Tuesday 30 October 2012

Sunset and Horses

The other evening I was loving the look of the sun coming through the gathering clouds and so I set off to take a few photos. Here is some of what I saw.





Monday 29 October 2012

Under the Sea

I realised on writing the last post that I hadn't posted about the rest of our under the sea/ Finding Nemo theme we have developing in our schoolroom. This has nothing to do with school it is just something fun to do to change the schoolroom look every now and again.

It all started with the creation of these cute little fellas from felt and pompoms for something to do.

Well then they needed a home so we (meaning I) made one.

Then next we added some jelly fish to the mix.

Later on we painted some underwater reef pictures.

And next ... who knows, maybe some octopus and sharks.

A Whale of a Time

My fingers seem to be smudged with blue, white, green and grey but we have been having a whale of a time, making whales that is. We have a bit of an underwater or 'Finding Nemo' thing happening in our schoolroom and the kids have been creating creatures from the deep and not so deep.

Today's creature of choice was a whale and after looking at the parts of the whale and various pictures of whales the creating began. That was however after Miss Yr7, being forever the smarty pants, asked "who has an umbilicus?" ... Do you have an umbilicus?

Today's ideas came from a website called Danielle's Place found here.
The ingenious however was all from the kids. I love how you can set out a project with simple materials and in our room at least we end up with five completely different projects. I love that the kids feel confident enough to express that creativity.

What you need:
  • Paint: blues, greys, white, black, green
  • Paint brushes, water container, paint containers (I use a plastic of paper plate or a plastic holder I got out of a pack of small yogurt tubs)
  • Half a paper plate per whale
  • A print out or cardboard of the flukes and flippers (you can use one flipper or trace another so there are two found here.
What to do:
  1. Cut out Flippers and Flukes
  2. Paint and decorate the paper plate whale body. Don't forget an eye and a big whale mouth. (We also discussed barnacles)
  3. Paint and decorate the flippers and flukes
  4. Glue the flippers and flukes to the body of the whale.

Mr T's whale

Mr E's whale (Mr Yr1)

Miss E's whale (Miss Yr4)

Mr R's whale (Mr Yr4) hat and all.

Miss S's whale (Miss Yr7) ready for a day out with a flowery hat.

Our pod of whales.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Thank Goodness It Wasn't A Baker's Dozen

Now usually we would all be quite happy to receive a baker's dozen (thirteen) rather than the normal twelve. On the arrival of her pups yesterday I think Missy, and everyone else, breathed a sigh of relief when she stopped at twelve. Yes, 12!

There are now twelve new squirming, squeaking, gorgeous, silky, balls of fur sprawled in a tangle of heads, legs and tails at their mother's side. Some with feet in the air and some snuggled down deep. They are black, white, tan, red in many combinations. It makes it a bit hard to make head and tail of them.

Missy, I think, is quite proud of her delivery especially as she is usually a 4 pup dog. I don't think she will be quite so happy when it comes to twelve demanding little wet noses squirming for food.

Total puppy count now comes in at 18 ... 6 that are nearly six weeks old and 12 that are now a day old. Anyone feel the need for a puppy?




Say 'Hi' to Sadie

Don't ask me where the name came from but she does clean up a bottle pretty well. Another cutie added to the menagerie.

Sadie has now been moved upgraded to using a calf feeder which she is getting the hang of. A calf feeder is rectangular and has two places to put milk. A teat is attached to the bottom of the milk bucket and it is hung off a fence.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Little Pig, Little Pig

On the 11th of Oct (I can't believe I haven't posted this until now) one of the sows had 9 piglets. They were so very cute. She had 5 black with white markings, 3 roan and one white with black spots. Unfortunately only one survived as for some reason she decided they weren't hers and it also happened to be in the middle of a cold snap. The one that remains, one of the blacks, is thriving sucking of the other sows.

Here are the last lot of piglets on that same day ... big healthy PIGS that they are.

Butts and Such

Yes, I said BUTTs ...

Heading to the yards.
The bulls.
For a start here are some butts ... the big boys.
Yesterday was the second day in the yards and joy of joys it was spaying day. Spaying is when old cows, thought to be barren cows and bad tempered, snotty cows have the cow version of getting their tubes tied. Boss R happens to be able to spay which it seems not many can, actually we were quizzing him on whether he knew many people who could. Apparently it is a dying art but if you want to take it up the pay is awesome at $3 per cow or there abouts. Now before you decide you are going to become the next cow surgeon here's what happens. By the way now is when you stop reading if you get grossed out.

Waiting ... look at the horns.

Once upon a time they used to flank spay. They used to cut open the side/ flank of a cow and then tear the muscles. The tearing part is because they heal easier. They then did something or other and pulled out the cows ovaries. Some people stitched them up and put tar over the wound to help with healing ... some didn't. Here they used to do the first option.


These days its an internal process where they very nicely put their hand, I mean arm, up the cows birth passage. Firstly the cow is put in the crush. The next two things done are her tail is secured and her butt is washed. All very nice. She then gets doused. They squirt water up her birth canal to help clean out any mucus or muck. Please note here that this is not the same place the poo comes from. A bit like people really. After she is all nice and cleaned out a contractor is put up her birth passage. It is a longish metal gadget with a bend in it and a ring at the end. The idea being that the ovaries go through it with the help of the person doing the procedure and are contracted so that the fallopian tubes can be cut with a small scalpel blade. Yes, this is all done inside the cow without looking. The contractor and blade are then passed onto someone nearby who washes and disinfects them. Meanwhile the operator's arm goes back up the cows birth canal to remove the ovaries which are disposed of.

Getting ready ... disinfecting everything.

Contractor and blade.

Tools of the trade.

Tail holding and spaying.

After this process or while it is happening the cow has her horns tipped, so the tips are cut off them and she has her breeder tag removed and a new electronic tag put in for when she is sold. She also has an ear marked so they know that she has been spayed. Then she is let go and the process happens all over again.


I think we did 33 cows this time. Most of which were in calf. Yes, they still spay when a cow is in calf as they don't usually loose the calf and it means they can't get back in calf again. Boss R said it is the weirdest feeling when a calf kicks you when your hand is in there.

This time I got the important job of tail catching and butt washing. Not so bad as it sounds really. No worse than doing a baby's butt. Mind you the poo splattering and pooey water bath was not so good. I really enjoyed my shower.

My wash bucket.

Just to prove I did it.

The statistics apparently are 75% survival however that may have been for when they used to flank spay though. Boss R is quite proud of the fact that out of the hundreds of cattle he has spayed so far only one has died from it. The thing is there is a very important artery in the same area so you have to be careful.

So everyone still up for the job of spaying? Come on $3 a cow. Yeah I know a pittance really. I can't believe people would do it for a living.

Right now the old girls are out enjoying their freedom and the last calf they will have. Then their job is to enjoy getting fat until next year when they will be sold.