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Ready the Bull!



Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 20 June 2023…

Hey Y’all!


Good evening and happy Tuesday from Air2Ground Farms! It is a hot one today with temps near 90 and the sun is blazing! The animals are all enjoying the shade. The pigs seem to have it made hanging out in the forest under the trees. When we fed them this evening, they were cool, calm, and collected…well, they were cool at least. They got the whey from cheese today and they love it as much as the milk. The beef cows got a new pasture today, more on that in a bit. The rest of the animals are doing well. We had some folks stop by the farm to see the operation and buy some milk and cream. They had a few minutes so we were able to show them around. I think the beef cows were their favorite but they enjoyed seeing all of the animals. We also had another customer stop by and pick up milk. Folks really love the raw A2/A2 Jersey milk. They understand the health benefits of the raw milk and are eager to find a local source. We made a trip to town to ship a large container of pork, thanks Bogey! We weren’t able to work on a brooder today, maybe tomorrow. We decided to adjust the one we have been using so that we don’t have to start from scratch this time. We’re going to cut the legs off so that it will be easier to reach into the brooder. The main pic today is Missy, the “bird dog.” She is doing a very good job by living with the chickens and protecting them from predators. The other pics are the group of bottle lambs. We’re up to 7 now, various reasons. We purchased a 4 gallon bucket with 6 nipple drinkers on it that hangs from one side of the pen. We put cold cow’s milk with frozen gel packs in it, about a gallon at a time. The cold milk keeps them from overeating and the icepacks keeps the milk cold. It seems to be working well and they are growing quickly. We also gave them a larger area of tender grass and their rumen is developing well.


It’s time for us to breed the milk cows. We have a few different options that we considered. The lady from which we purchased them offered to house them and put them with her Jersey bull, which is A2/A2, if we pay for the feed. The benefit to that option is that the calf will be A2/A2 which adds value. The down side is that we would have to dry them off before sending them to her, which means they would be dry for almost a year while they are pregnant. The next option is Artificial Insemination (AI). The benefits to AI are that you can control exactly when the cow is bred, you can ensure it is bred with A2/A2 semen, and she can stay in milk until a couple of months prior to calving. The downfall to AI is the success rate is low for the entire procedure with Jersey cows and it is rather expensive and time consuming with a round of injections leading up to the procedure, especially considering it will most likely take multiple times to work. The final option we considered is to allow our Red Devon bull access to the Jersey cows as they come into heat. The benefits to that option are that they can stay in milk until just prior to calving, it doesn’t cost us anything, and we don’t have to put them through any trauma of transporting them to a different farm. The potential downsides are that the Devon bull is not a Jersey and is most likely not A2/A2 and since the Jersey cows and beef herd have never been together, they may freak out a bit—the risk is low since they are all very calm and don’t have a history of going crazy. Considering these options, we chose to put the beef herd and dairy herd together for a couple of weeks to give our bull access to the Jerseys. In preparation, we have been slowly moving the beef herd closer to the pasture with the Jerseys. Today we moved them such that there is only a gate between them. Tomorrow is the first possible day that Betty (one of the Jerseys) can come into heat. So, we will open the gate tomorrow and move the beef herd into the pasture with the Jerseys. Betty should cycle within the next 3-4 days and Happy (the other Jersey) is a little less than a week behind Betty. We will keep them mingling for a couple of weeks and then separate them again by sending the beef herd on their way. So, tomorrow is the big day…the bull gets to meet a couple of pampered ladies!


Local Farm Report for 19 June 2023:

Harvest:

24 Chicken eggs

3 Duck eggs

0 Goose eggs

6 1/2 Gallons of milk


Cheers!


Psycho & Shelley

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Auntie Fiat
Auntie Fiat
Jun 21, 2023

Hoping all goes well with the "dates"!.

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Guest
Jun 21, 2023

Oh that feeling when the AI doesn’t look dangerous.🤣

Looking good!

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