Dave & Kathy Hiltbrand and family

Diary of Kathy Hiltbrand- Week 2 – March 7-13

Monday, March 7, 2011

Up late working on my blog. Checked penned cow #8140 and maternity pen. It’s very frustrating when I make an effort to get out of bed and check the cattle and then nothing is going on.  I guess because the next time I’ll say to my self, “Oh they’ll be fine”, then when I don’t go out and check them one of the cows ends up having trouble.   It’s happened more then once to me.  Got girls up at 6am.   I went outside to check on cows.  Fixed girls lunches and took them to bus.  Got home fed 4-H calves and penned cows, bulls and horses.  Then back in to get Justin up.  Dave had already begun loading out corn to be sold at Harvest Land.  Justin road into Seven Mile with Dave as he hauled his first load of corn in.  Dave hauled one more load then was called to haul gravel.  I mixed cow feed and fed replacement heifers.   Came inside to work on checkbook, I’m a little late, but it needs to be balanced.  We purchased inputs for this spring.  Put dinner in oven.  I don’t have to pick up girls; they both are busy at school. Karen with FFA and Katie with track.  Justin has class in Oxford after school so I’ll take him.  I called my Mom to pick up girls and she could.   While in Oxford, went to Kroger’s.   Then back home. Checked on cows as Dave and girls were finishing feeding animals.  Had dinner then one more last check on cows and went to bed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011    Finally a good nights sleep. Yes the cows were on their own!  Got girls up at 6am. Loaded laundry and went outside at 6:30 to check on cows.  Everyone looks good, Cinderella and new baby doing well. She calved Sunday evening and it’s time for them to go back out with the cows that have calved.  I will do that later today.  After the calf is tagged.Took girls to school, fed 4-H calves and penned cows. Back inside Justin was up. Dave was leaving to haul more corn.  I took Justin to school and stop at post office.  Back home mixed feed for cows, bulls and heifers.  Put bedding out for calved cows. I didn’t kick out Cinderella and baby since I didn’t need the pen, so she was able to stay in one more day.  When it’s sunny the calves are better off outside. Put dinner in oven, then picked up Justin.  Headed to high school for Katie. Justin has a speed class in West Chester at 5. Was home by 6:30. Dave and Karen had finished work.  I checked on cows and went in for dinner. Homework, dishes, and a load of laundry finished my night off.  Plus one more trip to barn. # k105 was acting like she might be in labor.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Early morning checked on #k105 and others. Yes #k105 was in labor.  This cow is 15 yrs. old.   She has been a great producer.  I purchased her from a sale in Kentucky.  For the first ten years she was here, we couldn’t get within 100 yards of her.  She isn’t mean, she just gets nervous. She’s one that likes her space so I let her have it.  In a normal year she’d would calved out in pasture and I ‘d just let her be, but with the mud and rain so far this month, I didn’t want to take a chance.  Her water bag wasn’t out so I just put her in a pen by herself and let her be. I came out 2 hours later and the water bag was out and she was pushing. By now it was 5:30 am and it looks as if she’s progressing normal. So I’ll let her be.  I’ll give them about 45 minutes with their water bags out to calve.  If they haven’t calved in that time frame then chances are something’s wrong, and we’ll help them. Cows are smart; if you stand there and watch them they won’t calve till you leave. They think you’re a praetor.   So I’ve peered around the corner in the dark many of nights to watch a new baby being born.  So I left her. Went back in house by then girls were up and ready for school. I took them to bus. Dave left to haul gravel.  Back to check on k105. Two legs and nose was out. Watch from a distance and 2 or 3 more good pushes and out came a black bald face bull calf, alive and well.  Back in house for Justin and took him to school.  By now it was raining… just what we needed.  (NOT)   Back outside new baby up and nursing. Mixed feed for everything. Fed all the cows penned up and it’s still raining. Came inside cleaned floors and paid some bills.  Went into town and picked up two birthday gifts for friends that are turning 40.  Wow!  Tonight we’re going to dinner. Just us girls.  Katie called… canceled track practice and I wasn’t close to home.  Aunt Anne picked her up from bus as it was still raining. I did make it to get Justin. Back home, checked and fed cows and did all the evening feeding.  Katie and Karen went with Aunt Anne and Uncle Phil to church, as it is Ash Wednesday.  Dave and Justin were home by there selves.  Came home from dinner with girl friends  (had a wonderful time) changed clothes and back outside to check on everything, as it is now windy and getting colder.  Cow # 263 was by gate of maternity pen and she’s getting close so I opened gate and she was more than happy to walk in.  Sometimes it works out well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cold and rainy. No new babies… that’s a good thing this morning.   All the new babies in nursery look content, dry and healthy.  I went back to bed and Dave took girls to bus. Up by 8am, got Justin moving and I am not moving fast.  I love the rain, but not cold rain. Took Justin to school.  Back outside mixed feed and fed everything.  Had to shovel troughs over and take bedding in for calved cows.  Before heading to house I checked on cow #8140 and she was in labor.  Went inside had lunch and did a few things then back out to check on her. By 1pm water bag was out at 2pm baby was out by 3pm he was up and nursing.   Picked up Justin at school, went to get Katie from track. The both of them have speed training in West Chester at 5pm. Karen had FFA meetings and general livestock judging practice. So hard telling when she’ll get home.  Went to West Chester and by the time we got out it looked like a blizzard. (You’ve got to be kidding me). Got home and Dave was feeding. I changed clothes and went back out to help.  We put bedding in for maternity pen and finished feeding. Friends had called and their mare had foaled last night. They were going to see it, so I went along.  Dave had billing to do for his trucking business.  The Barkers and I picked Karen up at school and headed to the barn to see the mare and new foal. Checked on new babies and went to bed.

