Innisfree Farm: Day 16 – winter grass

What do pastured cattle eat during the winter?  Hay!  These bales are around 3 1/2 feet tall, and 6 of them will fit in our bale wagon.  Depending on how cold/snowy it is during a given week, it will take our 30 cows & calves 3-5 days to eat all that…so we need a lot! […]

What do pastured cattle eat during the winter?  Hay!  These bales are around 3 1/2 feet tall, and 6 of them will fit in our bale wagon.  Depending on how cold/snowy it is during a given week, it will take our 30 cows & calves 3-5 days to eat all that…so we need a lot!  This is hay stored in our barn, and we also have outside storage for more bales.  There is a “bale spear” attachment for our tractor that we spear the bale with, then move it to the wagon.  The cows are always pretty excited to see the empty wagon leave the paddock and return full of bales – they usually don’t even wait until we’ve parked the wagon to stick their heads in and start munching.

This just shows that you *can* raise good beef on grass…corn isn’t necessary.  We feed them bales, oats (which is more of a treat than anything), and we also have large mineral buckets out for them (no grass is perfect, and the minerals our grass lacks are important for healthy pregnancies and calves, so the mineral buckets are their “daily vitamins”).

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Innisfree Farm: Spring is in the air, which means mud on my knees

I haven’t disappeared: I”ve been farming. As you might imagine, spring is a busy time of year. This year started with banding steers and selling off our excess calves, interspersed with planting our garden. We got our next load of 75 meat chicken peeps in (they’ll be ready in Septemberish) and we’ll be adding to […]

I haven’t disappeared: I”ve been farming.

As you might imagine, spring is a busy time of year. This year started with banding steers and selling off our excess calves, interspersed with planting our garden. We got our next load of 75 meat chicken peeps in (they’ll be ready in Septemberish) and we’ll be adding to our laying flock in the next month or so.

We built a mobile pen system for our mowing goats, which makes moving them from place to place much easier than it was last year. I hope to detail that undertaking in a separate post.

Also, the warm spring means haying time is already here, and we’ll probably have our first cutting down in the next few weeks.

What kind of food production activities does spring bring for you? Let me know in the comments.

DLH

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