Herd Returns To The Main Field

The herd had signaled when it was time to clean up the far, far field about a week ago with their watching the grass grow as they stood along the fence line. Now they insisted that it was time once again to move as they had cleaned up this area they were in. The had scoured the edges of the big field, browsed all the new grass in the middle, and cleaned up under the trees growing along the old railroad tracks and under the big fir trees along the outer edge of the property. It was obvious it was time to move to a new grazing area, so when it was time for the evening feeding, all we had to do was open the gate and the whole herd moved into the main field.

With the main field now the main residence while the herd cleans up, the far, far field can again rest comfortably while the grass again grows. Hopefully that will happen without inviting the big herd of elk, that is more than sixty critters big right now, to wipe out the new growth before we have our cows back into that field.

Rotating large areas for our cattle is good for the fields and does not stress the new grass as it is beginning the spring growth cycle. In the next month or two, we will take the whole herd out of the fields completely so the grass can grow for our hay crop that we will begin harvest in late June.

In the meantime, we will continue rotating the herd through the fields, culling out the mothers as they near their birthing time so they have a chance to bond with the new baby before introducing the new family back into the herd. Right now there are two cows that are nearing that stage and are watching closely.

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I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

Cattle Intentions

The main herd has been watching the far field. They have noticed that the grass has been growing over there and we have noticed them spending quite a bit of time along the fence line watching the field from afar with what looks like longing in their eyes. The herd sire, Prowler has been the most noticeable as he stays rooted into one place while the rest of the herd meanders around or heads up into the forest to look for the spring grasses in the open areas.

To appease the herd and to take away free grazing rights from the several herds of elk, we moved the herd through the nursery field and over to the far, far field for a week or two of fresh pasture. By moving the herd we opened up twenty six acres of field along with nearly ten more acres of forage area around the field. We went ahead and combined the nursery field  inhabitants with the main herd for this spring jaunt in a new area. The six new calves mingled in and had no issues fording the river to get the new pasture with their mothers.

This grass on the other side of the fence is definitely greener since it has not had the herds grazing on it over the winter other than those pesky roving herds of elk.

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I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

Three In One Day

I have mentioned that we have several different herds of elk that meander through the farm on fairly regular routines, but rarely do the herds converge on the same days.

During breakfast the other day, we were treated to the sight of one of the larger herds hanging out in the big field behind the house.  There were about thirty or so  females grazing along the base of the hill at sunrise and where in the shadow of the trees so I couldn’t capture the sight with the camera. The herd stayed out in the field for the hour it took me to finish breakfast and the morning chores out in the show barn.

When I went across the river to begin the feeding for the main herd, I saw a second herd of elk smack dab in the middle of the six acre field. There were about twenty in this herd and could not have been the same ones as I had been watching earlier because they were still in the field behind the house. This field that they were grazing in was right where the mother cows with calves were going to be fed breakfast. We ran off the elk when we drove the Gator with hay into the field and got a close up look at the bunch, we saw that there were two spikes (young adult males) in the herd but no big branch bulls (full grown males). We  fed the cows with calves before moving out of the pasture fields and around the barn.

Just before dusk, a different herd walked out of the canyon by the old log landing and there were only nine in this group with one of them being quite a bit smaller, we were thinking it must be last years calf. By observing the subtle differences in each herd we could conclude that there were indeed three different herds that had visited the farm on that day. Our harvest of one animal did little to control the population of these converging herds.

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

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

 

Advantages Of A Busy Schedule

This is another post about meat production, so I wanted to warn you in advance.

I am tickled pink and quite pleased with myself today since my busy schedule has me avoiding the task of playing ‘mother hen’ as the guys cut up the aforementioned elk.

Since the harvest, the animal had been skinned, quartered and hung to cure and dry. It is now ready to haul the quarters, one by one, into the garage where a strong table will be set up. The spot is the exact spot that the pickup had been parked to load full of firewood for delivery. Since Mike can’t deliver firewood and cut up meat at the same time, I get the pleasure of the delivery of orders while he tends to the process here at the farm.

