We have had some extra time on our hands lately. We may not be staying home because we want to, but it has actually been a blessing in disguise.
As you know, we tend to run ourselves ragged with jobs, school, showing and life in general. This kind of schedule isn't very conducive to the farm life. Many times, our busy life means the maintenance of our farm and herd gets put on the back burner. The thing that screams the loudest is what gets done, and the cows don't do a whole lot of screaming.
This hectic schedule is O.K. for a while, but at some point we have to stop and take care of the daily maintenance items before everything is broken and sick.
I'll have to admit, more times than we like, we are reacting to the emergency instead of working to get ahead of the problems.
It is much easier, and cheaper, to maintain than it is to wait until you have a real problem. But, life happens and many times the maintenance falls by the wayside.
Now that Isaac and Walker have taken on so much of the herd responsibilities, they have been after us to develop a herd health management plan...and stick to it.
Life gets too busy and crazy to keep everything in our heads. When we think we just wormed the herd...usually time has slipped away and it has been far longer than we realized. Half the time we can't even remember if we vaccinated the herd, let alone what month.
Yes, we do write this stuff down, but who has time to go dig through farm records to find it?
We have needed a better plan for a long time, so we finally sat down and devised a strategy.
We created a generic calendar where we list what needs to be done each month. This way, we aren't bound to a specific date and can fit the items in as our schedule allows, but it gives us a general timeline of responsibilities for the month.
We have also worked through a herd health plan with our vet to make sure that we are rotating wormers and meeting the needs of both the herd and the show stock.
We have also included some reminders of things that need to be ordered in advance so that we have the supplies on hand when we need them.
We keep this list right next to our calendar so we can always see what needs to be done. As we complete items, we add the date completed on the left side and a check mark on the right side.
You can upload a copy of our herd health calendar by clicking below. This form allows you to edit and add herd health management items that fit your farms plan and needs.
Our list is a work in progress and I am sure there is more that will be added as we encounter things throughout the year.
Our calendar will probably look different than most because we may have different needs than other farms. By working with our vet, we have been able to tackle some of the issues that we have dealt with in the past to get in front of some reoccurring problems.
Spring is always hard on the cows because they are depleted from the winter (especially those that nursed calves through the winter), we are heading into mud season (not that it ever left) and some of the cows are ready to calve at any time.
The calendar is completely clear for the foreseeable future, so we are doubling down and giving the herd a little extra attention.
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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.