Fallow Deer 2 Days Old

We had to put an ear tag on our fallow deer baby today.  They have to be tagged by the time they are 1 year.  But, it is easiest to do when they are very little.  They are up and running quickly and it gets harder to tag them the older they get.

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1st Fallow Deer Baby of 2011

The first fallow deer to be born at Rosse Posse Acres was born June 12th of 2011, to Graham Cracker.  She is spotted like her mother.  These pictures were taken on her birthday. 

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1st Elk Baby of 2011

Our first elk calf of 2011 was born on May 23rd.  We tagged her today on the 24th.  On the 23rd, my friend Cara was over visiting.  She said that if it was a girl calf we needed to name her Cara and if it was a boy we needed to name him Cara’s Boy.  Well it is a girl.  So, Cara it is! 

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Fallow Deer are Here

  We got our fallow deer on March 6th, 2011.  We got an older chocolate doe who should be pregnant, an older blond doe who also should be pregnant, a spotted yearling doe and a spotted yearling buck.  When they arrived, they were very unsure of their new surroundings and stayed away from us.  They have now settled in quite well and even come up to us if we go into their compound one at a time.  They weigh about 90 pounds each.  To me they look kind of like a cross between an alpaca and a goat.  The spike has very small antlers.  He will be loosing his antlers soon and will start to grow his second set.   The chocolate doe is definitely the lead deer.  We should have babies at the end of May or in June, if the females are pregnant.  Their compound has lots of grass and plenty of room to run and play.

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Squeeze Chutes

When we purchased our herd of elk, we got 58 elk, a dart gun, ear tagging equiptment, microchipping equipment, swat team sheilds, gates, two complete chute systems and more.  Our Squeeze chute is one of the most amazing pieces of equiptment that we obtained.  It literally picks the elk up off the ground by first squeezing them in the neck area, just below their head and squeezing them just below their body.  Our squeeze chute has a scale built into the bottom, so that it will give us an accurate weight, so that we know how much medication to administer and we can keep an eye on their weight.  Everytime we run the elk through the chutes we weigh them.  Once the elk are squeezed and picked up off of the ground, we then have panel doors that open.  These doors are large.  There is two doors on each side of the chute.  One opens up to expose the elk’s shoulder and one opens up to expose the elk’s hip.  When we are administering shots or sawing off antlers, we drape a towel over the elks face so that they can not see us and so that it will help calm them.  The team of people we use all are calm and do not push or scare an elk.  We want their experience to be a minimally stressful.  Babies are always the hardest to run through the chutes as they have never experience going through and they do not know what to expect.  In fact, the first few times they go through, they are unpredictable and very aggressive.   I have only come close to being injured once while handling and it was by a 4 month old baby.  We have 6 sections coming into the chutes, just before the squeeze section.  These sections have sliding gates to seperate the elk one from another, and we have 3 sections after the chutes.  The fourth section coming into the chutes has a calf squeeze.  We can move a wall towards the calf and push the calf up against another wall.  One of the walls has small doors that drop down so that we can reach through and give them shots.  When we are done giving them shots, we then move them to the squeeze and weigh them.  One day I had gotten done giving an elk her shots and needed to move her to the squeeze to weigh her.  We opened up all of the gates to the squeeze, but she stood her ground.  She lifted her upper lip and showed me her ivory tooth, she held her head high and snarled at me.  We tried to get her to move by waving a tarp in front of her (this usually works on all elk).  She was not going to budge.  Soon all of the team were trying to coox her to move forward.  Finally, (now this is very stupid, I know it now, and I will never do it again) I opened up one of the small doors in the calf squeeze (the door we open up to give them shots).  I then stuck my head through up to my waste.  I took a towel and tried to snap her with it.  The next thing I knew there was the most awful clang, clang, bang, bang sound all around me.  I flew out the hole so fast that I landed un my bottom.  She had reared up on her back legs and tried to hit me like a kangaroo boxing.  It was amazing that I did not get hurt.

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Sportsman Show or Mischief Club

I just got done doing the Washington sportsman show.  It is five days of hard work.  My niece helps me with the show.  On the fourth day all of the people in the booths around us were starting to show their colors.  Jacket pockets started being filled with deer chow, courtesy Purina, whom we share a booth with.  Jacket sleeves were tied in knots.  Sandwiches were stuffed with M&M’s.  Well if you know me at all, you know that I am a practical joker at heart.  So, the next morning, my niece and I arrived early for a good ol retaliation.  Here is what we did. 

We made everything out of construction paper.  While I was standing on a chair attaching the mustache to the top mount, the security guard walked around the corner.  He got a good laugh out of it…whew!  We also brought lots of rubber bands and started a rubber band war.  It helped to make the last day go by fast!

