Mob Grazing June 2016

Been rotating the cattle just about everyday, Other than when they were in the neighbors bottom field for about 10 days. It was really wet down there and there are no permanent fences, so I used a lot of step in posts to fence the permiter. Plus there are poisonous snakes because of the water, so don’t really want to go down there everyday to move fences. Made it over 40 days before coming back to the original paddock. The far hill pasture had tons of clover from the hay I rolled out in late winter/early spring for them.

I have the broiler chickens on the close hill pasture and they are fertilzing it nicely. Grass is coming back really dark rich green and the weeds that were covering are gone in those spots. I guess I need to run more broilers, even tho they are a lot of work.


Tractor Fire

Tractor had sat for a while and I needed to remove the rototiller and put on the hay spear to move some hay for the cow before I went to the ICHE convention. I was running the tractor and scraping a little composted manure from the Hoover building before I went to get the hay, when the boys started yelling about sparks coming out of my tractor. I had a leaky gas shut off valve under the gravity fed gas tank that would drip a little when it was open. I had used it all winter like that because I was moving hay so often I did not have time to fix it. So I stop the engine and get off and see huge flames. The top of the valve cover which is about 5 inches below the gas tank has a big fire going, and the gas is dripping right into the fire making it bigger. We all ran a ways away, then I went and got the garden hose and sprayed it off. Thankfully the fire went out before the tank blew up. Did I ever mention I have the best guardian angels. So the other day I went to replace the shut off valve and realized a rodent had made a really big nest of dried leaves and hay between the exhaust manifold and the valve cover, which is why the fire started. Got that cleaned out and the shut off replaced. Then I broke the glass filter bowl when I was cleaning it out, so I did not get to use my tractor anyways. It should run once I get to the store.

JJS 1993 screaming in pain

The kids love stories from when I was a kid. I was at the chiropractor today for an adjustment. My hip is really out of whack and so I have been in some pain. When I got adjusted today I screamed pretty loudly. It reminded me of this memory when I was younger.

The year is 1993, my parents had moved to Indonesia to do missionary work the summer before. My brother Jason, my older sister Melanie, and I were going to Indonesia to visit our parents and two younger sisters. We were supposed to go get some shots before we went so we would not get sick when we got there.

My sister Melanie hated getting shots, as in deathly afraid. So she was stressing out. We all three went to the doctor’s office together. Jason being the kind brother that he was, went first to ease Melanie’s nerves and show her how easy it was. Jason goes inside and the door closes. Suddenly Jason starts screaming in pain. The nurse opens the door holding the needle  and says “I have not even given him the shots yet.” Jason is in the background laughing.

I am sure Jason is very sorry Mel.

Have you figured out how to get more than 24 hours in a day yet?

Neither have I, but if someone knows, please share.

We have been very busy around here the last few days.

I had friends visit for a few hours on Friday afternoon.

My dog strangled itself to death on the run line on Friday evening.

On Saturday I was gone half the day in murray at a lamb showing class with charlotte and the young kids. Then we went to lowes to get supplies.

Then we started building bunkbeds and lofts for the boys room. We got it finished this evening. Well finished enough for now. We have sleeping spots for 4 boys. 1 computer desk area under Jimmy’s bed that Tommy will use for programming his robots. Jimmy has a drawing table up in his loft bed. Jack has a curtain to hide  behind in his bottom bunk. Benjamin wants some shelving in his bunk. And I have a lego building area yet to build. Need to find a storage spot for all the Mashoonga sticks. Tommy was a huge help.

My computer has been crashing on and off for quite some time. I think I finally figured it out. I sure hope so, I have a lot to do before I leave on Wednesday.

Thankfully we had two new baby calves born on Sunday evening, helped us forget about the dog. They were so soft, it would be hard to imagine without having touched them.

We have to milk our Jersey cow now some because the new calf does not drink enough to empty her. So that is twice a day.

Then I spent an hour this evening running around with one of my new south poll momma cows trying to squirt her engorged teat to get the milk out of it so that it would be small enough that the new calf would be able to nurse it. She tried to kick me every time I squeezed it. I finally got the milk clot milked out after about 5 miles of jogging(it seemed that long) with her avoiding her hoof. Then she finally stood still while I was doing it until she moved over slightly into the electric fence and we both got zapped. Then I had to get her to calm down again so I could finish. After it was back to a normal size I was resting and watching the new calf nurse and she nursed all 4 teats. So I knew I had fixed it. Otherwise she would have gotten mastitis in that quarter and probably never would have been able to produce in that quarter again in her life.  Then I looked at my shirt and realized I was full of manure. Charlotte watched the whole episode. I am sure she was thoroughly amused.

I got a hair cut tonight.

Now that I am cleaned up it is time to engineer. I will hopefully finish before 3am.

But I think I got my computer fixed. So far it seems like I may have a bad set of DIMMs. I will find out if it crashes anymore tonight if I have it solved.

Then wake up and put in a full day of engineering tomorrow.I also have to set up 8 days worth of mob grazing that is easy for someone else to move my cows while I am gone.

Wednesday we have an 8 hour drive to Naperville, IL for the ICHE homeschooling convention. Saturday night or Sunday we will drive back home the 8 hours. Then Monday we have to drive about 5.5 hours to knoxville, TN for Mia and Katie’s state livestock competition that they qualified for which is all day Tuesday.  Then Wednesday we drive back the 5.5 hours to home. Then I have to catch back up on the engineering and chores that I will now be behind on.

South Poll Heifer dies with calf inside her

Very sad day. Saw her have her water sack hanging out before the fish fry parade. Next day she tried laboring all day. Saw her in the morning laboring, then went to serve fish at the fish fry. Came home, she was still trying to labor. Nothing was showing tho. Next day she was up walking around like she was normal. I could not find a calf. Someone had told me they could turn off labor, like if a predator was attacking or something. So I waited. A couple days later she was dead when I came out in the morning. The calf was still inside her. That was an expensive mistake. I will definitely call someone the next time much earlier.

Clover not looking good

Having a cow die a few weeks back for no apparent reason, when one of the kids said clover did not get up to come eat her grain, I figured I better call the vet. Her mom died about this time aof year  a few years back when she had a calf due in a few months. Clover has a calf due in a few months, so it seemed like it would be a repeat.

Vet said she needed to be dried off immediately. She need to get more feed as her energy level was low. He gave her some dextrose through an IV into the liver. She has started to perk up.

Vet also recommended protein blocks. Got one in each field now.

Her little calves she was nursing are in the other field bawling.

Hopefully I should have 3 full blooded south polls in the spring and 1 half blooded south poll from Clover.

My neighbor to the east who only uses the land for hunting is allowing me to pasture my cows on his hunting ground when deer hunting season is not open. That will give me a lot more pasture to rotate my cattle thru this year, which is good because I have 3 south poll females, 1 south poll bull, Clover (jersey cow), 5 jersey bull calves, Mia and Tommy’s jersey bull calf, 1 black angus heifer, and 1 holstein steer.

That is 13 head of cattle, plus the new calves in the spring.

Once the holstein eats some spring grass and puts on some more meat, he will go in the freezer. Assuming he does not die before then like his friend did.