Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ice Ice Baby

In case you hadn't ventured outside (or if you're a hibernating bear), the beginning of the week brought a deep cold snap all across the Northern Midwest.  Green Acres was no exception.  With temperatures not rising above 20 degrees, the ground froze hard and that meant water tanks were too.

We usually combat this frozen water with tank heaters.  These nifty little things are suppose to thaw the ice in our water tanks so the cows can have 24-7 access to fresh water.  Key words in that last sentence would be "suppose to".

Nothing at Green Acres is brand new especially our random supply of tank heaters.  After being plugged in, many, to much of our disdain, just sit there soon frozen in a 6 inch thick ice cube.

Tuesday was brutal.  It was the first time in about 2 years we had to dig out the ax to break holes in the ice so that cows could get to the water below.

Then the cows venture over and take a sip of the no doubt frigid water.  Poor dears can't have hot chocolate with the little marshmallows.. I'd bet they'd love some though.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We've had another calf.  Another surprise.  We were out feeding the cows and my dad just happened to look in between the feeders and see a new calf standing, looking at us with big questioning eyes.

Then we went... Uh.. who's calf is that?  And who was even close enough to have a calf?  We searched the barn.  No cows were looking guilty.  None looked like they had given birth in the past day.  No cow was searching frantically for her calf.  This was proving to be tricky.

So we took the little baby heifer around the barn and all of a sudden a concerned moo surfaced from the front.  It was number 4 and she had just realized her baby was now being pushed around by us.

So we sorted them out and put them into their own stall.

Poor little baby hadn't nursed in a while and was starving.  So much so that she seemed to have forgotten how to nurse.  We worked with her for about 45 minutes and finally she seemed to remember what to do.  Most calves are born naturally knowing what to do to find food.  This poor little girl went into panic mode and seemed to mistake every mud clod hanging off her mom as a source of milk.

It's been two days and she's doing much better.  Due to the very cold temperatures we are having to kick off this week we decided to keep momma and calf pinned up.  But they don't seem to mind having a dry warm place to eat and lay down.

In case your wondering, her name is Isis due to the cold temperatures her arrival ushered in (thanks Ann!).  If any of you awesome readers have any name suggestions for future calves feel free to comment!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thank Moo!

In the winter, every weekend, we at Green Acres head out to the barns to spread straw.  It's cold and wet and the cows need a warm dry place to lay.

It starts with me heading up to the hay loft and my dad staying down stairs to spread.  A year or so ago my dad came up with this.

Yup you probably guessed it... it's a hole in our hay loft floor just big enough for straw bales.

As you can see the cows were in some dire need for straw.  They somehow make all the straw disappear in a matter of days. They are needy cows.  Luckily they have us to take good care of them.. And take care of them we did!

I'd take these bales, throw them down the hole in the floor, and my dad would carry and spread them all around the barn.

It's not that easy though.  You see, these straw bales were made by the devil.  They are horribly sticky and they've ruined countless pairs of gloves and socks.  Seriously, once those little prickly needles get into your clothes they never come out.  Then there is the breakage issue.  Because the straw is so fine, the strings often do not hold the bales together.  So you've got 1 broken bale for every 4 you throw down.  It's just a mess.  A mean little prickly mess.

But we always prevail over the straw.  And then the cows look at us lovingly and say thank moo.  :)

Well they say thanks after they're done eating....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Short Post About Hay

This is a short post.

It's about hay. 

This is our stock pile.  No worries, we have a whole other row.

And the tractor that picks up the round bales.

Driven by my dad (sometimes me, but I'm mostly in charge of moving fence).

Who then deposits said bales in The Nacke Family Feeder.  My dad made this years ago.  And then put our names on it.  He was proud.

The twine has to be cut off the bale.  I help with this.  I don't just take pics from afar.  That's what I do when I need to do a blog post.  Like this one.

Full feeder = full cows = happy cows.

Told you this post was short!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goals Are For Nerds

So I figured I jump on the band wagon a little late, and type up some resolutions.

I'm not really a goal person.  I suppose I have stuff in the back of my mind that I want to accomplish, but I don't really label them goals.  Goals are nerdy.  Goals are for people trying too hard.  And I'm Joe Cool, Joe Cool doesn't set goals, Joe Cool rolls with the flow of things.

Resolutions?  Those are goals disguised in new year antics.  Goals for the year that usually last 2 weeks... then it's back to waiting for the next year to roll around and reset your yearly 2 week resolution list.

Now that you've realized I'm all bah-humbug when it comes to anything pertaining to goals or resolutions, you're probably sitting on the edge of your seat in excitement to read my own for 2013.

  1. Take more pictures and videos.  In college I never left my apartment without my camera in hand.  I was the photo queen.  I'd photograph EVERYTHING.  I bogged down my old computer with so many pictures I had to get a back up hard drive to store them on.  Alas, those days are over and I find myself wishing I had more pictures of this past year.  
      2.  Write more.  Blog more.  Don't take a whole month off leaving you people twiddling
           your thumbs.

      3.  Eat healthier.  Stop eating so much candy, fast food, chips... I could go on and on.

      4.  Stop drinking pop.  This is a biggie.  I have a love-hate relationship with Coke.  I usually
           have one a day, but after reading all the nasty, horrible, non nutrisous things that are in pop
           (especially dark pop) I'm determined to give it up.  First step switch to Coke 0.  Then start
           cutting back to every other day, every 3rd day, every 4th day.  Baby steps people, baby

      5.  Get married and have fun doing it.  This is a no brainer, but it's a nice reminder that you
           only get married once and why stress out about it.  Take a deep breath, smile and enjoy
           every moment of being engaged!

      6.  Start actively house hunting.  So, I'm slightly addicted to majorly creeping on all the area
           houses for sale.  I know locations, prices, and wallpaper designs.  I promise I only have a
           small problem.  And the first step in correcting your problem is acknowledging it right?...
           right? Hopefully in the next year we will find the one to make our own and then I can lay off
           the house creeping.

I could probably come up with about 5 more, but I don't want to bore you people.  So now it's your turn, what are your resolutions, your dreams, your hopes, your ambitions for 2013.