Van Zandt County Youth Expo 2011

Well, it is hard to believe that the youth expo has come and gone. From January on, this is the main event on our minds. All the kids have worked very hard on their animal projects. Savannah had 2 goats, Cheyenne choose a lamb for the first time this year, and Sierra and Jonathan both got pigs. Well, we had a lot to learn on the pigs. Feeding a show pig is very different from feeding a regular ol’ pig. Our pigs did not make the minimum weight of 225lbs. However, next year we will know what to do. You are always learning something when it comes to livestock. Savannah’s goats looked great and we were all very proud of them. Sadly, the judge did not share our sentiment. Cheyenne’s lamb on the other hand did make the sale. We were hoping for a much higher placing, but the sale is a good thing. Each year, you choose your animal and do your best feeding and exercising them, then it comes down to what the judge thinks. This was not our year with goats. The lamb would have probably placed higher with last year’s judge- but that is just the gamble of it. In the end, the kids have a great time, make lots of memories, and develope one heck of a worth ethic. That is the main thing. Now we have the county fair to look forward to, it will be in June. All though we will not have a livestock entry, we will have entries in the arts & crafts, and horticulture contests. Plus, we get to hang out with our friends again.

Busy Day

Today we had to doctor a sick rabbit. It is amazing how fast one can go down. Seirra reported a rabbit with a runny nose this morning. Yesterday, none were sick or acting like they were feeling puny. After I consulted my vet books, I was no more enlightened than I was before. Either it can be the snuffles- no cure for good, infected animals should be put down- a much more serious condition than the name would convey. Pneumonia could be another option or just a simple cold. At any rate, all the illnesses can be brought on by stress on the animal caused by sudden temperature changes. Well, one week we didn’t get above 30′ and one week later the temps were in the 70’s. That could have done it. I gave the doe a concoction of B-12, dandelion tincture, and penicillan. The vet books were no help, so I came up with my own prescription. We shall see how it works. On a happier note, at least for us, we got our beef back from the processor. My freezer is FULL of meat that we raised ourselves. We are very gateful to Porterhouse for his contribution to our family’s well being. Our next steer is happily eating rye grass and drinking his daily bottle. His name is Hershey. He is about 3 months old and will be with us till he is around 12 months old. Until this morning, he was a bull calf. Now, he is a steer. One of the jobs that I have learned to do myself. The first time that I banded a bull calf I didn’t think. I just squatted down and went to put the band on. Savannah was holding him and saved my face. As you might imagine, the calf kicked when I slipped the band on his privates. If Savannah had not been so quick in her reflexes he would have nailed me square in the face. However, I am a quick learner. Now I back the calf up to the stall wall and reach in to do the dirty work. This is one job that Jonathan and Tony have never helped me with…..