Dave & Kathy Hiltbrand and family

Diary of Kathy Hiltbrand- Week 4- March 21-27

March 21, 2011

Monday morning, girls up and getting ready for school. Five days and the kids will be on spring break.   Checked on maternity pen and no babies.  Dave is leaving to haul gravel. His phone has been ringing non-stop. (That’s a good thing) It’s cloudy today with a chance of showers. Took girls to bus and Justin to school. Back home to do work. Mixed feed and fed the cattle. Today was spent in the house working on the computer. Balancing the farm and trucking accounts before taxes on Wednesday, which worked well because it was raining and no cows where in labor. Checked on cows around 3pm. Justin had classes in Oxford tonight and Dave was home early today so he took him. After class Dave, Phil and Justin loaded scrap iron to be sold. The girls and I swept off the barn floor. To get ready for the 4-H meeting here tonight. I’m a co advisor with a friend for our kids livestock club.  As luck would have it,  it stopped raining long enough to have the meeting and kept all dry, but not clean. Boys will be boys.  After meeting we finished feeding and had pizza with friends. One last walk to check on maternity pen and mopped my floors before bed.

March 22, 2011

Tuesday, we woke to warm weather, cows were already feeling the heat. I don’t know how they adapt so easily, but they seem to do fine. No babies.  Kids off to school. Dave is hauling today. I mixed feed and fed. Also taking round bales of straw out to pasture lot where the cows with babies are. I’m trying to keep them out of the mud. Back in the house to finish paper work for taxes and the 4-H club.  Kids home from school. Dropped Katie and Justin at speed training; I went to Kroger’s then back home for dinner. Karen had feeding done for the night.  Dave was cleaning a tractor that needs some repairs.  I checked on cows, nothing. The bull must have been tried or hot, no babies for 5 days and counting.

March 23, 2011

Day 6 and no babies this morning, but there’s a lot of cows that look close. Kids to school. Dave is home today.   Tax day, both Dave and I fed this morning. The maternity pen looks content. New bedding so if anyone happens to calve while where gone it should be ok. Gone midmorning and most of the afternoon. YEAH! 2010 done!  Grandma picked up Katie from bus. Track had been cancelled due to thunderstorms. Love this March weather, now it’s getting cold. Don’t put your coats away just yet.  A cold front is coming in, and there’s a chance of snow. Checked cows and fed.

March 24, 2011

Cloudy and cold, went out to check cows at 3:30am…. but no babies! Should have some soon. Back to bed. Dave took girls to bus.  He checked cows before he came in and said one cow had calved and that the calf was up and trying to nurse. I took Justin to school. Then back outside to pen cow#12 and her black bull calf.  Mixed feed and fed the cattle. Dave went to haul gravel for some local farmers. I have a meeting at 1pm. Checked on new baby and cows before leaving. I have to pick up new skid loader tires. Dave changed all four tires   Picked up Justin from school and Katie from track. Did evening feeding. Karen had FFA livestock judging practice and a meeting after school. Checked on cows, #5124 was restless so I penned her.

March 25, 2011

5:00 am… outside to check on #5124 and other cows. She had calved a black bull calf. It was up and nursing. Back inside,girls up by now. Last day of school. Spring break, kids have early dismissal. Need to make mental note, so I don’t forget! Girls and Justin to school.  Feeding to do… mixed hay for cows, replacement heifers and bulls. Fed and watered all. Cloudy and cold today. Checked on cows before going to house for lunch. Cow #4140 was restless so I penned her. Worked in house. Cleaning and laundry needs to be done. You sure can tell when  I’ve not been home. Girls home early and no, I didn’t forget them.  Justin went to a friend’s house. Went out to check on #4140. Legs where out, but no head. Yes, the calf was coming back feet first.  The girls were home to help me.  I haltered the cow and tied her low; Karen went after warm and soapy water. Dropped the chains in the water to clean them.  We then put the chains around the hooves and began to pull. It was a much easier pull then the calf last week. To my surprise this calf was alive. Calf was out and alert. I untied cow and she began to lick the black body, blazed face heifer calf off. By now it was feeding time, so we all helped.  Grandma, the girls and I went to the movies and Dave and Justin went bowling with some friends. After the movies I came home, changed clothes and went back out to barn to check on the babies. I wanted to make sure #4140 calf had nursed before I went to bed. She hadn’t, so I helped her latch on and she had no trouble. Checked on all the others.  I don’t leave water buckets in pens for the new mothers till the babies are up and moving well. So I water the single penned cows about every 3 hrs. Years ago I learn this the hard way. There was a five-gallon water bucket in the pen for this cow. She had laid just right to knock it over and shoot that calf’s head right in it. Needless to say, that calf drowned. Sad part about it, I had just left her because she wouldn’t lay down with me there.  It happens so fast. To this day nothing goes in their pens until they have calved, only hay. I’ll water and feed them, then I remove it. I’ve watched cows stand up before the calf is out, thinking that calf could fall in. March 26, 2011

Up early, checked on cows and babies. Mixed feed and sulked in this cold weather, but at least no snow.  In my opinion it is way too cold to have it spring break. Justin hauled manure for majority of the day, and Dave worked on equipment. Katie had speed and agility training in Westchester at noon, and Karen had a general livestock-judging contest in Mercer County, Ohio. Grandma, Katie and I went to Katie’s speed and went shopping for a few hours. Dave watched the cows. Returned home to find cows out in pasture. Opps! It’s too early to put them out on grass. The grass isn’t tall enough to feed forty cows, plus we need to feed up our silage and hay from last year. Cows got in pasture inbetween Justin’s loads of manure. So they’ll spend the night out.  Fed all the others and went out to dinner for a birthday party with some friends. Back out to check on cows before bed.

March 27, 2011

Sunday morning, no new babies. Sunny, but not warm.  Couldn’t mix feed because Justin had unhooked feed wagon to haul manure.  So I fed and watered all penned animals.  Calved cows still in pasture and not even close to barn, so I’ll leave them till later.  Tagged and banned the four new babies and turned them and cows out. Dave and Justin finished hauling manure. Then they worked in shop. Karen and Katie went to church with Phil and Anne.  I had to haul a horse for a friend and me, so I left.  Back home I called cows up and they came running. Justin went out and shut the gates behind them. But of course, being the boy he is, took a few rounds on the gator out in the pasture and got stuck. So uncle Phil and Dave went to retrieve him. Finished feeding and went to bed early.







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