Farmerista is Me

I am a farmerista because I have calves.

Yes, I do. Calves of my very own. Three. Registered in my name. I feed them. I pet them. I talk high-pitched baby talk to them and tell them “no worries!” while hopping on one foot after being squished by hard hooves.

Actually, that last part isn’t true. I don’t say “no worries”, because it hurts bad, just like their incessant head butting in my side. I know they can’t help it, but dang it, it’s rude. And I tell them that.

Calves on a ranch

Now that I am the owner of a small herd, I need to get serious. Being the minority in this manly field of livestock operating, I must prove myself or something like that.

I am responsible for three fuzzy black creature’s well-being.

I must make sure they are fed twice a day and safe from harm, that they aren’t sick, and if they are, they are treated for it. I honestly cannot think of anyone else who has this level of responsibility! I just can’t.

Here are the newest members on the farm:

calves on ranch

Youngest calf, still ear tag-less

The first calf is a female and the youngest. She also head butts the most. If you’ve ever watched a calf drink from their momma, they like to butt at the udders when it’s empty. I watched her perform this natural process to the tail gate of Country Man’s pickup while I was getting her bottle ready, and then upon seeing me, she chased me around, eyes locked and determined to get milk no matter the consequences. Occupational hazard.

calves on ranch

The biggest one, #87

The second one is a male but older and more cautious toward people. He’ll grow familiar, one way or the other.

calf at ranch

The last one above is sickly and has fluid in her lungs, so she’s smaller than the other two and takes in less milk. This girl was a bargain price, and also the least social. But she runs like crazy, so I think she’ll pull through.

Well there you have it. You’ll probably be seeing them around some more, since I’ll be spending time with the trio often.

Also, the garden is coming in well. We’ll be eating spinach and lettuce for a while…

garden spinach

And another large bowl full in the refrigerator…

… a long, long while (I hope).

Happy Monday!

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52 thoughts on “Farmerista is Me

  1. My first job was working on a dairy farm when I was 15, I was the hay stacker in the fields after it was cut and baled. The cows would always push me around by head butting me not in a vicious way but if they wanted to get at something and I was in the way or if they just didnt want me around them.

  2. I’m envious of your spinach! We just planted our veggies today. Any sooner and we’d run the risk of frost. We do have rhubarb ready to eat though.

  3. Ohhh my goooooodnesssss. They are so cute!!! I like learning about calf-raising (this is my own head nudge at your blog to keep it coming, LOL)!

    “I honestly cannot think of anyone else who has this level of responsibility! I just canโ€™t.” Tee hee hee…

  4. I wish you the best of luck. There is no way I could raise an animal, watch it grow, feed it, care for it when it was sick, bond with it, fall head over heals in love with it, and then send it off to slaughter. That’s precisely why I chose llamas. I understand the food chain, and I am not a vegetarian, but I never want to be acquainted with my food.

  5. Oh you bring back the memories for me as I used to bottle feed some of our angus calves too…so sweet and cute and loved it. My biggest issue was getting attached! Enjoy and you are a good Mama:)

  6. Can’t you keep them all as pets? I can’t believe how much they remind me of puppies. I don’t want to think further than that.

    And I am quite envious of that bowl of spinach. Kinda thankful it wasn’t pictured in a bowl beside one of the calves like a side dish. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lol, no way am I sharing my spinach with those furry piggies! They are welcome to the grass and oats and milk I bring to them twice a day.

      While I know it’s hard to think on the slaughter process, nothing beats small farm/ranch operations if you’re going to eat meat. I avoid thinking on the factory farm procedures : /

      • I agree. Small farm/ranch operations are a much more humane alternative. It’s hard to believe what has happened to farming. Factory farming has virtually separated us from any inkling of the link between our own bodily survival and God’s creation.

  7. Bottle calves are great but don’t worry about getting too attached. When they weigh 300+ lbs. and try to do that head butting it’s not nearly so cute any more and a little easier to distance yourself from them (literal distance–like feed them through a fence, haha).

    • Since we have moved them to the pen, the calves have been testing grass a little, but not fully yet. They have access to oats, too, but I don’t think they’re into it yet. The older two will be on milk formula for a few more weeks before completely transitioning to grass, while the younger one has another week or so after.

  8. They are so adorable. Can you keep the little sickly one as a pet? I am sure it is a lot of work and responsibility and I admire you for taking over those little ones. Best wishes ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, inkspeare! We got the youngest girl for free and paid good money for the other two, so we will certainly be taking good care of them. If the sick girl makes it, I don’t think I’d keep her as a pet. She’d go in the pasture with the other cattle. And honestly, she’d rather be there anyway. They like being around one another.

  9. Congratulations on your furry brood! When I was little and visiting my dairy farm cousins in PA, they dared me to put my hand in a calf’s mouth. She proceeded to gum it until mucous hung from my fingers in streams. I threw up in the hay and they just laughed and laughed. That’s boys for ya.

  10. awww baby cows are cute. I hope they all pull through grandly for you. What made you take these 3 on? Do you have special plans for them? I loved feeding my baby goats when i had them. They could down their bottles in like 1 minute, they didn’t usually want to be bothered to head butt lol. Makes them quite friendly if they are bottle fed, hopefully it works for yours too.
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

    • Hey Anna! The bigger two drink fast and well, but the sicker girl is hesitant. I have to work with her a bit more, usually by waiting until she is bedded down after the other two are full and will let me be. I took these on because my father-in-law was already bottle feeding two when a new one came in a few days again. He didn’t want to start fresh with a new one, so he asked if I would take it in and feed it. My husband asked him if we could buy the bigger two and just feed the three, so we gave him $600 (what he would get at the sale barn) for the older two and now they are my little herd. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Oh I love it! So cute. My husband thinks I’m crazy because i”m not someone you would expect on a farm, but I love all animals and especially cows. I have always wanted one. Just one. Maybe two so they would have a friend. I’m living vicariously through you and these cows from my cubicle right now!

      • Good idea. I’ve been milk free for years, and only recently could eat cheese again without getting ear infections. Milk. It doesn’t do a body good; the calcium is boiled out in pastuerization and they add fake calcium back in before they sell it to us, and it has no effect against osteoporosis. just sayin…

  12. Brings back memories of all of the calves that I have bottle fed over the years as a kid. They were always so cute and I had to name all of them of course!! Good Luck on this adventure in cattle ownership! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Pingback: All Is Quiet | The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

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