Farmerjan's journal - Weather

Ridgetop

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In the case of an infestation like you seem to have, a cat seems to be the next step.

Our first house was falling down when we bought it 50 years ago. Two story, built in 1900, it had been rented out for years. There were broken windows surrounded by orange trees in the back upstairs bedroom. Holes in the floorboards and old plaster walls gave access to mice and rats to get inside and circulate through the walls, ceilings, etc. After 6 months of listening to feet patter in the walls and overhead all night we got a cat and turned it loose in that room. She went through a hole in the floorboards and we didn't see her again for over a month. I kept her water bowl filled every day so I knew she was still there somewhere. While we couldn't see her, we could hear her on the job. Such thumping and banging around you never heard!! Lasted for several months then nothing but pitiful meowing. She had caught all the mice, rats, and squirrels that had been living in the house and got hungry! She was sleek and sassy, and after that she needed to be fed, but the house was vermin free until she disappeared about 5 years later. We lived on a busy road then so she was possibly hit by a car, but she was a marvelous mouser. By the time she disappeared we had renovated and sealed the house but still kept a couple of indoor/outdoor cats. We brought our cat with us when we moved to this house. She was an indoor/outdoor cat and she had several litters of kittens, then we switched to barn cats when DD1 developed an allergy to cats and rabbits. The children used to hint for the nests of newborn kittens in the barn and garage. They kept the place free of vermin. Now we use sticky traps because everyone is spaying and neutering their cats and there are no people standing in front of the grocery store with cardboard boxes of kittens to give away. :( My kids would come home with several kittens at a time - extra kittens were always welcome here. Between the rabbits, chickens, and dairy goats there was always plenty of dropped feed for rats and mice to eat. The cats fed on them. Ah, the circle of life. :)

Yep, @Bruce is right, you need a cat.
 

farmerjan

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The only real reason I have not gotten any is the proximity to the road and seeing so many dead on the roads in my travels.... I just don't want to go out and find them splattered.... there were a few that actually got killed on the dirt road I used to live on, with about 10 cars a day on it at most. And they traveled a WHOLE LOT SLOWER on that road than the 45-60 on this road.....I've had outside barn cats most all the time I've had animals....
 

farmerjan

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Just a few things as it has been a couple of not good days.

Weather today was nice after that cold damp stuff... 27 up to 49 today and sunny. Expecting the Texas weather that hit down near @Baymule and going through Tenn to hit us by morning with possible rain/sleet/freezing rain and "wintry mix" and/or SNOW added in..... especially here in the higher elevations...

We lost 2 calves and are pretty sure it was blackleg... on 2 of the cows that were going to go to the sale after they weaned these calves. They are the only 2 in this pasture that had not gotten blackleg vacc yet..... the other 3 in that same age group got caught up and moved to the bull a couple of weeks ago... but these 2 calves, I had not seen in the catch pen and we figured that one of these days we would catch them in and get them done. 250+/- lbs.... with all this wet crappy weather, then temps fluctuating up and down, it was perfect weather for a clostridial "bloom" of spores that these calves must have gotten into. DS keeps saying how nice a calves' they were.... one day they were fine, the next day they were both dead.

My fault if anyone is to blame... I should have gotten those 2 cows in the catch pen and kept them in there until these calves went in the creep gate... like the other 3 did overnight... but we got busy getting the other cows moved home and the preg checks and then selling some and then just "stuff".... PLUS all of us having this "bug" passed back and forth and DS's crazy working hours with the weather... and it just got put off.....
Neither of these cows have had vaccs in at least 3 years either.... so even with their ages and a stronger immune system, the effects of the blackleg immunity wears off in 3-4 months and that is exactly what happened....with no booster shots for the cows the immunity wasn't as long lasting in the milk.

So that was a real financial kick in the teeth. The cows will get caught up and will go to the sale on the next truck going that direction. Not going to feed them any longer than we have to now... and it was not their fault the calves are dead.

Yesterday DS went to feed hay at one place and after he takes 2 rolls in, he will come out, leave the gate open and come maybe 1/10 th mile up across from my house and get 2 more rolls.... cows are always happy to stand and eat the nice new rolls.... well this time they were acting stupid... raced the tractor back to the open gate and about 15 came out and down the road like they were kids kicking up their heels and all.... and then a guy going by stopped and closed the gate as DS has them headed back down the road so they were nearly at my house because they couldn't go in where they were supposed to be... what a clusterf..k..... He called me, I came out and there were 3 people there (including the guy who closed the gate) who helped get them back down the road and in..... then I stayed at the gate while DS took the other 2 rolls in.... they were acting really STUPID..... I shut the gate since they wouldn't follow the tractor for some odd reason.... and then saw 2 more in the neighbors yard... so went up and got them headed back towards the (closed) gate and DS was coming back to the gate so fixed it to where they would go in as I hazed them down the road to the corner... :barnie :barnie:rant:rant:somad:somad:somad:he:he:he:th:th. Sometimes you wonder WHY ??????? The ones across the road (kitty corner in the nurse cow pasture) then followed him all along the fence down the road when he headed back with the tractor...... WHATEVER was the whole dang bunch of their's problems ?????

