Tag Archives: babies

I Finally Meet My Grandson

On January 20th my son and I traveled to New Jersey so that I could finally meet Declan Bryant Malone-Caldwell!! I cried when I met him and when I left him.

Finally we meet and he didn't cry but Nana did!

Finally we meet and he didn’t cry but Nana did!

I was so shocked at how big he was and what a beautiful little boy.  He weighs 14 pounds and 12 ounces, he is rarely still unless he’s sleeping and when he talks to us he sounds so serious!!!  I hope you enjoy the pictures I’ve attached of this wonderful little guy that was born almost three months too soon and weighed only two pounds and two ounces in July 2016.

Who is this woman???

Who is this woman???

Nana shows me a book from my cousin Victoria.

Nana shows me a book from my cousin Victoria.

 

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We had a wonderful three days with him and I can’t wait to go for another visit but it truly breaks my heart to leave him.  He is a very happy little boy and his mom said that when he has the final surgery she will feel better traveling any distance with him.  She said she would bring him to the farm when she feels she can safely travel any distance away from his neonatal doctors and his regular physicians.

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Final goodbye from Nana!

Final goodbye from Nana!

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Bye Daddy!

Bye Daddy!

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One last bottle from Daddy before we leave.

One last bottle from Daddy before we leave.

Declan lives about 450 miles from our farm in Virginia and it’s about a 7 1/2 hour drive.  01202017first-visit-from-nana-56 01202017first-visit-from-nana-54 01202017first-visit-from-nana-53Daddy will see you in February and Nana will keep in touch daily!

New Babes on the Farm

We’ve added stock of a different kind on the farm that we’ve not had here in a long time or never.
First to arrive were two Swedish Black ducks that were supposed to be mallard ducks. Our granddaughter fell in love with them right off at Tractor Supply.

Pablo and Gwen were Victoria's first real farm animals, I believe. She'll correct me if I am wrong.

Pablo and Gwen were Victoria’s first real farm animals, I believe. She’ll correct me if I am wrong.  They’re laying on her butt while she’s reading a book at our house.

Like all babies they grow so fast and boy did they!

But they were still captivated by their mommie!! Wherever she went they went and she took them for walks every day.

But they were still captivated by their mommie!! Wherever she went they went and she took them for walks every day.

Victoria’s boyfriend, Cody, built them a nice hutch which we kept close to the pond but had it shielded from predators.

Duckling hutch

Duckling hutch

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Hutch with shade and close to the pond.

Hutch with shade and close to the pond.

They kept growing.IMG_0025 IMG_0024 IMG_0023

Papa told her they weren’t mallard ducks and she did the research to find out what kind of duck they were.  In the meantime and while she thought they were mallard ducks, Papa told her that mallard ducks would migrate in the fall unless they grew up with domestic ducks.  She was devastated and talked him into letting her have a couple white ducks to grow up with and he relented.  She came home with seven white ducklings.  Pablo and Gwen were jealous and soon taught them they were the head-honchos on this farm!!IMG_0014 IMG_0024 IMG_0025

Here’s the gaggle of ducks (or is that for geese?)!  We also inherited another duck from a lady that got one for Easter and kept it in her home (after full-grown) and finally decided a full-grown duck did not belong in the house.  Her name is Fiona and she is full-grown compared to these and they all live happily together on the pond.

Then we decided to raise rabbits and I bought two female lops from a friend of ours and a un-related buck.  We’ve had them since the first week of April and they were bred a few days before I picked them up.

This is Cleome.

This is Cleome.

This is Marigold.

This is Marigold.

This is our buck, Sebastian!

This is our buck, Sebastian!

On May 8th, Cleome had three little ones but one did not make it. It was a three weeks before Marigold introduced her little ones to me and we thought she had seven but today after weaning them from their mama’s we found out she had eight.  They are all now in their big playpen together and giving mom’s a much needed rest so they can gain back some weight and grown their beautiful coats back.  Here are the two litters combined and they have been eating fresh grass, rabbit grain, apples and carrots for a week now.IMG_0010

The hutch has an enclosed room with hay for them to eat or stay warm in.

The hutch has an enclosed room with hay for them to eat or stay warm in.

We have two solid black ones.

We have two solid black ones.

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They have plenty of feed and I pull grass for them three times a day and more if they eat it up.

They have plenty of feed and I pull grass for them three times a day and more if they eat it up.

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There only two that look alike and they're both solid black.

There only two that look-alike and they’re both solid black.

They really seem to like their new nest and have been playing and running all afternoon.

They really seem to like their new nest and have been playing and running all afternoon.

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I can't tell if this little solid white one is enjoying his new nest or if he's eating his nest but it is content!

