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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Wanna Be Hobby Farm Girl

I want so badly to be a Hobby Farm Girl.
It is actually one of my goals.

I have a good start!
I think I do!

I've got the chickens and ducks.
I incubate eggs each year.
I raise baby chicks.
I sell the Farm Fresh Eggs.

We all know I've got the canning and jelly making down.
I've got the berry bushes, the plum thickets, and the fruit trees.
I'm not known as the Jelly Fairy for nothing!

I've acquired a horse.
His name is Stormy.
We get along really well.

We've always got calves in the lot.
As for pigs, goats, and sheep...
I'm not sure I am ready for those,
I want a lama and a mini donkey!

I have hopes, plans, and a huge desire to put together a few raised beds.
I want to plant enough veggies for my family, and have enough to share with a few other folks.
I have goals in the garden area, but I'm not so sure I'm ready to share those yet.

I have found a passion for refurbishing items, refinishing furniture, and an expression of what I call crafts and decor.

This morning was living proof that God made me a Rancher Girl!

We have had a really wet and ice type winter.
It has gone from 60 degree days to below 30 degree days over night!
I can't tell you the amount of rainfall we have had.

Side note...
When you pray for rain,
You've gotta deal with the mud!

No one, on the ranch, is complaining about the moisture.

We have had more ice, than normal, this winter.
Just this week, we got our first real snow.
We got a couple of inches.
But with the Oklahoma temperatures,
The snow didn't last long.

The snow was enough to make me "over" winter and want to Spring Forward NOW!
We do Spring Forward this weekend.

Back to my reality check of the morning.

When the sun came up,
I opened the blinds.
I look out to the chicken pens.
Chickens are meandering around, scratching, and pecking.
They are enjoying their morning...

I failed to lock them up in their coop last night!

On to my second reality check of the morning.

We have two bunnies.
Peter and Paul

We acquired them a little over a year ago.
They have been great pets.
They actually set with Flower Boy and watch TV in the evenings.

We have had them inside, during the extreme temperatures.
I have turned the enclosed dog kennels into their temporary housing.
It works really well and the bunnies have been safe and warm.

The bunnies outside house is a castle, with tons of space below as a yard.
When we are home, they have an extended yard beyond the castle.
They thoroughly enjoy their space.
It gives enough room for them to exercise, as well as space for visitors to get in and play with the bunnies.

Today is suppose to be near 60 degrees, with sunshine.
It is a good day to put the bunnies outside.

Flower Boy takes them out, just after I realized I hadn't put the chickens up for the night.
He heads off to work.
I continue getting ready for work.

I enter the kitchen to prepare my lunch.
As I look out the window,
I see Paul, the black bunny, in what appears to be, in the outside pen.
The one they get to go in when we are home.
On second look,
I see Paul scampering across the yard, towards the chicken pens!

I run to my phone,
Call Flower Boy
"You have to come home! Paul is, in the yard, hopping towards the chicken pens!"

Drewman jumped away from whatever he was doing.
He had class or a meeting at 9am this morning...

We ran outside,
Chased Paul around the yard,
And finally got him back into the Bunny Castle!

Here's the "How did he get out?" answer.

Bunnies burrow.
They make deep holes in the ground.
These holes help to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

With all the moisture this winter,
Peter and Paul's burrow collapsed and left a gaping hole under their fence.

Paul, being the investigative bunny,
Quickly found the hole!

The hole is now covered and/or filled with a grill propane tank.
I hope Paul doesn't dig enough today or get past it!

Needless to say,
I did not get my lunch made.
I was only 4 minutes late for work.
I'm pretty sure Drewman made it to his 9am.
Flower Boy didn't have, to turn around, to come back home and help.

All in the goals of a Wanna Be Hobby Farm Girl!

Thank You, God, for making me a Rancher Girl!
We are in the mist of calving season!
Babies are being born every day!


Rancher Girl

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Wee Little Bit of Bloat

Verb - Make or become swollen with fluid or gas.
Noun - A disease of livestock characterized by an accumulation of gas in the stomach.

That is today's Rancher Girl Social Media Topic.

I'm on vacation, and thank goodness I am!
We've got a little gal suffering with bloat.

She is a wee little bit, maybe all of 300 pounds.
She should probably still be nursing on her mother.
She came in a package deal with a group of young ladies purchased for Miss B.
(I will blog about that purchase at a later date.)

Wee Little Bit has been doing fine.
She has been eating hay and grain, for almost a month.
She has held her own with the larger calves.
She has shown no signs of distress.

 Bloat can easily occur, in cattle, when there is a change in food supply, water source, different type of hay, and even temperature change.

On Sunday, there was a significant temperature change.
That's when Wee Little Bit had a set back.

She bloated!

Cattle have 4 stomach chambers.
The rumen is the largest  stomach.
Most bloat occurs in the rumen.

Gas builds up and the bovine can't pass it.
It is easy to see, as the left side of the cow will be extended.
They will often have very rounded, balloon like, mid sections.
It will be high along their backs.
The pressure can cause distressed breathing.
If not addressed, the animal can die.

When we went out to feed the calves, 
Wee Little Bit didn't get up to come to the feed bunk.
Upon first observance of her,
"She's bloated!"

I quickly mixed baking soda and warm water into the drench bottle.
Flower Boy gathered necessary preventive medications.

We headed back to the pens.
Got Wee Little Bit into the chute, and placed the soda water down her throat.
 We let her out and walked her up and down the alley.
After several trips up and down the alley,
Her mid section looked like a hot air balloon!
She started bawling and struggling.
Flower Boy:
"Babe, I think we are losing her!"
"Get a needle in her!"
Taylor, Drewman's girlfriend, ran to his truck, grabbed a 3/4" 16ga needle, and it was inserted in Wee Little Bit's mid section, directly behind her rib cage.
I ran to the house for a longer needle.

As a rancher, you always have necessary items on hand for any type of emergency.

I arrived back at the pens, with the 1 1/2" needle, just as Wee Little Bit was being relieved of the pressure.

We placed a bottle of bloat medicine down her throat, with the drench bottle, and headed into the house for a few hours.
Upon recheck, Wee Little Bit was much better.

Monday and Tuesday, we administered her doses of probiotics.
She was taken off grain, and has had dry hay and fresh water.

This morning, Wee Little Bit started bloating again!
I inserted the 1 1/2" needle, and called Flower Boy to bring more bloat medicine.

More meds have been administered.
Wee Little Bit has walked, moved and rested all afternoon.

As for me, I have spent more time in the pen, with her, than I normally would.
I'm a wee little bit worried about her!

She is still bloated, but in less distress.

Flower Boy will be home in a wee little bit.

We will insert a tube, down her throat, into her stomachs.
This will release the gas that the needle can't get.
We will also place mineral oil into the tube.
This will help in keeping the gas down and somewhat coat Wee Little Bit's stomachs.

All on a vacation day!
And people wonder why we don't leave the ranch much.
Things happen!
It's the life we live!
It's the life I love!
There is no other place I would rather be!!

Rancher Girl