This Little Cow

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John Seymour said his cow Brownie was the keystone of the arch of his farm economy.

Our keystone is progressing nicely. We had the vet out to trim her feet two Saturdays ago.  The outside claw of her back right foot had what is referred to as a hardship crack. These cracks happen when a cow is malnourished or under extreme stress. I noticed it when we got her and I watched it slowly work its way down as her hoof grew out. There comes a point where the flexing of the crack becomes painful and that’s when we called the vet. He trimmed all four feet under sedation and also gave her a couple shots of antibiotics. She is so much better now!

She is cycling regularly now. My dad said if she’s cycling I should get her bred because that’s what she has evolved to do… and if you don’t they get a little squirrelly. So hopefully next month after the A.I. guy visits she’ll be on her way to fulfilling her biological niche and becoming our keystone.

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An Unbred Cow

Ok, I’m pretty proud of this one.

I found a guy who does artificial insemination on cattle and is willing to come out and do our one cow. I should’ve called him this week because it’s was Tilly’s sexy time. I swear it’s embarrassing when she goes into heat because the whole neighborhood must know. She never moos, never… except for one day a month. That day though, she’s like a horny teenager with no phone privileges. Shameful, just shameful.

I did not call the guy though because I haven’t built a head catch for her yet and he says, and I can understand why, that a head catch is pretty necessary.

I haven’t built the head catch because I’ve been caught up in leveling the back porch.

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Whoever added this porch sat it on blocks directly on the ground. I’m no builder so I can’t comment on whether this is acceptable or not. Regardless, over the years the blocks sank into the ground. You can see the years worth of shims, especially in the upper left hand of the picture above. There’s about 2″ of the block left above ground.

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This porch has three walls of windows. It’s fabulous. It was also nerve wracking jacking it back up where it belongs. I had nightmares of all those panes just exploding in an epic movie scene fashion so we took about two weeks and slowly raised it about 1/8 of an inch at a time. Then we dug two foot deep round piers (our frost line is only 18″ here). To help keep the blocks level I made some forms and created a little pad at the top of each pier.

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Here’s how it all came together. There’s still a shim or two on each of the blocks cause like I said, I’m not a builder. I got it close enough though that there wasn’t even a creak when I lowered the jacks!! Woo-hoo!

And that my friends is why my cow is still unbred. Shameful.