Saturday, January 05, 2008

Winter at Stoneyfield

As I mentioned yesterday I needed to make a trip down to the farm yesterday to do a couple of things for my dad. I was more than excited to have a reason to go down, even if it meant getting behind on my work, because it had been so long since I had a chance to see the herd. As you can see from this picture there is plenty of snow in Southern Iowa right now and even though we had grass stockpiled it is under snow and ice at the moment. So, it seems they spend much of their time up in the front lot where we feed them and where they have water.

Speaking of water ... along with lots of snow it has been really cold lately and we don't have any tank heaters in the cattle pen. So, when I arrived the tanks were solid ice from top to bottom (guess you can't always trust the Amish to do your chores the way you would do them). I spent a while hacking out the ice with an axe, and constantly pushing my cows out of the way so I had room to swing the axe! They were rather friendly today and I was able to get my hands all over them. As you can see from the picture they were also rather thirsty.

The picture on the left is of one of our heifers, Billie of K&K. She came to us from the Anderson farm in Missouri and I think she is shaping up rather nicely under that heavy winter coat. This coming year she will be bred to our incoming herd sire, SGF SANT Hershey, who is also dun. Of course we are hoping that she will throw us a nice little dun heifer calf in 2009, but we will just have to wait and see!

Now, this last picture is ... well, it is of my confusion bull! I call him that because I'm just not sure what to do with this little guy. He is around six or seven months right now and is smaller than everyone else that is younger than him. Because of his lineage there is a possibility that he carries the chondrodysplasia gene, which isn't the best thing if you would like to use him as a sie. So, he will probably end up in someone's freezer. Unless... someone has some non-carrier cows and they would like to use him to bring down their size? I think he has a good look to him for his size and age, but he is just so darn small. Either way, I'm not sure he will be ready to finish next fall!

So, there are some shots of the Stoneyfield herd in the snow. I was very pleased with the way the are looking this winter and I can't wait to see them in the coming spring!

Make sure you check out the blog on Monday because I'm having another farmer question and answer series...

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