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Reflection on Control (Cow Poop!)

Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 14 November 2023…

Hey Y’all!

Good morning and happy Tuesday from Free Missouri! The temps have been great recently, upper 30s at night and upper 60s during the day. As is standard for the past year plus, we could use more rain…but we’re getting used to it. The animals are doing well and are starting to get adjusted to the cooler weather. Let’s talk through the great pics! The top and next are the beef chickens. They are growing well and have started eating a lot. There is a shift at about 6 weeks old with this particular breed. They really start eating and growing. They continue this significant growth until about 10 weeks old and then they slow down again. If we keep feeding them past 10 weeks, they keep growing but at a slower rate. The last batch we processed, we had a dozen that were about 16 weeks old and they weighed about 7.5 pounds processed which is about 2.5 pounds of additional growth past their normal 5 pounds at 10 weeks. The next pic is the lambs that will go to the processor in about 4 weeks. We have 16 that we will process, with appointments for 10 at the processor. We will make a decision in about 2 weeks to either add a few to the appointment at the processor so they are USDA inspected and we can sell them, or to process them ourselves for our own consumption. The point there is that we aren’t taking them through the winter. We’ve taken lambs through the past 2 winters and they don’t grow in our system. They maintain, but don’t gain…thus, our decision. It is quite expensive to have them processed and inspected and there isn’t enough pounds of meat on the smaller lambs to make it worthwhile. So, we will process the smallest ones on farm to go into our freezer. The next pic is the beef herd in one of our bottom pastures. They are spread out, grazing the last bit of this season’s grass. The next three pics are one of the cows, the bull, and the calf we decided to leave as a bull. That calf is, and has always been, very calm and docile. He looks great and has an awesome disposition—leading us to leave him intact. The final three pics are of Makaylah this past Saturday during her Taekwondo belt testing. She took lessons for 2 years in Maryland before we moved here but that was a different style. She decided to start over at the beginning instead of continuing her belt progression so she would fully understand this style. She has been taking lessons here for 2 years now and what you are seeing in these pics is her sparring with a Black-belt, the second one of the test, on her journey to her Brown belt. With the brown belt, she is accepted into the circle of Black-belts and gets to wear a black Gi. She did an amazing job and we are super proud of her accomplishment. In about 8 months, she can test for her Black belt.

We’re just over 2 years into this farming gig. If you calculate the number of hours we’ve been doing this with our standard work day of 12 hours a day with no real vacations we are rapidly approaching 10,000 hours of farming. Why is that important? Quite a few folks consider 10,000 hours as the mark to reach to become an expert at something. While neither Shelley nor I consider ourselves experts, a subtle change has been occurring. We are transitioning into a maintenance mode, not focusing every waking moment on growing the farm/business. With this transition has crept in a change in attitude, not a decision, more just a feeling. We’re coming to realize this after a few weeks of feeling…well…off, just not quite right. When you start something, especially like what we did by starting a farm and business with absolutely zero experience or training in either, you don’t have any idea what to expect. Everything is a reaction to whatever decision you make or event that happens. At the end of the day/week/month/year, you are just happy that your world is still turning and things didn’t fall apart. It would seem that at about the 7,500-hour mark, that started changing. We really started understanding things more and being able to even predict what might happen due to decisions or circumstances. Initially it was a subtle but noticeable relief that we weren’t always in reaction-mode. Without realizing it, however, that understanding progressed to expectations and from there a desire (demand) for control. If I’m pretty sure I know what is going to happen if I do thing X, I come to expect that result when I do thing X and then attempt to control the situation. I’m sure this sounds ludicrous to most, but it is what happened. With an expectation of control, especially on a farm surrounded by hundreds of animals, there is undoubtedly frustration because no matter what you think you know, animals are unpredictable. The dairy cows have started pooping again when we’re milking them. For months they didn’t but now they are. How silly to think that we could control when a cow poops (since they normally poop 15 times a day totaling over 100 pounds) just because we don’t want them to poop while we’re milking. That’s one example of multiple things across a normal day that have been building to lead to an underlying frustration. I say all this to let you know that things aren’t always great, even when they’re great. Today, Makaylah mentioned that Dad’s “energy” effects everyone else around and she has noticed that things have been a little tense lately. Thanks for the reality check, time for me to work on my attitude!

Local Farm Report for 10-13 November 2023


45 Chicken eggs

42 Duck eggs

13 1/4 Gallons of milk


Psycho & Shelley

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Nov 14, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Out of the mouths of babe!! ❤️

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So true!


Auntie Fiat
Auntie Fiat
Nov 14, 2023

Even human pooping starts out, and ends up....unpredictable!!

Replying to

Yep!! So true.

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