In our case we use a group of at least three people to process a whole elk, while I get to do cleanup, mess control, lunch duties, and basic ‘gopher’ tasks (I don’t mind at all missing out on most of those duties for this day of processing). One works on boning out the rib cage (a time consuming and tedious task), another works on cutting the thick roasts and steaks from the animal (knowing the cuts and making the proper cuts), and a third is needed to keep the knives sharp (can be fraught with danger especially with the long 14 inch knives) with to keep the process working along.

After the meat is extracted, the roasts and steaks are wrapped in dinner sized packages for the freezer. Some of the boned out pieces of meat are used for stew meat packs with the majority of the meat getting ground up for burger before packaging. It tends to be a long day.

It is also the very rare exception that Marilyn has the day off from her busy schedule as well and is going to accompany me on my delivery voyage. A helper speeds the delivery times considerably since one person can stay on the truck while another moves the wood bundles from the tailgate to the display or pallet. From all angles, this day is working out wonderfully well for me.

Now I’m just hoping that my family doesn’t see this post before the day is done so I can get away with an easy schedule of work!

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

LOP

LOP means Land Owner Preference,  the lingo is used for the purchase of tags by landowners to harvest elk that have become a nuisance to the farm or forest. There are designated seasons  for LOP tags as well as what segment of the population can be harvested. The last day of the first season was January 31st and my brother had that last day to fill his tag. He made it by a couple of hours.

According to eregulations.com:

LOP tags are only valid within the registered property boundaries for which the tag is issued. All landowners and eligible applicants must purchase controlled hunt application prior to the deadline. Applications for LOP tags must indicate a landowner preference hunt choice on their application.

That big herd of elk must have figured the calendar incorrectly and thought they were in the clear since they were just hanging out in the far, far field eating all our grass. My brother was on his way over to hunt when we first noticed the herd contentedly munching away as I was headed to the barn across the river to split firewood. The herd hung around for more than an hour before meandering down to the river where the herd split in half, some crossed while some stayed where they were.

Brother was able to drop the animal in a clear area where the tractor was used to scoop her up with the forks to move her by the house side of the river for the butchering process. Another brother showed up to help with the task. and Mike with my two brothers made quick work of the project.

The meat will hang several days to cool and dry before being cut off the bone and frozen in packages of eight to ten pounds each. The process of boning out an animal takes many more hours than the actual butchering and may take a few more people helping out to get it done in one day.

LOP is a good way of thinning out the herds that cause a lot of damage in fences and eat quite a bit of grass intended for the cattle herd. The harvested animals are used for meat and do not go to waste.

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

 

Taking A Second Look

Feeding the main herd across the river is a twice a day chore. While I am on the Gator that is loaded with hay bales, the dogs and I are scanning the area for anything unusual.

It is automatic to check the fence lines that run along the base of the hillside keeping the cows out of the nursery/hayfield. The dogs scout about, scenting for coyotes that may have been in the pasture overnight, or elk that may be ready to tear out one of the fences as they plow through towards the river. A good count on the cows is always a necessity, one missing critter usually means there is trouble  in the form of an injury or possibly the birth of a new calf. Most of the time we don’t even think about it, but observation is an important tool to keep everything running smoothly. Continue reading

Elk And Deer And Bear

The daily rides up the hill and into the forest have us watching the trails for signs of elk and deer around our baby trees. With most of the trails turning to dust, I find that I have to be off the Gator and walking slowly to recognize forest creatures from the dogs that like to bound along ahead of us. Mike is better and quicker at spotting the signs, he is able to distinguish what it was made from, how many there are, which direction they going, and what area we should head to in order to spook them off. I’m surprised he isn’t able to tell what they had for breakfast and where they are going to bed down for the night (he is pretty good at understanding animal behavior but there are limits). Continue reading