Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You Might Be A Beginning Farmer If...

You might be a beginning farmer if you haul hay to the farm in your livestock trailer.  A 16 foot livestock trailer can haul three medium sized bales. Net wrapped  bales can fit in there a bit better, but if the fit is tight they tend to be tightly packed and give much if any. To unload the trailer, you just back up to a stout post or tree and wrap a chain around it and the bale. Then drive forward and unload.
As a word of advise, it is helpful to wrap a chain around each bale as it goes in. It makes unloading much easier.

Livestock trailers double as hay haulers

You can fit one in the truck bed as well

I have made two of these trips now, hauling 4 bales of hay each time. I have four to five of these trips left to complete to have enough hay to get through the winter. I would like to make it to April 15th before I start grazing. I wish I was not feeding the rented bull for half the winter, but I can't change my current situation. Next year, we have about 27 more grazable acres either coming on line or rented so we should be able to tray to stockpile more grass and avoid feeding so much hay next year. 

You might be a beginning farmer if you go with a local Christmas Tree. We have not put up a tree in years, but with Hazel here, I felt it was time. I went out to the pasture and cut down an Eastern Red Cedar that was still pretty green. They tend to turn a reddish brown as winter sets in. I also looked for a female tree. Cedars are pretty much a weed around here, but they do provide decent cover to wildlife. I try to remove female trees (the ones with the blue berries) to keep down on the seed source. 

Red Cedar Christmas Tree

I know It is a bit sparse, but it has character

If any friends or customers decide they want a tree like our, let us know and I will take you at pasture and send you home with one free. We have a wide variety to choose from. 

You might be a beginning farmer if your livestock get out regularly. It does seem that use beginning farmers are still building much of our farms and that out fences are not always what we want them to be. I have had the pleasure of putting various quantities of sheep back in the pasture about a dozen times in the past 5 to 6 days. I think we have tightened things up to the point that we can keep most our sheep in. On Friday, the sheep sprung the cattle as well so I had to call Janice for help in reining the herd in off my neighbors land. I had to put temporary fence up all around them before I could funnel them back on to our land. 

Putting up temporary fence to break-up the party my cattle & Sheep were having

It was a stressful week, but we are now focused on winter feeding and I think we have things to the point that there should not have any more incidents like this one until Spring. 

If you have other thoughts on what makes you a beginning farmer, feel free to leave them under the comments. 

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