We were up at the crack of dawn (well, maybe slightly post crack) and out the door before we burned too much daylight. There’s no shortage of things to do around here so no reason to get bored watching cartoons or something silly like that. For the first Saturday in a number of weeks there’s no other conflicting events scheduled so we can all work together. Of course there’s not much a 2 year old or 4 or 6 year old are going to get done but we bring them along. It’s been raining a lot lately so it’s nothing but mud around here right now. This time of year we feed hay constantly. We like to keep fresh hay in front of the animals constantly, they can eat it free choice. Once they stop eating it, then we know we’re done feeding hay. Pretty tricky, eh? We couldn’t feed hay very efficiently without our tractor.
It’s a Kubota 8200 we bought from Zimmerer Kubota several years ago. It’s been indispensable to us.
With the front hay spear we carry one round bale and the back spear carries another bale. That’s about 3000lbs of hay at at time. By the way, if you’re in the market for farm equipment or even a lawn tractor, I highly recommend you pay a visit to Len Zimmerer. He’s been great to deal with over the years.
We fed about 15,000 lbs of hay today. That should last a few days before we do it again. Luckily we still have lots of hay left. Good things we had the little boys along to help.
I don’t think we’ll be feeding hay much longer. As soon as it warms up, there will be lots more grass and they won’t want hay any more. As it is, we have lots of green grass right now, but it’s not growing fast enough for them.
Noah was with us too. He was keeping an eye on Brittney, one of Australian Shepherds, making sure she was comfortable. She looks like she’s enjoying the attention.
It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t work on some fence during the day. We were warned that we’d spend all of our time working on fence if we ever got a ranch. And that warning has not come true, but not because we don’t need to spend all of our time on fences, simply because we don’t. But some times there are critical needs that you just have to attend to.
Cattle are pretty good about respecting fence. If they feel the barbed wire poking them they tend to leave it alone. Hogs (yes we have wild 0r feral hogs here and lots of them) just run right thru them full speed. If the fences are aging and rusty, like ours in some places, they just bust them right down it’s something to see.
But our main mission today is to round up two or three steers that we’ll be taking to the processor. We put the hay in a strategic spot that allows us to trap them in a catch pen, then we’ll move them out of there in to some smaller sorting pens and choose who looks the best. It’s always muddy when we do this it seems.
In this picture you see mostly Hereford mama cows and their calves and some Black Angus bulls. There’s some heifers in the group too. (Heifer is a female that has not had any calves yet). We really only need one Steer that somehow got himself mixed into this group. But we had to move the whole group to make it easier to catch him. We’ll let this group go back where they were, except for one bull that seems to be limping on one knee and we’ll have a look at him more closely. That guy in the background is yours truly, chief manure hauler and dirty work do-er.
After letting those animals leave we bring up the other group of steers we’ve been keeping separate in their own group for over a year. From this group, we’ll take a few that are ready. Diane makes the determination who goes next to the processor. We bring them all into the working area to be weighed.
There’s 3 that seem to be ready. We keep them and let the rest go back. Now for a few days we’ll try to keep them quietly penned up with plenty of water and green grass before we take them to the processor.
With the work it’s time to relax.
Grassfed Beef is Best