The Great Race And Other Critters-Rangetorange - Home on the Range Blog at - 300163

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The Great Race and Other Critters-RangetoRange 
Mar. 30, 2013 6:57 pm 
Updated: Apr. 8, 2013 5:36 am

EmmaLouMoo needed a return trip to the vet. Her mastitis hadn’t totally cleared up and as I had to drive into town to get the medications, I figured we might as well take her along and let the vet administer it since needs to go in the back of her ear and I am in no shape to wrestle with her. Luckily, the mastitis never got to the point where there was any heat or swelling or blockage, the milk just didn’t filter properly so I wanted to nip it in the bud.

On our last trip to town there were 20 bald eagles going after something in one of the hay fields. We were amazed as we have never seen a group of eagles like that before. It made us feel very patriotic, but only for a minute then considering the state of our country and the character of our leaders just made us feel profoundly saddened.

Focusing on the task at hand is the only way to put those thoughts aside. We checked in, the vet was in surgery so we grabbed a quick breakfast and came back, ran Em through the chute and she was good to go. A couple of hours in the farm store looking for parts, a few minutes at the grocery store picking up salt and such things and we headed home through a heavy hail storm.

It was a week both challenging and satisfying. We picked up turkeys on the last trip and they have grown considerably. Never having had turkeys before (with the exception of inheriting an old tom turkey who would chase cars and prevent anyone from getting out of their pickup trucks) it is a new and fascinating experience. With chicks, when you put your hand in the brooder to feed or water, they generally scatter in fear. The turkeys however, are curious, they crane their little necks out and sneak up to have a look. One  of them, who we call “Mr Peepers” because he is so vocal, has become so tame already that when I put my hand in, he runs across the brooder and jumps in my hand. He likes to be held. We have been totally captured by their personalities. I think I see the possibility of a pet turkey in our future.

Mr Peepers was really raising a ruckus one night so we took him out and put him on the floor to see what he would do. He was distressed to be alone so we grabbed one of his buddies and put them together. First he began to strut, which sent us into paroxysms of laughter. Then the two of them began running unbelievably fast around the room, ducking under standing dogs who froze in place, not sure what exactly was taking place. They ran and peeped and squeaked and whistled and did figure 8’s all around the room. Randy and I were holding our sides with tears running down our faces at the hilarity of it all. Then Mr Peeper’s actually revved up his engine to an even greater speed and ran smack into the old milk can standing by the wall.  I have no idea what he thought he was doing, but only a couple of minutes later, his buddy did the exact same thing. That was the end of us. It took a very long time to recover and get Mr Peepers and his buddy back in their trough. I am pretty sure I sprained my face and we both came very close to needing diapers. Between the road runner turkey poults and our hooting and gasping, the Maremmas didn't know what they should do. They just stared at us with perplexed looks on their faces which didn't help our case one bit.

My cheesy greenhouse made of aluminum frame and greenhouse cloth was crushed last winter by a snow slide off of the roof. We put up cattle panels wired to T-posts this time, for greater support, cut some drip hose to put over the ends so nothing sharp would damage the cover, and put it all together. It was a nearly perfect fit and all that is left to do is put cement block around the bottom to secure it, put in a heater and my seedlings and the turkey poults can go in until they are big enough to live outside.

I was in the bedroom folding laundry when I heard a *crash*. I searched the house to see what had made the sound and noticed there was no red reflection coming out of the trough the turkeys were living in...
sure enough, the bulb was shattered. Mr Peepers was directly under the heat lamp. I could swear I saw a halo of little stars spinning around his head. Earlier in the day he had nearly succeeded in jumping out of the trough. His compatriots were huddled on the other side as far as they could get from it, but shards of glass were even sticking out of their new little feathers. Afraid they might peck at the glass and injure themselves, I gathered them up, shook them off, scolded Mr Peepers, who I believe was the guilty party and carried them out to the green house. I made a makeshift pen for them and waited for Randyman to return to help with a more permanent arrangement.

