Christmas is Almost Here

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

Brome bale just loaded into mixer

Then, he lets everything mix up.

Vertical mixer mixing alfalfa, brome hay and silage

Vertical mixer mixing alfalfa, brome hay and silage

Then it’s time to feed the cattle.ee30ecbc-9813-423b-95bd-82329de5075d

Cattle enjoying their breakfast

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!

Caring For Our Animals

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!!!