Our Own Fruit Circuit

While members of the main herd find their way around pastures to snuffle up any dropped fruit from the various trees scattered around the farm, we humans also go on a fruit circuit run to gather for the bulls in the bull pen and for the cattle in the show barn. We like to enhance their diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables this time of year and with many friends and family willing to get the downed fruit away in an effort to keep the bees under control, it is a win, win situation.

When pulling up to a pear tree today we saw lots of fruit down, what looks like a mess to many people will be a welcome treat for the cows. The pickup bed is filled with apples and pears on this trip since we had to make a stop in at the hardware store.

With three producers nearby, it was easy to fill the truck up while taking care of an errand. Once at home, half the buckets will go out to the show barn while the other half go to the bull barn. They will be doled out at each feeding until we make another run of the fruit circuit.

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On The Back Burner

Just before beginning hay season, Mike declared that we needed to remove all the firewood project paraphernalia out of the barn for a clean area to stack bales and move hay equipment.

Hooray, I thought to myself, moving the Splitter, the cribs, waste/chunk buckets, saws and the like would work to my advantage. I would happily set up an outdoor workspace near the log deck to work more efficiently. The big problem with that would be the main herd of cows that enjoy scuffling around in the fresh wood chips and depositing great globs of manure. When Mike said he wanted to move the cows across the field to eat around the far, far pasture while we worked on the hay I thought my worries were over. Continue reading

#5 Segway And Trike

When the main herd saw us working over by the barn they thought that it was time for them to move to a fresh pasture area. They were all bunched up by the gate and some of the bigger ones were craning their necks over the fence. There was a lot of bellowing going on so everyone was on alert to pending pasture changes.

Mike got on the Gator and went up the road to get around the herd. I stayed on the barn side of the river to open the Rabbit Run for the herd to traverse. I counted the critters as they filed through the gate, but the number seemed off. I followed the herd up the Run to the barnyard and locked them all securely inside and tried counting again. Still we were missing a critter.

Mike went around the pasture the herd had just come from and checked where Crystal had birthed her baby less than two weeks earlier, but he didn’t see anything. He called across the river to have me do a head count one more time. I still came up one short.

Mike went back around the field and checked the out of way spots before rechecking the old railroad grade. Sure enough Segway had her baby tucked in near an old snag. When she saw Mike she got her calf up and started moving around the pasture grounds to where the main herd had been less than an hour earlier. She coaxed her calf through the river and up the Rabbit Run to join the rest of the herd.

Welcome to the farm bull calf SAF Trike born 5/23/2020 and weighing 70 lbs.

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Condensing Log Decks

While we wait for the hay fields to get a little more mature, Mike has been busy with the tractor. He has been condensing a couple of the log decks that we have of logs that are too small to make into viable lengths for marketable logs and not long enough to be loaded onto a truck for pulp. These are the logs that I make into firewood for the bundles we sell through the Oregon Woodland Co-Op,

The logs were removed from the forest to lessen the amount of mass that would dry out and become fuel for a fire. We do this so that we do not have big slash piles that have to be burned.

Mike has been moving the last of the log deck that was near the back of the large hay field when the logging was done on the steep hillside last year. The deck has been sitting there through the winter because it had been too muddy to follow the skid road to the back and the area around the deck was a gooey mess.

Over the last couple of dry spells, he smoothed the road by back-blade-ing, that is running the dozer backward the length of the road all the way to the back of the field then turning around and pulling the dirt backwards a second time all the way to the front of the field to the area where I have the rest of my log decks.

The cattle appreciate the smooth road and walk this path to go to the spring and the grazing field behind the main field. I appreciate the road because by bringing the log deck forward the trips to the barn to split and stack the wood makes the process so much quicker.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

He Pooped On The Road

That title is going to have many people deleting the post in order to keep bad elements from their home, but hopefully more people will read this story before deleting. I swear it is family friendly…

First I have to explain the ‘he’, most of you know it is obviously Mike. Not only is he capable of pooping on the road, he is not embarrassed by it. When I say ‘road’ I am talking about the county road that runs through the middle of my property, or maybe I should say my property runs through the county road easement. It’s a mixed blessing. Then there is the ‘poop’. When cleaning the barns, manure tends to get stuck in the cleats of the tractor tires and when we then drive the tractor up the road to unload the manure spreader, viola, poop on the road.

