Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Over 80

Mike helped with the stallions this morning, covering Novella by Valiant and Lexi by Evan.
Today was the first really warm day of spring. The Bibles were taken to the post office before work today and lots more stamps purchased. Eva Jean didn't show up today so once things were done the studies were taken to her place before heading home.
Once home the horses were checked and I see that both Holly and Lilypony are showing. Steven Marchal arrived and helped move them out of Killian's paddock then brought Holly over and got her covered. It was so warm outside, over 80 degrees Steven decided to take Killian swimming which would help get some of the mud off. Killain grew up at Middle Grove and had no fear of the water. He went willing in.
It didn't take him long to realize that the water was cool and refreshing.

He was taken back and the boys were brought over. Below Steven is leading them down the drive:
                                 Oh my did they ever have fun splish splashing around.

When they were finished they had to check out the cabin field.
Below is my favorite picture of the day, of Evan. He is such a show off.
Next on the list was to give Ribbon's filly a leading lesson. She did very well at her young age of 5 days old.
Before Steven left he helped move Holly and Lilypony out of the middle paddock into the second, Marika into the stall for the evening and Jenis into the weanling paddock so we can start watching for her to come into season. He also helped repair some downed fences at the back of the weanling paddock. Mark came home from work just in time to use the skid steer to pull up some old wire and move a round bale in for Holly and Lilypony.  Rhoda and Karin met the Watson family at Middle Grove to have Becca try out Bonnie pony. They are going to lease her for a while. Rhoda showed Becca Bonnie's tricks and the cues needed. After the Watson family left Karin and Rhoda went on a trail ride with Cookie and Bonnie crossing the big lake. Rhoda said that both ponies were excellent.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Outside Mares

After supper Mark got on the skid steer flipped a round bale for me then started excavating the yard. We heard the weather forecast and an inch of rain is predicted later this week. He wants to get rid of the pond in the yard and slope the water away from the house. Below he is digging a trench with that very handy tool.
Gem one of the outside mares was enjoying the show watchting Mark work so I took a couple of pictures for her owner. This mare has really settled down and put on weight.

As long as the camera was out Novella's picture was taken. Novella is the purebred Friesian mare here for Valiant.
Isn't she gorgeous? Valiant sure thought so. Over the weekend Mark removed all the concrete off of our driveway going into the garage then piled it on the other side of the drive. If we really do get an inch of rain this will all turn into mud, thick mud.
That big pile of concrete in the right hand side of the picture will go into the pond, all along the sides. Nate Herman of Herman pond management recommend this to build habitat for the fish.

Foal Pictures

The foals were so cute this morning I just had to take a few pictures. Below is Ribbon's filly.

Ribbon is such a great mom. Her filly is friendly and curious. Hadassah's colt looks so tiny compared to her. Below is Hadassah's colt:

Novella came today for Valiant. Novella is a gorgeous purebred Friesian mare. This will be her first foal. She was showing yesterday and today so her owner stayed and helped get her covered to Valiant. Lexi was covered by Evan. Marika was brought inside for the night. The weather was just beautiful today, warm and sunny. Spring maybe here for real this time.

Riverview LLP

Our trip to Morris, MN was really wonderful. We were taken to the ROC center which is a building owned by the university for dinner and to meet our hosts. From there the choir was taken to the new school where we performed in a huge auditorium. Then to our hosts house for the night. Diane and I stayed with Randy and Lori Fehr along with their youngest daughter. Anni, Janell and Katy stayed with their other daughter and a few of the other young group sisters from Morris at their cabin on the small lake. When we asked Randy just how big is the small lake he replied, Oh its only about 800 acres. Randy told us a bit about the family business. His dad, brother and a few others of his family started Riverview LLP. Check out their website:
We were so interested we asked if he would give us a tour in the morning before breakfast. What we saw downright amazed us. The facility he took us to  milks 50,000 cows they have farms scattered all over Minnesota and Iowa. This wasn't any small family farm, they have 700 employees. Nothing and I mean nothing, not even the waste gets wasted. The manure is pumped into huge covered concrete pits where the methane gas is collected and made into electricity. Each of their manure digester generators produce enough electricity to completely run 5 houses each day.The liquid waste is squeezed out and knifed into the ground. Once the moisture is removed the by-product is fine, dry and soft and is used for bedding. 5 tankers of milk a day go out of this dairy and as the cows on this farm are a hybrid of 50% Jersey and 50%  Holstein most of this milk is used to make cheese.
Below are a few pictures of this amazing farm:
Above is one of the buildings that housed the actual milk cows and below is one of the buildings that housed the calves. Their calves are given an area to play in and a feed bunk that is always kept full. They are housed inside in a climate controlled area

 Above are the newborn calf huts. The calves are picked up each day and put in a hut where they are bottle fed until weaned on to dry food. Below is the milking parlor. A huge carousel. The cows line up to get on this ride, the ride takes 10 minutes to make a complete circuit. Each cow is cleaned, checked over, hooked up and milked.
 Below you can see the cows lined up waiting their turn and the cows getting off the ride at the end. The employee standing at the gate watches, if a cow is flagged that she has a problem he closes that gate and sends them down the ramp to the hospital.
Below is the hospital stocks and behind the sign through the door is the actual hospital. This farm keeps a lot of veterinarians on staff 24 hours a day. 
 The cows that are ready to calve are kept in pens near the hospital in case of trouble. Below is a cow that has just calved.

