Thursday, May 24, 2012

WOW! Just Wow! on a variety of things....

I have to say again how humbled I am by all of the love and support my farm family has shown. You are all Just amazing!
We're getting things ready for the new crop of grow out pigs here at the home farm, they will be Hampshire crosses this round as they do well in an outdoor setting, I looked into some Yorkshires, but the Landrace influence does not lend itself to outdoor production, These Types of hogs have been bred for decades to live indoors in confinement and are too delicate for our pasture based system. The Hampshire cross hogs we are getting this year are from an outdoor breeder of show hogs and will do well in our climate. The Mule foots are just getting ready to farrow and won't be ready until fall. The Red Wattles are being reserved as breeders to help improve the critically small population.
The steers have been ultra sounded and marked for re-checking as they approach Market weight on the irrigated pastures and the lambs are growing well despite late lambing this season due to the weird weather.
Baby Jesse is being weaned and her mama is definitely ready for the brat child to have her own space!

The squash, melons, tomatoes, and peppers are going great guns in the garden and we have some wacky heirlooms for you all to enjoy this season. The lettuces... well they became Dawg Food! The little brat got out and had a wonderful time chomping them up! Darn that Goat anyway! Nan-e is going to kid any day, with Floss, Floretta, and Baby G not far behind. Bill-e will be going to a new home and a replacement Buck is on his way from Kansas. We have registered Boer Goats and percentage Market Goats available.

The mini cattle for our research project are doing well but I can tell already that at least for us, these tiny guys just don't add up as profitable alternative. (they would work great as a family project though!) Their daily gain is about 1.5 lb compared to the Simangus at 3.2 and we won't even mention the dairy cross steers. Big Boned and definitely not designed to forage! They all had to come in and be supplemented and summer isn't even here yet!
Comet, the new guard Llama is AWESOME! He really takes care of his sheep and gets along with Lorenzo who is getting up there in age. Tony still lives with his horses and cows, he is just too pushy for sheep work.

The BC's are all tuning up for the season and Tweed seems content to just work the Granny's on the home farm (at 12 all day in the field is too much for his old bones) Gracie (aka The Land Shark) is solidly working the flocks, and Wallace is our Cow Dog extraordinaire! Cricket, Sweep, and Monk are all going to stock dog boot camp with auntie Robin for the summer so by round up time we'll have a great team! I tell ya, a good horse and good dogs really can do the work of 10 people, without the stress of chasing! Just a step and a look makes those critters turn for the chutes or holding pens. A brace makes moving an entire herd or flock a breeze, and there is nothing more beautiful than well trained dogs working healthy stock.

We'll have 8 steers that look like they will be ready to go by the end of next month so hot season orders shouldn't be a problem. We have tentatively scheduled our branding and gathering party for late October and I will keep you posted. Last year's party was a blast and those of you that came out sure got an education!

Until next time, thank you and see ya at the farm!

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