Monday, October 29, 2007

Done on the Farm...

Well, on Saturday I was able to head down to the farm for a few hours. Really, it was just a time to unwind after a busy week and before a busy evening. I didn't really do too much work, but I was able to repair a little fencing, take some pictures, and walk around the farm inspecting some potential pastures. Plus ... I was able to talk with one of the Amish neighbors for about thirty minutes.

My main piece of work was to shore up the fencing a bit in the area where the cows are going to over winter. We had put up a cattle panel fence around roughly two acres of pasture (was plenty when it was built!), but we put it up quickly so some of the panels were attached to the posts and to each other with twine. What would we do without twine? On Saturday I just went around the fence and wired everything together so that nobody would be breaking any twine and getting out. It was a beautiful day and it was a wonderful time of work.

After I did that I just spent sometime walking around and inspecting the new cows. Remember, last week we more than doubled our herd size and I really hadn't had the chance to check out the new additions in full daylight because it was dusk when we picked them up and after midnight when we dropped them off. All things considered I think our new additions have brought up the quality of our herd. The two black 5-year old cows are very nice looking animals with some great lineage ... plus, they have great calves at side (one beefy bull calf and one nice heifer). Joanna, the cow with the bell, looks great for a cow that is 8-years old. At first I wasn't going to get her at all, but once I saw her I was really impressed. I'm hoping to get a few heifers from her. The last two new additions are a 20-month old cow and her young dun bull calf at side. She calved way to early (they didn't know she was bred), but delivered a healthy calf and she looks alright herself. Her mother is Bailey, which is one of the new 5-year olds. I think she is a little smaller than our heifer Victoria, but that may just be because she has been nursing her calf during a time when she would normally be growing.

If all goes well we will have six calves on the ground in 2008, which will give us a nice jump while we are building our herd. Plus, we will have the opportunity for at least nine calves in 2009. I'm excited about the way our herd is shaping up. We have five females that carry dun, so I would really like to find a quality dun bull.

After hanging out with the cows for a while I took off to go check out some potential pastures. I was waylaid by the Amish neighbor on the way and had to listen to him scheme about making money for himself off of my Dexters ... it was really pretty funny and nice to chat with him! We have about 20 acres that we can turn our cattle out to when we get some fencing up. I would like to get them out there this week so they have have some green grass before we really need to start feeding them hay. We had them in the small pasture this week so the Amish could do the chores easily. Also, I'm excited about the grazing possibilities for next year ... and the hay production possibilities!

It was a great day to be on the farm and really got my juices flowing. I am going to start putting a business plan together it he next few months just so I can begin to quantify some of my farming desires. I think this is an important step because I don't want to go flying into this farming deal without a plan. I know some of you are probably wondering if I already have ... but, I don't think so. The cattle we have now are sort of the test group. We can learn from them and sell them as seedstock if we decided to go a different direction. We will see what I can come up with.

Picture Descriptions From Top to Bottom :: Ethan standing with the herd; Kenosha and Bailey in front of the herd; Joanna, Bailey, and bull calf; Joanna with her beautiful bell; the Stoneyfield herd; Bailey, Joanna, Kenosha, and the heifer calf.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...