Old Things and Longhorns

A friend passed this picture along to us because she said it reminded her of our chicken coop. I think this one is much nicer, but we can incorporate some elements into future coops. The caption on this photo said these are “white wyandottes”. They look quite healthy and plump.

Here’s ours as it looked in the spring. The roof is pretty slapdash, but Spence had been promoted to manager suddenly midway through coop construction and we ended up racing to finish it. The hope is to put a more solid, respectable roof on when we have more time. So, maybe in about 50 years.

This week we went up to Sacramento to see family, and while there, my grandmother gave us two photos from when her dad, Wesley Trotter, managed a dairy (near Galt I think? Or maybe I am mixing that up with Spencer’s great-grandfather’s failed farming attempt. Or maybe they both farmed in that area. That would be interesting).

Interesting to see the cows out by a pond, and that their udders look smaller than modern Holsteins’–which, to be frank, are rather disturbingly gigantic. And that must be an alfalfa field (set up for flood irrigation?) in the foreground. Wish I could see what Great-grandpa Wesley’s face looked like in this photo. He looks tired, which makes sense for a dairyman and someone whose life was as tough as his.DSCN2765

In other news Spencer put off disbudding our calf, but will hopefully do it today, because we are headed for that age where Cloud’s horns start to connect to her skull and will be really hard to remove. I am kind of pissed. Our boss said it’s commendable that Spence takes more care with other people’s animals, but I’m not sure about that. He does take really great care of the animals at the dairy (zero mastitis cases this week–thanks in part to a peppermint oil concoction I made that we have been massaging on their udders, we think). I Guess in the future I will be learning how to use the disbudding iron and doing it myself, on time. Otherwise I’m going to be milking something like this 😉
P.S. this is a TX Longhorn, so really, a Jersey doesn’t ever get horns this big. She’s an awfully beautiful cow though.
P.P.S. Wondering why we disbud calves? Well, it’s a simple and quick procedure that the calves recover from instantly, and it keeps them from growing horns. Horns look cool, and in cases where cows have to worry about predators they are useful, but they also present a danger to people and other cows. Cows with horns accidentally gore each other and people working with them, as well as getting caught on things, breaking fencing, breaking off horns (they bleed a lot!) and in our case probably making goat shishkabobs with their horns when they get long enough. But hey, while I’m at it, check out this bull. He looks like a chocolate caramel ice-cream sunday with horns on top.v_4508


6 thoughts on “Old Things and Longhorns

    • What? I thought it was you that pointed it out! Do you think it’s not him then? I would assume it is since the picture was yours and I don’t know why anyone would give you a picture of a stranger.

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