Surprise Single

The main herd is currently divided into two groups. The mothers with calves are in the nursery field and the remainder of the cows with the herd sire are on the outer reaches of the fields. The main herd can chose to lounge under tall trees in the woods, they can trek the logging roads for grassy areas to forage, or make the walk back along the base of the hill to the back of the fields where the spring is located or sometimes they cross the river to hang out across the road from the bull pen or the show cow pastures.

Normally the groups stay fairly well concentrated in their groups and it was unusual to have the herd split one day when it was feeding time. Instead of all the main herd being by the feeders waiting for the evening meal, we only saw the herd sire patiently waiting for the hay to be hauled around the corner of the barn. The sire, Prowler, is a social sort and doesn’t hang around by himself, he is content to follow the ladies around and sometimes takes the lead when it is mealtime, but being alone at the feeders is not seen regularly even though it was mealtime.

By the time we got out to the feeders with the hay, more of the herd began to trickle in from where they had been grazing on the other side of the river. But it was only about half the herd. Mike used his ‘come boss’ holler to bring the rest of the cows to dinner but none showed up. Knowing critters as Mike does, he assured me that the rest of the herd had most likely headed up hill to find fresh grassy areas to graze and were probably out of hearing range for his hollering and said that he would expect the missing critters to be down off the hill in the morning for breakfast.

Morning time came and the feeding schedule commenced. When we began feeding the nursery field critters first, we saw a line of cows coming down off the steep slope over by the logging patch we had cleared last year. After missing an evening meal they were ready to head to breakfast when they heard the Gator were quick to get to the mangers before we unloaded their share of hay. Once missed mealtime was enough to remind them of the feeding schedule.

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Preparing For A Dry Spell

We are by no means at the end of winter yet, but Mike has already started preparing for the weather to ease from the more than 40 days (and counting) of measurable precipitation.

On his trip into town the other day, he had a ton of organic lime loaded onto the pickup. This is just the first load of at least five that will need to be purchased to ‘sweeten’ up the hayfields and bring the Ph level back to grass growing optimization. Between all the rich, fresh fertilizer we spread from cleaning the barns, and the winter long soaking of the ground during the winter, the soil needs a little boost. Lime is simply limestone ground up into very small chunks that break down naturally in the soil. We prefer not to use chemical fertilizers on our soil and still want to have good hay production and fine grazing areas for the herd.

The bags are 50 pounds each and are just the right size to cut open to fill the small spreader that we attach to the back of the tractor. Each spreader full only carries enough lime for a few rounds in the field so many trips are needed to complete a whole field, but the size and weight of the tractor and spreader combined are light enough do not do much compacting of the soil or sinking in the really wet areas. That is as long as we wait for the fields to firm up after all this rainfall.

While we wait for Mother Nature to decide when we can get into the fields to start spreading the limestone, the pallet of lime will be sitting snugly in the barn across the river where it will stay dry and safe from critters messing with it.

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Watched During Production

I wanted to get several cribs of wood stacked and into the garage for final stage of drying while I’m away from the farm next week. Every available minute between other tasks around the place have been devoted to the barn across the river where the splitter is set up along with several empty cribs.

During one of my sessions while I was dutifully splitting away, I looked up to see Jackson (he is the frantic, wild-child one) peacefully stretched out on a piece of cardboard that had fallen off the top of the drying cribs and was flat on the cement floor. He had such a sad look on his face, and he was framed by the slats of the wood crib. It made him look like a sad sack that was stuck in prison.

What he was actually doing was allowing the cardboard to soak up all that extra water he had accumulated while running through the rain and soggy pastures. Once his drying pad was soaked, he moved to a pile of hay that was left in the manger by the nursery cows and snuggled down for a good snooze a lot less wet than when he walked into the barn. His time for watching me as I worked came to an abrupt end.

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Pressure And Goodrich

Over the years, Pressure has produced five bulls and only one heifer. She started her career in 2014 with the bull calf PSI with her only heifer, Gauge, the next year. In 2016 it was a bull named Firestone, 2017 another bull Pirelli. In 2018 she had bull named AllTerrain and last year she had bull named Valve.

We moved Pressure out into the nursery field during the evening meal on Groundhogs Day and by the next morning she had our newest addition by her side, all cleaned off and scampering around the field with the other calves.

Welcome to the farm bull calf, SAF Goodrich, born 2/3/2020 weighing 85 lbs from the herd sire KC Night Prowler.

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#94 Plum And Mirabelle

Mike’s ‘cow sense’ was right on point when he said that #94 Plum was looking like she was close to calving. The next morning we saw her with her new little one waiting patiently under a tree for breakfast time.

It was a quick move to get the pair around the outdoor feeders and through the gate that led the two into the nursery field. Hay was dispensed in a timely fashion and Plum with her new baby were welcomed into the herd of mothers and calves with a little head butting and chewing up the muddy grass with the one-up-man-ship of trying to determine who the boss cow would be in this newly formed tribe.

During the pushing and shoving, the new calf stood well out of harms way confused by all the snorting and scuffling. All was settled quickly when the moms decided it was prudent to begin breakfast rather than squabble. By the time the hay was consumed, the nursery field was once again peaceful.

Since the new calf was born on Groundhogs Day, I searched for a name to go with that theme. Punxsutawney was a no-go, and I threw out Woodchuck, Marmota, Digger, Squirrel, or Phyllis (yes Punsutawney Phil has a wife and her name is Phyllis). Those names just didn’t fit this new little calf so I switched to looking up names of Plums and settled on the perfect fit.

Welcome to the farm, SAF Mirabelle, born 2/2/2020 to Sire KC Night Prowler. Mirabelle weighed in at 74 lbs.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

 

What To Do First

It seems that we have fallen behind on many projects over the last few weeks. I’m blaming the mud that we are slogging through every day, but in reality it has been a hectic time with me being away from the farm for REALOregon (along with some homework), and then Mike leaving right after I got home for his time away. Needless to say, we are frantically trying to catch up even we have all been home for a full two weeks now.

The driveway that I was hoping to get re-rocked before winter did not happen and has become a downright embarrassment. Not only do visitors have to dodge muddy puddles but I’m having trouble keeping the mud out of the garage as we transfer vehicles and firewood pallets in and out on a daily basis. Continue reading