Tag Archives: feeding

What’s Goin’ Down on the Farm

Miles Cleans the Barn
July, 2015 video by Thea Putney

It’s always nice to have help at chore time, maybe in a few years he’ll be able to carry it out the door!

 

At Least Someone Likes Thistles!
June 21, 2014 by Mandy McGee

Have to be real careful clipping the pastures this time of year! If it’s not the nest of the Red-wing Blackbirds, you have to also watch for fawns, and sometimes our own calves will sneak under the wire to the wrong paddock for a nap.Thistles Nest_V2

 

There goes the weekend!
May 2, 2014 by Mandy McGee

Just when you think you MIGHT get caught up… it’s almost time to graze, got most of the fences walked to check for winter storm and deer damage, was planning to set up the pump and water system this weekend. Mother Nature has other ideas though! Due to a week of heavy rain and some very strong winds for several days here in SW Wisconsin, we have at least 4 trees down on fences (that we know of!) and a big boxelder fell over down by  the creek (at least it’s not IN the creek!) Looks like a couple days with the chainsaw will be our new weekend plan… bonfire anyone?

 

Our Busy Lives
October 28, 2013 (photos and article by Jon Lee)

Why are we so busy? There are certainly a lot of things to do. As farmers, there is never a shortage of things to do on the farm. We get one project done and we are onto another one. There is one crop in and another one to go. We are never really done with our work, goals, and projects. We are busy people. Humans (most of us) by nature, are designed to be inherently busy.

When spring calving is been complete, we can stress about something else. The nights of worrying about calves to come in the spring pass and the summer is upon us. But, where did the summer go? Time goes by so fast. Best Bittersweet_LR

You have to love the fall season. The leaves are changing to their brilliant colors, and the sights and smells of the fall are upon us. Where did the summer go?

When swallows leave their nesting sites on the farmstead in Wisconsin, they have warmer areas on their mind. The cold weather is going to be upon us soon; the swallow does not like the cold weather. The swallows are gone now.

As fall calving is upon us now, the “fall calvers” now are worrying that they will have a success with all of their animals. We all hope for 100% success in the calving season. I heard a farmer say that for each calf you lose, you can figure at least a $500 loss per incident. We have all had it happen. Even the most dedicated and smart farmers lose calves. And, we analyze our mistakes and try to learn not to repeat them again. We care about our animals. They have a good life on the pastures of Wisconsin.

Where did the summer go?

Beautiful Fall Day_LR

 

MOM, get up, I’m hungry!
June 13, 2013 (photo by Jon Lee)

How many mothers have heard those dreaded words on Saturday morning when they wanted to sleep in? This momma cow has got it figured out!

Lee milk bar_1187This little black Angus calf decided she couldn’t wait for her momma to get up so, she had breakfast anyway.
You know when spring has arrived when you see beautiful calves nursing their mothers in lush green pastures, a common sight on our farms!

No calves chained in hutches for our members, we know how important it is for calves to be with their mothers to learn herd socialization, what plants are good to eat, and of course, to get some comfort and warm milk whenever they want.

 

 

 

 

Ya Gotta Believe!
April 11, 2013

Red WingMember John Lee of Vernon County shares this photo to remind us that it really is Springtime, even though most of Wisconsin has been having winter storm warnings this week!
Here in the Kickapoo Valley we always listen for the arrival of the Sandhill Cranes – they are usually here looking for nesting sites even before the snow melts!
Now, when the barn swallows get here, it WILL be spring!
All the bird life on our farms helps remind us how good grass-based farming is for the environment.

 

 

 

 

A Wisconsin Grass-fed Beef Co-op Member’s Musings
Contributed by: Jon Lee of Coon Valley – February, 2013

With hay prices as high as they’ve ever been in recent memory, I try to take into account the least amount of waste that I can incur. I put out a couple of small square bales at a time several times a day. Like spoiled children, I want them to eat everything on their plate before they get any more goodies. If they don’t eat most of the bale (within reason) they don’t get any more until they go back and finish their meal. I also leave the bale string on which keeps the bale together longer on the open ground and cuts down on their prematurely trampling the bale. The result is that 98-99% of the bale is utilized. A 1-2% loss is acceptable in this climate of skyrocketing hay prices.

Scrum IMG_0857

Cows scrum at a hay bale like soccer players after a ball. All is fair in love and hay bales!

I also am able to move my round bale feeder easily by hand each time to new locations that I want manure and other good nutrients to land, therefore controlling exactly where it will be. It is not in one stationary spot. I’ll move it 10 feet in a direction one day or 10 feet in another direction another day.

Bale Circles IMG_0856

Crop circles are all that is left of small squares distributed to the herd. Spreading these valuable nutrients in the field is a must.

When the feeder is plumb full, it seems they are there 24/7 eating all day long. But, it is enclosed and not trampled. I figure usually less than 5% waste. Contrast that to round bales on the open ground without a structure and also a lot more waste.