Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

Search This Blog

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Sunday of Pictures

Did you ever have one of those days where you felt like you really accomplished something? Today was one of those days. I guess it's also a culmination of a very productive week.

Guilt-Free Veal. The calves' shelter and loafing area. No tiny crates for them!

Most commercial veal operations bucket-feed calves. We use 'mommy buckets' since the sucking reflex on calves also produces saliva to help aid in milk digestion.

One of the steers looking for a handout.

Ralph's awesome garlic garden for next year. He's got four types of garlic varieties planted, including Elephant Garlic.

Rifle season for deer starts tomorrow. Today, all the breeding does were brought up to the barn from the far pasture so some idiot doesn't mistake a goat for a deer and kill one of them. The grabbed as much browse as they could between the back pasture and the barn paddock.

Mother Nature helps us decide what trees get removed.

Along with the movement of the goat herd goes the moving of their portable shelters. The alleyway was designed so that vehicles as well as the portable shelters could be accommodated.

Meet the newest resident of Painted Hand Farm--Ragedy Andy. Jess has been riding him at another farm. Sadly, this sweet Belgian gelding was left for dead in a barn leased las year by her riding instructor. When she moved in, there he was--underweight, sick, overgrown feet and his halter was grown into his face (you can see the permanent divot in his nose)--a real mess. Gradually, Andy was nursed back to health, but he needed a home. Jess and her instructor tag-teamed me the other week when I got caught between the two of them at the feed store. "Mom, we could go trail riding together," she said. I couldn't say no. We stuffed his draft horse butt into the stock trailer earlier this afternoon and now he's here.
Jess is away at the National 4-H Congress so she'll really be excited when she gets home.


Emma is feeling much better. She's walking without hesitation, eating and increasingly making more milk day by day. She churned out nearly 20 pounds (2 1/2 gallons) of milk over the last 24 hours on only half an udder! Yes, I'm still hand-milking, too.

As you can see, the entire front quarter is gone...including the teat.. The brown mess hanging at the rear is what's left of it. There is still a teat in the rear quarter, although it continues to pass very bad mastitis when milked. The skin surrounding the teat is also necrotic. The vet says she'll lose that quarter as well, but as long as I can work fluid (and solids) out of the teat, I'm not giving up. Most of the brown mass to the rear is a giant scab sloughing off. I'm keeping salve on the new skin below. The fissure to the right is also beginning to close up. Twice a day I've been cleaning the entire wound with a weak Betadine solution with a large syringe and by hand. I've noticed significant improvements and have the utmost respect for health professionals that not only have to do this sort of stuff on animals, but humans as well.


  1. Wow, I would feel that accomplishment just doing a fraction of what you guys have done. And glad Emma's on the mend, though that udder still makes me wince.

  2. Congrats on the new horse! Our dear season will be over by next Saturday:) I knew a guy that let some hunters in and they shot his old horse. He just helped them load it and said nothing. He thought after they'd ate it they wouldn't want any "deer meat" again.

  3. DEER season! I can't seem to spell today.