Farmerjan's journal - Weather

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,356
Reaction score
14,652
Points
498
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
We are getting steady but not as light as it was before. I am thinking we will get an inch or so.... No wind though so that is good. Got the wagon covered yesterday, and the baler, but tarps not tied down all that securely, so no wind is good. Got a couple of flounder fillets thawing... trying to eat out of the freezer some. Going to go wash a sinkful of dishes and put some green beans in a bowl to heat too. That will take care of the hunger pains.....
Internet keeps going in and out of course.... but there is no stove or anything at the new house and still resisting moving much due to anticipated dust/mess from the floor sanding.... I did text him to let him know that I had gotten everything moved out of the LR and the hallway.... and if he gave me an idea of when he thought he might try to come, I would make sure that he got a check for downpayment of the 50% needed on the estimate/contract.... "HINT HINT" . I tried to call the phone co that I have the current internet through.... of course, no cell service.... I never think of it when I am out. It just took the auto monthly payment out of the account.... so will not cancel til next month any way...
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
20,215
Reaction score
50,256
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
We went and got Feed today. Robert came over and helped me unload it. It took longer because he doesn’t know how to hand it to me. He stood the bag up, so when I picked it up, I had to shake it to level it out for stacking. I was glad for the help though.

BJ is down, he’s scheduled for hip replacement October 14. Went to orthopedic surgeon yesterday and said the sooner the better. Here we go! Right at that same time I have a bunch on Cornish to butcher and we’ll have the granddaughters from October 8-12. Plus I have 8 layer hens that are on their second molt, so they need to go. We gave Neighbor Ron 5 Cornish and I got to butcher his and teach him how. That’s the neighbor that broke the yoke on the borrowed tractor. He brings knives so I can sharpen them. LOL So I’m gonna be busy in October!
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,356
Reaction score
14,652
Points
498
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
We went and got Feed today. Robert came over and helped me unload it. It took longer because he doesn’t know how to hand it to me. He stood the bag up, so when I picked it up, I had to shake it to level it out for stacking. I was glad for the help though.

BJ is down, he’s scheduled for hip replacement October 14. Went to orthopedic surgeon yesterday and said the sooner the better. Here we go! Right at that same time I have a bunch on Cornish to butcher and we’ll have the granddaughters from October 8-12. Plus I have 8 layer hens that are on their second molt, so they need to go. We gave Neighbor Ron 5 Cornish and I got to butcher his and teach him how. That’s the neighbor that broke the yoke on the borrowed tractor. He brings knives so I can sharpen them. LOL So I’m gonna be busy in October!
Busy is good(?) but that is going to be nuts. Just when you need to get a little relaxing after the girls go home.... oh, and the "wonderful helpful neighbor" ouch, that is a disaster waiting to happen. I know you will manage it somehow.... but adding him in is a dangerous combination.
 

Mini Horses

Herd Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
3,800
Reaction score
10,390
Points
488
Location
S coastal VA
@Baymule that is a tough Oct schedule! The PT will keep you busy just hauling him to those appt for a couple months after.....at least even there you have some things slow up with winter. Well, a little. Maybe some chores can stop....garden weeding!

Farmerjan that floor guy needs to get there sooner than later! He's holding everything up right now. You have a lot of things going on at once. That's a score on the fruit trees!! I have 2 young apples and if the weather would act normal in Spring this yr l would get a few pieces of fruit. They & plum have lost all past 2 yrs because of it. :(. It's sad and maddening. Plum is maybe 18....hold fruit for me....or burn!

We are getting some light rains here. Should end tomorrow. Scattered and not tooooo heavy at the farm. Grass is growing well. Chilly is here -- happy Fall! With cooler temps a little earlier, may get some nice leaf color this year in the woods. :idunno

With all the cattle, hay, etc....how many acres do ya'll have to "manage"? I drive by a couple farms each week with a couple nice herds...maybe 30-40 head each, mature, quick guess. Some nice angus. ?or. He puts up several hundred of the marshmallows every year. Soon there will be calves to admire. I enjoy seeing them.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,356
Reaction score
14,652
Points
498
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
@Mini Horses I imagine that we make hay on about 175-200 acres. All but about 20 acres of that is not fenced so we cannot run cattle on it. About 35-40 of it is now improved orchard grass that we roll first cutting usually and then square bale most of it for 2nd cutting. We got over 400 sq bales off the one 10 acre field there where they put up the cell tower, second cutting; and rolled about 3 rolls doing the outsides and all that have a little weed/other grasses in it and that don't dry as well sometimes with the trees shading. This last week it did dry pretty good with the no humidity even though it was shaded alot more than the hay that is more in the field. First cutting we don't have alot of that problem getting it dry as the sun is so much higher,but this time of year certain sides will get much less sun and take longer to dry unless it is like this week with no humidity and the light breeze we got. The places where there are fences, we make first cutting, then we will move cattle on to for late grazing after it has grown up. A couple of places we don't always make a second cutting if we get late with the first. Mostly mixed grass fields that we don't know if we are going to have from one year to the next so don't fertilize very heavy.
And about 35 of that is done custom for a friend. We make one cutting and then he pastures that for his own cows, late in the year and into the winter. We get paid to do that place.