So this afternoon he had me come watch the gates as he wanted to feed some more so that he does not have to go in anywhere tomorrow with the nasty wet mucky mess we are going to get... He fed another roll and they were all headed to the gate when he got there and I shut it behind him and then he maneuvered a long telephone pole from here where we have several that have been left... up with the bale arms and onto the back of the bale truck to take to the barn where they are putting in poles for the hay pole barn.... since he was going that way... and he had me to help; get it lifted up with the bale bed arms, enough to get the chain thrown around it to get it underneath the pole... then he got it lifted with the arms and chained so he could take it a the 2 miles down to doug's farm with the truck .....Then he came back and took a silage cart to the heifers at the nurse cow field and took the empty back to the farm, filled it, and then came up with some hay and I went with him to go feed at another place, and good thing as the cows were all at that gate too.... why we have no idea... the last couple of times they have been way down in the field... fed 4 rolls in there and then came back and he got the full silage cart and a roll of hay on the truck and headed to GF and the farm down there for them.... it is muddy down there so is hoping to that it dried out a bit today so he can get in and out.... and then lay down and get some sleep as now they have to be in by midnight again....

The ones down at the farm near GF house are the next ones to come to the barn for preg check... if it dries out this weekend he thinks he might do them and then we can make decisions on some of the calves... he wants to sell a bunch of the smaller, less promising heifers right off the cows... not weaning them.... because they will require too much feed to keep and wean and hold for 45 days.... we will keep any we like and wean... but there are 30 +/- and then there are another 30 or so at the last summer pasture that will come to the farm. This way if there are any open ones, and they had "crummy" or small calves they will just get sold... and if they had "crummy calves" and are bred, the calves will get sold and they will get a break and see what the 2nd calf does... if not ALOT better the second time around... they will get sold also...
He wants to take and pay some bills with 1/2 the money from whatever we sell and take the other 1/2 of the money and buy some more bulls in the 4-5 wt range and work them and make up some more steers to sell...

One place we have constant trouble with the bull and the neighbor's bull across the fence and he is talking about running steers there next year to just stop that BS problem... it makes sense.... if there isn't bulls directly across the fence, we do not have to worry about anyone getting out and all that crap... the steers won't have any hormones dictating their actions except to just EAT.....

Dentist appt tomorrow that was moved up so I could utilize the ins... and now they are not going to pull it since in Dec my required numbers were up since so many tested... not going to fight boss on it but it won't last as so many are skipping this month.... it will drop again... oh well... whatever... Have a list of a few things I need to pick up and a prescription to fill for the antibiotics for the dentist appts.... got enough for a couple visits, but want to stay waaaayyyy ahead....

Going to the big 500 cow herd Thursday morning... Geneva can help so DS doesn't have to... got all the meters out of the car from last week and the boxes all ready in the car since it is going to rain tomorrow. Just have to set the alarm and GET UP to leave by 3:15 a.m. Thurs morning....

Friday morning have an all day beef cow seminar with the Va Forage and Grasslands group... DS and I are going. GF isn't going... last year I think cured her as she just is not interested in what goes into "making farming more profitable" when it is not an immediate thing.... back to the "instant gratification" of so many.....

Got 2 more texts out to farms, and another one set up for next Tuesday. Dealing with farmers that just don't get back to you for a "few days"..... :hit:hit:th:th:idunno:idunno:barnie:barnie:he:he:duc.

Been trying to be patient but I am not going to change around any other things we have going on, like vet checks or anything... for them......

Haven't talked to the boss at work about the possibility of the other tester maybe wanting to come back to work full time...quiting the P.O. job.... DS is talking about wanting to maybe do some of the testing... so am going to back off of "retiring" for now.....he thinks he still might get "retired out on disability".... going through the channels and I think he is tired of the BS and thinks it might be worth it to get out if it helps the headaches and there are a few things he can do for others and not show income....

I ate some leftovers from our Taco night at Deb's...too full....

Time to hit the bed. Don't have to be at the dentist until 11 but not knowing what the weather is going to be like, want to be ready to leave by 10... 1/2 hour to town....
 

Mini Horses

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Sorry to hear that tough $$ hit on those calves but, stuff happens. Sounds like DS is taking it bad and he may have one more reason to reconsider some of his priorities between farm needs and GF wannas that can be delayed or skipped. 🤷. It might be good to get out on a disability retirement. Stress and time....both pressures.

Retirement? :lol: with the economy, just a little slow down for me right now. Watch how things go this spring with goats, garden, pastures, weather and prices. Hay is killer right now.
 

Baymule

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WHY do cows suddenly get frisky and run the gate? What gravational pull of the moon influences them to be silly? Durned if I know.

