Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

EveryYak's A Critic

And the critic says....

....two horns down to another heavy snowfall on the weekend!

When is La Nina ever going to end?

Perhaps this heifer, like me, is dreaming of a vacation to Mongolia or Tibet. Surely the weather is better there?

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Calfy" the Orphan

Sometimes, we end up with an orphan calf due to circumstances beyond our control, or in spite of our best efforts. “Calfy” became such an orphan after he was born in May 2009. His mama was a Black Galloway cow bred to a yak bull. We became his substitute mama and immediately fed him colostrum to give him the same chance as any other calf would have. Colostrum is the first milk a cow produces which is full of goodies to help a calf ward off infection. After that, we fed him milk replacer on a regular schedule and eventually weaned him off milk and onto grass and hay. Many of our friends and family’s kids who came to visit had the chance to bottle feed a calf for the first time!

As Calfy needed to be close to the protection of the barn, we let him have a fair bit of freedom. He was much tamer than a regular calf because we handled him on a daily basis and he followed us around while we did the rest of our chores. He enjoyed hanging out with the big kids when we weren’t there.
Can you spot him lying in the hay?

There he is!

Then Calfy grew....

And grew...

And grew!

He enjoyed hanging out with other kids his age on the lush green pasture last summer. That's Calfy on the left.

Then he came back home for the winter.

He’s getting to be a big kid now and a bit stand-off-ish,
but he’s still tamer than the rest...

...and quite curious.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yak Sports

Recently, while doing some research for a presentation on yak, I came across some interesting facts about how they are used in other parts of the world. We already knew that in places like Tibet, Mongolia and Nepal yak have been domesticated for thousands of years and as work animals, they are used for ploughing and packing. If you ever watch TV specials of climbers going up to the Mount Everest base camp, most of the time they use yaks to pack supplies.

However, the interesting part we didn’t know is that they are also used for yak skiing in some parts of the world, as well as in yak racesyak polo and yak lassoing at the Mongolian Yak Festival! The more I learn, the more I think it would be amazing to travel to see yak where they are a part of everyday life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

After The Spring Snow Squall

Thankfully it was a short-lived spring storm. The ground was warm before it started and now it's wet underneath the snow which makes for some tough slogging. Rubber boots are the footwear of choice, but I had to dump them out a few times after walking through snow that was deeper than the tops of them!

The sun is always a welcome sight after a storm.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Has Spring Finally Sprung?

The signs of spring are here and so many of them have shown up this past week! There are new calves in the neighbour's pastures, swans, robins and best of all we heard a meadowlark this morning. No April Fools!
Even the water in the dugouts are starting to melt.

Another sign of spring in our parts? Snow. We have a winter storm warning for this weekend which is scheduled to arrive tonight and last into Sunday. 15-25 cm of snow is expected with winds of 30 to 40 km/hour.
I hope the meadowlarks survive.