I can’t believe we are already half way through March! Where does the time go?? I thought it would be a good time for a little ranch update!
We are only a couple weeks away from the start of calving season, which is one of my favorite seasons, its like Christmas morning to go out and see fresh babies on the ground. We calve later then most around here and there are a few reasons for that. One, is that we like to be out on green grass and able to keep the cows moving to fresh pasture. This is for the cows nutrition and the calves health, this time of year can be muddy and it seems like the calves have a harder time with scours if they are in the mud. We have found it much better to keep the cows on fresh, clean green grass!
Another reason we calf later is because MO weather can be so volatile, calving earlier usually means at least 1-2 calves being born in the snow/ice and loosing their ears to frostbite or even their lives if you don’t catch them early enough. It usually means pulling calves into the house to warm them up in bathtubs and having to supplement them with milk replacer. Which is just not as good as what the momma can provide so we try and avoid all of that.
The newest batch of pigs are out in the timber! They sure do love it out there and it always seems like the pigs blossom when we get them trained to the hot-wire and moved out to the trees. They have a lot of nuts and roots to dig around in and enjoy running around. The hills really build their muscles and they get a lot of fun running around and then napping in the sun!
In a couple weeks the first batch of 300 chicks will be here! Luckily we are pretty well set up for new chicks now and just have to order feed, put down clean shaving, and hang the waterers. Far easier then building a brooder from scratch like we did a couple years ago! This first batch is the hardest to maintain a consistent temperature for in the brooder though, because our brooder is in a old barn it isn’t very fancy or temperature controlled like some fancy places are. So, we just check on the chicks a lot and add or take away lights to keep them nice and warm, but not too warm.
I have high hopes that spring is going to come when spring is supposed to come this year. March 20th! We are ready to move the cows out to grass and stop feeding hay. It sure would help make up for the dry fall we had! Everyday that the sun pops out, you can almost watch the grass grow. I am sure if I had an extra camera to set up that I could catch the grass growing in a time-lapse.
We will just get busier from here on out, but that’s okay, we have had a nice and restful winter, so we are ready to put in the time to raise the best beef, pork and chicken for you to feed your families!