Monday, April 15, 2013

The new calf is here. Boys got their feet trimed

Our calf for this year was born this morning. Andrea and I went over this evening after Scott went to work to pick him up. He was dry and his umbilical cord was starting to shrivel up. These are both really good things to helping the calf survive. The most important was that he'd already had his colostrum from his mom this morning, and they sent me home with another bottle of colostrum for this evenings feeding. This is the third calf this year we've gone over and gotten. Andrea has the other two at her place. Both of them are doing very well.  I've helped Andrea feed calves when they were away the last two years, but this is the first time starting out everything on my own. The last two years I either went out and dropped a bottle in the holder and they did their thing, or I just dumped milk into buckets. I did keep the first calf of this year over here over night while she built her calf pen, but she did the feeding. She had to straddle the bugger and get him in a head lock to fight him to learn the bottle. This guy I have caught right on. When I went back out to see if he wanted to finish the rest of his bottle, he wobbled right over to me, and ate with just my hand under his jaw.

I know calves are born out in the pasture, in really cold conditions all the time, and they make it just fine through the night. I still felt bad though when he was shivering, so I cut up and old stained sweatshirt, and now it's a calfshirt.

I've been trimming feet on our geldings for a while now. I have my horse trainer, who also is my farrier, come out ever so often and check to make sure I'm doing it right, and not messing everything up. This winter I was quite a weenie and didn't trim as often as I should and the boy's feet got away from me. I was an hour under Ben just working on his fronts two weeks ago, and I still didn't get them to look like I wanted. Mind now, I'm using just a rasp, no nippers, no knife. His feet are amazingly rock hard. Dirk came out and snip snip, rasp rasp and done. I was right about his heels needing to come down a bit more. His backs had frog material growing out over the groove, and I don't have a hoof knife to trim it back. Dirk said they were looking good, just needed some fine tuning. 

Apache on the other hand was a wreck. Not his feet. His eyes. I had caught him up out of the dry lot earlier in the afternoon. I had him tied up, brushed him out, looked him all over, picked out his feet. I put him in the round pen with Ben and he walked through the gate with little hesitation  He was fine. He was a little high headed walking between the two trucks, but he didn't lose his mind or anything. 

It was a whole other story when I pulled him out of the round pen. He didn't want to walk through the gate, he needed some serious coaxing. He was really high headed, shying away from me. He jumped through the gate when he just barely brushed it with his hip. He landed almost on top of me, and did manage to step square on my foot. I couldn't tie him up without him jumping back and panicking when he touched the hitching rail with his chest. He was acting very flighty with Dirk picking up his feet. It was very sad to see the difference in just a couple hours, a little more wind, and the sun just barely starting to set. 

After Saturday, I am very much re-thinking whether he is safe to keep or not. He smacked into the panels of the round pen after I put him in there Sunday. I didn't dare try and get him back through the gate Sat evening  but I did put him in there Sun morning.  If he is acting that wild, and that blind, he isn't safe out in the dry lot anymore. It's T-posts and hot wire. I isn't ideal for a sighted horse with the T-posts, but it's what I can afford. I won't be able to put him out on the pastures to eat grass if he can't see the fences. It's not safe. My budget calls for not having to hay them through the summer and into November. He'll always have to be in a pen by himself. Horses are herd animals. They don't like to be alone. I hate to think about putting him down. He's only 7. I've seen other horses have long happy lives after loosing their sight. I just don't know if I can give that to him here. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post. A friend recommended your blog. I will be back for sure!

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    Fresh Eggs Daily



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