Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crazy TUESDAY With Jennifer Wilhelm

Welcome to another addition of Crazy Monday! I'd like you to meet a cool rancher gal named Jennifer Wilhelm. I just got home from vacation and I was lucky enough to have my Monday post right in my email account. Unfortunately, like we all know on a farm or ranch, there were so many chores to do and things to check that it's going to be a "Crazy Tuesday" for me.

SO with that said, take it away Jennifer!
    Life on a ranch can be crazy busy at times or just plain crazy. I have learned this the hard way over the last 5 years that I have been a rancher’s wife. I didn't grow up on a ranch; my dad was in the military. Sure it was in Texas so I was around horses and cows and always dreamed of being a rancher’s wife, but the reality however is very different from the dream.

But better.

The one story I would love to share is how I broke my finger bottle feeding a calf.  Here it is:

It was the first year we were at the ranch and we had our first bottle calf. The mom had twins and this one was the one not getting enough milk, so the hubby brought her home. We had her for about a month or so at the barn feeding her, when I went down early one Saturday morning to feed her myself. Our youngest daughter was only 2 years old at the time and she was with me while the hubby was up at the house.

Now I had to be quick when I was finishing feeding the calf or she would try and make a break for it out of her pen through the gate when I was trying to close it. The gate is made from 2 inch steel pipe frame with a welded wire cattle panel. So I finish feeding the calf through the gate, which would have worked, except for the dog and the horses. At the time, our heeler and horses did not get along!  He was in the barn yard with the little one and myself, as I tried to finish feeding the calf and close and latch the gate all at the same time. I was watching the dog and the horses, trying to keep our youngest daughter from getting kicked or ran over while feeding through the gate.

That would have been okay, but while my hand was in the welded wire with the bottle, the calf butted the bottle sending my index finger on my right hand into the wire panel. Now this was the first time I had ever broken a bone, so it sent me to my knees, the world around me started to go dark and all I could think of was I had to stay awake to keep my daughter safe. I managed to keep from blacking out, got the gate latched, got out of the barnyard and started yelling for the hubby on the way up to the house. The hubby knew that my finger was broken, just not how bad.  We headed to the emergency room, only to be told by the ER doctor, that they were not sure but they thought it was broke! Ended up at the vet and sure enough it was broke, not bad, but enough to need a splint for a few weeks.

 Talk about a rude awakening to ranch life! I had been on the ranch less than 3 months! I can say now though that I no longer try and feed a calf and close a gate at the same time and I have been able to feed calves for the last 4 plus years with no more broken bones!

Thanks so much Jennifer!  Oh by the way, check out her AWESOME Etsy site:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MyTwistedStitches and her blog called:  Ranch Wife Tales http://ranchwifetales.blogspot.com/

Fairchild Farmgirl


  1. I hope that I have learned something from all of that since we now have 7 bottle babies this year! Not all of these are ours, some are orphans that other families could not take care of and brought to us, but that would make for a lot of broken fingers!

    1. Jennifer, every year I think I experience "it all". Every year I'm wrong and I see something I could've never dreamed of. Thanks for sharing your great story!
      Fairchild Farmgirl