Saturday, June 4, 2016

Early 2016 Update

Sorry for the great length of time between posts. Not having regular internet at the house is painful.  It is very hard to conduct business with no hard-wire internet available to us.  We started grazing a month ago in early May. The grass greened up early, but was slow to grow back to grazing height. 

Cattle out on Grass Again

We had seven calves this spring, the same as all of last year, despite removing three of our older larger cows in 2015. We sold three young heifers as breeding stock this spring and were able to pay off the tractor.

Last of Our Seven Spring Calves

Three Heifers Sold for Breeding Stock

We started chicks in April, but we had issues with the first batch. They started off fine, but after a few weeks, they did not really get any larger eventually started dying a few at a time. We struggled to find a source of this stress on the birds, but ultimately moving the birds outside once the night temperatures finally warmed up did the trick. At this point I think the problem might have been associated with illness that was caused by covering the brooder tubs because it was pretty cool this spring. We will change out the brooder set-up for the layers and the turkeys coming in a few weeks. 

Chicks in the Brooder

Rolo (the new dog) Watching the Chicks in the Outdoor Pen

I have continued to work on tree planting and tree removal on the farm. I am planting another 100 serviceberries on the farm. That brings us up to around 200 serviceberries planted on the farm. 

Serviceberries Waiting to be Planted

I spent much of the winter cleaning up trees in the pasture. We have a fair number of cedar, osage orange, and Russian olive trees. I might leave a few the hedge and cedar trees that I can trim up as long they are male trees. The early thaw made the process harder as the frozen waterways were being used to drag brush up, down, and across them. 

Burning One of the Brush Piles

Frozen Waterway = Brush Hauling Highway

We need to build a chicken house this year for our new layer flock. Before I get the pad poured, I need to run a waterline through that area. We started that project, but it is not done yet and still needs to be hooked up to the existing water line. 

Putting in a Hydrant on the New Waterline

Around the house, we got Janice's hammock up. It is her favorite place to read. It has been almost 15 years since it has been up for Janice to use. I am glad to see her using it again. Our daughter had her sixth birthday party a few weeks ago, now Kindergarden is behind her and school is out for summer. Our son is getting bigger everyday. He is three-and-a-half now and in a lot of ways finally hit his terrible twos.  

Janice in Her Hammock

Daughter's Birthday Part with Cousins

Stay tuned and we will try not to be such strangers. I look forward to seeing our customers again starting again in July with a full inventory of beef and chicken. 

Nermal wants to Play with the Radio

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