Friday, 3 July 2015

Butchers, dogs and farming tales.

Warning to vegetarians.... this first picture may offend.

When I first started out writing a blog I thought I'd easily manage twice a week, there's so much to write about, but the reality is that there just isn't the spare time.
I write my blog for my family and friends to let them see what's happening here, and am really thrilled to have a few other followers as well.
So I'm just going to write about what's been happening here over the past couple of weeks since my last blog.

     Our on-farm butcher was here last week to process Bubble. As far as butchering goes, this is the best possible method of dispatching an animal. I can tell you, there is no stress at all for the animal.  The second before death this steer was eating grass in his paddock without a care in the world.
No transporting on a truck, no standing around in an abattoir waiting it's turn and feeling terror. The difference in the meat quality is incredible.  Some of the meat was shared among friends and our third chest freezer is now full.
I rendered down much of the fat to make dripping, of course, and a batch of soap was made using dripping and macadamia oil.
                                                    Foster calves Jordie and Blackie.
                                                             Daisy's calf, Dusty.

The calves are now eleven weeks old and will continue to get milk until they are around sixteen to twenty weeks.
Every morning I hand feed the two foster calves with milk that I save from milking Daisy the previous day. At the same time, I separate all of the three calves into another paddock for the day, so that I can bring Daisy into the dairy in the evening for milking. We get enough milk for our use in the kitchen for yoghurt, cheese and cream, as well as saving some to heat up for the calves the next morning. I only need to milk once per day now.
All three calves get to spend the nights with Daisy so they can top up on milk feeds as they like and as Daisy allows them to.

Our dear old boy Max left this world last month which is still very raw and painful to talk about. As a large breed, he exceeded his expected life span by more than a couple of years, and at eleven and a half years old, his hips were in a poor state. After some months on pain killers, it was finally time to end his struggle with the pain.

     Our much loved Max who lived a long life,but is so very missed by all who knew him.

We knew we would probably take in another dog but weren't actively looking, believing that a dog would find us when the time was right. Meanwhile all of our love and focus was on darling little Meg the Kelpie.
Brian had shown some interest in a dog that was advertised on Gumtree, he (the dog) ticked all the boxes for us, but he was obviously so perfect he was snapped up within a few hours of posting the ad. We thought no more about it but last Saturday we were contacted by the owners asking if we were still interested in the dog. To their credit, they weren't going to let the dog go to anyone they didn't feel was quite right. We took Meg to meet him, all went well, was love at first sight from Brian and I, so we brought lovely little Allen home with us. He is nine months old, the same age as Meg, has been de-sexed, micro-chipped, obedience trained and has such a chilled personality; like he's been with us for ever.
His mother is an Australian Shepherd but his father is a mystery, perhaps Staffy? We don't care what he is, he's just beautiful.

                                                              It's cold outside!

  I love winter. Did I mention that once or twice in the past? I love the way it makes me feel motivated to get outside and do stuff.  I love cooking in and on the wood stove, soups, stews and lovely puddings with lashings of fresh cream.
It's really freezing cold now though, temps down to zero these past few nights and some frosts. I'm trying to be frugal with the firewood, but luckily Brian keeps a steady supply for me to burn. With two fires burning around the clock, the kitchen and living room, I'm really chewing through it so we'll have a wood cutting afternoon on Sunday.

  Burning a pile of well dried garden clippings and sticks from the paddocks earlier tonight with glass of red wine to welcome the start of the weekend.
Have a lovely weekend, where-ever you may be. Ours will be a busy one as usual. There's a new fence to be built, butter to be made, a vegetable garden to be weeded, food to be cooked and shared.
Here is a funny little article, most of which I can relate to.  (10 things your non farm friends don't understand)


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