Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter on the Farm

Winter is beautiful.  Darn cold this year, but beautiful.

The biggest thing we've been struggling with is how to get 4 steers into the trailer to go to the butcher on Jan 11th without buying several thousand dollars of cattle handling equipment. 

My idea was to get those 4 steers into their own pasture.  Done!  That was a pretty easy job with our new pastures and fences.  Mike almost got them all separated by himself.  The 3rd one started running away down the lane and luckily I saw it while I was up picking turnips last week because I just took the dogs with me and we got the steers into the pasture.  The dogs are actually pretty good with cattle as well.  Frank is a little bit afraid of them but Dot has no fear.  We just need to train her better so she doesn't get stepped on as she gets pretty close.

Next step, back the trailer into the pasture.  This was the hardest part as those 4 steers really wanted to get out.  So the dogs had to hold them back while we opened up the gate and Mike backed in the trailer. Done!

So now we've been putting their food inside the trailer for almost 2 weeks.  Mike has done a trial run and they all go in the trailer!  Yippee.  Tomorrow is the big day so let's hope all goes well.  

I think we still have 1 more steer that can be sold off-- so if you want great grass fed beef-- email Mike.  One steer will be about 500-600 lbs.  So a quarter of a steer is 125-150 lbs.  If you only want 50 or so lbs email Mike as well.  We'll work it out.  You'll get charged more for certain cuts/etc if you want less but it will still be a deal.

Unfortunately we don't have our own stored hay yet and so we'll be buying hay this winter and likely next winter.  After that we may get our own bundled and stored ahead of time.  One big bale will last about 2 days.  

The chickens are hanging in the barn area.  When it snows they don't like to venture very far.  There are some hens who keep going into areas of the barn and lay their eggs that we don't find till later.  Who knows, maybe we'll get chicks when we least expect it.

And this is the garden area.  I had the wrong shoes on to go up further.  I still think that when the weather warms above freezing, the kale and arugula and winter thyme and parsley will start growing again.  They all really seem to enjoy the cold weather.  

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