I can’t tell if this little solid white one is enjoying his new nest or if he’s eating his nest but it is content!

One of the white ones have black dots on both eyes and one has a black streak down it's back.

One of the white ones have black dots on both eyes and one has a black streak down it’s back.

This shows their play area and where they eat and get their water.  I need to get them a couple salt blocks since the weather is heating up.  They're hutch gets more shade than their mother's hutches.

This shows their play area and where they eat and get their water. I need to get them a couple salt blocks since the weather is heating up. They’re hutch gets more shade than their mother’s hutches.

We used chicken wire on the sides of the play area and a tighter wire on the floor.

We used chicken wire on the sides of the play area and a tighter wire on the floor.

So, we have 10 ducks, 13 rabbits, 29 chickens and about 75 head of cows and calves on the farm currently.  Today one of my older hens decided to go broody and set so I foresee baby chicks in a few weeks to add to the menagerie!

 

Orphan 1 – Cindy

A few weeks back a friend of our came to the farm to cut some firewood. These trees are dead from the gypsy moth infestation we had about four or five years ago. Most all are hardwoods and beautiful oak timber at one time. Most are very large and we had hope to get some oak lumber from the stand. When this one big oak was sawed we hoped to get at least two or three 10 foot logs from them but when felled, we found out they were hollow. Eddie had gone out to help in the sawing to make sure the logs were cut to the lengths we needed but when it fell he found out it was hollow. While standing around talking Eddie heard familiar squealing which he knew was squirrels. On some investigation he found two baby gray squirrels in a busted up nest and mama squirrel had made her home but was now dead. Eddie put the babes in his hat and brought them home to the country girl to see what she could do for them.

Boy and girl squirrels

Boy and girl squirrels

For two days I fed and bathed these little darlings trying to keep them alive.  About two hours after the first two arrived Mr. Tucker showed up with a third one which was a lot smaller he found crawling on the ground where he was splitting the wood and stepped on her.  What a horrible trauma for three little orphans to endure.

Apparently the first two had some injuries that took their life within 36 hours.  The runt however is very alive and well.  We have named her Cindy and she is an absolute joy.

Cindy taking her bottle.

Cindy taking her bottle.

She is eating out of a babydoll bottle and her milk is evaporated milk.  She was  drinking about 1 tablespoon of lukewarm milk every four hours when we first adopted her.  She had full body hair and her eyes were open but I could tell she didn’t have full vision yet.  We’ve enjoyed so much watching her grow and the family has as well.

I started her living quarters in an old sewing basket with a couple soft, very thin wash cloths in it.

Baby Cindy's first house.

Baby Cindy’s first house.

In about a week we couldn’t keep her in it and had to make other arrangements.  I had a huge birdcage that I used when I several parakeets and it seemed the perfect home so I could keep track of this mischievous scamp.

Cindy in her new home.  We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn't want to be bothered.

Cindy in her new home. We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn’t want to be bothered.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird-cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

She's always smelling my hands to make sure I haven't held someone else.  I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

She’s always smelling my hands to make sure I haven’t held someone else. I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

She likes stretching out too when she's eating.

She likes stretching out too when she’s eating.

She climbs all over me.

She climbs all over me.

Her "lookout" pose!

Her “lookout” pose!

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating.  This is usually when I bathe her.

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating. This is usually when I bathe her.

What's down there???

What’s down there???

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

 

Spring? ? ?

I know that spring is just around the corner because I found these in my yard yesterday.

Crocus

 

Crocus

Aren’t they beautiful??  Spring is coming in like a lion and I have two little orphans because of it.  George and Prissy were born on March 15th& 16th consecutively.  It’s was the worse days we’ve had all winter.  George’s mom decided he should be born and baptized at the same time so she had him in a wet weather spring in the middle of a blackberry patch in 0* weather.  He was so cold he could not get up to nurse and when Eddie found him Mom left to go eat.  Eddie packed him up in the tractor cab and carried him to our cellar.  Twenty four hours and lots of warm towels, heat lamp and propane heater, he was toddling around and taking a bottle.

George is curious and very pushy!!  Normal little bull.

George is curious and very pushy!! Normal little bull.

