Day 186 – round up

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Cows look so nice, grazing in their pasture or loafing around inside the barn.  The picture of bucolic country life.  Ahhh.

But Mr. Hyde typically emerges when you need to sort them for any reason.

Sorting cattle is stressful for the humans who are in with the herd, trying to get this one to go that way, and that one to go this way, and also for the cattle, who know something is up, but can’t quite figure out what to do besides mill around and froth.

But this time something happened.  Maybe it’s because we’ve been working with the herd more – not intentionally, but calves being sold here, a few steers to the butcher there.  Maybe it’s because the half-crazy cow left (to return as tasty hamburger in the freezer) and the herd calmed down.  Or maybe because we had fantastic help and/or didn’t try to rush the sorting process.  Whatever it was, the momma cows filed out with only a few cases of pushing and shoving, and the bull and the steers trotted into the pen easier than in a long time.  The younger calves were running around, but ended up running in the opposite direction of the bull & steers, so no one got penned up who shouldn’t have (let my husband tell you how much fun that is – trying to sort out a frantic calf from frantic steers, all with momma cow bellowing on the other side of the gate).

Saturday, the bull will be on his way to his “other home” for 6 months, and Monday, one steer has a date with the butcher.  We’ll turn the other two (a steer and a yearling bull) back out, then re-collect them in the fall for processing.  And do the process all over again.

Day 34 – day of rest

I think the most strenuous things I did today was wash a load of dishes and do some laundry.  No hay needed moved, no water hauled, only the normal chores.

007 - CopyHere’s a picture of our barn – the upper level is where we store oats, hay and straw, our lumber pile, miscellaneous bits and pieces, and is also a work area for large projects.  The lower level has 3 pens for animals, and the horse and cow eating areas.  The cow area is the part to the left – that door is slid open during the warm parts of the year for ventilation.

That is not the original roof – we get some pretty good winds through here and one of those winds lifted the roof right off the barn, and left it all over the place.  We had an Amish work crew come and replace it with this metal roof.  I like to sit on the hay bales when it’s raining and just listen to the sound of the rain.

Web roundup

Want to know what I’m reading about agriculture, food, and sustainability? Well this periodic post is the place to find out: Kajabi on the old wise farmer Treehugger on exploding pig barns The New York times on the rise of the artisanal food producer Scientific American on the impracticality of the cheeseburger Foreign Policy Magazine on […]

Want to know what I’m reading about agriculture, food, and sustainability? Well this periodic post is the place to find out:

  1. Kajabi on the old wise farmer
  2. Treehugger on exploding pig barns
  3. The New York times on the rise of the artisanal food producer
  4. Scientific American on the impracticality of the cheeseburger
  5. Foreign Policy Magazine on commodity induced food price inflation
  6. Popular Science on how feeding antibiotics to pigs is helping to create superbugs
  7. The Guardian on Monsanto being found guilty of poisoning by a French court
  8. Gene Logsdon at The Contrary Farmer on the need for secret crying places
  9. Wake Up World on bus roof gardens
  10. Treehugger on Seattle’s attempt to create the world’s first public food forest

You can also get these kind of links in real time by following me on Facebook or Twitter.

DLH

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