It's not officially fall yet, but it is feeling more like it each day.
The temperature have be unseasonably cool around here and we even had to pull out the flannel sheets this weekend.
It is perfect sweatshirt weather which means that we have turned our attention to winter preparations.
But, before we can even think about winter preparations, we have some end of summer and fall items to check off our list.
Our calendar is full as usual, but we actually had a weekend almost completely at home. We took advantage of the home time to get caught up on all things cows.
Hay is all done for the year. We got enough hay and a little more just in case.
Everything is stacked away in the barn or sleeved along the driveway.
We have an agreement with the owner of our other hay field. In exchange for one hay field, we have to do some maintenance mowing of another field once each year. This year, Isaac took ownership of mowing and even ran with headlights to get it all finished in two days.
That was a relief to have that big item checked off the list weeks earlier than normal.
Now that all the hay is off, it is time to turn the cows out on the hay field for fall pasturing.
We have been unusually dry and some areas were getting crispy. Harvey did bring us a tiny bit of rain that did help boost the growth. We always try to keep the cows pastured on the hay field until the beginning of December. Hopefully, we get some rain out of Irma to keep things green and growing.
We depend on the fall hay field to not only preserve our hay supplies, but also to give all the cows an extra nutritional boost before winter.
It is time to start weaning some of our calves. Those that are old enough have been weaned.
The larger the calf, the more they take out of the mommas. The stress of birth, heat of the summer, and a growing calf that is constantly hungry can leave a cow looking a little (or a lot) boney and under conditioned. The rich fall grass from the hay field adds a much needed feast to give the cows some extra weight and nutrition before the hard winter.
The calves are also growing.
The vet has been out to give the eligible heifers their bangs vaccinations.
This weekend we finished up all the vaccinations and wormed the entire herd.
Tight confinement in the winter paddocks can be a challenge, so we want to make sure that we are proactive instead of just reactive in our treatments.
We took the opportunity to update any ear tags, add EID tags and verify tattoos as we ran them through the chute.
Some of this years calves have already been in the show ring, but some have not been halter broke.
Yesterday, everyone got some tractor time. A refresher for some and a new experience for others.
We have a few stubborn ones, but most are doing really well on the halter.
Isaac and Walker did some ground work and got them used to the show stick.
We had 4 heifers calves this year.
Two will be kept for Isaac and Walker to show this year and the other two will be sold.
This is always a fun time of year because we get to see the calves really taking on form and personality.
Breeding cows is one giant experiment that takes years to see the results. You never really know what bull will be a good fit for a cow until you see the baby on the ground. By fall, the spring calves are really taking shape and we are able to see the results of our experiments.
I think the boys have finally decided on which two to keep...but give it a few minutes and they may change their minds.
Mitchell has been busy this year breeding his herd.
Earlier this summer we A.I.ed a couple of the cows and got everyone to settle on the first try.
The few cows that Mitchell can't breed are off at other farms getting serviced by other bulls. We should have everyone back home in about a month.
Fall is here whether we are ready for it or not. Our September calendar is full, but most weekends are a mix of home time as well as activities away. We have a lot left to do, but have made a good start with getting everything settled on the farm.
Now, if we could just get six cords of wood cut and in the basement, I would feel a lot better.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.