Prissy was delivered to the main house the next morning covered in ice and snow and barely alive.  I didn’t make it to work that day because of the snow and ice and I think Eddie was glad to have me there.  He found Prissy covered in four inches of ice and then snow.  Beside her, the mom was cleaning and trying to make her dead twin come back to life.  Eddie scraped off the snow and loaded her in the tractor and brought her to me.  I got out an old cutter quilt and he laid her by the woodstove. I grabbed old towels and blankets and started drying her off.  Sassy helped by licking her face.  I was certain she would die because her tongue was cold and she was so lifeless.  Sassy and I worked on her all morning, shifting her from side to side and warming another old quilt to lay over her.  We gave her about an ounce of warm milk every hour or so trying to get her warm on the inside and the outside.  Around 9:00 p.m. she started trying to get up on her own and by 10:00 she had taken three ounces so we decided to move her to the cellar with George.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Thankfully both calves are doing well.  George has been a little rough on Prissy and stepped on her the first night they were together and she limps from her left front leg but we’re hoping time and some loving care will fix that.  She’s a lot smaller than he is coming in at around 45-50 pounds and Eddie says George weighs over 75 pounds.

Here’s some more pics of them from the last two weeks and I’ll update their growth and shenanigans as time goes on.

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Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Curious calves.

Curious calves.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy's ears.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy’s ears.

Prissy is watching the chickens.  George usually chases them.

Prissy is watching the chickens. George usually chases them.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering "why?"

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering “why?”

Feeding time!!

Feeding time!!

It's not as easy as it looks when there's only one person feeding them.

It’s not as easy as it looks when there’s only one person feeding them.

George tries to take Prissy's bottle when he empty's his first!

George tries to take Prissy’s bottle when he empty’s his first!

Just to let you know how I feed them, we buy powdered calf milk that is medicated and high in protein and feed them two quarts every eight hours.  The powdered milk is mixed with water and the first couple of feedings they are given colostrum to get the immune system going that they couldn’t get from their natural mom.  At three to four weeks, we start introducing them to the small grains.

More to come!!!

 

Five new babies today

Today we had five new baby calves, four of which are bulls.  They’re adorable but this little bugger has taken my heart:

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IMG_0022He’s got droopy little ears like a baby pig!!  The other four are adorable too but this one is my favorite.  He’s got polka dots on the front of his shins!!

 

Little fluffs of down

Almost four weeks ago I had a little black hen get broody on me and she kept filling up nests with her body when I needed hens that were laying eggs in them.  She is a bantam cross that was given to me by a couple that had to move to the city.  She’s a good layer but of small eggs.  I decided to “set” her on six eggs of my choice and size.  I only felt comfortable putting six eggs under her because of her size and the size of the eggs I wanted hatched.  I had no trouble putting her in the “setting room” of the main hen house and she diligently stayed on the nest.

Last Saturday she gave me four new little fluffs of down and she is a very fiesty mother. One egg wasn’t fertile of the six I put under her and the other little one just couldn’t get out of the shell quick enough.  I will leave them in the “setting room” until this next round of cold rain moves through and then let Mom take them into the big girls quarters.  I hope they’re all litle hens and no roosters in the bunch!!

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GYP – New babe on the farm

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Orphans at the farm

I love babies of all kinds and have raised two kids of my own but I’ve also raised several orphan animals and thought I would share some pictures of them.  It’s very gratifying finding them quick enough to get some warm food in them, warm blankets around them and a good warm bath no matter if they’re furbearing or feathered.  Here’s some of my babes:

 

Heather & Shawn, my beautiful children.

Heather & Shawn, my beautiful children.

My gorgeous granddaughter, Victoria. I didn't raise her but had her with me every moment I could!!!

My gorgeous granddaughter, Victoria. I didn’t raise her but had her with me every moment I could!!!

 

Sassy - our current baby!!

Sassy – our current baby!!

 

Sassy  & Dandy

Sassy & Dandy

 

Brandy

Brandy

 

Annie and the triplets

Annie and the triplets

Baby

Baby

 

Precious and Bambi

Precious and Bambi

 

Cuddles

Cuddles

 

Little Dan - now he's all grown up.

Little Dan – now he’s all grown up.

 

Baby chicks

Baby chicks

Half grown mallard babies

Half grown mallard babies

 

Baby Dude

Baby Dude

Fuzzy

Fuzzy

 

Baby Alex & Alexandra-dogs made them orphans

Baby Alex & Alexandra-dogs made them orphans

 

Buckwheat

Buckwheat

Garth

Garth

Roxy

Roxy

I can’t begin to tell you of all of the cats, dogs, fawns, squirrels, calves, rabbits, chicks and ducks I’ve hand raised but I can tell you everyone of them was worth the challenge!!

They’re here! They’re here!