With our big 5x5 and 5x6 rolls we figure 1 1/2 rolls per head per month minimum.... actually it is 1 roll per 20 days for a dry cow and 1 1/2 rolls for a cow calf pair.... So with about 200 head "mature cattle" cows, and anything over 1 yr old. like replacement heifers, that is around 300 rolls a month 10 rolls a day, 20 cows per roll per day in real cold weather; and we figure 3-4 months of "full hay feeding" . We like to go into the winter with no less than 1200-1500 rolls. Since we are feeding silage some now for the last several years, the hay needs have dropped. But then we have also been holding our calves sometimes longer, although they do get silage, they have to have hay for the "long fiber" to keep their rumens working. And there is the waste that goes back into the ground, but some of it is not eaten so you have to allow for a higher consumption rate to allow for that which is "wasted". Years ago when cattle were fed mostly sq bales, the thoughts were what they would clean up in 2-3 hours and then the rest of the time they would be chewing their cuds and it would get regurgitated and all. So what it boils down to is about one good sized sq bale per head per day. 50-60 lbs. A cow with a young nursing calf needs more, one with an older calf less, but the calf is eating some to offset the cow. They can only eat so much, then have to let the rumen work. Many would break it up into 2 feedings a day and there was very little waste.

Nowadays, if you are not rich, a great number of farmers have outside jobs, and so the chores need to be streamlined. Hay handling needed to be made easier.... and to be a 1 man operation so to speak. You can't find the kids to come help with sq bales like you could when I was growing up. We'd get a bunch together, and everyone would go help, you had fun, it was a social occasion and worked hard, and made some cash money. You can't beg kids to help for $10 an hour cash money now. And the cost of making hay is going up, but what we get for it has not risen in comparison. I used to help those couple of farmers when I first moved down here, for about $5 an hour... hay was selling for $2-$3 and I would take hay in exchange so usually got 3 bales per hour.... Here it is 35 years later and we can barely get $5 and $6 a bale out of the field.... but costs are 3-4 x what they were back then.... don't even mention the cost of machinery.

Our rain was all day yesterday, the clouds should be clearing out here by noontime according to the weather forecast this morning. Will have to check the rain gauge when I go out. There's quite a bit of fog and clouds right now. Looks like a nice weekend. I plan to get the new daylily plants in the ground and want to dig up a few here, and get them moved. Want to get my irises moved too and then have to figure out where I want to put the peony plants so they don't get disturbed again. The daylilies will probably get moved again next year after I see what all is in the patch they have there, and the irises can get moved more easily, but the peonies I would like to put in a place they can stay. Also have one old rose bush here that owner cut to the ground a couple years ago, that I might just take with me. He doesn't like them because they get too big and overgrown looking....

So it is getting near 9 a.m.. It is pretty grey and cloudy out. I am going to get a few things together here, put dishes away and maybe do up the rest. Have several bags that need to go to the dumpster on the way by; may be do a little more sorting before I go and clean out a bit more stuff. I also need to go by the pilot/wendy's truck stop to the "cardboard dumpster" and find some boxes that they break down, to bring here to pack some stuff. Some things I will sort through but alot I am going to just box and then as I get in there, and decide where and how I want things, can cull stuff out too. If I spend so much time doing it here then I will never get through it. Plus that way I can really make up my mind if it was worth keeping, and get more stuff for a yard sale put together. I have already done alot of it, and the things now are more paper sorting that I would rather do up there this winter....and some kitchen things that I need to decide where to put them... some stuff is still in boxes now... and there are clothes like you talked about... some I would really like to get back into if the knee replacements allow me to get more active and lose more weight....

If things ever get back to normal, the local drive in movie theater has a "flea market" one day a month, and that is a great place to take and sell stuff...LOTS of PEOPLE.... set up is like $10 and goes to help support the theatre although their weekend night crowds are usually really good... but that is only 3 nights a week.... I would rather do that than have people coming to the house.... and you don't have to worry about traffic like with the busy road at the new house and someone getting into an accident, or people wandering all over your place.....Pain to haul it but you are less likely to want to haul it back home too.... Plus there is no pre scheduling, you just show up pay the fee, and it is first come first served as far as spaces go.... and if I get the fruit trees put in, I don't want people driving all over and running them over or anything like that....
 

