Sad news. One of our calves died. This particular calf has been a little different since we got him. Always slow, napping all the time, and apparently when we put him in the pasture, he couldn’t function on his own, even though we were feeding him every night, and there was plenty of grass to forage on during the day. We had no warning, as he came to dinner the night before, and when he didn’t come to dinner the next night, we went looking and found him laying down in the pasture, not raising his head. By the time the vet got here, he was dead. So very sad. Our neighbor helped by coming over with his skidloader and digging a hole for us. A depressing week for my husband and I, as I had fed this calf three bottles a day for about ten weeks. Of course, when life goes away, it is depressing no matter what you have done. I hate it when learning comes in this form.
On the positive side, we have finished the calf barn and my husband has decided that it needed some lights, as it gets so very dark so early, and when my husband arrives home from work, it is already dark. We usually go together to feed the cows. So he wired up the barn with DC wiring as the barn is remote from the house. We will run it from a battery that will be charged with a photovoltaic panel. We made the decision to put a spring wound timer for the switch, so when we go out there, we can turn on the timer which gives us enough time to fill up the bunkers and give the calves some extra time so they can see to eat, without us having to go back to shut it off.
We used a lawn and garden tractor battery due to cost, and the small light requirement we think we will need. We have not put up the photovoltaic panel yet, but we plan to mount that on the roof of the calf barn to charge the battery. We know we can get one from our neighbor, so it is only a matter of going over and getting one. My husband did such a good job, it works like a charm. After he was done, he went back and banded the wires together with zip ties to increase the neatness of the look.