This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.
One of our young turkeys ended up having an eye problem, and so I brought it into the summer kitchen/brooder barn to try to help.
In the process however, one day I walked in, and it had on its head a big blister. I mean, its whole head was a huge blister.
Whaaat was that?? Looked like a big water blister.
Well, I went and looked it up online, and eventually found out that it wasn’t water, but air, and most likely because the turkey had a ruptured air sac. This site explained it. It also made a crackling sound too when squooshed around.
In investigating further, apparently the avian respiratory system is a lot different than other mammals. Here’s a video I watched on it. Basically if I understand it correctly, it has small lungs and no diaphragm like us, but quite a few sacs in the chest and abdomen which fill up with air as part of a 2-cycle process to flow air in and out and into the lungs and body. Apparently this helps there be the large amount of air, and thus oxygen, required for flight. It was actually quite interesting and amazing to me!
Anyway, if one of the air sac ruptures, the air gets into the body under the skin. Thankfully though, apparently, it can heal, but it was suggested that it was good to release the air using something sterile to poke or cut a hole in the skin to do so.
And so I thought I’d give it a go. Here’s a video of one of the first times, and a few days later. Since this video, I’ve had to perform this procedure multiple times, even under the wing around its abdomen, and have discovered that it helps to pull on the pin (sterilized with rubbing alcohol) to make a bigger hole to help release the air quicker:
Even though I’ve had to repeat it, it does sometimes hold for several days, and I’ve changed to working on its eye only twice a day, to try to give it rest all day and all night, hoping the sacs will indeed completely heal.
We thank the Lord it has worked it seems so far, and we pray God might grant it healing eventually! And what an amazing Creator with the inner workings of a bird’s respiratory system!
It starts from back in February and finishes with an August update.
It’s been a rough year with one of the worst droughts ever here, and we’ve had to feed hay all Spring and Summer, but the Lord has provided, including the “novel” concept of raking up scattered hay back into piles everyday to conserve it. It seems to work great!…only 16 years to figure that one out. 🙂 But, we’re thankful to God for the idea.
Interesting turns of God’s providential workings in our lives: I mention in the video the several heifers that were supposed to go to a local person who wanted them. But, he was concerned the young ones might be a little small and susceptible to coyote attacks. And so, I thought it would be great to get him the older/larger ones first if possible, since we could only do 2-3 at a time, because we have to get them into our trailer and then do a back-back offload into his trailer.
The evening before we were supposed to try to round them up, I went out to check to see if any were in the corral to maybe trap them the night before. And what do you know but the black one, who is the oldest of the heifers, that doesn’t like range cubes, which is the only real way we have to control/lure the cows anywhere, was in the corral. I figured I was going to have to lure the whole herd through the corral to be able to trap her, but there she was. And so, I nonchalantly walked through the gate and to the open end of the corral, and closed it up! Wow! She was in! And then, it wasn’t much after that to get her into the chute to the back of the trailer, and she went in actually like she wanted to be in there. Excellent!
Later that day, the next oldest I also found in the corral, was able to trap her in there and get her loaded too! Wow again!
And so, the next day, the fellow came here, and we got the heifers to swap trailers, and they were off.
Well, a couple of days later he texts me asking if they had normally jumped fences, because they had his, and they were now both in 2 separate herds of his neighbors. Arg. I said they hadn’t, and that I would have at least told him about that if they had done anything like that with us. In trying to figure out what happened, I guess the black one was giving the second/red one a hassle, and red said, “Gotta go!”, and maybe since other herds were around, she/they were trying to find the herd. Or it was maybe just to be with the other herd. But, we’re still not sure what happened.
Continuing, he then said that he was just going to sell them because they wouldn’t be able to handle that situation. And so, sigh, I said he could bring them back if he wanted. And he did.
I found it a very odd providence of God for bringing the situation where the loading of those 2 heifers went so surprisingly smooth, only to have them back here on the land.
And well, that was that, I thought.
But, a week or more later, he texts back and asks about the other 3 heifers, and that he’d like to try with them. I believe he had done some fence work to try to keep them from going over anymore. Ha! More interesting hand of Providence workings.
And so, we were able to get the other 3 loaded and into the trailer the next day, and he came, and we swapped them into his trailer, and now they were off.
And that’s been a couple of weeks now or so, and things are holding apparently, so it looks like those are going to work for him. He also did mention he might like to come back and get one of the first 2 because he thought she was a pretty one, and given his extra fence work, and I suppose because the other 3 are there, and the black one is not, that it might be different this time. Anyway, we thank the Lord those 3 are working out.
I still don’t know what all the rigamarole was with the first 2 and then them coming back, etc., but may we always trust His dealings with us in our lives.
Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
And now, onto the video:
As always, we are thankful to the Lord for His provisions!
With the chicken mommies hatching out a 2nd group and 3rd group of turkey chicks, and them continuing on in the brooder barn, and them getting big enough it seemed to not only cause ruckus in the brooder barn, but also because it’s just better to get them outside as quickly as possible, it was time to graduate them to freedom, and life with the rest of the turkey flock and homestead!
This was going to be something of an experiment, because in the past we’ve always sent them out with their turkey mommy to lead the way, so we were hoping despite that that they would stay around the homestead and go into the barn at night.
Sadly, by this time, one of the young turkeys caught a disease or something, and eventually didn’t make it. 🙁 And so, from the original 13, there were now 12, which we show in the following video starting with the day of the release, and then their adjusting to the outside world:
Today, they are all pretty much doing well. I believe I injured one’s leg when trying to manually round them up one night because they weren’t going into the barn (which they had been doing just fine by themselves up to that point), and it’s still limping. And another has something wrong with one of its eyes…maybe a small infection? Not sure, so they spend a lot of time in the barn, often together, although the limping one just a little while ago today was looking pretty weak, so I pulled it and put it in its own cage back in the brooder barn so it has unencumbered access to water and turkey (wild game) feed, which maybe being as small as it is it still needs. We do ask God He might grant them recovery.