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New Cavies

  On November 27th, we had a scheduled elk handling day.  It also happened to be Rachel’s 16th birthday.  We had no intentions of getting more cavies. It is just one of those things that happened.  We had invited some Vetrenarian college Instructors out to the farm to help and teach us how to draw blood on an elk.  One of the people that we invited (Pam) is the person that we got our first Cavy (Rolly) from.  She showed up with a litter of cavies, two boys and a girl.  She had plans of keeping the girl.  When she heard that it was Rachel’s birthday, she offered to give Rachel the two boys.  As long as we have boy cavies and are not breeding, we do not have to be licensed.  Baby cavies are adorable.  Rolly, our first cavy is one of our favorite pets.  So, it was not a hard desision to make, when Pam offered us the cavies.  The babies are 4 months old now.  They will be getting fixed when they turn 6 months old.  They will go into a compound with our wallaby and adult cavy.  Our wallaby’s name is Tucker and our adult cavy’s name is Rolly.  Tuck and Roll.  We always said that if we ever got more animals for that compound that we would have to name them Stop and Drop.  So now it will be Tuck and Roll and Stop and Drop.  The new cavies are adorable.  They stayed in the house for just over a month.  We first brought Rolly into the house to meet the babies.  They were very interested in him and followed him around.  They would try to nurse when Rolly would stop, which got them a soft warning bite on their back.  We then waited a few days and placed them in an outside compound where they can go nose to nose with Rolly and Tucker.  They have a nice warm house with a heat lamp to keep them warm in their compound.  Stop is a very sweet little cavy.  He likes a lot of attention, begs for treats and follows you around.  Drop on the other hand is much more researved.  He is the follower.  Where Stop goes, Drop follows.   If Stop decides that he is interested in a person, then they must be ok.  Drop is never the first to check out a new person.  I really feel that cavies are one of this families favorite pets. 

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We have had the pleasure of watching several clutches of Killdeer hatch on this farm.  Several years ago a mother and father killdeer laid eggs in our garden.   Killdeer lay their eggs in the dirt or gravel.  The eggs are a dark grey color with black spots.  They usually lay 4 eggs.  They do not begin to sit on their eggs until they have all been laid, that way they will all hatch at the same time.  When an animal or person gets close to a killdeer nest, the parents will act like they have a broken wing and try to lure you away from their eggs.   Within a few days of hatching, the babies are up and running. 

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Disabled Vet.

For all of you who do not know, in 1985 I was discharged from the Navy as a disabled vet.  I went into the service in 1981, at the age of 19.  I had enlisted for a 4 year stint.  The last year of my 4 year stint, is when I was injured.  The first injury took place at the gym in Keflavik, Iceland.  While in Iceland the military had us log in a certain amount of hours at the gym each month.  They do that because the weather is so bad that most sports must be performed inside.  Many people become fat and have a hard time passing the physical therapy (or PT) tests in Iceland.  So, off to the gym Alan and I went to play racket ball, a sport I used to dearly enjoy.  Alan and I were about 15 minutes into playing when I hit a ball that bounced on the floor and came up between Alan’s legs and hit him in his sweet spot.  If you know anything about me, you know that I laugh hysterically when someone gets hurt or when I get hurt.  I was laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my face and I was bent over at the waist.  I could tell right away that Alan did not find this the least bit funny, which made me laugh all the harder.  When he was finally able to move again, I was still busting a gut.  He sent a ball high into the air, close to the side wall.  Normally these balls are easy for me to get.  I simply run at the wall and kick off it to send myself high into the air.  This technique would usually add a foot or two to my leap.  Something I should tell you is:  when I am laughing, I lose all muscle strength.  If you ever want to attack me, just wait till I am laughing and I can not defend myself.  So, back to the story.  Alan sent the ball high and down the side of the wall.  I ran at the wall and went to push off of it, but because I was laughing, I had no strength to support myself and crumpled to the floor, causing me to tear the middle two quadricept tendons off of my knee cap.  And off course, because I was now in pain, I rolled around the floor laughing hysterically.  Alan immediately knew that something was wrong as I had told him that you will know that I am seriously hurt if I am laughing hysterically.  When I finally stopped laughing, Alan half carried me and half supported me to the emergency room.  They misdiagnosed me and placed me in a cast for 1 1/2 months.  During that time frame, the tendons that had torn off my knee cap, attached to the muscles and bone at the top of my leg, in my upper thigh.  When I got the cast off, I knew something was wrong and tried to  tell the doctors that my leg was not right.  Five days later, I slipped on ice at work and tore the last two tendons off.  I now had completely detached all four of my quadricept tendons.  I was taken by ambulance to the military hospital and 4 hours later was taken by ambulance to an Icelandic hospital, where surgery occurred.  Three days later, I was brought back to the Military hospital and remained in the hospital for the next month and a half.  My leg was in a full cast up to my hip.  I was given the option of a full body cast or a cast up to my hip.  If I chose the cast to my hip,  I would not be allowed to sit up on my own or move my leg on my own, I would have to be assisted, so as not to put any strain on the newly attached tendons.  If I chose the full body cast, I would be forced to remain in bed at all times and would only be allowed to lie on my back or on my stomach and someone would have to flip me.  So, of course I chose the cast to my hip.  One and a half months later the cast was removed and another surgery took place to remove the wires from my knee cap.  Unfortunately, my knee cap ended up off to the outer side of my knee.  I went through months of rehab.  My discharge date from the military was during my rehab.  The military will not release you from active duty until they have stabilized you, discharged you as a disabled vet. or until you waiver all rights.  So, I was involuntarily extended in the military for 7 more months, while I was sent to Bethesda, Maryland to out process as a disabled vet.  After being discharged I struggled with my leg going out every few steps.  I soon learned how to keep from constantly falling, but struggled with horrible crunching and pain in my knee.  In 1989, I underwent a third surgery by a non military doctor to realign my knee cap and fix the joint crunching problem.  He did an amazing job.  The crunching noise went away and my knee stopped giving out all of the time.  During the third surgery, I lost most of the feeling to my knee area from nerve damage.  It has been a blessing in disguise, as I do not have to deal with constant pain.  Sure, I have pain, but it is usually when I over do it, kneel on it or the weather changes.  Unfortunately the knee has caused me to track wrong and over the years my hip has suffered for it.  In 2010, I underwent hip surgery.  I am in the process of trying to get my hip added on to my disability as a service related injury.  I loved serving my country and seeing the world!

