Tag Archives: golden retriever

Turnbull

Living on the farm we have many animals (mainly calves and lambs) to rescue and raise. Most times we are successful other times we are not. There are reasons why some animals do not mother with their children, they must know they are born unable to survive. If we find them we take them into the animals Nursery.

No such problem with the bull “turn”as he was named came in September and took to drinking from the bottle quickly and confidently, he was soon joined by Johnny and Coco the merino lambs from the city. They bonded together and became a clan. Turnbull drinking in August, joined with the lambs in September watched by our Goldie.

The lambs have moved into a mob of sheep and I couldn’t cope with the constant pooh at the door and the flies they were bringing into the house every time a back door opened so they are living well together in the shearing shed in the next paddock behind the house.

Turnbull is a very quiet Angus calf, except when he hears the shower turn on so he comes to the window and bellows for his food (milk) and boy has he grown. He waits for me at the end of the carport and comes up for a face rub with or without a bucket of milk. I am still wary of him – he will grow to be approx 1000 kilos or more and he is now at underarm height and I laugh as he walks besides me on the way to his milk feeder. I think how ridiculous it must look to strangers to see this middle aged woman carrying a silver bucket of milk in one hand with a Golden retriever walking along and on the other side Turnbull is trotting and pushing into me, so I have to direct him with my hand.

I still don’t trust him enough to walk behind him I am now at good knee capping height as that will be where he would kick back, straight into my knee cap. No thanks. Having the sunshine back has been great for everyone, including the farmer and animals.

 

 

Animals in real life

My day starts and ends with feeding 3 orphaned animals and I watch them and pat them as I do it (as best I can holding two bottles)  We currently have Coco, Johnny the merino lambs and Turnbull the Angus bull and they live in our now animal nursery and I watch them for signs of disease, growth and any other conditions that may affect them.I noted this morning Turnbull is without his identifiable red collar, we know who he is and he isn’t likely to get out of the nursery for sometime, he is thriving and doing better since the lambs have arrived.

Coco is still in her coat as she is little and Johnny has taken to finishing his bottle and pushing Coco away to get more milk. This is farming in real life Turnbull will also push his way past both lambs if he finishes drinking first to get more milk, it’s a game of balance and quick sucking by the lambs now, other than this they have become good friends. Even the Golden Retriever makes friends with baby animals, the lambs think he is their mum, I can hear when he heads up to the chicken coup as the lambs run up the fence calling him.

goldie-meets-lambs-14-09-2016

Giving Johnny a lick whilst turnbull and Coco look on.

I know we see the pictures from the Royal Shows where all the animals look clean and are beautifully kept, they are for shows, that is what they are bred for. They are cared for, washed and in some cases blow driers are used to fluff up or down hair, so that you will find them attractive and see the breeder and either buy it or look for the progeny.

They are the show case of that farmers annual work, so you will buy the semen to impregnate your females with or the animal itself. They are also the show case of agriculture teachers who work with students and animals in schools to get them to understand farming, animal husbandry and farming enterprises. They pick the best of the best ways to show these animals and understand how upset students can be when it is taken off to have it’s carcass scored.

Animals in real life though, are always well cared for on most farms are not like that in real life, they live in grass so on some days the sheep can look green in the colour of their wool, they live on red dirt in other districts and throughout Australia so their wool can take on a red look. If it’s muddy they take on the colour of that dirt and mud, that is why wool is a widely sort after textile, as it’s washable, absorbs dyes and is easily cleaned.

I know who knew farmers were not roaming around paddocks making sure that animals were washed, dried and groomed? We are out in the farm (mostly the farmer is) checking on mis-mothering of animals, helping to birth animals and in the worst of cases having to euthanase them. He will sit with binoculars watching the rears of cows checking for size of birthing, to make sure that it happens as well as it should. He can tell the difference between a front or rear foot presentation and knows instinctively whether or not he will be required to pull. He is mostly successful with live births but sometimes stillborns are delivered.

We also have chooks with a rooster, which I don’t like, they become protective of the hens and can fly at you. The one we have currently jumps on a tin as soon as he sees me and I have gone into the pen waving a shovel at it, on one occasion I threw the scrap bucket at it as he flew at me and attacked me. I was lucky I was wearing jeans that day or he would have scratched my legs, stupidly I had to then walk back into the coup and collect the bucket, now I keep the shovel handy, my Melbourne niece and nephew were a bit horrified at this.

This is farming, this is animals and we are all part of the kingdom that needs to share and get along, be it with or without a shovel in my case with the rooster or shoving past 2 little lambs to get more milk. Life is not always about looking the best, thinnest or being the smartest, it is about existing with each other to enjoy the opportunities in front of you with others.

 

 

 

 

 

Farming Life

There is always something on when you marry a farmer, and not only the weather dominates days, for croppers and for graziers alike. Everyone waits for the break of the season, where everything feels like it’s new again, farmers happily jump on tractors to plough paddocks and bulls can be put with the cows to start the mating season off.

What do they all do in the meantime? you ask, We have had a couple of bulls roaming our house block, we have our house on a 20 acre or 8 hectare block and it is fenced off so that we don’t have roamer but every now and then it is good farming practice to bring the sheep in to chew down overgrowth and or let cattle in to do the same. The only problem here is the beautiful working dogs, have to go to their compounds so that they don’t spend their time rounding things up and chasing them into corners as they are trained to do. We also have hay we are feeding out in the house yard so letting animals in they chew bottom rows and sometimes cause a collapse which can kill others. it also reduces the amount of food available during the summer.

Daily as I do book work, house work and run the business from my office, I can hear the comforting sound of the tractor running as he puts hay on to a trailer and then takes it to the cattle to feed them. But the last couple of days we have had a couple of the large bulls wander In and slowly much on the grass. It has been interesting to watch the cats stare at these enormous animals as they roam the front and back yard. The cats will happily watch from the security of the screen doors but should they be outside and the 500+kilo animals walk past them then we can watch as they running to the comfort of being under the house or in through the cat door.

Our bulls are very gentle and are quite happy to wander around and the dogs are not so keen to take on such large animals. I sit in my office and the floor is bare – my beautiful Pete (Golden Retriever) is gone and I have washed and folded his blanket and placed it on the chair as I am not ready to put it away so Gatsby the ginger cat has taken it over and casually stretches himself in it and on it and sleeps there until the farmer comes in to move him and sits in the chair. Gatsby has also taken to spread himself in my chair at the kitchen table and now uses his paws to push me off it when he wants to stretch out (he is the king of this castle) see picture below.

Gatsby

Gatsby

Life is interesting and as we wait for the break in the season it means we work until it rains and then once it rains we work at different things. In the meantime we watch and care for the animals we have and plan for the future, but if you call in here at the moment drive slowly as we don’t want them hurt, this is the welcoming party. See you can tell we promote grass-fed here.

Our 'pet bulls" in the house yard

Our ‘pet bulls” in the house yard