It rained here several days ago. It was wonderful! It was a gentle rain so it soaked into the ground and didn't cause "rivers" everywhere. We could probably use more but with just that rain the grass got a lot greener and shot up. Now, it is a mostly sunny day, the grass is green again, the birds are singing, there is a slight breeze and Shadow is chasing bees on the deck. It is another beautiful day at Country Cousins Farm. I'm not sure what the plans are for today. I'm sure there is some cooking and laundry to do. I know that yesterday Ryan and dad were working on fixing up (weather proofing) the barn windows. P
Things are really dry around here. The grass is all brown and dried up and the crops are not growing as they should be right now. For the animals out in the pasture, we just supplement their "meals" with hay. However, because it is dry, the grass isn't growing so we can't make any hay. Today, Ryan mowed off an entire field and we will probably only get two loads of hay from it. That is not much. However, we are blessed—from the hay that we already put in the barn from first cutting, it should be enough to feed our animals, there just won't be as much to sell. So, we are praying for rain and trusting that God will provide for our needs, whatever they may be. That is the life of the farmer. Praying a lot and trusting God even more.
1- Cows are always girls. Bulls are boys. They belong to the bovine family. 2- Cows only make white milk. Chocolate and strawberry syrup are added after the fact. 3- Pumping a cow's tail does not help them make milk. 4- A cow, gives birth to a calf- which can be either a male or female. A heifer is a girl, a bull is a boy. We raise the heifers to eventually use as milk cows. The bulls we either casterate and raise as steers (for meat) or we sell them.
It can be rather fun to see how many people believe that black cows make chocoloate milk and white cows make white milk. Now, you all have been educated on some of the terms
We are working on putting more haylege into the silo. So, since Derek is currently at a summer camp, I get to help with the field work. I was pretty excited to rake the hay (I drive the tractor that has a "rake" behind it that sweeps up the grass and puts it into a nice row). I started raking at 10:45 this morning. By 11:20 I was back in the house because it had started to rain. Well, it only rained for a little bit so dad said I could go back out and rake some more. I went back out and raked for about 15 more minutes and it started to rain a little. I wasn't too worried... it had only rained for a little bit earlier so I kept raking. Well, the drops kept getting bigger and they were coming faster... I looked over at Ryan (who was mowing off some more hay) and he motioned for me to go into the house. By the time I got onto the rode (approx 2 minutes) it was raining for real. Actually, it was pouring so hard I could barely see! Needless to say, by the time Ryan and I made it back to the house we were DRENCHED. Oh, well, maybe it will stop raining and we'll try again. Either way, we needed rain so I can't complain! :)
It just occurred to me that I have never written (in the blog) about what we do for summer barn chores. It is such an important thing-- so I thought I had better explain! In the summer time, chores are easier. Most of the heifers are out of the barn, so there is less feeding and less scraping and bedding to do each day. That is kind of nice... especially when we have to do barn chores in between each load of hay!
Morning chores for dad start at 4:00 AM. Derek or Jennilea will also get up then to go out and get all the cows in from the pasture and put them in the barn to be milked. This is about a 45 min process. After the cows are in, whichever "kid" went out to the barn gets to go back to bed and dad milks the cows. At 6:00, mom heads out to the barn to mix feed for the cows, which she’ll then feed at about 6:45. Around 6:30, dad finishes milking and Ryan or I go out to help do everything else. This includes: cleaning off the troughs (taking the leftover food away from the cows), feeding sweep outs (feeding that leftover food to the heifers and steers), feeding milk calves (we have 3 right now), feeding the weaned calves, bedding the cows (put fresh hay under all of them), sweeping down the walkway, and feeding the cows their corn and grain. We usually get in from the barn at around 7:30.
Evening chores begin at 3:00 PM. Mom mixes feed for the cows and then feeds them, dad scrapes the walkway and behind the cows, the rest of us do the other chores. These include: feeding the milk calves, giving corn and grain to the heifers and steers, scraping out the calves' stalls, bedding the calves, and feeding corn and grain to the cows. Right now, all of that takes about 45 minutes. At 4:00 Derek will go out and milk the cows. He is usually done at about 5:45 and then the cows are all let out into the pasture for the next day.
There you have an overview of the chores we do everyday. Now, you know what I mean when I write about morning and/or afternoon chores. :)
Hello, if you are a follower of this blog you will remember that Angela was doing the blogs. Well, things have gotten busy for her and so Stan, her dad, is filling in for now. I am not as techno savy as her so I am not sure how this will work but I am going to try and post on a hopefully regular basis.