But generally, the other 10 or even the eye one too roam around like they own the place, 🙂 although we do still have to direct them a little into the barn at night sometimes.
But, we do thank the Lord for their continued general health and safety, and pray He might continue to grant that to them!
The last time we did a cattle update was when a little heifer was born back in 2015! I’m not sure why I haven’t followed up more…I think once I got behind, it just kept being pushed off because of how long it might take to do.
But now, without further ado, I thought I’d try to get everyone up to through last year (note that not all the cattle shown were/are Sue and mine personally)…
At this point, our very kind and generous neighbor was letting us run the cattle on his land…some 400 acres! And so for those years, we didn’t have to buy hay, which was really nice! And so, here they are…
Here’s the herd sire who wasn’t ours personally, Manolete:
We didn’t apparently take many pictures this year, as they are all of cattle headed off somewhere:
This is Mateo who eventually became the herd sire after Manolete in 2019, which you can see as a little calf on this blog post:
While over on our neighbor’s property, we finally put up a somewhat decent corral to be able to…well…corral them for loading into trailers. 🙂
Well, early in the year, our neighbor said he was turning his place into a wildlife reserve, so he graciously gave us about a month to get our land ready, which involved shoring up fences, etc.
And here they are back on the land. It was nice to have them back, actually:
We moved the corral to our place, and here they are during “cube” time:
One day, Amistosa, our best looking Longhorn as far as pure Spanish traits, came strolling up really skinny. I thought to give her some special feed, which I had given her before when she had gone down just before one of our worst cold spells here (which you can read about in this blog post), because it had worked before, and I did, but I guess I had given her too much, as she ended up extremely bloated.
We shoved a bunch of baking soda down her, which helped some, but over the next several weeks, including a vet visit, she never quite recovered.
One morning, when I was out of town, Sue found Ami fallen over in a little ditch that led to a small watering hole in our inner area, which is where we were taking care of Ami, and she was just struggling and rolling around, and just looked in a bad way, so Sue made the executive decision that she just wasn’t going to make it, so Sue solicited the help of a neighbor here, and he graciously helped to put her down.
When I got back home, we wanted to move her to a final resting spot under some trees in our north field, and so we hooked up a chain around her horns and towed her up there:
…and then said a final goodbye…goodbye Ami…you were one of our first group of cows for us. We thank the Lord for all the offspring He granted from her…
Continuing on, it indeed was nice to see the cows around the house:
…and out our front porch:
And finally, onto last year…
Here’s herd sire Mateo again, a little older now. However, he started going through and jumping over (after fixing the “going through” the fence”) to our neighbor’s property, the gentleman who let us run our cattle on this land those years ago. He was nice about it, but I couldn’t control Mateo anymore, so I sadly had to dump him at the sale barn. Bye, big guy!
But now lastly, to close this blog post off, here’s the compilation video across the years (I was wrong in the video with the 2 fighting bulls in the back of the trailer about how old they were…it was actually 1 1/2 and 2 years old):
We are always thankful to the Lord for His provisions of the cattle, the meat He’s granted from them, the sales to be able to pay for hay over the winter, and the provisions on the land He’s granted to feed them through the growing times!
Early November means goat breeding time — time to put our billies and nannies together in hopes the Lord might graciously grant offspring starting in April, when usually it’s starting to warm up!
Even though we tried to keep some new does we kept from last year’s offspring away from the bucks, one got to one of them and had kids, and one didn’t, and so this year is her first time with the boy goats!
And without further ado, here’s the adventure from this year!
As always, we are grateful to the Lord for His continued provisions, and we pray He might grant offspring, according to His will!
Here’s a little around our homestead at the beginning and end of Texas’ 2021 arctic blast!
This was after the first main night — snow and cold, with forecasted windchills down to -18F. These were I believe our worst temperatures we’ve experienced here, even after the 2011 freeze. The thermometer says about 4F:
Here’s the homestead:
I was a little worried about the cattle, given there are some young ones, but thanks to the Lord, they all made it through ok!
During the week, Sue’s “onesy” (coveralls) in front of the wood burning stove was the favorite for the domestics:
On the first day after a week of these freezing temperatures, things started getting back to normal. Here’s our resident stray hanging out on the cistern spigot, which we had double wrapped with blankets the whole time, allowing us to use it too whenever we needed:
And here are all the goat accoutrements hanging on the fence after Sue took them off:
Those were just a few pictures, but we show a lot more in this video, which has the day after the first main night as above, and then after coming out of it 5 days later (including a surpise from a momma cow!):
All throughout, the Lord was merciful in granting all the animals come through (yes, that missing rooster from the video showed up!), and helping Sue and me with strength to do all the care-taking!
We have no grid electric or water, which actually worked to our advantage, as we always had electric and good water as needed. We pray for those still suffering from the effects, but also hope people might consider their situation and on whom or what they depend for life sustenance.
We also saw how we believe God pre-set up provision before we really knew what was coming, even though they seemed a little “cross” to us at the time: the boy goats had knocked off the top of their hay bale, but Sue just took that hay into the barn, and it ended up being their main food for the week; and I had pre-put out hay bales for the cows, and one had been eaten down a lot and spread out by the time the cold hit, and another spread around some, but those also afforded bedding for the cattle. Also, both the tractor and truck starters went out at the same time a few weeks ago, we needed both for this cold front, and so they were ready to go.
Once again, we are very thankful for God’s help through 2021’s arctic blast, and for the gift of the new little heifer calf!
Heb. 11:8-10 - "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."