That sucks on the 2 calves. Sorry you lost them. It makes worse that you got no one to blame but yourselves. But, farmers just take the punches and get back in the game.
 

farmerjan

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If the weather had been just cold, or even snowy, it never would have happened and they would have gotten vacc'd and been done. But this wet is what is the trigger for blackleg so often and we have had too much of this wet. It is 95% a spring problem in this area... Yep... it's a real B$#@H and a waste... and yep, we will just go from here....
Better than the neighbor that buried 5... and he finally got the rest worked and cows preg checked... had something like 15 come up open....that was not a good thing either.... But he doesn't (didn't) believe in all these vaccinations... until he got a young guy to help some on the weekends.... and he works at the McCormick farm which is part of the Va Tech experimental station... and he did some AI work for him... but this friend is very old school and stubborn... losing these calves was a bit of a kick in the teeth.... maybe he will start listening to some reason.
 

farmerjan

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DS got off work this morning... it didn't start to rain/sleet til after 5 a.m., so a wasted loss of sleep.... but I went and took him back out to the silage bag out in the field where he had parked the truck when he brought the skid loader back to the barn to get it out of the weather.... so he didn't have to walk out in this crappy weather.... he sounds awful with the crazy sleep patterns messing up him getting any real rest to get over this cold bug....
Then went to town and dentist appt...panoramic x-rays...everything about the same.... been 5 years so time.... then went to Wal-mart since it is right down the road, got the prescription filled for antibiotics for preventative for dentist appts, picked up a few things and came home. It had been a little icy in the morning on the trees, then more rainy/sleet, then ice coating on all the trees and bushes about 5 miles from home and all here. Been home the rest of the day.
I am SOOOO glad I got the stuff all moved out of and the boxes into the car for testing in the morning. Getting ready to go in and try to get to sleep so I can get up and go to work early.....
 

Ridgetop

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Bad luck on the calves. Bad hit $$ especially after the other stock losses you had. I know how you can get so busy that things slip past you. We have 3 ram lambs over 100 lb. in the barn now that we meant to wether. Too big now for banding so going to the auction in a couple weeks as rams. I will see if I get much more for them than for the little guys. Left them entire thinking I had a ram buyer then just let it slip past me and with the heavy rainstorms and flooding didn't take a run to the auction. During such bad storms buyers often don't bother showing up.

I think it is s good idea for DS to look into disability retirement. Sometimes the disability SS retirement is higher than actual SS retirement and lasts longer. If he can spend more time on farming, and do some milk testing with you or get his own herds, it may be just as good cash wise and easier on him. Being able to concentrate on the farming he may have a happier temperament with you too.
 

farmerjan

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Just a short one as I am heading to bed.

Went to the forage seminar. DS didn't go, he is very very sick from that "cold -BUG " whatever and went to the dr yesterday and is on antibiotics and such. He went to bed Thursday as soon as he got off from having to work again Wed night.... did his chickens and went home. I was at the farm testing and didn't know all this until early this morning when I texted him to see where I was meeting him. Said he couldn't stop coughing and was going back to bed and would try to come up this afternoon to just make sure everyone was okay on feed and feed the steers a little silage.

So I went, it was pretty good.... didn't learn alot but always pick up something. Saw lots of people, Got home around 4:30... and as I was getting out of the car, noticed the cows all along the fence.. looked and there is a cow in my backyard.... so went down to the gate, fixed the other gate where the others could not get out, called her and she came trotting down my field and right in and I had some feed in the car so just dumped them some grain. Then opened up the other gate again so they would all be back together.... I went along the road and can not find any hoof marks where she got out but did tighten some wire in one spot. This fence is the hi-tensil wire with no electric insulators on it and it is useless.....
I had called DS to see if he was at the barn feeding and he sounded pretty bad. He said he went out to the truck about 2 and was too sick and coughing to be able to drive up here. The cows have about a 1/2 roll or so out there so not like they are hungry or anything. This is one of 3 that got out several times last year here... she was not supposed to come back here... but got moved with the group... there are also 2 more in there that got out several times last year.... we'll have to see what's what. Anyway.... DS sounds really weak, and I said since he has the truck, I will just take the tractor tomorrow and feed a little if he is not up to it in the morning. He said he would probably need me to go and open gates and such for him... so we will see how he feels after another 24 hours of rest.

It is very UNLIKELY the cows will get moved home this weekend so I will most likely cancel the vet appt for next wed... he is in no condition to try to move corral panels and haul cattle back to the farm. The vet will be down here in this area the following monday feb 6th so a few more days won't hurt. He will have to take some hay down to them at the farm near her house.... but that isn't so bad since he is going right near there anyway. But this is what happens when you put things off... and then it gets to be a problem because of him being sick.
I am feeling much better. I think I finally got it whipped. Still some coughing, but not much; and the drip has pretty much dried up. A little congestion first thing in the morning and nose runs a little outside.....feel much more like myself finally.

So, I am going in to get a good night's sleep and then when he feels up to it tomorrow I will go help him. If he is still really sick, I will at least make sure everyone gets a few rolls of hay to tide them over. I don't know how to run the skid loader so cannot do the silage and it is so muddy out there I do not want to get the truck and the silage wagons stuck either. Won't kill them to go without if that's the way it has to be. I am hoping he will take at least Monday off work too.... He really needs to get some serious rest and sleep.
 
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