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Farm Chores

Posted 9/6/2016 10:09am by Rebecca Coulter.

     What does 100% Grassfed mean, and why does it matter?  Grains and corn are often fed to cows and sheep, because it causes them to grow much faster, get fatter, and produce more milk, which is good for the farmer’s bottom line.  It also allows the farmer to feed their animals in the barn or a feedlot, instead of letting them graze and roam in the pastures.  However, since cows and sheep were designed to graze and eat grass, the meat and milk from those animals will not provide the same nutrients.  Studies have shown that 100% Grassfed meats are higher in CLA’s, Omega 3, and vitamins and minerals.  Check out the EatWild website for more information.   We are committed to providing the most healthful food possible, as well as a healthy and natural lifestyle for our animals.

      Because our cows and sheep eat only grass, we need large open pastures for our rotational grazing system.  But what about in the winter when there is no grass?  During the spring and early summer we harvest the extra grass and make huge round hay bales to feed during the summer dry spells, and over the winter.  Of course it all has to get hauled from the far flung fields to the feeders.

    

  After looking at the budget, and the possible options, we settled on an old cabover flatbed truck, big enough to carry some bales and pull a loaded trailer.  At max capacity, the truck, which soon earned the nickname of the BEAST, can haul 27 bales.  The little girls love to ride in it, and our “CEO of Keeping Animals Fed”, nineteen year old Jason, has found it to be one of the most useful tools on the farm.

   

Posted 4/6/2016 10:38am by Rebecca Coulter.

Collisions between fenceposts and farm equipment don’t usually have a good result for either one.  After a few years, and a few close encounters, some of our fences had noticeable sags where there used to be posts.  Since none of us are fond of running after loose cattle, who usually find the weak spots in the fences and make their escape at inconvenient times, Jason and Jacob mounted the post pounder on the skidloader this week and set to work. 

They should have been able to finish replacing all the broken posts this week, but they expressed a remarkable reluctance to continue the job in the pouring rain.  Instead, they stayed inside, and used the time for some lively discussion of exactly who was driving the equipment during the implement/post encounters, and how much smarter it would have been to use a little more caution and a little less speed.   I’m sure next week’s better weather will have them finishing up so we will have tight, strong fences around all the pastures when we turn the cows out for their first taste of the fresh spring grass.

Posted 1/6/2016 10:46am by Kinley Coulter.

 

       

     Usually during the winter, our tractors and skid loader stay in the shop or one of the barns.  But this recent cold snap caught Jason off guard, and the ‘big’ tractor was left outside.  When he went to start it so he could haul some bales to feed the cows, it showed no sign of life.  After about an hour of tinkering at 9 degrees he came and asked his dad for advice.  The two of them rigged up a heater under the engine block, close enough to warm everything but far enough away to not start a fire. At least that was the plan. Judgement calls like that always leave me worrying about flames reaching to the sky or explosions, but they seem to take it all in stride. They have pointed out to me that if I’m not the one out in the cold, I probably would be best not giving advice.  By lunch time, they had thawed the tractor enough that the solenoid would engage and the engine could start, and had delivered hay to the feeders, putting smiles on the faces of the hungry cows, steers and sheep :).