Happy Easter from us, finally got around to posting a few shots!!
We enjoyed an evening out on the farm together this past Friday evening. I even convinced Travie to take me on a lil back behind the farm cruise down by the riverbanks! You haven't the slightest clue how much I enjoy this type of getaway that was a short fifteen minutes. Hanging out together on the four wheeler laughing and acting like children is by far better than going out to a formal sit down type of place. If you've never spent time on a four wheeler on the farm then you should deff put it on your bucket list. I promise it's an experience you'll vow to try again time after time. Bonus points if you're on the same four wheeler and get a little "cuddle time" in too!
But the real reason for pulling out the four wheeler was to do some moving of trailers and jazz. I got the lucky job of driving around on it because I was too lazy to walk, just cruised around the yard instructing him where to back up. Nothing too major but it's always fun to pull the wheeler out and speed around on it. This is actually his dads, ours is a manual one. I love his dad's more than ours and I cannot wait to trade ours off. His dad's is auto and the selling point for me is that his has a phone charger outlet. Ya, I'd buy a four wheeler based on the fact that it's got that accessory. It's an important deet!
Life has sprung on the farm!! Check out this shot I took earlier yesterday. It's of volunteer onions growing in my garden. I'm beginning to wonder if that's a sign my garden should be tilled already? I officially bought onion bulbs and potatoes to plant in my garden. I usually try to buy them ahead of time because they tend to sell out quickly. Luckily for me we had $50 worth of gift cards to use up so I ended up getting them for free. It's still a bit chilly so I haven't had the heart to go out and get the garden prepped. I'm hoping that Travis gets the tiller out so we can till it up a couple times. I'd love to get peas, green beans, onions and potatoes in already! If I remember right, last year about this time I already had things in the ground. The ground is still pretty cold and the weather isn't as sunny as it was last year around this time. Here's to hoping it warms up soon!
Yesterday we also decided it was time for us to go ahead and wean off the fall calves. The way the mamma's were crying you'd think we took their first born child away! We do this every year and every year the mamma's get all upset and cry for a day or two in hopes that their babies will go off to college and still remember them! These EIGHTY-SIX pairs were all sorts of panicked about getting separated!
Which side of the fence would you rather be on? Baby side, or mamma side? It's all about perspective I suppose...
As you can see from the picture above, the way we wean calves off is we just keep them in separate pens with fence-line contact. There are so many fall calves that it just works best for us to do it this way. With the fence-line weaning system like what we use it allows the stress levels to stay down on the animals because they can still have "nose-to-nose" contact and physically see each other compared to if we were to load the babies up and take them to the other farm. They are left with the mama's in the same lots so they know where to get the feed and water supply from in order to help them become independent before the move. Below is a chart that shows the amount of weight gained on the fence-line weaning compared to the complete separation method.
The chart shows that they gain three pounds in two weeks compared to losing almost fourteen pounds if we were to completely separate them. There are millions of studies out there about weaning and what works best for each farm but for us this seems the simplest and works best for us. Obviously there are some negatives with anything in the animal industry but as farmers we do our best to make the right, educated, judgments on how we work our cattle. We wouldn't do anything to harm these animals because these cattle are a profit to us, if we were to hurt them it would cause a damper on our income.
One more shot that I absolutely love is this one of the babies just finding the water source. It's hard working trying to get separated from their mamma's so they needed to re-fuel and quench their thirst. They haven't realized it quite yet but they will no longer be hanging out with the mamma's Once that kicks in and they start to panic they'll stop focusing on play time and cry out to mamma how much they miss her. Thanks for the photo opt babies!!
I showed you the little baby boy that was our final spring calf but I didn't show you the man that's in charge of these babies!! Here's a shot of Trav tagging the final calf. He's so strong and puts in countless hours on the farm. With so many sleepless nights and skipped date nights I love the fact that he's so dedicated to living off the land. Calving season always seems to add some strain to our relationship because of the amount of time he has to spend checking on the cattle. This time of year is bittersweet for me, excited that calving is over because it means no more late night trips to check on them but it also means that we don't have a bottle calf this time around. I love bottle calves because I get to name the first one of the season and I can help feed them but I despise them because there is a lot of work that goes into them and they just don't gain the weight that normal calves gain.
It still cracks me up when they tag the calves, they really have no clue what just happened when you pierce their ear but then they start shaking their head once they realize that something just got stuck into their ear and it kinda hurts. Silly calf-ers! Check out how cute little Y965 is! I just adore him, well, any baby wins over my heart. Hoofs, paws or human baby heals really don't bother me, I love them all!
Last but not least I'd like to leave you with a shot of the farm. This is the homestead farm that's been in Travis' family for over four generations. Although our yard is only across the section we will someday (soon?) be moving to this yard instead to continue on the Nerud Farms name. The big shed on the left is their business Spring Creek Repair. That's the business that they own and operate and Travis also fixes machinery and other jazz, it's also the shop Travis "hides" in when he doesn't want to come home. Soon we will be adding another shed to the left of it. With new technology comes bigger equipment. With bigger equipment comes the need for a bigger shed to store things in. If we have a good year we're hoping to start on the shed later this year.