watch. Or better yet don’t watch, as the children prepare the milk to feed their bottle calves.
After helping and instructing on how and how much milk to mix, the preparation and most of the feeding is their responsibility. We watch them go slowly and struggle. If we didn’t it would never be replaced by smoothness and skill. Strength will be built in the difficulties, not in taking care of it for them.
We don’t over face them and are always there to help if really needed. They don’t usually want help. Pride in the ability to do the job and do it well is already setting in. That doesn’t mean they don’t need harried to get to get to work. They’re still children. Nothing wrong with that. They’ll grow up soon enough. I’ll enjoy their childishness while they’re children.
They aren’t strong enough to do everything themselves. They’re building strength though! It wont be long and those hard jobs will be easy for them.
Bottle calves are a perfect opportunity for training children!
We went through a period of very quickly collecting bottle calves. I was worried about being able to get any. Then one showed up. By the next day, before I had the opportunity to spend much time worrying about him being alone, we ended up with a second. One more by the next weekend and two more before that week was over. Now we are at capacity and no more have turned up.
The kids are doing an amazing job at taking care of the feeding and go out regularly to play with them. 8 got to name the first three calves. All bull calves and soon to be steers. We have Sug, Elon, and Radio Active. The Goblin Child has claimed Sug as her own.
The Goblin Child named the last two, heifers. We have Iris, supposedly a Greek god of flowers and rainbows? And Athena. That god we know.