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!

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We Love Our Cattle

Instead of gathering with family friends on Thanksgiving Day, I, along with my husband and our 13 year old son, weaned and vaccinated our Spring calves.  This is a day long process.  It started with my husband and son catching them in our working corral, so that we could separate the calves from the cows.  Once we had sorted out the calves, we let the cows back out into the pasture.  We then moved our calves to our working facility/feedlot.  We all have our duties during this process.  My son brings up groups of about 7 calves at a time, while I keep them moving into the chute where my husband vaccinates and pours them.  What this means is they each get two shots to keep them healthy (similar to vaccines humans get for flu), and then we pour a liquid down their back to keep them from developing parasites.  These calves have already had one round of shots back before they went to pasture for the summer.  They will stay in our feedlot until we decide we’re ready to market them.  There were 87 head worked.  That was plenty for one day!  We still have some to move and vaccinate, and we have our Spring heifers to vaccinate.  They will be having their first calves this next year.  Thank goodness for kids that are willing to help!  Our son jumps right in!  He’s a real trooper!  He’s hoping to get to pick a steer to take to the fair out of the calves we just weaned.  I’m hoping the process goes smoothly!

Our working facility

                      Our working facility

We then enjoyed a dinner of pork roast (from our own farm) and stuffing!  It was delicious!!!  I’ll share the recipe below.

Pork Roast and Stuffing

Pork Roast (3 to 4 lbs)

Stuffing

6 Cups dry bread crumbs(I use Pepperidge Farm), 3 ribs diced celery, small onion (diced), 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup beef broth, mushrooms (optional)

Mix stuffing ingredients.  Cut slits into pork roast and place stuffing inside as best as possible.  Place roast fat side up in crock pot and place more stuffing around roast.  Score fat of roast and season with a dry rub or salt and pepper.  Cook on high for about 6 hours then turn on low.  Enjoy!