This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 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.
We had a broody turkey mommy next to a hay manger in the barn goat stall. One day she had a hatchling showing itself with her. But, it looked funny for being a turkey, and that was because, it wasn’t a turkey! A chicken egg got in with her clutch, and she hatched out a little chicken chick!
But, turkey eggs need a week more of sitting than chicken eggs, and so we were worried she might stop sitting on her turkey eggs. Well, sadly, that sort of did happen, although 3 sort of hatched out. We actually tried taking them and all her eggs and putting them under a broody chicken, and 2 more tried to hatch out, but in the end, all 5 turklets didn’t make it. 🙁
However, this little one — I think now it’s a rooster — is still alive today and doing fine!
Here’s another picture of it with its “mommy” in the barn:
And then a video. I had to use a flashlight to try to get light on them:
Even though it didn’t go as we had planned, we are thankful to the Lord for granting this provision of the new chick, our first for 2022!
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!
James 4:15 – “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.“
At what depth should our wills in the actions of our lives be submitted to our God if we claim Him to be so? What does it mean to truly submit our lives in what we do to Him?
Puritan Thomas Manton in his superb work “A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James” takes a deep and detailed look into what it means to submit the actions of our lives to God.
Verse 15. – For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Observation. All our undertakings must be referred to the will of God; not only sacred, but civil actions. Our journeys must not be undertaken without asking his leave; as Jacob, “O Lord God of Abraham thy servant, send me good speed this day” (Gen. xxviii. 20, and xxiv. 12). No wonder, if this be neglected, that you meet with so many cross accidents; they do not come from your hard luck, but your profane neglect.
But what is it to submit all our actions to the will of God? I answer,
1. To measure all our actions by his revealed will [the Bible], that is the rule of duty. We can look for no blessing but upon those ways that suit with it. There must be a submission to his secret will, but first a conformity to his revealed will. Lust [generally, any corrupt desire of the heart] has its wills (Eph. ii. 2); but we are to serve the will of God till we fall asleep (Acts xiii 36).
2. We must the more comfortably undertake any action, when we see God in it. Acts xvi. 10, he gathered that God had called him to Macedonia: so, when we see God in the sweet means and course of his providence, or by inward instinct guiding and leading us, we may with more encouragement walk in the way that he hath opened to us.
3. When in our desires and requests we do not [try to] bind [constrain] the counsels of God; [we should say] “Not my will, but thine be done” (Matt. xxvi. 39). In temporal things we must submit to God’s will both for the mercy, the means, and time of attainment. Creatures that cannot ascribe to themselves, must not prescribe to God, and give laws to Providence, but must be content to want [lack], or have, as the Lord pleases. If any thing succeed not well, the Lord would not [wills it not to be]; that is enough to silence all discontents [discontentment].
4. We must constantly ask his leave in prayer, as before was urged.
5. We must still reserve the power of God’s providence. If the Lord will. If the Lord permit: God would not have us too carnally confident; it is good to inure the soul to changes. Two things we should often consider to this purpose, and they are both in the text:
(1st.) The sovereignty and dominion of Providence: the Lord can blast your enterprise, though managed with never so much wisdom and contrivance [of our own]; he can nip it in the bud, or check it in the very article of execution: and I have observed, that usually God is very tender of his honour in this point, and usually frustrates proud men that boast of what they will do, and conceive unlimited purposes, without any thought of the check they may receive in Providence.
It is a flower of the imperial crown of heaven, and the bridle that God hath upon the reasonable creature, to dispose of the success of human affairs; therefore herein God will be acknowledged: “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps” (Prov. xvi. 9). Man designs, but the execution depends wholly upon God’s will and providence.
In peremptory resolutions there is a contest between us and Heaven about will and power; therefore, in such cases, the answer of Providence is more express and decisive to the creature’s loss, that God may be acknowledged as Lord of success, and the first mover in all means and causes, without whom they have no force and efficacy.
