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  • Writer's pictureElie Ravitz-Basser

Autumn Post 2022

The leaves are falling to the ground as the weather rapidly becomes colder and winder. Don't get me wrong, it's not freezing in Virginia---temperatures hover around 50 degrees. The sun is out for most of the day, and it's usually warm enough to walk outside in only a sweater.

The past few weeks have been a fun time on the farm because it's calf season!! We have had twelve calves born. They are so adorable and fun! The moms graze and keep a close eye as the babies all play together, jumping and chasing each other around the property. They, too, enjoy the fall weather---not too cold nor too warm for them. Yesterday was a crucial day for the little guys. We herded all of the cows and the vet tagged them (meaning she gave them ear tags for identification). She also inoculated every cow so they are vaccinated against common cow diseases, like IBR, leptospirosis, and clostridial E.

Just as the cows needed to be inoculated, some of our goats and sheep needed to be caught and treated for limping. Lambie sr. for example, was spotted limping around the farm. With my dad, we trapped him in the run-in area. Lambie was definitely not too happy being caught, but we pacified him with a few delish treats (pasta and crackers). Sheep hooves don't have to be clipped as often as goats, who suffer from constant overgrown hooves. Lambie, however, needed his hooves filed and Koptertox, for protection against thrush due to organisms. I also gave Lambie a shot of LA-200, for the infection in his hoof. We released him back into the herd and soon after, his limping ceased.

Last week we solved the mystery of the missing chickens. Over the past month, we've had more than seven chickens mysteriously disappear. We assumed that they were being attacked by a predator, but we did not know how to catch it nor what animal it even was. I set up a Have a Heart trap outside of the barn, where the attacks seemed to be taking place. The next day I went to check, and...nothing. I set the trap again and went back to sleep. The next morning was a cold one. I put on my jacket and walked down to the barn. The goats were all crowding the cage and my dog , Max, was barking at something. I looked toward the cage and saw something small and furry. On second glance, it was a small (yet oh-so plump from chicken) raccoon. Naturally, I gave him a name--King Bob. Unfortunately for Bob, he was banished from our farm and was no longer able to visit :( We drove him a mile away from the farm and dropped him off. He scampered away, off to find someone else's chickens. Though he wasn't too happy with his relocation, the chickens certainly were. I've included a picture of King Bob below.

Some other photos from this month:

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