Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Glorious Days

After what has seemed like perpetual dusk, the sun has finally broken through the clouds for the second straight day. I wonder if it's a primal instinct to feel more optimistic on sunny days. All the animals are following the sun around the fields and soaking up the warmth. Followed by running and playing, it gives hope that the spring and warmth will come back.

Following up on a FB post I made yesterday, I don't care what car you drive, what you eat or even what color you are. We all eat, breathe and sh#@ the same way. Rank is not an indication of character neither is your position or social standing. I'm free to have my own opinions, just don't try to shove yours down on me. Use of violence doesn't make your opinion 'right' to me it makes you look ignorant, have you even looked from another perspective? Don't be a 'sheeple' use your brain, look outside the box for more info, before you pass judgement on others.

K, I'll get off the soapbox now. Keep in mind accepted scientific fact is being disproven all the time,

By DANIEL ESTRIN, Associated Press Daniel Estrin, Associated Press – Mon Dec 27, 6:13 pm ET

Israeli archaeologists said Monday they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man, and if so, it could upset theories of the origin of humans.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

World's Smartest Horse

I’m very excited and pleased to have the opportunity to spend some time with Mark Peterson, trainer of the “World’s Smartest Horse.” (www.markanddusty.com ) Dusty, the horse has appeared in many TV shows, commercials and equine presentations. The relationship between Mark and Dusty is wonderful to watch, it’s the win-win scenario that makes it a pleasure for both man and horse. Many of you know that I strove to have my Vet. Tech. students appreciate animals for what they are inherently, to not be arrogant and realize that animals ARE very capable of learning our language. The win-win situation is great for both owner and animal, each gets a paycheck. Many people (scientific & equine community) have stated that horses are not capable of problem solving. WHAT!!!! Come people use your common sense, if horses were not able to problem solve how do they survive in the wild? Isn’t survival at its basis, problem solving?

Once again I wonder how many times an event has to occur, be recorded, documented before science ‘accepts’ it as fact and not anecdotal evidence? Just because a method is new or seems unusual, isn’t the way it’s always been done; ask yourself; does it make sense to me? Am I getting willing participation from the animal? Do I have to use force or does gentle persuasion gain the effect/action I am looking for?

Dusty has learned an incredible vocabulary of verbal request and is able to carry these requests flawlessly, (but not w/o a smile see his website). I am eager to learn from Mark and Dusty, I hope that I may be able to have Mark look at something a little differently so it will be a win-win for both of us as well. That’s what it is all about, having both parties feel that they have gained whether animal/animal relationship or human/animal etc….

Go hug your animal (2 or 4 legged) and remember they are smart they learn our language, how much of theirs do we learn?

Mark and Dusty also have a facebook fan page at


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Woohoo! SNOW

A bit of dissapointment on waking this morning, only 4" of new snow. However, in the last 2 hours we have received an additional 2". The geese are pretending to be snow geese and have ventured from the little barn back down to the creek.

Horses and cows don't seem bothered by the weather. In fact horses haven't been in the barn at all yet. Curious how much snow we will get. My new brain child is to hitch Tomas, the Percheron, and see if it's possible to ski behind him. Should be entertaining.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Definitely mixed reviews on the snow situation this morning. Scooter as usual is unfazed and thinks it's great fun, Tiny, the border collie seems mostly indifferent but finds it difficult to walk when her belly is partly in the snow, Annie, the black lab is " been there, done that." Scooter has found all of his favorite toys that were buried in the snow. He has a phenomenal nose! Horses and cows are like "where's the food?"

There is about 10" of fresh, fluffy snow on the ground. I hope it sticks around, I would just as soon keep snow on the ground till spring instead of snow, melt, freeze, repeat.

Hope you all are warm and safe.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welder needed :)

Boy those Dexter cows are powerful for their size. They have managed to destroy their round bale feeder. Without a feeder they tend to waste a lot of hay. The trouble with these guys is that the ordinary feeder sold for round bales doesn't work as they don't mind stepping over the sides and end up standing in the middle of the feeder. Regular sized cows are too wide to fit between the bars but not these guys!! The search is on for a welder that can custom make a feeder for these guys.