Mini Horses

Herd Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
3,800
Reaction score
10,390
Points
488
Location
S coastal VA
what it boils down to is about one good sized sq bale per head per day. 50-60 lbs. A cow with a young nursing calf needs more, one with an older calf less, but the calf is eating some to offset the cow.
The BIG SHOCK to those wanting to raise their own -- cattle are huge eaters!! Plus in my area, it's $10 & up per 50-55 bale. The richer, tested hay I buy for goats runs me closer to $20. Yeah, it's not cheap! If it's not available, then I have to resort to good orchard or mixed and supplement with alfalfa pellets, etc.

Still it is less expensive that a cutter, baler or even ONE broken part!
I assume you also work another 100 or so acres for pasture/range, even while haying. It's what I see with these smaller herds -- walking range in winter with the hay and silage out daily. It's a lot different seeing 30 150# goats running toward you than 30 1500# cows!! Of course either of can knock you down and trample! 😁o_O Better chance of living thru it with the goats. 🤔

With the light rains, should be a good time to dig those plants!
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,356
Reaction score
14,652
Points
498
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
People don't seem to realize how much an animal eats, any animal... be it the cattle or the goats or sheep or pigs or chickens or anything. They have to be fed enough to not only keep up their weight and condition, but to be able for their systems to cycle, breed back and lactate and/or grow. It amazes me that beginners don't do their homework and find out What they are getting into BEFORE they get into it..... Then expensive animals get sick, and cost even more with vet bills when good nutrition is often part of the problem. Yet what amazes me, the amount of money people spend on fancy cat food or dog food....gotta have the best for kitty or rover.... and their own diets are fast food and convenience stuff.... and the "outside animals" are supposed to live in "nature".... :th :he:barnie

Yes @Mini Horses we probably have about 150-200 acres of pasture for the cattle.... some is designated summer pasture that is not suited to keep or feed at or check on cattle in the bad weather/snow/cold. Some is mostly for the fall cow/calf pairs for ease of feeding, some will work best for the dry cows due to calve in the spring. Lately those times are more overlapping, and partly because he is not getting things done with the cows, that need doing. Got some now that the calves needed to weaned off the first of this month that he keeps procrastinating about.... I am tired of saying anything. They will be dropping calves again soon and will not have gotten much of a rest. I keep hearing "we have to get such and such cows worked".... then when I say when, he puts it off.... has to go do something with her or something. I am just not going to keep on bothering him and when there is a problem, I will just not say anything anymore. I am trying to get most all my cows all together at one or 2 places where I can control things better with them at least. Another reason why my dairy heifers are going to the farm for this first lactation.... not going to have them get screwed up because they aren't getting taken care of right. I will be moving the bull to the neighbors next week, we decided that is best, after having rebred the jersey... and then I am going to take the heifers to the dairy.... then move the other heifers up to the "nurse cow field" so they can get bred with the others in Nov/Dec since he never bothered to get the bull in with them in June like I said they needed to get bred. I am perfectly able to drive the truck and trailer, so am not waiting any longer. This next week I will just start doing some of this stuff even though things like getting them in from pasture takes me longer with the achey knees.

Summer pasture is lasting longer since we had rains and it got a good "shot in the arm" boost with the rain and warmer temps for a few weeks. Now it is definitely cooling off some, and it will slow a bit, but the cool season grasses ought to grow for a bit. I did see a maple that had about 1/3 gold and orangey leaves this afternoon on the way to the farm to test. There was some frost here, killed some of the sensitive stuff, pumpkin vines, squashes and stuff... but not a real hard killing frost. We are supposed to get chillier the end of next week, but don't know if it will frost.... many times we will get 4-6 weeks of "indian summer" after a "killing frost", but the last couple of years no real frost until late fall....

Yes, I plan to get the trowel out at the house and get some of the stuff up to transplant up here...daylillys, & irises . The peony plants are all died off on top so they can be dug and moved. I think that I am going to just put them up next to the existing peony here so that I will know where they are.... then after the stuff gets moved around and all, might find a better spot next year. The rose is blooming and is rather scraggly.... think I will leave it until after it is done and then cut it way back and move it up here along the porch for the time being. There are 2 other rose bushes near it and they will stay and he will never notice that I took the one. The one side of the porch gets some decent sun a good part of the day.... so ought to be a suitable place for the rose for now. I actually saw a gladiolus blooming today..... but it can stay. I will get a bunch more next year and plant them around. I really like glads too....

