For anyone who has this romantic notion that farm life is fun and beautiful and romantic at all times, let me tell you, that is not the case.  On the lesser extreme, there’s muck, mud, continual chores, and lots of manure.  On the greater extreme, there’s vomit, diarrhea, illness, and death (not often for us thankfully!).

Thanks to the less romantic side of farming, I get to meet our vet today for the first time.  We have a series of issues that have arisen with multiple animals, and I am baffled by all.  I believe in natural and prevention, but there comes a point where I am willing to call in professional medical help if my home remedies, vitamins, and herbs don’t do the job.  Particularly if there is an expensive life at stake–like my next year’s steak.

One of our new 3 month old calves is ailing.  It started with a mild cough, but as of yesterday, he was acting depressed.  Time for the vet!

One of our new 3 month old calves is ailing. It started with a mild cough, but as of yesterday, he was acting depressed. Time for the vet!

Since the vet is coming anyway to look at the calf, whose temperature was quite high this morning (suggesting infection is brewing somewhere), I figured I’d ask her take a look at several other issues as well.

Shadow, the cat, has scratched himself bald on the back of his neck.  It isn't spreading, but it won't get better either.

Shadow, the cat, has scratched himself bald on the back of his neck. It isn’t spreading, but it won’t get better either.

Iris has developed what can only described as a hot spot on her throat.  I have been cleaning and treating it for a almost a week, with no improvement.  She can't lick it, so she must be scratching it, but I'm baffled either way.

Iris has developed what can only be described as a hot spot on her throat. I have been cleaning and treating it for a almost a week, with no improvement. She can’t lick it, so she must be scratching it, but I’m baffled either way.

Even poor Shiloh has developed raw spots on her legs.  I'm not sure what has caused them.

Even poor Shiloh has developed raw spots on her legs. I’m not sure what has caused them.

I suspect the cat, dog, and donkey are all related to environmental issues–allergies or irritations from the grasses here, since they certainly aren’t used to the area.  I hope it can be cleared up easily and with minimal medications.  I don’t know what else to do, but I’ve tapped out my resources to no avail.

On a funnier note, there are other frustrations too….

Shiloh swatting flies....it's how she burns off her calories that she eats on the pasture.

Shiloh swatting flies….it’s how she burns off her calories that she eats on the pasture.

The cows took over the goat shelter.   I don't even know how that mama cow fit in there, but the goats are NOT happy about it!!

The cows took over the goat shelter. I don’t even know how that mama cow fit in there, but the goats are NOT happy about it!!

Speaking of cows, when ailing baby calf has to go in the barn for treatment, so does mama cow.  Now my barn smells like cows.

Speaking of cows, when ailing baby calf has to go in the barn for treatment, so does mama cow. Now my barn smells like cows.

And then there’s the other cats, the little stinkers.  If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I am a HUGE advocate for spaying and neutering of pets.  We picked up 3 barn cats about a month ago.  The male was already neutered, and the females had both recently weaned litters and were thought to be OK long enough for us to settle in.  NOT!  Within days, of arrival, one of the females went to heat.  I tried to keep her around the barn as much as possible, and to take advantage of our isolation here, in the hopes that no tom would find her this cycle until I could get her spayed.  I never saw the first sign of a tom, so I thought we came through unscathed.  About a week later, the other female came in heat (competition, maybe?).  UUGH, in any case, I’m pretty sure we now have 2 pregnant cats for the first time in my life, and I will be discussing spaying after they deliver with the vet when she comes.  The kiddos are naturally excited to experience their first kittens, but I’m not sure what we will do with them all.

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Now for some GOOD, totally unrelated news…the sunflowers are sooo cool!  I’ve never grown them before, but I will be planting lots more next year.  They are just turning out to be a fun plant.  Of course, if you are only 4 foot tall, I supposed that could be a bad thing, as you can’t even see the flower starting to bloom at the top of the stalk.

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