Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oreo Cookie Cattle

Saturday is going to be one busy day!  Bright and early, the cattle are scheduled to arrive.  15 head of Belted Galloway cattle, all the way from Vermont!  They are arriving from Meadow View Farm and will be the seed stock for our small beef operation.  We will be getting 5 bred cows, one cow with a young steer that has not been weaned, one steer calf that was orphaned and weaned early, four 2 year old steers, four 1 year old steers and Dudley the bull.  We will be able to process beef this fall, and the next fall and after that our first steers should be ready to process.

Dudley and the steers will start out life in the back pasture on their own.  The girls will hang out with the sheep for the rest of the winter.  This spring, after they calve, they will all start being rotated around the farm from paddock to paddock, eating our grasses and fertilizing the pastures. In the meantime we will supplement their diet with hay and minerals and let them clean up and trample the stockpiled grasses in the pastures.  Its not that bad because the grass isnt growing now.  We will sacrifice some of the lower part of the pasture here by the house because it gets muddy and the animals will not help that at all.  This spring we will overseed everything and keep them off the grass in that part of the pasture until fall and let the new sod get established.

And if unloading a bevy of bovines isnt enough, I have some friends coming with 40 chickens to process!  Ill be using my mobile processor for the first time.  I plan to get it up and running tomorrow to make sure I know how to use it properly, and then Saturday morning after the cattle arrive, I switch gears and go into chicken killing mode!

If I survive all that, Ill probably still have time to plan my sheep handling facilities.  And then there is the barn to start rehabbing inside, the quote for a new concrete barnyard, fencing, paint, new siding, a walk in fridge, water lines, downspouts and drain tile around the barn, more perimeter fencing around the new pastures, a new bridge over the stream, seed propagation for the early planting, heat mats for the seedlings, new grow lights, lime for the fields, did I mention deworming the sheep?, finishing the hoop coop for the pullets, starting the eggmobile construction, building the website, finding more CSA members, getting the logo done and the lobotomy.

Man, this farming stuff is awesome!  I love it!  Keeps you on your toes.


Nancy O said...

Hey Michael,

This is Nancy O from Jack Knox's clinic. There's a tag me going around on the blogs, and I was tagged and I'm tagging you. You need to write 40 Things about yourself on your blog. You can check out my blog for what you need to do at

Hope Frank is working out well for you!

Nancy O

SteveandAlina said...

Wow, and I thought we were busy with 2 kids, 2 jobs and one person in grad school... !!! Congrats on your new cattle! said...

We are busy! But its a good kind of busy. Tomorrow will be a challenge for me. Im looking forward to it.

Too bad its going to be 38 and windy. I would have preferred to butcher chickens today. It was almost 50 and sunny.

A. said...

Oh my goodness I ADORE THESE COWS! Fabulous!