Friday, March 11, 2011           

Friday morning woke to snow-covered barnyard.  Checked cows… #502 had her baby in the night.  All calving pens were full so I divided the nursery pen and made another. #502 had a black badly heifer.  Took girls to bus and Justin to school. Came home mixed feed, fed cows, heifers, bulls and horses. Had a flat tire on skid loader, plugged it and blew it up.  Tractor and skid loader was low on fuel so filled their tanks. By 11:30 sun was out and warming up so I tagged, banded and turn the newborn calves and mothers out. Turned out #s k105 and 8140.  Got inside and of course I was outside too long. I was supposed to be at a Farm Bureau meeting by 1pm.  That didn’t happen, so I decided 1:30 was better then not going at all. Got there late and left early to pick kids up by 3:30. The meeting was very interesting. Picked up Justin and girls from high school then back home. Feed my cows and checked on all babies out in pasture. Karen and Katie worked with their 4-H cattle and cleaned pens. Dave got home from hauling. We have Miami Red Hawk hockey tickets.  Dave, Justin and I are going along with some friends.  Girls stayed home. Both are tried and Karen has an early morning judging contest for FFA. The Red Hawk’s won. GO HAWK’S! Back home change clothes and checked on cows.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday, up by 6am out and checked cows. Back in to get Karen up for livestock judging contest. She has to be at school by 7:45am. She feed 4-H calves. I fed the cows that were in pens, bull and horses. Cows had feed in troughs so I’ll mix feed later. We have a busy day. PLEASE NO CALVES TODAY! Katie and Justin need to be in West Chester by 9am it’s about a 25-minute drive. Then back home to meet Cari for an afternoon movie. I’m getting her out of the house so her husband can get ready for her surprise birthday party tonight. I truly don’t mind. Cari and me love to go to the movies. All of us are busy today, so it’ll work out great, as did the party! Dave and Justin went to tractor pull in Eaton, OH and Katie went to Aunt Anne’s. Back home from movies and Kroger’s.  I had to still mix feed and take care of everything. Katie helped and we made it to party. Of course we were late… but we made it.  Oh and yes… no new babies today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 Sunday… NEW TIME, lost an hour, but suns out and no rain. Girls off to church.  Dave and Jeff left at 5:30am. Had a hauling job this morning. The job was at the Fairgrounds in Eaton, OH removing dirt from inside a building.  That leaves Justin and I home to do work. Up and mixed feed and fed everything else. Had a new baby waiting in maternity pen when we got up #263 had calved, the calf had nursed and was dry. Moved them to a pen and finished work. Every pen needs bedding. Dave and Jeff got home by 11:30 and helped me with bedding cows and replacement heifers.  Went to other farm that we rent to get square bales of straw so I can bed the smaller pens when needed. Skid loader tire went flat again so Dave and Justin broke it down and patched it. Went in for lunch about 2:30.  Back out to take young horse to trainers. Loaded ten bales of hay, 3 bags of feed and of course the horse.  Off to west Middletown.  Then back home to finish evening feeding.  Oh and I worked on my blog. Good Night.           

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