Below Randy is collecting some fresh squeezed manure out of the pipe to show us how dry it is and how it no longer smells. The conveyor belt in the background hauls it up to be dumped in a huge pile where some is used for bedding and some sold.
 Below are the manure digester generators
 We were late getting back for breakfast and didn't really get to see everything. The place is so big and amazing it was like the queen of Sheba telling Solomon, "the half has not been told!"
Lori had a wonderful breakfast waiting for us.
We made it to church in time and had a wonderful day worshiping together with the Morris church family. A really funny part of the weekend must be told. Diane's father-in-law lost his garment bag containing his suit. No one could find it or figure out where it could have gone. An announcement was made after the first service asking if anyone had seen it and no one had. Finally on the way home it was announced John's suit had been found in the people's house that kept Eva Jean in HER closet. She saw the garment bag but thought it was just an extra suit of her hosts. Of course when we reached Peoria at 1:30am we needed to frisk Eva Jean.
It was hard to get out of bed this morning. The foals were checked on, the horses fed and stalls cleaned. We have a purebred Friesian mare coming in for breeding today. The owner called to report the mare is in season now and wants to use Valiant. Gem could be checked today but I don't want to have Dr. Hoerr out as none of our mares are ready for an ultrasound. We will need to wait a couple of days. There is a lady coming this afternoon to see Ribbon's filly.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Morris MN

The Peoria Choir is traveling to Morris Minnesota leaving early Saturday morning and returning in the wee hours of Monday morning. Mark is staying home and will care for the dogs. Steven is spent the night at the apartment tonight watching over the new foals then will be relieved by Karin around 2:00pm then Karin will spend Saturday night caring for the horses. Rain is predicted so the mares with the new foals, Ribbon and Hadassah will need to be kept stalled. I do not know if there will be internet access so may not be answering any emails until Monday afternoon.
Mark helped move 2 new bales, one for the weanling paddock and one for the first paddock. Lexi was moved into that paddock for the weekend. Steven will get her covered tomorrow by Evan and Zalena covered by Valiant. We believe Ayanna is out. Mike worked on repairing the pasture fences.

It's a Boy

Hadassah had a colt this morning but not in the nice clean prepared stall, nope she delivered early out in the paddock. The colt is 75% Friesian, all black and strong. He is pictured below at just a couple of hours old. This is Evan's first SON!

He is nursing well, such a determined boy. Hadassah will be bred back to Evan and offered for sale as a 3/1 package for only $6000.00. That's one half Friesian mare plus two 75% Friesian foals. Haddassah has  tremendous stamina and would make a wonderful endurance horse. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body and is accepting training very well.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Video of Ribbon giving Birth

Above is the video taken during the birth today at 2:00am. I checked on the filly before leaving for Phil and Anna's this morning, she was up and nursing well. This filly looks like she was over due by a month even though she came 3 days early.
 It was such fun today watching Braelyn and Taegan. Taegan was so happy today, playing and cooing to grandma.
 She has such big sparkly brown eyes that dance with joy when she is happy.
Braelyn loves washing her hands all by herself. 

I remember spending time with Addyson when she was this age and having so much fun. Hopefully now that the weather is improving Ben and Tauyna will bring their family out for Sunday playtime.
Rhoda was here at the farm when I arrived home and helped with the stallions. Ayanna was covered by Killian, Lexi was covered by Evan and Zalena was covered by Valiant this afternoon. It really pays to have 3 working stallions. Today is Killian's second birthday. Steven arrived to ride the boys by the time we were heading in. 

It's a HUGE Girl

Ribbon delivered a big black filly at 2:10am today. Shaeya, one of the vaulters got to spend the night and assist with the birth.

A big thank you to her for being willing to help out. A video of the birth will be posted later today.
This filly is is biggest foal we have ever had born on the place. Better pictures will be taken later.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Indy Settled

Indy was taken over to Hoerr Vet clinic for her ultrasound where she was confirmed in foal by Evan due March 18th, 2014. From there she was taken to Emily Ricketts in Forrest, IL for training. Finally home in time to clean Ribbon up for a few pictures of this HUGE horse before she delivers her foal. We have a back view, side view, action shot and front view.

None of these shots truly show how big this mare is. Karin arrived and helped me get Lexi the outside mare covered by Evan and Zalena covered by Valiant. Ayanna needs to be covered by Killian but we may need to wait for tomorrow. We got home from church late and I'm tired. Karin brought out Hadassah and we were well pleased with her today, riding quietly under saddle. We were not pleased with her trick training.
Lilypony was the next out for training. She is typical pony, smart but tries to get out of work.

She really is a cute pony and did very well today, walking and trotting with Karin. Karin always finishes up with trick training. Below she is asking for the bow, then the lay down.
She is smart and figured out as soon as she lays down she doesn't have to work any more. We had to quit for dinner. Beth dropped Shaeya off to spend the night at the apartment in hopes Ribbon will deliver tonight. Karin took her riding on Paris. I'm heading over to the apartment now. Sure do pray Ribbon delivers early and we all get a good nights sleep.