Today was a great day, though it started a little rough. I woke up to feed the cows this morning as usual. This feeding may have been the roughest. They all know what the bucket means and it is no holds barred, cow MMA to get to it. Everyone else was asleep so it was just me, no boys to even help distract some of the other calves. I pretty much used every part of my body to box out the four calves who weren’t feeding, minus the one arm I was using to hold the bucket. Not only do they try to go through you, but they slurp all over you looking for milk. Cow kisses may sound fun, but not so much. I know you’ve all heard of Crossfit, but I think a tougher workout could be called Cowfit.
Then we had our three oldest’ last day of baseball. The kids love playing baseball, and I love coaching them and the other kids, but I am ready to have my Saturday mornings back so I can get things done around here.
This afternoon we celebrated Homestead Boy #3’s birthday with family. Being our fifth child this shouldn’t surprise me, but his first year flew by.
This evening, before going out for the evening feeding I got a comment on the blog from my good friend Laura about making a smaller pen to feed each individual calf so as to not take a bath in cow slobber. I had been thinking about that myself but her comment pushed it to the front of my mind. The best and simplest way I could figure with my setup was to take a cattle panel and hang it on one of the existing T posts as a pivot. I could then swing it out and hang it on a newly placed T post. It gives me just enough room to feed one calf and keep the others out. The best part is it will swing out of the way while not in use so I don’t have to remove it. I still have to use the empty bucket to convince the just-finished-eating-calf to leave the feeding pen, but I didn’t feel like I needed a bath when feeding time was over.
With a little time left before needing to get the kids to sleep I headed for the garden to get the pepper starts planted. Homestead Boy #2 helped for a bit, and Homestead Girl #1 helped the entire time. In all we planted 42 pepper plants of 4 or 5 varieties.
Yesterday I happened to find time to get the cucumber and watermelon starts planted. I also found several ripe strawberries that the kids thought were the best ever, and they were pretty tasty. I also got three grape vines planted. Tractor Supply had them on clearance for $4.99 so I couldn’t help myself. The vineyard is up to ten living plants with one I think I am going to need to have replaced. Homestead Girl #2 “helped” plant the watermelon. Between yesterday and today I have planted all of the starter seeds.