It’s not the first country by any means, but it’s awful close to home.
I was reading my latest Stockman Grass Farmer paper and they had a really nice article on how to know when your cow is ready to finish. A lot of it had to do with fat and how to judge it which I knew. However there was another tip about looking at the inside of the back legs. I hadn’t really looked at Sam that way before until this morning. I gotta say, the boy has some nice legs. He’s closer to finish weight than I really thought. I think he will be ready to go by the time we go in hay which will be about perfect as far as feeding. However since I can’t fit any more meat in the freezer we either need to sell some pork or I need to buy another freezer. Probably both.
Here you see the cows in the paddock just outside the barnyard. The grass is still pretty thin so we are doubling the paddock sizzle giving them plenty to graze. The clover is recovered in these paddocks and the cows are going straight to it first.
The beauty of having the cows in the front pasture is that they are right by the house and its like having them in my front yard. The downside is that moving the cows from the front pasture into the next pasture is the largest move we make. We have to move the cows from the far end of the front pasture all the way to the other side then through the barn paddock and into another pasture.
I am either getting smarter or luckier because this time we timed the move when the inmates were here. I also had Spork and the Princess to help me. With all that help, and a bit if strategic hot wire, everyone was moved without a hitch. In fact it went so well that I didn’t even get a picture.
The interns are getting better at this grazing thing than I am. They are making decisions I didn’t even look at yet and are keeping the paddock sizes right for the grass. Today John pointed out that the grass in the bottom of the upcoming weeks pasture is thinner than the grass at the top of the hill. I had noted that on the last rotation but hadn’t said anything. John picked it up and was already adjusting the upcoming paddocks for the individual conditions. Its great to see these guys getting everything down. It’s also great to see that individual attention is making a difference on the pasture.
While giving a tour to a 4H group this week, I was showing the soil conditions in our front pasture. Much like the other paddock which had completely different conditions, this pasture had about 1/2″ of dry organic material on top then about 3/4″ of topsoil. We have created almost all of that topsoil in one season utilizing nothing but grazing with no amendments. Pretty amazing.
Bacon. Is there anything it can’t do?
The cows continue their march across the pasture directly in front of our house. The grass is thick and good looking although the cows are mowing it down as fast as they can. The front pasture is small so the cows can cover a paddock pretty quickly.
After 4 days gone, the cows have killed the last of the phosphorous and also the vitamin V4 in the mineral feeder. I used my last bag of V4 this morning and the phosphorous was done before I left. I have a large replenishment order that is supposed to be here this week. I don’t think they have hit their schedule yet so I don’t have my hopes up but maybe this time I will get lucky. The cows have gone through 250 lbs of phosphorous in 30 days. Obviously it’s the mineral they were lacking the most. I just have to keep them supplied and the balance should return to the farm. I keep telling myself that when the bill comes.
It’s been a few days since I was able to post. I’ve been in Troy, NC at Montgomery Community College taking a class to learn some new skills I’ll be sharing later. Although it was nice to be gone, it sure was nice to get back, especially when I had great helpers for my first trip to the farmers market.
The rooster in this video is Red, our first rooster. He lost an eye to infection and now lives as an outcast. We make sure his outcast life is actually the good life, always getting the best of everything. He actually spends quite a bit of time at the house, eating the dogs food and hanging out. Not too bad of a retired life.
Thanks to Miguel and the inmates for keeping everybody safe and full while I was gone.