Ouch!!!

cow

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!

Karra

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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!

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!

Wheat Harvest 2013


We have almost wrapped up wheat harvest 2013. We should finish today, if everything goes as scheduled. It was a safe and bountiful harvest and we give thanks to the Lord for the great weather he provided to allow it to mature so nicely. Keaton had to step in this year and he did a great job!!! I have to say not many 12 year old kids run a tractor and grain cart from the field to the grain bin by themselves! We know Grandpa Veryl was up in heaven looking down and smiling on us!!! Hope all of the farmers everywhere have a safe and bountiful harvest as well.

Feeding The Crew

We began cutting wheat yesterday here in North Central Kansas.  I will be sharing some photos soon, once I have them uploaded to my computer.  I am in charge primarily of feeding the crew.  I never know for sure when the first meal will need to be delivered to the field, but my duties officially began last night at suppertime.  I try to keep it simple and fairly light as temperatures have been very warm.  I thought I’d share a few of my recipes, so you can enjoy them with your family as well!!!  Wishing a bountiful and safe harvest to all of the farmers!

Chili Burgers

1 lb. hamburger, 1/4 C. chopped onion, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 8oz. can tomato sauce, ketchup, dash sugar

Brown hamburger with onion.  Add chili powder, tomato sauce, a little water ketchup to cover all of the meat well, and just a little dash of sugar.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Serve on hamburger buns.

fruitsaladFruit Salad

Fruit of your choice (watermelon, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, apples), orange juice, honey

Slice fruit.  Cover with orange juice and honey.  Toss.

Potato Salad

6-8 Potatoes, 4 boiled eggs, 1/4 C. chopped onion, 1 C mayonnaise, 2/3 C. pickle relish, 1/2 C. sour cream, 2 tsp. mustard, 1 tsp. celery seeds, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 C sugar, 1 1/4 tsp salt.

Cut and dice potatoes and cook.  Drain and add chopped eggs and all other ingredients.  Chill.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C Butter Flavored Crisco, 1 C Brown Sugar, 1/4 C White Sugar, 2 Eggs, 2 Tbsp. Vanilla, 2 Tbsp. Milk, 2 C. Flour, 1 tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. Baking Soda, 1/2 bag chocolate chips.

Cream together, sugars and butter flavored crisco.  Add eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Sift together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Mix.  Add chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

 

 

 

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!!!

Wheat Worry

Matthew 6:34

This morning my husband seemed to be a little weary-eyed. I asked what was wrong. He responded, “I was up all night checking on the temperature”. We’ve had some abnormal temperatures in our area over the last few days, with temperatures dipping down into the low 20’s at night. When your a wheat farmer, this is not good. Our wheat has entered the jointed stage, shown below.

 

Picture showing wheat in the jointing stage.

Picture showing wheat in the jointing stage.

 

Any temperature below 24 degrees could cause the wheat to freeze, and thus die. We’re hoping that has not happened, but we won’t know for sure, just yet. Here’s a picture I took this morning in one of our fields.

Picture of wheat in our fields.

Picture of wheat in our fields.

We’ll check again in a few days. If if looks wilted, we’ll know it has been frozen. So the only thing we can do is trust in the Lord, for only he knows what will happen. So if you’re overwhelmed with the pressures of daily life, take time to pray, and let God handle your worries for you. Until next time, Blessings!

Karra