No snow cover here yet, glad that the ground has at least frozen. Frozen ground is much easier to drive over than the slippery mud.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dexters in the dirt

A few weeks ago I made another one of my famous barters and traded dirt for landscaping/stream bed restoration. Yes, I did say that I gave away dirt/soil for several hours of landscaping. Finally got several large tree trunks removed from the stream bank, and regraded for a more natural slope.

The cows thought this was great fun and at one time there were about 4 of them in the bucket of the dozer!!! Then after the dirt was mounded they spent a great deal of time running over the piles and jumping and bucking, it was very comical as all the cows were involved not just the youngsters. I'm very happy to report that in the four years I have been here that 98% of the stream bank is now covered in good vegetation, there seems to be more fish visible in the stream also.

I've been keeping busy practicing different types of cheesemaking. Hopefully soon I will get one or more of the cows gentled enough to milk for my own supply of fresh milk for cheesing.

Monday, November 15, 2010


It's always a surprise to me how many people from some varied walks of life and places read my blog. Just ran into someone this morning that wanted to let me know how they support the work and goals I'm trying to achieve here. It's very nice to hear.

Tomas, got his feet done again and is doing so well with his new farrier. Of course he really doesn't get much of a chance to put a foot down with both of us hanging onto his massive leg. He is definitely figuring out how to hold his feet for work instead of having them tied up to a stock as he was used to. His stunning good looks may also be getting him another 'date'. He throws some great colts.

Still very slow with my head cold, courtesy of Missouri, grateful the sun is shining today!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
~Thomas Jefferson, 1778

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thoughts for the day

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
~Thomas Jefferson, 1778
"There is No Right to Consume or Feed Children Any Particular Food; There is No Generalized Right to Bodily and Physical Health; There is No Fundamental Right to Freedom of Contract."
~US Dept of Health & Human Services and US Food & Drug Administration, 2010

I believe that laws are necessary for the general good, in order to be civilized. I don't believe that we need laws regarding EVERYHTING we do or eat or want or believe in. What happened to common sense? It's certainly not very common anymore! We have become a country where just about everything is regulatated including our freedom in choice, how did this happen? Too many sheeple just following along or not standing up for what they believe in. Take a stand, wake up!!! lets bring America back.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back Home!!!

phew after 12 too many hours in the car I finally am back home. I can't wait to get started on many of the new techniques that I learned or became reaquainted with. Hopefully this beautiful weather will continue so I can get some work done on fences in prep for high density planned grazing. This will enable me to graze more of the land, and allow fallow paddocks to rest and recuperate.

Big "T" a friend and a big bale for eating.

Friday, November 5, 2010

time flies

Wow, time has flown by so fast!!! I can hardly believe that October is over.

I'm currently in Columbia Missouri for The Small Farm Conference. The show has brought together many of the great minds and leaders of the small farm movement. I'm learning many new ideas (to me) of ways and methods of successfully farming in todays economy, how to find and fill niche markets, how to deal with the ever increasing bureaucratic maze of regulations that only apply to small farms.

It's pretty frustrating to realize how narrow minded and docile the American public has become in allowing Uncle Sam to regulate so many facets of our lives. What we can view on TV, movies, what we can eat,drink,smoke, whether I can owe a gun,mandatory immunizations, etc. How did it come to be that Americans no longer think for themselves, or ask themselves if this newest policy or law really is necessary? Will it really make their live more safe, more enriched more whatever?

to be continued

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rain! what a surprise

Wow, I still don't think we have made it over a week without a measurable amount of rain. The last two days however have been crazy. Most reports have the area receiving at least 6" of rain. I had forgotton that there is a drain tile around the back of the house until I noticed the drain end shooting water into the air. Tomas's pasture is quite soggy as there is a drainage ditch from the opposite side of the road that drains through his pasture, I moved him up to the paddock and barn. Parts of the hwy south of us are closed as the road is under water, Hwy 52 is the major route to Rochester from the twin cities, they expect the northbound lanes to be closed for at least a week to repair the damage. So glad the house is up on a hill!!!

to the left in the pictures of the bridge, there is actually a walking path that goes under the bridge, as you can see it's totally underwater!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

big foot-little foot?

ok, so does the daughter have little feet or the percheron really big feet? In any event the youngest daughter fits into Tomas's new boots. He has a cracked hoof that makes him sore on roads, so we bought him boots to protect his feet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hypocrisy of animal rescues.

