Margo’s Check Up

Margo and I


Margo and I got a little closer this weekend. Sunday morning before church Mike was out doing chores and noticed…

If you’re eating it may be best to stop while you read this post.

… I’ll give you a minute to finish…

He noticed Margo’s cow pie had some white in it and was not a normal consistency. He did a quick google search which of course had her life ending in death as does any health question search on-line. We narrowed the possibility down to calf scours even though it seemed a little late in the season to have to worry about that.

Neither of us had ever dealt with scours before so I read about it on the way to church. From how she’d been acting I wasn’t too worried. She’s a spunky little thing and loves to eat.

Once we were home from church and two of three kids were down for naps we called it close enough and I bundled the third in the stroller while Mike was out catching Margo. By the time we got out there Mike had the halter on her and they were sitting on the hay. Lucy didn’t seem too concerned but she was watching.

Mike held the rope as I put on a couple pairs of gloves and stood over Margo. First things first, I removed the residual, um, fecal matter from her rump. Just in time for a new batch to be made present. It looked a lot like peanut butter. Right then I wasn’t worried about her getting dehydrated. It reminded me of the black tar-like poop in a newborns diaper… sort of.

Aren’t you glad you stopped eating?

After that passed and I cleaned her up again, the first pair of gloves was removed and it was time to take her temperature. As you can probably guess by now, taking a cows temperature isn’t as easy as sticking a thermometer under her tongue or in an infant’s armpit. Nope. This is a lift the tail and insert at the other end kind of operation. The thermometer said “digital” not “instant” so there I stood, calf between my knees holding a tail and watching the temperature rise.

102.1 degrees. Within the normal range for a cow.

I removed the next set of gloves before turning to look over the other end. Eyes looked good, bright and full of life. Horns, I didn’t feel any starting. We are going to check those again in a few days when she gets her tag. If she’s got horns they will be removed right away so it doesn’t get to be a super painful production when she’s a bit older.

My diagnosis is she’s a pretty healthy little calf and doing just fine.

*Disclaimer I am not a veterinarian. This is what we did on our farm and that doesn’t mean if you are questioning one of your animals health that you shouldn’t call a vet.*

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First Calf of the Season-Margo

Lucy and Margo

What a crazy morning! Lucy had her calf, a little heifer I named Margo. The barn cat that we hadn’t seen since we brought him home two weeks ago finally decided to come out of hiding and let the whole family pet him. I’ve got two ducks sitting on eggs and a dozen in the incubator. Then the mailman calls and our chicks arrived already! I wasn’t expecting those until at least tonight if not tomorrow.

Here’s how it went:

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Damn Thing Gone Wild!

(sigh) Two weeks. Two weeks of not tying or walking the cow. That was all it took for Sweet Caroline to no longer allow me to walk up to her in the pasture and put the halter on her. In fact this morning I couldn’t even put the lead rope around her neck like I used to do when she was unsettled to keep her standing nicely so I could then halter her.

So disappointing.

The first week was my own fault. I didn’t get out there to work with her like I should have. The flu came to our house and I just didn’t make time to walk the cow too. The second week I am going to blame on G.W. the bull. We had a little go-‘round one morning when I went out there. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been but it left me with a sore back for a few days. After that we moved to a temporary three pen system.

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Sweet Caroline’s Spring Run

“Sweet Care-wa-wine!” and Little Miss

I’ve got the baby in the high chair feeding him his second lunch when the phone rings.

“Hey, uh, can you come out here for a minute?”

It was Mike and it seems a fair amount of stories start this way on the farm. So I moved Boy 2 to his play seat so he won’t get into anything while I’m out, throw my boots on, grab some gloves and run out the door.

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Sweet Caroline’s Homecoming

Sweet Caroline


The morning was off to a great start, in fact if I didn’t know better I would have thought we were trying to make it to church on a Sunday morning ending up late as usual. This morning, however, we were off to Cavalier, North Dakota. We made it to the end of the driveway when the first spider dropped from the roof right in front of my face. I screamed, threw the mail that I had just pulled from the box and almost caused Mike to hit the ditch. I had no idea where the spider went and from that point on was on edge to say the very least. About a mile down the road a huge spider dropped by Mike. Again I screamed and reached for the door causing Mike to swerve a bit. He got that one. Along came spider number three a few miles past that. It was another big one, it got the same reaction from me and it went missing. We stopped at the only gas station on the way and Mike searched it out and took care of him. “One more spider and I’m going to walk” I said. We were a few minutes late out the door to begin with but nothing that we couldn’t make up, after the attack of the spiders we were late. Cyril and Scout made it do daycare in time for breakfast and we were finally on our way. Almost. We had to stop at my parents and pick up my dad’s truck and a friends trailer. With Emerson in his baby carrier strapped in the back seat, we were on our way.

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