(2nd.) Consider the frailty and uncertainty of your own lives. Our being is as uncertain as the events of Providence. If we live, and God will, are the exceptions of the text, and do imply that there must be a sensible impression of our own frailty, as well as of the sovereignty of Providence, that the heart may the better submit to God. It is said, “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psa. cxlvi. 4).
Frail men are full of thoughts and projects; this they will do, and that they will do; go to such a city, promote their interests by such an alliance, gain so much by such a purchase; and then they will raise up some stately fabric which shall continue their name and memory to succeeding generations, and all this because they do not mind the earth which they carry about them, and how soon the hand of Providence is able to crumble it into dust. Certainly man will never be wise, till he is able to number his days, and does sufficiently possess his soul of the uncertainty of his abode in the world (Psa. xc. 12).
Observation. We shall live, and do this or that. Mark! it is not enough that God suffer [allow] us to live, but he must also by the same will suffer [allow] us to do or act. The point is, that God’s will concurs not only to our lives, but actions. We may live, and yet not be able to do any thing for the promotion of our designs: for, if God suspend his concurrence, the creatures cannot act, at least not with any towardliness and success, which quite crosses the doctrine of the heathen philosophers. Seneca said, “That we live, it is by the benefit of the gods; that we live well, it is of ourselves.” So Tully: “This is the judgment of all men, that prosperity is to be sought of God, but wisdom to be gotten by ourselves.”
But in the Scriptures we are taught otherwise, not only to seek success of God, but direction; he gives abilities to perform, and a blessing when the action is finished.
Without the efficacious [effective], as well as permissive will of God, we can do nothing; he must give us life, and all things necessary to action.
We must not only look up to him as the author of the success, but the director of the actions.
It is by his conduct and blessing that all things come to pass.
Our very counsels and wills are subject to the Divine government, and he can turn them as it pleaseth him (Prov. xxi. 1);
and therefore we must not only commit our ways to his providence, but commend our hearts to the tuition of his Spirit. In short, all things are done by bis will, and must be ascribed to his praise.
May God grant that we indeed see our frailty, His greatness, His supremacy in all things, His worthiness to be submitted to, His lovingkindness in His dealings with us, and may He grant that we be full of thankfulness at all times, especially if by His graces and mercies we have the Lord Christ Jesus as our own!
We are grateful to the Lord for Him granting two more rounds of chick hatchings this 2021!
Here’s group 6. We put 12 eggs under her, and we’re pretty sure she hatched them all out! They’re doing pretty well, although some, especially one, have shown signs of getting sick (standing kind of scrunched up, often with the wings down a little, not very active), so I’ve been giving about an 1/8 to 1/10cc of 660ppm angstrom silver, 2-3 times a day, tapering that over time…most seem basically better, except the one, although it seems improved as well, for which we are thankful:
And here’s group 7. 8 originally hatched out, and 1 had started but wasn’t progressing, so I helped it a little by breakup up its egg shell some, and it made it out, although I found it dead soon after. 🙁 However, the other 8 are still doing fine!
And here’s their video:
Again, we are always very thankful to God for these new provisions, and any food He might grant from them, for us and others, we pray!
The Lord has graciously continued to grant more chicks this 2021!
This was a surprise pair, group 3. I heard some cheeping in the barn, and eventually tracked it to the loft, and sitting on a bucket of rope on the shelves in the left was a mama and a chick! Whaaaat? An egg had fallen off as well, but I grabbed her and her youngin’ and all the eggs and put her in the brooder barn in a caged area, and she ended up hatching out another one, so we have these 2 extras now this year!
Since this picture, one had gone knock kneed (ie. its knees bending the wrong way slightly) and spraddle legged, but I put an electrical tape binder around its legs to keep them together but spread apart like normal, and have been working with it, and at least now it’s able to keep itself upright. The other one is now out in the chicken pen:
And here’s group 4. We put 12 eggs under this mommy, and not a one was unhatched…wow!
And here’s group 5, which has 5 chicks in it! (although 6 were hatched, 1 died pretty quickly)
And here’s a video of them all. Group 3 I had to film at night because the mama hen was starting to pick on them, so I had to get her out of there that night:
As always, we are very thankful to God for Him graciously granting these new provisions on the homestead!