The hypocrisy of animals rescues and adoptions.
Let’s face it there are way too many unwanted animals in the world today. In fact too many unwanted people but that’s a different rant. I also understand after 18 years in the veterinary field that rules are necessary to function. What I don’t understand is the hoops that rescue organizations force their potential adopters to jump through/over and around in order to adopt an animal.
I’ve had an experience with a chicken rescue here in Minnesota that will not allow me to adopt a chicken, even though she admitted I was a great home, took excellent care of my animals and insured that they get all of their needs met specific to the species, that she herself would love to live at my farm but…………. Because I chose to eat the eggs my chickens produce that made me ineligible to adopt. I pointed out to her that it seemed to be a bit of a hypocrisy unless every one of their adopters is a vegetarian. Many studies have proven that plants suffer a measurable response when faced with picking/pruning etc of the plant so who’s to say that just by virtue of being a vegetarian makes a better adopter. She also did not like the fact that we occasionally butcher our cows, completely disregarding the facts that a) I prefer to eat food that I know where it came from b) no hormones/antibiotics added c) humane treatment d) that I am helping to preserve a heritage breed. I also highly doubt that everyone of their adopters uses or wears no leather or leather products. I am offended too that she mentioned that she occasionally buys eggs at the grocery store to feed her chickens and the majority of eggs purchased at a store even when labeled: cage free, free range or organic may not be so. Cage free/free range only means that the birds are not in a small confined individual cage, but they may be in a larger group cage and it does not mean that they are allowed access to fresh air or outside. Organic does not mean that they are treated humanely, only that the food they are fed is ‘supposed’ to be organic. Hate to tell you but, organic has become a catch all phrase and that animal products may be fed to these organic chickens. I wonder why if there is such a moral dilemma to eating chicken eggs why don’t these rescuers limit the amount of light the chickens have access to prevent egg laying. Egg laying is an amazing use of nutritional resources by the hens and to lessen their egg laying allows more nutrients to be available to the hen itself………oh wait that would make sense.
I strive very hard to insure that all my animals are able to live as they were originally designed for. Example horses have a very specific range/roaming requirement in order for their bodies to work the most efficiently, do I have enough acres to fully satisfy this requirement? No, but I certainly allow them complete access to their 17 acre pasture where they and the cows are free to roam, socialize and be themselves, in fact the chickens are completely free roaming, daily foraging for bugs, dirt and whatever thing a chickens may find exciting to do.
In closing as I told the women at the rescue I fully believe that their personal views and opinions are preventing animals from being adopted by caring, responsible, educated people. Rules are necessary to function but logical needs also be applied. I believe that these people care about these animals but have become misguided in their rescue efforts. Well I’m going to go out to the barn to visit Joe chicken, who comes when called, gets lots of treats and seems to not care that I eat eggs from the hens, in fact I’ve never had a hen even notice that I have taken eggs, meaning that they don’t come screaming and pecking into the barn when I collect the eggs. Maybe they do get upset, but as a certified animal behavioral consultant I have never seen any behavior that would indicate their indignation at losing a egg, and once an egg is laid the hen leaves the nest and roams about the yard.
I've added a picture of some chicken girls enjoying their day, here at the funny farm

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's a bad hair day!

Well here he is, our new white crested, black polish Rooster. I wanted to be sure to name him to reflect his polish heritage so his name is..............Joe, yep, makes me laugh too. Daughter, Lauren, got the giggles even worse than I did when she saw him for the first time and then continued to break into giggles every time she looked at him. He's seems to be very docile, hasn't even tried to escape when he has been picked up. We also picked up another 10 hens ( not polish) to replace those lost to the racoons this summer &^%^!%!*^!