Nows the time to plant daffodils and such... but don't know if I want to try to put in much until I decide on what and where things will go. Maybe a few, but I don't know if there are any that come up. There were a bunch that came up in the lawn there at the stone house if I let the grass get tall enough to figure out where they were and not cut them down too soon. They were cheerful.... bulbs are cheap, and these are too deep in the lawn/grass to bother about digging them.

Haven't heard from the floor sanding guy yet... truck is not done yet,.....haven't gotten an estimate for the boxwoods removal/ yard tree work/oil tank reset/ hole digging yet.......

Did get the last spot in the BR painted under the mantle, except that I have to get some plaster/putty stuff to smooth out around the thimble that goes into the chimney there.... that is not used for anything.... but there will be more painting once the wall gets opened up for the bigger door.
I intend to work on the baseboards tomorrow again... maybe get some more finished. We are supposed to have fog in the morning then sunny and warmer so ought to dry pretty nice. Might try to paint the tops that are attached to the wall at least in the bedroom..... I see a few spots I missed on the bottom edge of a couple of panels... hard to do both edges and then not touch the cardboard I was laying them on to dry... so think I will do what ones are left, all but one edge and then they will be able to be put down to dry and then I cn do the other edge the next day or so and then they will be done.
Do some laundry too since it is supposed to be nice. I have several plastic totes that I am going to pack some of these clothes in once they are off the line.... and leave them here. I can clean out a bureau drawer and bring the stuff up and wash it and then stick into a plastic tote that will keep out the dust, and put in the drawers when the bureau gets moved up here....There had been some mice into these drawers and so all the clothes are getting washed... and sorted through too.....

I am up here at the new house now, so I could have useable internet... last night it was off more than it was on. Going to call the phone company for sure Monday to get it cancelled as soon as the current month runs out. I will just have to make it a point to stop here and do the testing uploads and all.....
Time to head to the stone house and a shower .....
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
20,215
Reaction score
50,256
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
I did my research on small livestock, much of it right here on BYH. I've had cows, I like cows, but I knew I didn't want to wrangle cows in my retirement. I wanted something small, easier to feed, quicker to birth and raise young, quicker to reach slaughter, easier to handle. I studied goats and sheep, settled on sheep, then started studying breeds. I chose hair sheep, first Dorpers, then I moved to Katahdins. Since we only have 8 acres, small livestock fits better. You know how we have worked to get grass going. Keeping our animals not just fed, but well fed and healthy is at the top of the list. Having that steer sure makes me think about cows, but that's all I'll do. LOL
 

Mini Horses

Herd Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
3,800
Reaction score
10,390
Points
488
Location
S coastal VA
You will be convinced to not have them by the time he leaves. They aren't bad so much as big and need more room than the smaller animals. It's like a pig will root -- people say "grazers" won't and the truth is "just not as badly! " Still will. And chickens scratch up, make holes to dust bathe.....etc. its life with animals. That steer will eat as much hay as your 3 horses. I got the bug to raise a couple pigs a while back. Cute when small, tame as all get out. Then they started to remind me why I didn't want them -- CL here I come! :) sure was good pork! Sows & piglets sold fast.

Yeah., I'd take truck & trailer and move those cows where you want them Farmerjan. When the DSs get preoccupied with a female, all bets are off on getting any assist. Not worth the worry. He will notice at some point and ask. Why? Tell him! You were too busy. Shame those ones aren't being pulled to wean tho. Hey, one day the 2 of them may get them moved. The hackles are that another is interfering with business and that needs to be separated, personal & business, since it's not her business.
Do you think he would actually marry her???:hide. At any rate, we both know things will settle down after a while. It's nature. Maybe winter will cool things off. Not a fan of my DSs gf either!!! His wife was a good person who deserved better.
 
Last edited:

thistlebloom

Herd Master
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
1,683
Reaction score
6,058
Points
333
Location
Idaho panhandle 48th parallel
The BIG SHOCK to those wanting to raise their own -- cattle are huge eaters!!
People don't seem to realize how much an animal eats, any animal... be it the cattle or the goats or sheep or pigs or chickens or anything. They have to be fed enough to not only keep up their weight and condition, but to be able for their systems to cycle, breed back and lactate and/or grow. It amazes me that beginners don't do their homework and find out What they are getting into BEFORE they get into it....
Yes, so true. We have some neighbors who bought 9 cows from a guy who was "getting out" of the cow business. They live on 10 acres and naturally the cattle are fed hay year round. They are selling halves and quarters, but now after about a year at it they are realizing there is no profit when you can't graze them for most of the year. No homework. They did the same thing with horses, jumped in, picked everybody's brain then did what they felt like anyway, even though they got good advice from qualified people.
A lot of mistakes and bad accidents along the way, but maybe that's the way they have to learn.
 
Top