Our new calves from this year are growing fast. It is time to tatoo, halter break , dehorn and do all the things needed to get them ready for going to their new homes. It is always fun to work with them and learn each one of their personalities. Odrahn is having his first lesson in halter training with mom looking on. It is always amazing to see how much trust the moms have for us as we start to work with the calves and they just go about grazing and once in awhile come over to watch. He did very well and will be a great bull. He is already trying to mount the cows when they are in heat.
We have our testing done and the results are in. Our herd is Chondrodysplasia and PHA (Pulmonary Hypoplasia Anascara) free. We were pretty sure that our herd was free of these genetic diseases, but having the tests prove this was great news. Cearnach is back down in Renton breeding Mo. She had a beautiful heifer calf this year with so much dun in her coat to look almost brindle in color. She will shed out black, but no doubt carry dun with Cearnach as her sire. Lochlann just came back from a friends farm and seeing his calves from last year was fun. We have halter broke Sheenagh and will wean in a couple of weeks, so she is ready for her new home. It is always sad to say goodbye to our new calves, but rewarding to see them become well loved additions to their new owners, get news of them becoming mothers and seeing pictures.
It is always hard when trials come our way and this year was just that way. We discovered Kindness had the Neospora Caninum virus that causes miscarriages. In looking back over her lineage we found out her mother had the same virus and she had been infected with the virus during gestation. This then told us Kindness's calf Rose Thistle might have the same virus. Just after finding out this information, Thistle miscarried and when tested, it was confirmed she did infact have the virus and her heifer she had this year was infected with the virus during gestation also.After much prayer we decided we would not put Kindness through breeding and miscarriages over and over so we put her down. We then found out there is now a vaccine that will help cows carry calves full term and sometimes the heifer calves will not get the virus. This virus does not carry to bull calves. We have much to pray about and decide what to do. I do not want this to be something that gets carried into the dexter herds and carried on. I will also teach on how this gets started and passed down from generation to generation. If we try the vaccine and it works that will be great. Thistle is a wonderful cow and she was so special when we rescued her that I really do not want to put her down nor her calf, Sheenagh. Check back as I will be adding more on this subject and how to protect your cows.
Well the vaccine has been pulled from the market so now we can only pray for our cows to calve and the calves be healthy. I am continuing to check for the vaccine in hopes some company will see the value of producing it. One way to protect your cows is not to allow your dogs into the pasture where they may leave behind any feces. Also fence to keep out coyotes.
In December 2009 we said goodbye to a loyal and faithful friend "Isabeau". In her 13 1/2 years she walked by my side to help , comfort and enjoy life with me. She loved to play in the snow and was ever willing to learn anything we were doing, including helping with our Dexters.
In December we also welcomed, Shasta. She is 3 years old and will soon start learning to put her herding instincts to work. She already goes with me everywhere in the pasture and is eager to help.
In April of 2014 we said goodbye to another one of our "Little Girls" Heather. She came to us from Border Collie Rescue in Feb of 2003. She was oh so timid , but wanting to please and do the right thing, what ever it might be. It was not long before she enjoyed helping with everything around the farm and just having a good time playing with Isabeau and then Shasta. She very quickly became a loyal and good companion. She loved to snuggle and give hugs. We miss her much.
|In June 2014 we adopted a new little girl. Kailee is 1 1/2 old British Shepherd /Golden Retriever. More energy then she or I know what to do with. We are now learning to help with farm chores and be a good sister to Shasta. Kailee plays and keeps Shasta busy running around and just getting into mischief. I hope to eventually train her to let me know when Shasta is going into a seizure. Especially when we are outside. She already stands next to her a whines to let us know something is wrong. I hope to fine tune that instinct to let us know a ahead of time. I remind my husband she is like a 2 year old who will never grow up!!!! She has learned her manners well and doing good. She is a great girl and sister to Shasta.|