We’re in the middle of Fall calving here on the farm. That means that our Fall cow/calf herd of 34 cows and 4 first-time Moms, or otherwise known as replacement heifers, have to be checked on a daily basis. So, every morning my husband and I travel to each of our two pastures to do just that. This morning, we noticed a cow off by herself. This usually means she has had a new baby calf. That wasn’t the case today. We discovered that one of her back hooves had been severly cut, and was very swollen. So, after we had checked the cows in our other pasture, we headed back to load her up and bring her home.
We got her into our working catch pen, and washed her hoof off with antiseptic, and then proceeded to treat her with antibiotic. This will help the wound to fight off infection, and heal. We let her out into the lot with the replacement heifers at our homeplace, so that we can keep an eye on her.
We take animal welfare very seriously on our farm. We never want to see an animal suffer. You’ve probably heard the expression, ” the animals on our farm come first”. It’s true; if an animal is in distress, they get priority over anything else on our farm. Thanks for stopping by today to see what’s been going on here around the farm!
Well, we’ve made it through the holidays, and it’s back to work. Today our veterinarian will come and pregnancy check some of our Spring cows. I will try and post some photos later.
Well, a few days away it will be Christmas. The kids are home for Christmas break, and it’s a good thing! We’ve already needed their help this morning. Some of our cows got out this morning, so my 9 and 13 year old took off to put them back in and fix the fence. They got all of them back in and fixed the fence all by themselves! I headed to town to get a battery and fence charger so that we can keep them in. After my husband finishes with the morning feeding chores, we’ll get the charger installed, and hopefully that will do the trick. Those of us that raise livestock must take care of them, and the health and safety of them is our top priority. Our operation consists of 300 head of cattle that must be cared for on a daily basis. I followed my husband around this morning so that you can see how this process works. He starts off by filling his vertical mixer with silage (ground feed sorghum), alfalfa, and brome hay.
Brome bale just loaded into mixer
Then, he lets everything mix up.
Vertical mixer mixing alfalfa, brome hay and silage
Then it’s time to feed the cattle.
Cattle enjoying their breakfast
This doesn’t seem like a very time consuming process, but it actually takes about 5 hours of a day. That being said, when there are special days such as Christmas, our day is a little different. When I travel to see my family my husband does not get to come along. So, the kids and I will pack up on Christmas day, and head to the airport after we’ve opened presents. Wishing all of a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year again when we begin to haul our cattle to the pasture. This process begins by sorting our cattle, and vaccinating them so that they remain healthy, and putting fly tags in their ears. They’ll be in the pasture for about 5 months. We then begin sorting the pairs of cows and calves, making sure we keep our mommas with their babies. Here’s a pictures of what we use.
Our sorting corral
After we’ve gotten about 5 pair, we put them on our stock trailer and off we go to the pasture!
Our stock trailer
Once they are in the pasture, we then check on them periodically to make sure they are all there, and give them mineral, and range cubes. These provide them with the nutrition they need when not being fed silage/hay/ground milo. We take them to the pasture because we don’t have enough hay/silage/milo to feed them all year round, and once it’s warm, the grass growing in our pastures provides them with something to eat. Each pasture also has a pond for them to drink water from. We have about 1,000 acres of pasture we own/rent. This allows us to divide up our 150 cows and calves so that they have plenty of space. It also gives us a break in the spring/summer so that we can devote our time to putting up more hay/alfalfa for them, planting silage, soybeans, milo and harvesting our wheat crop.
Cattle in one of our pastures
They look pretty happy don’t they!!! I think I could handle being a cow too!!! Well, my husband will soon be calling for me to bring the stock trailer so that we can haul more cows/calves to pasture, so until next time, happy trails!
Do animals raised for meat live in inhumane conditions?
Healthy, content animals are simply good business for farmers and the well-being of their animals is a very high priority. Farmers and ranchers are constantly exploring new ways to raise their animals in the best way. Many participate in stewardship and certification programs that ensure the good care of their animals, according to the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
All production systems have advantages and disadvantages, but all have been designed with the health and well-being of animals and humans in mind. Housing protects animals from predators, disease and bad weather. Housing also makes reproduction and birth less stressful, protects young animals and makes it easier to care for healthy and sick animals. Modern animal housing is well ventilated, warm, well lit, clean and scientifically designed to meet specific needs for temperature, light, water and food, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. On a well-run farm or ranch, the animals’ well-being is a part of all considerations. Shana Beattie, a farmer from Nebraska talks about how they take care of the pigs on their farm during the winter to keep them comfortable.
We also take pride in caring for our animals. Each day my husband spends two hours feeding our herd of beef cattle. We feed them a mixture of ground hay, silage, ground milo, and vitamins to provide them a balanced diet. We make sure they have plenty of room to move around, and water to drink. We also give them preventative vaccines in the Spring and Fall, to make sure they stay healthy. If we have a sick animal, we get them treated right away with antibiotic, and make sure that animal does not leave our farm before the antibiotic has left their system. We also take our cattle to the veterinarian, if there is a problem we can’t address on the farm. We enjoy taking care of our animals, and make it a priority!!!
The farmers and ranchers of Kansas practice respect and care of their animals daily.
I am getting ready to head to Charleston, South Carolina this week to attend the Commonground Shared Voices Conference. I am very excited to meet women from all over the country who are sharing their message about the importance of agriculture. I’ve been doing some thinking about how often I actually think about where my food comes from when I’m purchasing it myself. I think as farmwives we know that we produce the food that the consumer buys, so we don’t think about the safety of our food. We know that it is safe and wholesome. I wish I could say that every consumer thought the way that we do, but that’s not the case. In fact, just this last week I witnessed an example of why we need to educate consumers on how their food is produced. We have a neighbor that wanted to purchase one of our steers to be processed at the local locker plant (where animals are processed into meat). We thought he would want to see the steer before we took it into town, so that he could see that it was healthy and not diseased. Guess what his first question was? Will there be antibiotics in the meat from the steer? We had to inform him that there would not, because we had not given this particular animal any antibiotic injections. This proves that those that don’t understand farming practices are concerned about the safety of the food they eat. I feel having experienced this situation on my own farm will help me tell the story and dispel the myth about the safety our food supply. Remember when you’re in the grocery store the next time, farmers do care about the safety of the food you purchase! Till next time, happy shopping!!!