Thursday, June 30, 2011

Farm Journal: Two More Water Buffalo Calves Born at Windshadow Dairy

After a nice bath, the mother spots her baby.

Two new bundles of joy dropped in a 12-hour period.  A heifer calf was born to #7082 between 9-10 p.m. last Friday and weighed 90 pounds.  A bull calf was born to one of the Bingo girls, B-4, in the back pasture.  He weighed about 70 pounds.  Fortunately, these animals are able to take care of the birthing process themselves without much help from Ron or Soo--and without any complications.

Here is a sequence of photos documenting one of the early encounters between #7082 (first freshener) and her heifer calf, yet to be named.


The girl-baby waits to be fed.  She curled up in the corner of her stall after being in a nice warm water buffalo for 10 months. Mother and calf stayed together overnight and into the morning. 

The mother had been out to pasture in the morning because Ron needed to clean the barn.  Here she is entering the barn after a nice bath.  She had been wallowing in the "buffalo mud spa."  When she wasn't wallowing, she was near the gate pacing back and forth and calling for her baby.  At one point I heard the baby calling, too.  They probably heard each other because they have huge ears.  The distance from the barn to the pasture gate is about 400 yards.

The mother was in the barn for a couple minutes before the baby finally spotted her.  The calf waited patiently for her.  It all gets very beautiful and touching from here as the following photos show.

I also had my video camera available to document this event. 

Ron is working hard to finish the milk parlor on the buffs' side.  This water buffalo milk will be combined with the goat milk and make a new kind of specialty cheese.  Can't wait to try it!

Meanwhile, we're creating a new raised-bed kitchen garden right in front of the Kleins' house.  It takes a lot of work to dig through "cooked" compost but Donna, Anna and I did it--with Ron's help and direction, of course..

Next, we need to enclose the beds with wood frames and put a layer of topsoil over the compost.

The garden beckons us and we are anxious to plant it.  It seems to be a small  area compared to what we had at Dancing Turtle.  However, this garden promises to yield some plentiful and delicious crops. Next year we'll expand the garden to some bigger spaces.

This process is all part of starting a new farm.  There is so much work to do because everything needs to be built or set up.  Ron and Soo have put a lot of thought to put into it all and you can see the results of their expert planning!

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