We've welcomed many new faces over the last number of weeks, including this little guy, our first.
Spring is the time for growth and rebirth. While our pastures have been slow to get going, the cows have been busy producing these little guys. At last count, we are at 10 new calves so far this spring. It is generally perfect timing too, with the weather warming up, the cows officially on their daily move routine, and plenty of grass available to calve on and eat. This year has been a little different in that we did not have a prolonged warm spell in March or April. The delay in the weather has made it so our pasture moves are huge. While the cows are usually ready and able to move every afternoon, their respective calves are a little more reluctant making their mothers reluctant too.
A couple weeks ago we picked up our first batch of day-old chicks. They are about a week away from being put out on pasture and I am thanking God for the delay in getting these guys. After 3 weeks, these guys absolutely need to be moved out for more space, sunshine, and fresh green grass to help detoxify. If I had been able to get them earlier, they would have experienced cold and wet weather which generally means more would have been lost to the elements. As it is, they will be put out in warm weather, though it may still be wet, and the grass will be green and short (cows have already grazed that pasture).
While we had new lambs a couple months ago, getting the sheep herd out with the cows has been a delight to see. Watching the herd roam out, with the lambs following behind their mothers is quite the sight. Our small sheep herd has seen some growth in numbers and when I look out to see them, it is surprising to see so many after spending a couple years with under 10. I still haven't figured out how I am going to manage them long term. Currently, I am blessed they find solace with the cow herd and will generally follow them when I move the cows. If they ever decided the cow herd wasn't the cool crowd anymore, I would have a tough time managing them.
A month ago we also had the opportunity to purchase 4 feeder pigs. We currently have 3 in the designated pig area where they get to learn about rooting. This is generally their first time experiencing electric fencing which allows us to more easily manage them in the future when they weigh 300 lbs. One of the four pigs developed a front leg issue were she couldn't put any weight on it. I have pulled her out and have her in isolation so that I can monitor her water and food intake. She is still weak, but able to stand a little on the injured leg. My hope is that she heals and I can put her with the others.