Tanya and hers were still in the brooder barn (aka. the summer kitchen), so we didn’t really have a place for Tasha, and I didn’t want to put her in a small caged area like we do for our chickens.
Well, Tasha’s chicks started hatching, so what we ended up doing was drop down a couple of extra OSB boards we had and stitch together two chicken fence-cages into a longer run like in the brooder barn. We then covered it all with blankets and bent one end down so I could lean over and access the inside, and we set up their water and food.
And then it was time to try to transfer her and the turklets. The youngin’s were already starting to walk away from her and explore a little, so we just started grabbing them and moving them into the caged area, and Tasha thankfully kept calm. And then with her, we put a large fishing net over her, grabbed her from within that, and put her into the caged area. Thankfully, that all went rather smoothly. 8 turkey chicks in all! Wow, and thanks to the Lord!
Sadly, 1 died pretty quickly, but the other 7 kept going and growing.
Quite a few weeks later, when they all were much bigger, one morning, one of the young was getting picked on, so, with them pretty close to big enough where we were planning on letting them go soon anyway, I decided to let them free at that time.
Here they are just before we got them going:
Well, that part did not go rather smoothly. I couldn’t get the end of the cage propped up with the blankets on, so I removed some of the blankets, and Tasha, who is skittish anyway, just seemed to panic and flew up and out of the caged area and out the north door. Arg! So, we tried to shoo out the turklets so they would stay with her, and they started doing the same thing, flying up and off walls, going all over the barn, etc.
Soon, we were able to get them all out the north door. Mommy was kind of running up the walk path up to the goat fields with a couple of turklets behind her, so we tried to get the other ones to follow, and everyone started scattering. It was quite a mess. We were trying to get all the yougin’s to stay with mama, but looking back, we probably should have just let them be in the cage, as shooing them out caused a lot of trouble.
Throughout the day, 2 of the turklets made it back, hanging around the other turklet group or wherever, and Tasha came back too. And by the end of the day, only those 2 were to be found. Sigh.
In the evening, one I believe went into the barn, the other sat down next to the generator box, and so we got it and put it in the barn. We were praying God might grant more come back, or that we would find them, or that He might grant their safety over night.
Later, as Sue was walking Brodey our dog, she had an inkling to take a bit of a different path, and lo and behold, she discovered 3 sat down next to the orchard gate! Wow, what a gift from God! So, we used a fishing net with them, and got them into the barn. So now, 5 were in the barn, and 2 still missing. And that was it for that day.
The next day, I was walking around, looking around for the missing ones, and walked by the hill of dirt that was the dirt dug out for the root cellar, and lo and behold, God granted I just happen to walk by one and see it sat down in the grass! Wow, another gift out of nowhere! So, we netted it and put it in the barn in the goat stall area where the other 5 were still hanging out.
And in the Lord’s perfect will, #7 never came back. We don’t know if it just crouched down and died, or just ran off, but that was it. But, God didn’t have to grant any of them to come back, and we thank Him for what He did grant, and His answers to prayer!
Today, the 6 are still going strong, and spending their days out and roaming the homestead. Mama never rejoined them at all, and within the last couple of days, she had gone missing. She had slightly injured her wing when she tried to fly out on that mayhem day a couple of weeks ago, but I had a hard time believing it killed her now. However, last night she made an appearance to take a dirt bath and eat some, so we know she’s still alive, and it looks like she might be nesting again. We do pray God grant her safety out there, if He might. Maybe we’ll be able to find her and migrate her into the brooder barn.
And now, without further ado, here’s their video, which includes the release day, and the followups with finding turklets, and the 6 eventually starting to venture out of the barn:
We recognize that nothing we have is our own, and that all things are the Lord’s to do with as He pleases. We thank Him for graciously granting the turkey chicks He has, and we pray we never murmur, and that He glorify Himself through them in some way, and always through us in some way.
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."