He brought cement block in from the ranch boneyard and we fastened down the edges of the greenhouse, made a suitable home for the poults and Randyman put up my 12x12 corral for Sushi while I milked Emma. It is Sushi’s last chance to sweeten up and get friendly before I decide to haul her off. I am hoping she will turn her attitude around and make a good milk cow, but if she doesn’t I will have to sell her or send her off to freezer camp. So far, she does seem to be responding, now that she has no way to run off. She’s very intelligent for a cow, which is part of my problem. If she would only use it for good instead of for evil...

Mar. 30, 2013 8:43 pm
Now I'm in love with Mr. Peepers too. I laughed hysterically when I read the second turkey ran into the milk can too. The dogs must have thought you were all crazy! I have never seen a baby turkey but now that I have, I can only think I'm glad we aren't having turkey for Easter. I would be so sad to eat it. Good to know that the animals are still busy entertaining you. Once again, thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life. It always makes my day to read your blogs! Happy Easter Petey and friends.
Mar. 30, 2013 10:41 pm
I enjoyed reading you blog. Mr. Peepers reminds me of my turkey that I ways raising for 4-H when I was a kid. I had gotten very closed to my turkey and thought of the turkey as my pet. It broke my heart when I learned that in 4-H that I had to sell the turkey and that was part of being in 4-H. Then I had found out the turkey dinner I had was my turkey. Remembering the olden days.
Mar. 31, 2013 6:06 am
Happy Easter petey! Thanks for the stories and humor. This had to be one of my favorites. I'm glad I don't have to go to freezer camp. I'd need a new coat.
Mar. 31, 2013 8:41 am
iceemama-it was hilarious to watch! I hope you have a wonderful Easter as well! Monique-It IS heartbreaking when we have to process them. These are broad breasted so, like the cornish X chickens, they don't fare well as adults. I try NOT to make pets of the animals we raise for our sustenance.
Mar. 31, 2013 8:41 am
Doc- bwahahahahhaa!
Mar. 31, 2013 9:56 am
Hi, your blog as usual is fantastic. I always look forward to seeing your blogs. They brighten up my day to see the antics the animals get up to. Thanks and have a super day.
Mar. 31, 2013 10:10 am
Happy Easter and what an enjoyable way to pass a few minutes of my day. Your blogs are always so entertaining to read. Freezer camp a very nice way to put it. A pet turkey what a cool idea. I can just see Mr Peepers following you around like a faithful dog as you do your chores.
Mar. 31, 2013 11:49 am
Petey,sometimes i wish i could be there to see your animals.That Mr.Peepers sounds like he is quite an entertainer.What a hoot.Hope Sushi behaves herself so she doesn't have to go to the freezer.Thank for the laugh,as always your blog is wonderful. Happy Easter.
Mar. 31, 2013 5:38 pm
Freezer camp! Made me burst out laughing! :)
Mar. 31, 2013 5:49 pm
It was a beautiful day to celebrate Easter on. All the critters are happy, Sushi is slowly earning points, the turkeys are thrilled with the new digs and the pups feel they should be partaking of dinner, as they are the ones who worked everyday last year to protect it!
Apr. 1, 2013 9:45 am
I get such a kick out of your stories, Petey. The only problem I have with this one is that now I want a Mr. Peepers!I wonder what my idiot cats would think of that! Thanks for brightening my day! :o)
Apr. 2, 2013 6:06 am
Awww, i've learned to love Sushi through all your stories. I hope so much that freezer camp is not in her future.
Apr. 2, 2013 9:14 am
Love the turkey story. My Mom had turkeys when I was little. Everytime I would go outside those buggers would chase me back in the house. They were mean and I was terrified of them.
Apr. 8, 2013 5:34 am
Freezer Camp, eh? LOL ;) My husband calls it "The Field Trip". I think I like Freezer Camp better. LOL :)
Apr. 8, 2013 5:36 am
Love hearing about Mr. Peeps! Go, Mr. Peepers, go! :)
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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