Farmers across our nation are plagued with trying to keep all the farm dirt on the farm and not on the county road, some go to great lengths to not drag bits-of-farm onto the roads.  We try to keep the farm from littering the roads but things happen. In fact, the road crew tends to get really irritated at excess dirt on the road and are willing to call the sheriff (don’t assume that this happened to me personally although I can guarantee it is true). Or a driver with a brand new wax job on his sporty car drives through the muck on the road that had been softened up by a spring rain shower and calls the sheriff (again, don’t assume, but it can definitely happen). Our goal is not to have law enforcement involved.

We do try to keep the roads clean but sometimes it just happens, this time it happened to be Mike on the offending tractor. Yep, the moral of this story is poop happens.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

Daily Bath With Love

The calves are growing like weeds. There is a lot of romping, jumping and running going on in the fields as the calves learn more about their surroundings. The bunch up in gangs looking for ways to entertain themselves as their mothers begin to give them their space and time separated from each other while still being a part of the main herd.

At this age the bulls and heifers cavort in loosely knit groups but before long the bull calves with stick with more predominately groups with more bulls leaving the heifers to make their own tribe. But the calves come back to their mothers several times during their play to reconnect, get a meal of milk, and hopefully a good licking bath before they take off again in search of new adventures.

We have the main herd moved back across the river to the far, far field but this time we have fenced the hay field perimeter and the herd is only allowed to graze in the small upper field, under the fir trees and around the outside of the twenty six acre field fence. We are hoping to harvest this field first since it is the most difficult to access, hardest to mow, and the field that dries out first once the warm June days bake the dirt.

The new calves learned early about electric fences and the temporary fence around the hayfield is keeping them and the rest of the herd a respectable distance away from the growing grass.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

Harvest Day At The Farm

The website mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com site is nearly out of data space and can no longer support photos since they use a lot of data. We do have the new site, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com up and running! There you will find all the stories with photos. Please follow the new site to stay current on everything going on at the farm. Please consider using the affiliate links from the new site to do your cyber shopping, the small commissions that I make from your purchases are no charge to you and I can continue to share the farm stories with the support. Thank you

On the farm we tend and nurture registered Black Angus cattle. We raise future herd sires from newborns, with the help our our outstanding mamma cows, to productive young males ready to service a herd of their own. We control the heifer side of equation, by picking and choosing the correct mix for of healthy females to keep for our farm and those to sell. These females will carry on the process of becoming producing mothers for the next generations both on our farm and for those farms who purchase animals from us. Although it is not our main business here on the farm, we also have animals strictly for meat production. Continue reading

A Little About Green Weaners

I have had some questions about the weaner clips that we use for our calves.

Ours happen to be a green color while the newer version is a nice bright yellow that is easier to spot both on the calves and when we are trying to locate them in the cow cupboard. When we first bought the weaning clips we ordered ten of them so we could wean ten calves at a time. Over the course of at least eight years, we broke one when the plastic became brittle and one when we dropped it on the ground and drove over it (I would say bright yellow is a great choice). Needless to say, they are very durable.

These cool little nose clips are easy to insert without any discomfort for the calf. Once inserted a small wing nut ensures that the clips stay in place. The calves are unable to nurse while the clips are in but they are able to eat grain, apples, and drink water with ease. The cows are able to dry up from not being nursed while they are right next to their baby, the mother can comfort her baby by licking and close contact.

The result is no bellowing from the cows or the calves, no pacing, jumping or running through fences. No animals in distress and no need to play loud music in an effort to drown out all the crying from both sides of the river. This is the only way we wean now, it has made for a smooth transition for the cattle and humans alike.

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Crossing Paths

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We were on our way across the river to feed the main herd their evening meal when Mike noticed a small herd of about twenty elk in the far, far field. Not willing to let resting elk lay, he whistled and hollered at them to get out of our field. They did move but they did not run away. Mike had started a wild critter stampede. Continue reading

When Things Go Wonky

This is a continuation of the post from 5/29/2019 titled, Ya Just Never Know.

So I told you about moving the main herd out of our way after ear tagging some of the older calves and the fun time we had taking out the irrigation line with the mess of digging a trench to bury a new PVC line.

We had anticipated the cows would be able to graze for five to seven days without running out of grass or new growth on the under brush surrounding the far field, but things did not start out well. We were surprised when after only one day over there, one cow had figured out how to escape from one side of the fence to the other. She was making trails, leaving plops and eating as much tall grass as she could in the small 6 acre hay field while her herd mates hollered at her from across the fence. We had to coax her from the 6 acre field into the 26 acre field and across the expanse of that field and open up the ‘run’ made with temporary electric fencing so we could open the gate and let her back in with her herd. Continue reading