We enjoy getting away for a few hours as due to our milking obligations, that's about all we get. (Whine whine whine) Once in a rare Blue Moon, our son Jason milks for us a couple times so we can go overnight somewhere but his current boss, an Angus farmer/breeder is in the middle of calving season and Jason is spending lots of nights there watching over the high end (and their low ends) world of show cattle. So we are farm bound several more weeks. (Yes, now I would like some Ritz crackers with my whine)
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And speaking of calves, we were running low, thus the reason for the day trip. Yes, I am aware we are supposed to be downsizing and we are. More cows going to the locker means less babies being born, yet we still need enough of a beef supply to sell in our store and to grocery stores.
So we headed north to KJB Farms in Ridott, Il., near the Wisconsin border, about a 300 mile round trip, down of course in between AM and PM chores. It made for along day, but weather was good.
Why so far? Well, they're are very few organic beef farms near us and because we are organic any calves we sell as organic should be...you know...organic. The farm we visited is so much bigger than ours, milking 140 cows! Their calves were kept in their hug old barn built in 1930 with the thick, heavy beams and old heavy metal milking stanchions. Beautiful. We picked out five calves and Keith and his muscles loaded them up into the "box."
Now about this box. When Keith brought it home, another spur of the moment purchase from another farmer, I of course thought "Oh great, just one more thing I have to auction off when he..uh..retires to Oklahoma. I mean look at this thing. Have you ever seen such an ugly box?
Of course you have not.
But it appears that it has a use. Several newborn calves are easily and comfortably transported in it which little wind sheer and because it is small they aren't tossed around as they would be if they were in our full size livestock trailer. Chalk one up for the farmer...again.
Unloading them out of the box was a bit trickier since it was dark when we got home, but we managed. All five of our new babies did well through the night with Miss Fannie (below) to watch over them and they have caught on to bottle feeding very well.
This big girl in the next photo? This is Miss Debbie, fill bred Red Wattle Hog, the matriarch of our herd, in a very pregnant state. More about her on my next post. Y'all come back now, hear?