Saturday, December 17, 2011

This week's farm photos

I'll never be mistaken for a photographer, but I enjoy snapping a few farm photos with my phone's camera every now and then. I've been playing around with the Instagram app on my phone lately and have posted some of those photos below. There's no rhyme or reason to why I used the filters I did, I just thought they looked good on my screen at the time. And since I'm a farmer and not a photographer, the accompanying descriptions are about the photo subjects instead of the photos themselves.

We bred (via artificial insemination) a group of 35 heifers over the course of the first two days of December. This was our first foray into the world of sexed semen, which we used on 80% of the group. The heifers that did not conceive after breeding should be coming back into estrus this coming week, so we'll have a second chance to AI them before pasturing them with a bull after the first of the year. 

They, like all of our heifers, are getting a steady diet of bermudagrass hay and mineral blocks to supplement the pelleted feed we're giving them each day.

When I published this photo of two dry cows over my Twitter account, I captioned it "Hanging out in the maternity pasture". I got a couple of responses from people who told me they didn't realize there was such a thing. Many farmers have barns for their cows to calve in, but we have enough pasture space (and suitable weather) to allow our cows to comfortably and safely give birth outdoors.

We currently have seven dry cows and pregnant heifers in the maternity pasture and will be adding more from another pasture on Monday.

We had been enjoying a week of good weather, but that started to change on Thursday morning. Though it wasn't much, there was enough of a drizzle to derail our planned field work for the day. We found other chores to keep us busy though, and put in a fairly productive day.

By Friday morning, the light drizzle had been replaced by rain showers. We spent a half-hour after breakfast taking shelter in the tractor shed before finally deciding to knock-off until after lunch. The rain had stopped by milking time, and today is turning into a real beauty.

1 comment:

Will Gilmer said...

Both Daffodil and her calf are doing fine. Daffodil is back in the milking herd, and we milk her twice a day. We bottle-feed milk to her calf twice a day in a barn with the other baby calves and will continue to do so until we wean her at 6-weeks-old.

Sorry, no new photos of them so far.