Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ike and surgery

Well today started like most others. Wake up, turn the coffee pot on and turn the morning news on. Madeline is up and getting ready for work. Frank and I watch the morning news, drinking freshly perked coffee. All three of us discussing world events, not understanding why the world has gone crazy.

Madeline left for work at 7.15 am, it had been snowing for hours already. We say the usual good byes: drive careful, have a good day at work, see you tonight, love you. We all give hugs and kisses to each other. 

Young Frank got up, we have breakfast, and the boys head out about 8.30 to do chores. I head to the garage to water my seedlings before going to the barn and the corrals. Frank hollers from the tractor. All I heard over the engine of the tractor was  horse. He motions to where three of the horses are in the shelter. 

What greeted me was not pleasant sight. My heart sank and I felt sick to my stomach.

 I must warn you the  photos that I am about to share are very gruesome. 

Ike has injured himself beyond anything I have ever seen in all the twenty something years I have been living on the farm.  If you all recall, Ike is Madeline's four year old, retired thoroughbred race horse. 

I phoned Madeline at work to let her know that Ike injured himself, and what would she like me to do. My description and her vision of Ike's injuries were not the same. When she got home, and she seen the extent of the wound, we called the vet in.

Richard giving a sedative to Ike

Giving Ike a local freezing

local freezing to Ike's belly wound

shaving around the wounds

Stitching the inside wound under the 'flap' of skin on Ike's shoulder.

after Richard had the shoulder all stitched up. He left an opening in both wounds for drainage.

Richard gave Ike a shot of long acting penicillin, which we need to repeat on Tuesday. After a couple of days, we will have to give him a gentle wash with cool water for ten minutes. Besides keeping an eye on the drainage, Richard prognosis is that over a month, as long as everything goes good, Ike should be back to normal. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

the weanling...

The weanling has been coming more frequent into the yard to nibble on the hay. She has been sleeping along the bush line in the U-shaped field just North of the house.
Frank chased her away last night when he was out feeding the livestock.

The lack of hair on the weanling's neck, shoulders, and brisket, is an indication of a tick infestation.

I've been told, that the moose go 'swimming' in water in the Spring to help remove the ticks.

Bit right now, there is no open water in the muskegs.

We think she might die due to her 'ticky' body.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

a menagerie of sorts....

I baked up my sourdough bread. I didn't care for it. 
I baked the bread for over an hour and the outside was getting quite dark, and the inside tasted gummy to me. 
The sourdough starter that I used was rye flour and water. 
I don't know if I did something wrong, or if it was the recipe. 
Does anyone have any suggestions, either on recipes to try or technique?! Any tid-bit would be helpful.

My boys made it home safely with the youngster's new acquisition. Frank Jr. likes the old style of Dodge trucks. This one is a 1985 one ton crew cab short box. 4- speed. It has a 316 engine. (Now! I can't remember the rest of it!!) I just know it is going to be a gas guzzler!!!

 I asked him if this was going to be the last vehicle purchase? He tells me yes. But proceeds to inform me only after he has purchased a '69 Charger.

I went and picked up my chicks today from a friend. Phil has quite the menagerie of Heritage Chickens. I came home with close to 70 chicks. I have a mixture of: White Chantecler chicks, a few Buff Orpington chicks, 3 Partridge Chantecler chicks (one has since died), Delaware chicks, possibly a few Buff Rocks and a few of Blue Orpington chicks.

Phil said he got all confused when they starting hatching! His incubator holds 380 eggs! 

Tuesday evening, after the boys got home, Frank and I gave needles to the calves, and rung the bull calves.

We give the calves and lambs 1 cc each of vitamins A&D, and Selenium (for white muscle disease). We use a tool that is called an Elastrator for castrating. Similar to the one shown. We find it alot easier on the calves doing it this way, instead of waiting until they are a few months old and using a scalpel.

We also had another bull calf this morning. Frank was hoping for a heifer calf (female) off of this cow.

He sure has a lot of white on him. 

I think the weather man is calling for snow for our area. The wind is on the chilly side, and the temperature is hovering around 0 degrees. Springtime in Alberta folks!!

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Monday, April 15, 2013

be productive...

Whenever anybody heads off to work or heads to town, and one is left behind to hold down the fort--mainly me, we always tell each other to have a productive day. Regardless what you had planned, just try to be productive. We don't mean it in a bad way. We usually aren't the sort that sit around all day. 

I think today has been productive. So far.

Last Friday when we went to Peace River, I purchased a couple of timers that were on clearance sale. I paid under $7 each for them. I also got two thermometers one for the grow lights, and the other for my cold frame. I had set the timer for the one set of grow lights to go off at 10 pm and to come back on at 5 am. The lights were on this morning when I went out to do my chores. Last year I purchased two 2 feet by 4 feet heat mats, and they are still working. I always worry about this kind of stuff. My seedlings are very precious to me.

 I fed and watered my remaining buzzards chickens. I have three roosters and three hens left. No offense intended, but sure wish they would have kicked the bucket over the winter!!  I need the hen house for new chicks that I am hoping I will be getting this week. Now the chicks will be going into the bunkhouse, which I am not a fan of this idea. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I have started getting it ready for little beeps.
 My tiny flock of chickens, are extremely old. And currently, I am not running a senior home for buzzards! But with that said, I am NOT chopping their beaks off. They are here until they die. Whether that be from natural causes for by other means.

I fed the cows. Which means I open a gate for the cows to their next feeding area. I don't like feeding cows with the tractor. If I absolutely have to, I will, but until than I just open gates.
Late Saturday afternoon, Frank fed the cows, in different areas-like he does all winter long-enough for three days. Than all  I gotta do, is open gates. Easy peasy.

Last night we had our first calf. Red gave birth to a bull calf. So I checked on them this morning when I was feeding cows. We have two other girls that are awfully close to calving that need to be kept an eye on.

Checked my sheep. 

All the four legged critters are fed and watered.

I tended to my sourdough starter. Tomorrow is the seventh day for it. Looking forward to baking with it.

Today was bread making day.

Made muffins.

Made mayo for the very first time! I don't know why I was afraid of trying it sooner! But I wanted a cesear salad for lunch and had no mayo. So I made some. Easy!

Shaped my bread into loaves, and went to check on the cows.

Yep. Had another calf! Boots had the calf all licked off. So this little one was probably about ten minutes old, when I found them.

And I have another girl thinking about having a baby.

Yep. By all accounts I have had a productive day. So far!

Update: In between writing this post, I went checked my girls again. PJ  just had her calf!

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on the road...again!

My boys are on the road-- again!

 Junior bought himself a truck and they have traveled to Salmon Arm, British Columbia.

But the trip has not gone smoothly. 

I am sure you all have experienced the same feeling of foreboding that something bad is going to happen. 
Young Frank woke up at 3:45 am yesterday morning with that feeling. His mind was working overtime and he remembered that he hadn't re-torqued his tires. He had changed his winter tires over for his summer driving tires. At 4.15 am he was re-torquing his tires.

They left at 5.10 am

But that wasn't the problem. 

Turns out the truck started to vibrate going through the mountains. The vibrating didn't get any worse but it caused young Frank to stress a little. They stopped in Kamloops hoping something was open. Nothing was. So they made the executive decision to continue on their way to Salmon Arm. They made it there without any further incident, loaded the new truck onto the trailer and got themselves a hotel room.

They went to the local Canadian Tire and it turns out that Frank's u-joints, all had to be replaced. 
They now are on they home. Back through the mountains. 

They are calling for more snow!

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