Saturday, October 27, 2012

Is she sick?

A few weeks ago my heifer wasn't feeling so good. How did we know that? She didn't rush up to the feed when we carried it in and she hung around the edge of the pen. So we took her temperature just like mom does. Her temperature is supposed to be 102 degrees but hers was 104.9 degrees. So it was high and Dad gave her some medicine. The thermometer that we used is digital just like the one my Mom uses on us. It seems kinda icky to take her temp but it had to be done.  My heifer is well now - I am so glad


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ladies in Butter

At the State Fair they have a cooler with these 90 pound bricks of butter and someone carves the dairy princesses heads out of the butter. A must see at the Minnesota State Fair.  The one with the crown is Princess Kay of the Milky Way, thats what they call the state winner.

Maybe they should carve the beef cattle princesses out of bricks of sausage?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Talking to people at the fair

The State Fair. Each year for two weekends my family goes to the state fair with animals.  One of my favorite things is to talk to other kids and their parents about our animals. Letting them pet or brush our animals is fun. Often we see kids petting animals with out asking which can be ok because most animals at the fair are used to it. But there are some animals that are not as friendly - just like some dogs are not as friendly.  So if you are going to pet an animal always ask. My sister and I want the kids to enjoy their limited time with the animal and for the kids to be safe.
We answered lots of questions at the fair.  Most couldn't believe that the little calves were just 6 months old.
It is fun to talk to the people and my dad says its really important to teach those from the city about livestock.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Livestock judging. It was misting out when some other 4-H kids came to judge at our house. Nobody complained because we haven't had rain in a while. Livestock judging is when we look at a four animals - either pigs, sheep, goats or beef cows - and put them in order of how we like them. Neil is our coach and some of the parents help too. After we place them, or put then the order of how we like them, we then have to tell them why we placed them that way.  The why part can be hard.

We learn that it is important to make sure they walk right, and that the biggest animal isn't always the best one. Each year we practise and get better at the why part. We have to take notes to study for the questions they ask. This practise was at our farm and we judged pigs, sheep and beef right before we went to the state contest. Isaac wasn't old enough to go to the state contest.  This was my first year.

Judging can be hard but we have fun together learning. (And maybe some goofing too)


Monday, August 27, 2012

Thats a Hay mover

See this cool bale mover our neighbor has?  Dad bought some hay and Bradley brought his tractor that can unload and move two big round bales at one time. It took no time at all for him to unload. I think Dad was really happy that he brought this tractor.  It saved a lot of time.  Glad we have some hay for this winter.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The photo shoot


Things parents do to get a good photo at the fair of the kids and a their pig. Takes more people than my sister's senior pictures.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lamb Lead

Here we are in Lamb Lead.  This is a contest where we lead a sheep, wear something that is at least 70% wool and get interviewed by a judge about wool, sheep and the sheep industry.  We have learned a lot about wool by being in this contest.  Did you know that wool not only keeps you warm but is stretchy, last a long time (Mom says durable) and is a renewable resource?  Our Suffolk sheep have medium to course wool which is good for sweaters and rugs. But my sweater (thats me in the blue sweatshirt) is from Merino wool.  Merino is a different breed of sheep that has really really soft fine wool.  My sweatshirt wasn't itchy at all, and it had a skateboarder on it.

Why do we do lamb lead?  To show the public that wool is something that anyone can wear, it is beautiful, comforable and versitile.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The pig show

The pig show is fun. Here is my brother Andrew showing off his Duroc pig for the judge. Even though the county fair is done my brother is still working with his pigs for the state fair.  He will show them in FFA. We did alright with our pigs this year mostly purples and blues. Isaac did get one red because the pig didn't walk right and we knew that but didn't want to leave it home alone. Just like all animals it is important that the pig walks well.

Putting my pig in a pen. Thank goodnes the ring helper was there because it can be hard to do when the pig wants to "visit" with all the other pigs.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

What fun

What fun it is to feed the sheep because it seems they really appreciate it.  Well I didn't have my camera there but feeding apples to sheep is really a lot of fun.  Why apples? Well Grandpa and Grandma have several apple trees that were dropping their fruit on the ground because of the wind. So we fill buckets with the apples on the ground and feed them to the sheep.  It is fun to hear them crunch on the apples and then look for the other half as part of the apple drops out as they take a bite. In one pen I just tossed them in the pen one at a time as I didn't want to trudge out to the feed bunk.  How fun watching them trying to follow the apples bouncing in the pen.  Maybe I will get a picture of it someday.  Silly sheep.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Duck Show

We got to show our ducks at the fair. We showed a breeding pen- which is one drake (male) and two hens (females).  Isaac and I each had a pen of breeding ducks. Isaac's placed higher than mine but I got a purple too.  Here we are showing our market pens - which is two of the same sex - male or female.  Ours were both a pair of males.  They were not quite ready for market and the other duck pens were ready but we did get blues.

We had fun with our ducks.


P.S. Anybody want to buy a duck?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Here we all are showing sheep together at the fair. Don't the sheep look nice? Those baths really worked.  These are Suffolk sheep, they have black heads and legs.  The bottom picture is of two of our rams.  When the sheep are bigger we help the person holding the head set the legs in the right position - so they look their best.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Bath time

Yup, we are washing sheep.  We had some really hot days and it was kind of fun. It takes time to get all the soap out after scrubbing them. Grandpa makes a pen for them in the middle of the grassy yard.  They look so fluffy white after they dry.  Sometimes they shake themselves like a dog to get the water out.