Brrrrr, weather has gotten quite cool this am, cloudy and overcast today.

Well that's about all the new news, so have a great day and I hope Joe brings a smile to you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

oops, forgot the after shots

Ok, so here are the shots of a more accurate portrayal of how the creek usually is, with a photo from last night.

Wow, what a few minutes of time and a few inches of rain will do

There is less than a minute between the above photo's. The creek went from a little above normal to a raging river in less than 5, went over our banks in several places. The photo is of a spot that is normally about 15' from the edge of the water. The bank closest in the photo is about 3' tall, NOT anymore.

Geese were entranced by the flood, having their usual vocal discussion on; what do you think happened? i don't know, do you think it's safe? I don't know and on and on.

Neighbors had two creeks running through their property, one of them covering 1/3 of their driveway. This second creek then went through the cornfield and into Tomas's pasture. He was not impressed by this show of water force and reared, and stomped his foot at it.

This morning creek is almost back to normal, and it's a beautiful day, hope you have one too!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ruby Red

Well, I have finally remembered to take the camera out to get recent photo's of our first Dna typed red Dexter. The photo's don't replicate the shiny, shiny new copper penny color of her but it gives one an idea. Next on the agenda start halter training her, I would very much like to show her. Not too many Dexter classes or shows locally so it may be that she is shown for exhibit only. That's ok, I welcome the opportunity to educate the public on this wonderful small breed of cattle. The other calf in one of the pictures is, Spunky Mooster, you know like Punky Brewster. It's amazing that she wasn't tearing around wrestling with the weeds or bumping heads with Ruby.

Animals definitely seem to hang out with like sex, or color. The three boys all hang together and Spunky and Ruby are always together.

Scooter the dog is getting huge!!!! We joke that he is part great dane. He's still waiting for his brain to show up, think he has DADD-dog attention deficit disorder. He's a great dog, even if we do make fun of him.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peeking chicken

Yes, it is a Peeking chicken, peeking out from the new basement they and the dogs are attempting to excavate.

It's official we have a dna confirmed red heifer!!! woohoo, she is the color of a new penny, very shiny and healthy. We've had two heifers this year and two bull calves. It's been very nice finally getting some heifers that are eligible for registry. Tomas is enjoying meeting new people and carrying them around.

Garden has gone nuts, have already canned 10 quarts of tomatoes, and frozen probably another 10 gallon size bags of them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

yea green!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, it's starting to green with the trees getting leaves and the grass is growing. We had about 3 hours of our front yard looking better than the neighbors before he got out and mowed his.

We have planted our chickens, just kidding but they sure look funny when they are using their dust bath and all that can be seen is just their heads.

Tomas, the percheron has been hired to go to a friends daughters 6th birthday. He loves kids, and what a great treat to have a knights horse attend your princess birthday party.

Anxiously awaiting soem of the cool weather crops to start peeking up from the ground. Just a few more weeks before the rest of the garden can be planted.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One of these things...does not belong

Can you tell from the picture which one does not belong? Scooter had to check out what the chickens were so excited about.( black oil sunflower seeds). You can see that he is not bothered by the chickens and visa-versa! Yesterday one of the chickens actually went between his hind legs to get to the other side.

Geese are excited to be able to bathe and swim in the creek again. I love to see them shake their tail feathers when happy.

Ruby, the little calf is full of energy and fun, galloping around and jumping for joy. Still waiting on the other two expectant mommas.

I would love to see the sun come out but am grateful none the less for the warming temperatures!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Firemouth cichlid

This guy one of three is looking for a new home.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ain't got no 'body'

lol, March 4, brought us a little female calf from 1st time mom "minnie moo". Neighbor, Lisa and I brought the little calf up to the pole barn in keeping with our policy of isolating mom's and calves for 2-3 days. Mom however took a few more minutes to get up to the barn and then she acted like she didn't recognize the calf. After a very quick trip to the co-op for colostrum, and 16 oz into the calf, I went to the house for more and by the time I returned the little calf was up, looking very perky and thankfully was now over by mom and a few minutes later I heard the wonderful sounds of nursing. Yea, maternal instinct kicks in. Scooter our youngest lab was very intrigued with this new addition as it was about his size and almost the same color!! Photo attached is of Scooter checking out the newbie who looks body-less tucked into the hay.

