Critter shuffle

With a lot of new critters arriving lately, spring on the way, and meat processing coming up soon, it was past time for a critter shuffle.

The first set of critters just stayed where I put them.  I got the sheep last weekend, so they didn’t move.  I (well, James really) put a roll of hay in the coral.  I wanted to keep them thee until they had some time to be trained on the electric fence.  Tomorrow I’ll let them into the fenced off chicken area where they can start munching on some grass.  I’ll be home tomorrow, that way if they decide to test the electric fence I’ll be around to catch em.

Sheep stay in the coral

Sheep stay in the coral

Since I’ll be taking beef to be processed in a month or so, I wanted to separate the cows that I want to process from the “growers”.  Also, I needed to get them on a magnesium block since new grass is coming out.  I left the “growers” in the back pasture and put out a mag block for them.  The picture below is the “growers” wondering how they can get  to their buddies.  You can see the mag block on the ground.  I had to use a small pallet to keep it out of the dirt… hey, use what you have, right.


The cats, well, they go where they want…


Our lonely free range rooster… he goes where he wants to as well…


Here is my rig that allows me to share one big tank across two pastures.  You can see the “grower” cows looking toward the middle pasture where their two buddies are hanging out.



Here are my biggest cows that are getting ready to go away. I put out a mag block for them as well, and I moved the feeder into this middle pasture so that I could put them on grain a bit before processing.  My cows are mostly grass-fed, but I do feed some corn and soybean mix that I get from a Mennonite friend.


Here they are chowing down.



I’ll try to post a video of this later.

– Stan.

He is Here! First calf of the season

He was delivered today. The first calf of the 2012 season. He is a Jersey calf. He is light brown with some very nice white spots on his side.

The photo really does not do him justice. It’s hard to get a good photo in the dark barn when the calf won’t be still.

They say that the Holsteins bring more money at sale time, but I really like the look of the Jersey better.

First Calf Fall 2012

First Calf Fall 2012

No bottle for him tonight, that’s already been taken care of, but the work begins tomorrow… early… Welcome to warm bottles, and cold 5am mornings.

– Stan

It is that time again

Phone call this morning.  “I have a Jersey bull calf…”  Well, that got things started, and it led to this purchase; the first 100 lbs. of milk calf milk replacer.

Milk Replacer

First milk replacer of the year

This is the first calf that we will be taking this fall.  I hope to raise at least five of them through fall and winter.  In the spring we will begin selling and processing last years steers.  That is how the cycle goes.  The cycle is actually longer than a calendar year.  We are aiming for 18 months on the steers, so we will be finishing steers and starting calves on the bottle at the same time.  Yikes!  It’s going to be a busy winter.

After selling off some of the cows in the spring we hope to add heifers into the mix, but that all depends on money, what we can find, etc.  Ideally I want some Herefords, but we will see how things go.

I’ll try to post a picture of the calf soon.

– Stan.

Pumba says “Good morning”

Pumba is the largest of our cows.  He is also the most friendly, probably because I spent a lot of time standing with him in the stall while he drank his bottle.  He is a very curious cow as well.  This is him saying “good morning” while I waited for the water tank to fill up.

Pumba Good Morning

Pumba Says “good morning”

The Farm this week ending 9/22/12

The drought this year hit us initially, but we had a break from it earlier than others.  Even though the drought was not “terrible” for us, our pastures really needed a good jolt of rain.  That came this week and it was beautiful!

Rain Yippie

Rain. Yippie!

The pigs are doing great.  They used to run when I came out, now they run to the corner of the pen waiting for me to come in.  If I don’t hold the bucket, they knock it over and start fighting over who gets the first boiled egg.  (I give them two boiled eggs per day to help with protein, etc.)

Growing Pigs

Growing Pigs

Lucy and Limpy hanging out to together while the cows eat. (I try to give Lucy a little treat in the goat shed where the cows can’t get to her)

Lucy and Limpy

Lucy and Limpy

All of the cows crowd in and chow down.

Cow Crowd

The cows crowd in for feed

I’ve changed the way I feed the chickens.  I bought a HUGE back of poultry pre-mix, enough to male a ton of feed.  I’ve been mixing that into my feed base 50 lbs. at a time and trying to keep the laying hens supplied with that in addition to what they get from free ranging.  I think the egg quantity is starting to pick up a bit.  They quality was never really bad, I just need this to “perform” a bit better in order to earn their keep. 😉


More Eggs

More Eggs

I let out the free rangers every morning.  Lately they have started snacking on the cats food before the cats can eat it. … Therefore, I moved the cat food to a higher location in the bar, feed the cats first, and also put out some mixed feed in the middle of the barn to keep them occupied until the cats finish.  It kinda works…

Free Rangers

Free Rangers chowing down in the barn

Typical Minnie Mae

Typical MM

Typical Minnie Mae

These girls don’t get much photo time on the blog, partly because they are a bit boring, and partly because they look rough due to an overaggressive rooster.  However, these are my main laying hens right now, even though the “free rangers” are giving them a challenge in the quantity department.


Laying Hens

Laying Hens

These are the “Jr birds”.  They are not laying yet, nor have they been merged into the laying hen flock yet.  Eventually… (sorry about the photo quality)

Jr birds

Jr birds

Well, that is the week wrap up.

– Stan