Little bittie’s arrived on Tuesday!! On Tuesday afternoon I made my normal trip to the chicken house to gather the eggs and distribute fresh water to my normal flock and check on the broody mama’s due to hatch on Wednesday. Well, was I surprised when I walked past the “bittie room” and Mom is sitting there with a little yellow chick peeping out from under her chest. I waited a few minutes and a black one with a white topknot and a brown striped peeked out too. Well buddy, I high-tailed it back to the house because this was going to be a Kodak moment!!!! Breathing heavily after running up the hill to the hen house, I tried as quietly as possible to walk in the “bitty room” without disturbing everyone. Well, I’m telling you, that mama hen must have thought I was the biggest, baddest varmint that ever set foot in that hen house. She bushed up and came at me like she was going to flogged the devil straight out of me BUT I stood my ground and she puffed back to the little ones and spread those wings and the little bittie’s were not to be seen. Not to be outdone, I waited and I guess she figured if I was going to bring her some worms, grain and fresh water I might not be too bad. After a little wait she finally decided to let four of the seven come out for me to see. They were/are adorable and very active and healthy. Imagine a 12 hour baby scratching the floor for food just like Mom. There were times they would scratch so hard they would tip themselves over.
I set Ms White Hen with 12 eggs (one fake) and she hatched out seven adorable little fluff balls. Two more made it out of the shells but didn’t live and two more didn’t make it out of the eggshell. I feel very fortunate to have the hatch as big as it was since this was her first try.
I’ll post on their growth as the spring and summer pass and remember I have another brood coming around the 21st of May and I hope she’s as good a mother as Ms White Hen is because she will be a first-time Mom too!! Isn’t this a great present for Mother’s Day!! I just love babies of all kinds. On another note, I gathered the eggs after the fun with the little ones and got eleven eggs that day including one green double yoke egg. I have one Americauna hen that lays green/blue eggs and she only lays every other day and it’s usually a double yoker. It was a good day!!!

Baby quilt No. 2

I would have never  thought in a million years that a tiny baby quilt would take so long to finish.  I’ve been working on this little treasure for two months, cut to finish!!  The problem wasn’t the pattern, it was just finding the time to work on it.  Spring is not the time to start a new project!!  There are just too many things to do outside like yard cleanup, flower bed cleanup, grafting trees, starting seeds and not to mention tearing down the cattle working-pen and rebuilding again.  Well,  most of it is completed now and today I finish the little 40 x 48 fussy cut quilt.  I think it turned out pretty well and I completed it before the baby is walking.  I’m pretty proud of it though it’s not my most difficult but it is my first tied quilt. The colors were decided after a talk with the babies dad and the colors of their three year old brother’s room.   The bold blues and orange were the colors of the room with ocean animals as their theme.  I thought the fish and sea turtles pulled together fine with the bright orange from some of the fish.  I think they’ll both love it.

Spring on the Farm

March and April is always a wonderful time to live on a farm.  This year has been very special on ours.  Last week our baby calves started arriving.  Of course, I’m always as anxious as those expectant mothers but this year we’ve had some trials and tribulations.  We started out with one cow aborting two MONTHS early and then a first time mother having a stillborn.  I was devastated but know it’s part of living on a farm and Mother Nature having her reasons.  Then we have two little bulls born and they’re perfect in every way and very, very active.  We go for about four days with nothing happening and then a mother for the fourth or fifth time delivers twin girls and both are dead.  My husband believes the first one was in trouble and the time lapse of her being born delays and causes the death of the other twin.  Mom wasn’t doing well the first two days but now seems to be eating and may be okay.  On the same day another set of twins is born!!  This is not a normal thing for our cattle.  We’ve only had about five sets of twins in the forty years we’ve been farming.  These two are alive and well for a time and Mom is letting both nurse.  She cleans them up and won’t let my hubby get near them but that’s okay because we know she’ll be a good mom.  Later that evening “after dark”  she leads the little girl to the lower fields with the rest of the herd and returns to bring the baby brother to the fold of the herd.  By the time she gets back to their birthing place in the woods, he’s GONE!   The next morning when hubby finds her distressed with only one babe he begins a desperate search that turns up fruitless.  We believe that a coyote or bear got while she was gone.  Lots of farmers in our area have had this problem with coyotes for the past few years but this was only our second time that we know of.  It’s very disheartening as farmers because that cash down the tubes.  For me personally, I’m just sick about it and want to bring them all to the front yard to live until they’re five days old and can run like the wind!!  The mother is terribly protective of her one little girl and she’s become very brazen and curious running off to meet other babes her size and of course mom is run to death trying to keep up with her special little girl.  I find this so true of human parents.  We want to keep our youngsters from all harms way that may come in any shape or form.  One big difference is that we get to keep ours around a lot longer and don’t consider them “cash crop”.  We’ve have nine in all as of last night and they are all well.  Watching them run and play is better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!!

Until next time, have a very blessed day!  Visit a farm!  It’s good for your soul!