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How I got Married!!!

I do believe that no one else has a marriage story like mine.  I met Alan in Keflavik, Iceland while serving in the Navy.  I was on my third year of service and Alan was on his first year.  Alan was 18 years old when I met him and I was 22 years old.  We knew each other for 8 months before we got married.  In Iceland you have to put in 3 months of paperwork to get married.  You have to get married on the date that you request or you have to start your paper work over.  Alan and I asked to get married on Jan. 11th, 1985.  Dec. 30th, just 12 days before my wedding, I fell on ice at work and had to go to the Icelandic hospital to have all four of my quadricep tendons reattached to my knee.  I was in the Icelandic hospital for 3 days and then brought back to the military hospital.  I was informed that I would be hospitalized for the next 1 1/2 months.  So, my wedding was canceled and everyone that was going to be in the wedding canceled their leave.  The day before my wedding date, I was in my hospital room when my doctor walked in and caught me crying.  When he asked why I was crying I explained to him that I was supposed to get married the following day and “Look at me!”  I also told him that neither Alan nor I had 3 more months left in Iceland and if we did not get married on the date that we put in for, they would send me to Bethesda, Maryland to out process as a disabled vet and send Alan to Spain on a single person billet, which meant that he would live in the barracks.  If we did not get married, I would be sent to Oregon when I finally out processed and would not be able to join Alan on his single person billet.  The doctor said, “We are going to get you married tomorrow.”  He had a wheelchair built for me and arranged for a van to pick me up the following day at 12:00.  I went to put my wedding dress on and soon realized that it would not fit in my wheelchair, in fact, the way that they had to strap me in made it impossible to wear any kind of dress.  So, we started looking for a pair of pants I could wear and discovered that the only pair of pants we could find on such a short notice, that would fit over my large cast, was a pair of Alan’s sweat pants.  Alan said, “If you are going to wear sweat pants, then I am wearing a flannel shirt and hiking boots.”  Because my bride’s maid had canceled her leave, she was working on my wedding date.  So, we had to find two witnesses.  All of my girlfriends were working, so we ended up with two guy friends.  We all headed over to the police station.  Because, my wedding was canceled we now had to be married by Icelandic police at the police station.  When we arrived at the station we were all escorted into a room where we signed paper work.  When we were done filling out the paper work the officer ask a gentleman who was in the room, what relationship he was to us.  He said, “I just came here to get my drivers licence and you guys called me into this room, I don’t know these people at all.”  Well we all got a good laugh and we have a signature on our marriage paperwork from a man we don’t even know.   After the wedding, I had to be back in my room at 4:00 and they kicked Alan out at 8:00.  And I had over a month left in the hospital.  Told ya, no one else has a wedding story like mine.  And please don’t feel sorry for me, I love my wedding story!

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