Two of my older cows are looking very close to calving also, and for the week we have had very sunny and beautiful days. Snow is melting and the ground can be seen in spots. Yea!! spring.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A sparkly new day

Wow!!!! this morning has brought an ever changing perspective on how the sun glistens on the trees. There was approximately 1/2" of frost on all outside objects. The rising sun changed the shadows and reflectivity constantly, a battery needing recharging required that I went outside at different times for photo's. Two other neighbors I spoke to this morning all remarked on the glory of the day. I only wish that I was able to fully capture the sight with the camera. I have also discovered that Tomas does not like the flash to go off right in his face w/o notice. He was very perturbed and walked off shaking his head.

Friday, February 12, 2010

at least the sun is out

Three days of continuous snow has finally broken to leave a beautiful, crisp day. Tempetures have fallen since the snow quit, but with the sun out it doesn't seem quite so hard to bear.

The livestock is following their usual course of action which means even with sub-zero temps they still are rarely in the barn.

Geese has decided flying wasn't all that it seems to be and are sticking very close to their barn. One of their favorite day time spots is under the goose neck trailer!

Chicken egg production has finally fallen off. We haven't had any damages from frostbite this year, which is very nice, although most of the chickens we currently house have rose combs, rather than the taller combs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Time Flies & so do geese

Per the title it seems time has gotten away from me (again). I am reminded of the phrase ' hours pass slowly and days fly'.

Ok, second half of title; adult geese per the references do not or can not fly. Well my geese apparently have never read the reference material. They had started taking morning flights across the pasture and circling back to the barn. I figured 'ok, weird, but they return immediately so no problem' I was wrong, one Monday morning they start on their normal flight path but then continue on down the road. No problem, they will be right back. Nope, not in their plans. I waited all day for them to return and by nightfall still no geese at home. I had a rough idea of their location as the neighbors were keeping me updated. Tuesday, still not home so off I go on the quad to round them up. That plan worked for about 5 minutes until they just moved farther off of the road where they promptly sat down completely comfortable. Off I go to herd them back, ooops forgotten the depth of snow. I struggle through knee deep snow and managed to finally move them about 50 yards in the correct direction. Yea, I think we are on the way home. The geese had a different idea; walk 20 feet sit, I move closer, they walk 20 feet and sit, this goes on for the 50 yards when suddenly they decide to fly, good I think 'fly back to barn' NOPE make a big aerial circle and fly across the road into the neighbors yard. A few choice words and I head back to the quad, remember the knee deep snow? Well in some spots it's up to mid thigh, I begin to feel like a member of the Donner party ( deciding that I would have been frozen and eaten in the first day) struggle through a few feet, this is like a stair stepper from H#@ll. Nearing the road and quite tired from this endeavor I decide to crawl, yes crawl the last 20 feet to the road. At this point I didn't care if the neighbors saw me, I just didn't want to take a step, a very high step, sink through snow and repeat any more!! Crawling allowed me to stay on top of the snow. Reaching the quad, the road and civilization, I decide to leave the wonderful fun (hahahaha) geese to find their way back home.

Wednesday morning finds one lone goose in the front pasture, Yea! they are coming home. School bus drives by, and poof the lone goose is gone......grrrrr. Later that morning, time for chores in the barn finds three geese there. Acting very spooky but at least home. Next morning four geese home, I'm wondering A) if I can count. B)what took them so long C) where is the 5th? Next day 3 geese, what the heck!!!!??? Later that afternoon 4 geese, am I going crazy or what ( don't answer that).

Following week geese count remains at 4. I figure a coyote or something got the fifth one. I hope they decide they had enough adventure, I still wonder why they decided to venture off, looking for more water? adventure? I don't know, what I do know is adult domesticated geese (American Buff) can and will fly. Don't believe everything you read!!

