Friday, March 5, 2010

The new herd

Well we've been trying to find the right way to take the farm and after lots of prayer we have added beef cattle to our herd. We have added 2 more bred angus cows, 1 bred hereford cow, 1 charolais cross heifer, 1 simmental cross heifer (not the surprise calf) and 1 hereford heifer. We will have 5 more calves this year and plan to take 5 calves to the sale barn this fall, once they are up to weight. Next years goal is 10.

The sorting process of buying beef cattle is interesting if you opt to buy unregistered/cross bred stock. The 3 heifers came together and were among 5 that we went to see. 1 was an obvious (at least to me) jersey cross with jersey conformation (trending toward dairy rather than beef) and the other seemed thin for her age (compared to the other calves being seen and Eva). Those 2 did not make the cut. The hereford is such a sweet calf, she is like a pet. She follows us around, she is so adorable. The guy who had here had bottle fed her and kept her in a separate pen from the others, she even had her own "room" in the big barn, lol. We call her Pretty. The other 2 calves are Coffee (she had a cough) and the other is Patches.

The big girls, AKA bred cows, are Notch (she has a notch on her ear), Pickle (born in her bag and her mama worked very hard to get her bag to break, she looked like a pickle) and Dolly (another hereford that tugged on the heart strings of her previous owner). These girls come from a farm that is selling out and their other cow friends will be on the sale barn floor tomorrow. We looked at the bull who was there and he had been dehorned very young, he is a big boy but though he looks VERY angus, he is an obvious cross with jersey. It isn't that he looked the part, it is that all the calves that he has fathered have a very definite Jersey look (white ring around the nose and a variety of tan, red and brown coloring, mixed with their black fur.

While there is nothing wrong with crossing a jersey and angus, it is not practical to buy a calf that trends this way as it takes more to get them beefed up. We will have to keep looking for an angus bull to make the herd complete. The key to this however is trying to find one at the right price as we did for the females we got, as the saying goes "buy low, sell high".

On a side note: my son has just completed a practical course in investing, he took his birthday money and invested it, he didn't buy at the lowest point in the market but he was able to buy low enough that he trippled his money when he sold his stock today. To say the least he is very pleased with this and is making plans for his new found wealth, lol.

We will be having both pastures hot wired, with a path leading from one side to the other, thankfully we found someone who could do it at a good price. I am hoping that this will end the annual fencing nightmare. We have also ordered more hay to act as a supplement. This year we will be deworming and vaccinating the cows, as we do not want to risk losing any this year.

We were so thankful that the truck was able to handle the weight, the 3 cows are rather big and we have never hauled so much weight before. We were very concerned but it did beautifully, though we will not haul such a heavy load in future with a 1/2 ton truck, we will need something heavier. There was one point where we got stuck on someone's property while trying to turn around and thankfully their neighbor had a 1 ton dually 4x4. That guys truck is VERY NICE, it is both manual and automatic, but boy is it expensive to buy something like that. Everything in time . . .

As you may have noticed we are moving more towards working on the farm over any other ventures. The "business" didn't work as it was supposed to or as we had understood it to be and we have walked away from it. There are issues there that I would please ask that you keep us in your prayers. God has been good, He is truly faithful and we are continually blessed.



Patches and Coffee

Coffee again

Spot and her new mama :)

More pics to come soon, it is pretty dark out so no pics of the ladies yet.

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