Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's me again!!

Wow this summer sure has flown by! It's the middle of July already, Bonnie is (hopefully) pregnant again and the sun is finally shining. If you'll harken back to my previous post I was complaining about the lack of rain and the heat, well we've had two weeks of rain and near freezing temperatures at night. I just can't win!!!!

On the up side, we had a bull visiting from Homer this week. Dad and I went and picked him up on Monday, Bonnie was in standing heat on Tuesday, Dad and I took him home on Thursday. I really hope she took and I don't have to get him again. He's very calm and even-tempered but he's still over 1,000 lbs of hormonal male animal and he's a little intimidating. Dad and I had to lead him about 100 feet to the corral when we got him home and it was HARROWING!! Cody, tied on the outside of the corral to keep him out of the way in case Ripple decided to make a run for it, decided he didn't like the new guy and challenged him. Ripple didn't care that the challenger was a baby, he started pawing and snorting but Cody didn't shut up. Bonnie was tied inside the corral and she was very, very curious about Ripple. She was one day from standing heat so her hormones were raging and she was trying to get Ripple to come close enough to smell but not close enough to mount her. Ripple does have a mind of his own and no ring in his nose so he pretty much goes where he wants, when he wants. He is considered uncontainable so he is tethered all the time. I was terrified that he'd bend the stake we had him on, break through the fence and wander to the highway, getting plastered by some little old man and his wife in their rented motor home in the process. EEK!! Dad pounded two stainless steel rods into the ground right next to the other post so he was held by a steel post and two stainless ones. I wanted the third one because it is so tall. Bonnie can run in a circle and her chain will fling right off her stake so the tall post prevented that from happening as Ripple walked in circles following Bonnie around the corral. If I have him back next summer I think the tall stainless will suffice. He was so incredibly patient in his wooing of Bonnie. He tried so hard to get her to come close enough to smell on Monday night and Tuesday morning but as soon as she was ready she walked right to him. I've got it marked on the calendar so I know when to start watching for signs that she's going back into heat and she starts that early enough that I have lots of time to get him again if I need to.

Cody is still being a baby bull, goofy and testing boundaries. I measured him on his 3 month birthday and he weighs 278 lbs!! He is getting big so fast and I know that I really need to be on my toes to make sure he knows his place. It's important that he grows up as a subordinate cow, not the boss. Bonnie is pretty god about keeping him in line, but he will probably take her place as top cow before the winter is over.
The milking is going amazingly well. I am still separating 8 hours a day cause Cody has a little more growing to do before I'm comfortable separating for longer and I am still getting half a gallon a day, sometimes a little more. I want him to get the best start so he grows quickly and gets to the size he needs to be, whichever way his life goes. He is for sale, available in October, if anybody wants him!!! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

This is Ripple



Cody at 3 months old

After 18 years, Midnight has finally left us. She got sick a couple weeks ago but was eating and drinking just fine so I didn't worry too much. I did what I could to help her recover and I told her last night that I didn't want to have to make the decision for her, so if she was going to go, then go. It's much easier when pets go on their own terms since there's no what-ifs. She will be missed.

About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

For Jaime

Comment from a SMART President

" The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson President 1801-1809
Died on JULY 4th, 1826

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gnowfglins

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