Please excuse my extended absence from blogging, as we’ve had some additions on our farm that are taking priority over my writing hobby.
It’s probably best to start with a recap of our additions as an introduction back to blogging . . .
- Miles of fence – Remember that we are pasture people? Well Farmer J has finished adding about three miles of fence to our grass for the summer. There will more fence to come next summer, but this fencing will be internal within the pasture. It will allow us to move the calves from one section of grass to another periodically. The rotation is better for the grass as it prevents it from being over grazed.
- A deck cat – You may know that we have a beloved and handsome indoor cat, Sox, who keeps me company during harvest and beyond. A few weeks ago, a scraggly gray and white cat appeared on our back porch. Being a cat lady I couldn’t resist enticing her to stay with some leftovers. She didn’t need much bribery, because she was hungry . . . the origin of our pet name “Famish” for our outdoor buddy. The cat hasn’t left our deck since the first leftover meal and she spends a lot of time taunting Sox through the window. She wants in and he wants out. The grass is always greener right?
- A newborn calf – Before heifers come to our house, they are supposed to be checked for pregnancy. They don’t pee on a stick; rather, a veterinarian will complete an exam (I won’t get into details, but it involves sticking a hand inside the calf). We don’t want them to be pregnant because the feedlot is not an ideal place to have a baby. There are lots of other unrelated cattle around in a relatively close space, not ideal for a new mother and child. However, from time to time, we get one that is pregnant. This happened recently and we were surprised with the birth of a healthy baby calf. He had to be fed with a bottle because his mother didn’t take to him, but he was a resilient guy. He’s since been sold to someone else, but it he was a fun addition to the farm for a few days.
- A new building – We added a new (to us) building in the feedlot this summer. It was actually found on Craigslist of all places (seriously). This monoslope building is an improvement over our old shed. It provides better shade in the pen and the wind flows through it nicely. The new building has made our feedlot a more comfortable environment for the calves. It will also make feeding the cattle more efficient. Farmer J doesn’t have to open gates to give the cattle corn; rather he can more simply drive by and empty feed into the bunks. That’s no small luxury when feeding twice a day.
- Piles of corn – Harvest is in full swing, so the piles of silage and earlage are accumulating quickly. If the rain stays away (which has been a challenge), we should be done chopping soon. Of course the work doesn’t end there. We still have to complete fall tillage, and of course the cattle still need fed!
- A baby – Yes, it’s true. There is going to be a new member of the family somewhere around March 2, 2016. Needless to say, that endeavor has been quite distracting to my daily life (especially for the 4-5 weeks that I felt awful). Now that I feel well again, my attention has shifted to the massive number of things that have to happen before March. The list and the anxiety keep growing with my belly. Farmer J is over the moon and cannot wait to have a little side-kick on the farm, boy or girl (which we are waiting to find out upon arrival). I am also excited, but I will be the first to admit it’s also pretty terrifying.
You’re officially up to date on all our new additions. Next time I’ll try not to wait so long . . . but no promises. Happy fall to all!