top of page

Flexibility






Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 17 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all! Happy Fast-jet Friday!! Bottom pic is from one of my favorite aviation photographers, David Lister, capturing the Bolars moving fast through the Welsh mountains.


It was a chilly 26 degree morning but the sun is out and it will warm to the mid 40s today. The animals are great this morning, as are their human caretakers. The hogs are growing very nicely. We have appointments for 5 to be processed in mid March and 5 in mid April. They normally gain about 50 pounds per month so we expect to add another 50 pounds to the first group and maybe 100 pounds to the second. We decided to split this group into two separate dates this time because when we took our past groups to the processor, there have always been 2-3 hogs that were smaller than the rest of the group. So our goal is to take the biggest ones first and give the rest an opportunity to grow out a bit more. We'll see how it works. We switched the hay for the lambs from the alfalfa/clover/grass mix that was really stemmy to a grass-only mix of Brome. They are loving it and there is way less of it left laying on the ground. We understand and even want some of the hay left on the ground as carbon, but it was becoming excessive given the cost of that alfalfa mix bale. We are looking forward to the growing season when there is plenty of green growth for everyone to eat and we are moving the beef herd and sheep flock daily. The new part for the tractor is in so we will make a trip to Springfield to get it and hopefully have the tractor up and running by the end of the day. We must do things with milk today as we have about 20 gallons in the refrigerator. We also hope to print and deliver our business and personal tax details to the accountant today. The expectant cow had her calf overnight and we have a new little bull calf addition to the herd--middle two pics. Mom and calf are both doing great! He looks so good that we decided he can stay a bull, at least until he gets bigger and we can make a more informed decision.


As you know, we set out yesterday to gather the beef herd into the cow pens so we could sort out the motherless calf and bring her to the milking area so we could ensure she got some milk. There is a saying in the USAF: "Flexibility is the key to airpower." Well, it turns out, flexibility is the key to farming also! The end result of our escapade is that the calf is now in a pen with the milk cows, top pic. How we got there is a bit different than we had planned. Actually, things started exactly as planned. We got the pens ready, to include putting a sheep net across a lane to direct the cows to make a right turn and enter the pens. We then walked up the lane and yelled "come-on-cows!" Dutifully, after a minute or two to make the decision, they all came trotting to us. After a slight hesitation at the gate, they entered the lane and followed, then passed, Shelley on the way to the pens. As they got to the pens, the lead cows sensed the trap and put on the brakes. That started a chain reaction that resulted in the bull vaulting the sheep net. It was a beautiful jump, his front feet and big belly all cleared the net, but his back feet landed on the net. Sensing the excitement, two calves immediately followed the bull over the net. You guessed it, one of the two was the one we were trying to catch. Now we had the entire herd, minus the bull and two calves, in the pens. But the whole reason we were doing this was now wandering free in a bigger pasture than she left, and our normally extremely calm and docile bull was now agitated and he and the calves were running and bucking. We tried to get them corralled on foot but that quickly became a bad idea as the bull turned sideways to me and started staring at me, a clear sign that he was physically challenging me. So, I hopped on the side-by-side and Shelley on Makaylah's tiny 4-wheeler and we rustled 'em up. Except they all refused to go into the pens. So we were able to trap the calves against the outside of the pens and just catch the one we wanted by hand, tied her feet, and loaded her into the side-by-side. We gave the herd a chance to calm down while we took the calf to her new pen. She was none too happy, but we got it done. We went back to the pens with the now calmer herd and sorted out the little bull calf and castrated him. We then led the entire herd (to include the bull and calf that were still wandering the pasture) back into their pasture with a bale of hay that they were so happy to enjoy they forgot about the slight diversion in their normally calm day. Oh, and we captured it all on video...YouTube to follow. Flexibility at its finest!


Shelley's YouTube Short of the day is: Learning to use a borrowed milking machine. Be sure to subscribe and share on your social media sites!


Local Farm Report for 16 Feb 2023:

Harvest:

30 Chicken eggs

6 Duck eggs

5 Gallons of milk

Sales:

N/A

Farm additions:

1 Beef bull calf


Cheers! Rich & Shelley

69 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page