After they dry we clip the wool so they look really nice.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Sheep Shows start too.

This is one of our rams that we showed last week at the National Junior Suffolk show.  He was second in its class and was Reserve Champion Owened Ram.  My cousin showed it.  A Suffolk has a black points, meaning the legs and head.

We were in a couple of different contests. One of them was a fitting contest.  I got a sheep that just came from a pen and then had to card (kinda like brushing) the wool and trim away some of the wool to give the ewe (girl sheep) the right shape.  Its kinda like a beauty school contest only for sheep.
We had fun at the show meeting people from all over the country.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

They are OUT!

OOPS - they are out again - somehow the sheep have figured out how to get the gate open.  It was a surprise to look out the dining room windo to see them wandering out side free.  They did it not once but twice - finally Mom tied the gate as well as latched it.  They knew they were caught being naughty because as soon as we went outside to chase them in - they ran straight back into the pen.  Do you think they were playing a game?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Time to walk the sheep

Yup got to walk the sheep so they are ready for the first show. They usually walk pretty well as long as you keep them in a group.  Sheep like to stick together but once in a while they like to be stubborn and just lie down.  We also spend time setting them up - which means teaching them to set their legs where they look best for the judge. Andrew is really good at helping them to look their best. My arms are not quite long enough to set legs as good as Andrew.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What color are they?

What color are these pigs?  We recently had a good rain and the pigs were having fun in the mud.  We have only one all black pig but it was really are to tell which one it was.  It is great for them to have mud when it is hot out it helps them stay cool.  In a few days they will have most of it rubbed off.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Show season begins

Summer is here! Because we had our first cattle show last week.  The heifers get rinsed every day and then blown with the blower. (The blower looks like a vaccum cleaner but pushes air out instead.)  It takes time to blow a cow dry. My sister Samantha is much better at it than I am. The blowing helps move their hair to the right place.

Here is Hannah with her heifer. She really likes her heifer and so did the judge.  We don't always agree with the judge  - but Dad says thats ok, everyone has their opinion and is good to hear what someone else says about our cattle - we can learn from them.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ella still loves her

Samantha was watching the cows they other day and her cow Ella came up to her and sniffed her.  Right after she just stood there for a scratching - but wouldn't let Mom take a picture.  Even though she is a mother herself, she remembers Samantha and all the time spent together for two summers.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Yippee we love the puddles

The other night we had rain.  We let the ducks out of their nesting pen and they really liked the puddles left by the rain.  Now that it is warmer out we can leave them out all day and put them in at night to keep them safe.  They are getting more feathers every day - even since this picture they have way more real feathers.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oh how do our piggies grow!

Every good farmer needs to know how well their animals are growing.  If they are not growing then they may be sick or not eating right - so we take time to weigh them.  My brother rolled the scale down by the pigs and we put one in at a time to see how big they are getting.  How big do you think they are?  When we brought them home they weighed 40-60 pounds. 

They are so curious. They like to sniff our leggs and sometime nibble on our boots.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mama's and babes

Yup the cows and calves still need each other.  Even though we had some rain they still play outside but stop often for a snack.  The calves get a little grain and eat some hay but the milk is where most of their energy comes from


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kittie Parade

The other day I was looking for pictures to take and the kitties were following me. Fun to see their parade.  They must practise this.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Clipping time

Even though we showed our big heifers already we didn't body clip them yet. We clip the long winter hairs off before they fall out.  This makes it easier to brush them later. We point the clipper down so we don't cut the hair really short just to ge the long hairs.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Take time to pet

Time to Pet.
Some day some of these calves are going to be shown.  So when they are little we tie them up so they are calmer when they are older.  Some start out really jumpy, but after a while they do not mind us that much.  Tying them up now makes it less stressfull for us and them when they are older.  They can be hard to catch, but  they are really fun to pet.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Duckies are here

They are here! Dad picked them up today. Yesterday Dad and I made a new pen for them. Sure hope we made it good enough to keep the cats out. The kitties were pretty interested in them when we put them in the pen.

We had to dip all of their beaks into the water so they know where the water is. Hope they keep warm tonite. We put a light in the pen to help keep them warm. As soon as my mother can figure out how to get the photos up I will put a picture of them. They look a lot like last years.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Weigh & Tag Day

Hello again.

Today we weighed all the calves that have been born so far.  We used the orange scale that you see in the picture with Hannah and the calf we named Flo.  It is important to weigh the calves so we know how much they grow.  If a cow has lots of milk for the calf then it will grow faster. 

We also put tags in their ears so we know which calf is which.  If a calf is sick we need to bring in the cow and the calf - so we need to know which calf belongs to which cow.  Also on the tag we put the name of the sire (or father) of the calf.  The calves also get a tatoo just in side the ear.  In one ear we put the number just in case the calf loses it tag.  The other ear we put the PMRB which is our farm tatoo that is registered with the Red Angus Association of America.

See me with Flo one of the twins that we feed a bottle.  We put her name on the front and number on the back of the tag.  Dad uses a dremel with these special tags - that way the number doesn't wear away - its ground in.

See you later

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Calves again 2012

Yahoo.  We have our first calves.  We have had 2 sets of twins.  They are really cute.  The heifer that Samantha showed last year was the first set - they both were heifers.  We are giving the bottle to one of them since she is a first time momma.  She may be little but drinks really fast.  Hannah and I named her Flo, even though Samantha didn't like the name.  Flo seems like a good name for her.  See her picture?  We had to move her to a better pen and I led her to the pen by letting her suck on my finger.