And I thought that since I haven't actually given you guys any proof that we did, in fact, raise calves again this year, I took some photos and such:
|This is our oldest group|
It was super weird finishing them.. Then that week Mum and I went off for what we hoped would be a nice lunch out at a local cafe/chocolate shop. Although, sadly, because we had such high expectations from our previous visit a couple years ago - it wasn't all that nice. But it was still nice to go out!
For hot drinks, you just get given hot milk, and a chocolate stirrer. Make it as strong as you want!
On Wednesday I had the joy of being charged by a somewhat friendly cow. A few circumstances lead to her being in a pen on her own, making her panic a bit and she got a bit stressed out. I don't think it helped that she'd recently calved - so her personality perhaps wasn't the same as normal! Anyway, that was certainly interesting - although I don't recommend it. It takes a while for realisation to kick in that you're being charged, and even after that occurs it takes a fair bit to get moving out of the way!
I think she might've been a little hungry, because it seemed as if she definitely wanted to eat me.
Stupidly though, it's kind of an awkward situation to be in. Because you see a cow madly running towards you, well I don't know about you guys but for me personally, I don't really want to be running away screaming until I know that it is a seriously dangerous situation? How do I explain this?In my job, nobody would want you around if they get a slight inkling that you're scared of the animals you're working with. I'm not scared of cows, although I'm cautious around them in certain situations. So when this cow ran at me I just calmly stepped aside and somewhat scolded her for being so out of control. I tried to turn her around, and that's when she full out went for me. I had no choice, I yelled and jumped for the fence! I'd rather now look stupid rather than look dead haha. Sometimes you think a cow is running at you, but generally she just runs around or runs past you. It's not often that you get charged - it's only happened to me twice now. But if I was jumping for the fence every time a cow ran at me - I'd probably be the most unwanted person on the local farms!!
But, as it seems, after I was balancing on the top two rails, out of harms way, she started charging the guy I was working with - so perhaps my reason for jumping was, in fact, legitimate.
After that happened, and the farm worker and I laughed and said, gee that was exciting! I just kept on shaking my head, thinking, that was really out there. Did that just happen? I was sorta somewhat laughing, but also like, flippen heck, that was kinda freaky too...
Thursday came around, I was thankfully still alive after my friendly cow encounter (!), it was my first full day off since mid July, and Mum and I went north. Shopping. Just wondered around shops, had some lunch, wondered around some more shops, then did the groceries. It was quite nice to get out of town for a bit.
Friday I was back into work, Dad and Nick killed the pig and my sister came up to help butcher it that afternoon. Usually Dad just makes big chops and roasts out of it, with a little bit of mince from the scraps. But Alesha got in and showed Dad some new tricks (fancy butchery much!), cutting it all up into pork belly, steaks, schnitzel, a few rolled roasts, mince. I was pleasantly surprised that her and Dad seemed to get on really well, teaching and learning. The young dog teaching the old dog new tricks, is what the guy I was milking with said! hehe.This time round, my assistance with the pig was hardly necessary. Except for weighing it - she was 65kg's on the hook - a good weight! Nick and Dad had the joys of bear hugging the pig, holding it up, while I hooked up the scales. In the end, I had to get my hands dirty, when push comes to shove I do what I need to do. Even if that includes sticking my fingers into the slits in the back legs, forcing the gamble through, grossing myself out - it's super weird working around ligaments and all that, but hey.
Saturday I carried on working, then went to the 21st party that night for a few hours. Caught up with heaps of people I haven't seen in so many years. But I didn't stick around for too long, I got home at 10 then had to be back up at 4am for milking. I started at 5, needed some time to get there and actually wake up - not in that order!We had our stock judging event during the day on Sunday. I went along between milkings, learned a fair bit in the beef module, didn't learn anything in the dairy section really - not because I already knew it, more so because the guy doing it wasn't very good with teaching. Sheep, umm, sorry Andrew but I tried to like them. They stunk, they looked really bad. Admittedly, the guy running it is an really old guy in his 80's, a well known across the country, Romney breeder. And he went to the sales and bought them randomly, just for the day and brought one of his own as a comparison.
Didn't learn much there either, apart from what it should look like in configuration and such.
And today, I struggled out of bed just after 4am again, I've got to do the same thing tomorrow. The more often it is happening, the more tired I get!!
Finally, some more photos to entertain you. This is another cowshed, the cows weren't quite there on time, so I took some pictures while I waited.