The male Dexter calves have all been sold and are at their new homes. Sheep were sold, amongst many jokes about hubby delivering them to a truck stop. " hehehe, did he dress them up when he delivered them?......No surprise the trip took so long, sheep and truckers together...... The truck stop was midway for the new owner, who lives in North Dakota, insert more sheep jokes here.....

Pride goeth before the fall, we made it through mid January thinking we finally had the watering figured out for livestock, yea all spigots functional, water for everyone. Then, within a week both spigots freeze up and we are hauling water to the tanks!!! I decide to work efficiently and fill a large plastic container to fill Tomas's water, I am within inches of dumping it into stock tank when the behemoth shifts his hind end and cracks the container dumping all 50# of water everywhere. Couldn't he have waited until I emptied the water first?

Bubby's wound is healing very nicely, Kasino the mare still is looking longingly at Tomas who is now housed by himself. Time will tell if she was successfully bred.

Weekends bring lots of food, friends +/- football games/bonfires. Kate, the youngest spent all day Friday and Saturday baking. I of course have a love/hate relationship with this. Yellow cake cooked with whole cranberries, topped with whole cranberry sauce ( homemade) mixed with cream cheese is a too delicious treat! I rationalize that at least the cranberries make it a health food choice. A pre super bowl bonfire with friends went well, we had doubts if the wood would burn, but Sunday morning brings the fire still smoldering. Check out the person the the fire picture to get an idea of the size of the fire.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lab tested and approved

I'm not sure if any of my readers are football fans, I hadn't watched a game in years until recently. How could I not watch now when my the Vikings are doing so well? It has even been lab test-see photo. Annie, the lab, has not been dressed up in a few years. She grew up in a neighborhood of young girls and spent a lot of time attending tea parties and the like. She still seems to enjoy the dressing up part and even cooperated to let us put the viking shoes on her.

The geese lately have taken to venturing about and went to the neighbors on monday, guess I will have to clip their wings again. They apparently haven't read any of the books that state that adult domestic geese can't/won't fly.

Bubby's wound is healing nicely, it's amazing how he will just stand for me to flush (32oz) the wound with antiseptic solution and then rub some ointment into it. Of course he always gets lots of treats and a bucket of corn when I'm done. I figure in a week or so he can go back to the big pasture and Toma's to the paddock.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Seems like I often spend time waiting. Waiting for the sun to be out, cows to calf, bubby the horse to mend, etc. etc. I think waiting makes one more appreciative of the event when it finally happens. I know today is a great day, the sun is out, I heard the first cardinals and I take comfort in the promise of warmer days to come. I saw the phrase; " hours creep by but the years fly by" and I find that to be very true.

Bird count, 2 Robins, 2 mourning doves, sounds of cardinals spring is on its way. I tell myself this anyway as we still may receive lots more snow.

Check out my list of blogs I follow for some great info!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

time flies

wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since my last post.

New events, Bubby my gelding quarter horse received a rather large bite from my stud. I believe the stud was protecting his food supply, although it seems rather weird as they have been together for many months now. Oh well, cleaning and flushing and giving antibiotic shots are keeping me busy. Poor Bubby is not too keen on all this attention. This wound is gross, even by my vet tech standards. Softball size around and about 1.5" deep yuck.

We are expecting two calves any time soon, can't wait babies are always fun!!! I have sold my babydoll sheep and livestock is down to just the Dexters, horses and chickens,geese.

I'm hoping this doesnt come as a big surprise but "Monsanto's GMO corn has been linked to organ failure" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/monsantos-gmo-corn-linked_n_420365.html

I'm so glad that we have the opportunity and the blessing of being able to raise our own meat, hoping the garden will actually get going this year. I'm planning on raising a pig this year also. Another learning experience I'm sure.

I hope this finds you well, healthy and safe.

Oh my goodness how could I have forgotten? Scooter the wonder puppy is growing like a weed. We keep joking that we aren't going to let him go to sleep because you can almost see the difference is size when he gets up. He went from 18# on 12/29 to 23# on 1.8 amazing!!!!