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Friday, January 1, 2016

Questions for the Farm: How do livestock farmers spend the first day of the new year?

Happy New Year!  I thought I would share with you our first priority of the new year....so how DO livestock farmers spend their first waking moments of the new year?  Why, we feed our critters of course!

It really doesn't matter what day it is, the weather outside, or how we are feeling inside; the animals have to be fed.  Tall Guy wasn't feeling the greatest these last couple of days so he stayed home last night while the girls and I drove over to a friend's house for some wild and crazy Phase 10 playing.  It was so crazy that we didn't pull into the garage until 1:30 this morning!  TG got up before I did, but once I was up, around 7:30, off we went outside to feed our moos and cats.

These three 4-H calves are larger and get a ration of feed different from the other two, smaller 4-H calves. In the three larger calves' mix is corn, minerals, and beet root.

Beet root?  Yep!  It adds roughage to their diet and boosts their energy.  It also adds some fat to the brisket and helps the calves widen out in their fronts.  If you have ever had beef brisket, you will appreciate the addition of some beet root. We wait until the calves reach around 700 pounds before introducing this product to their diets.

The two smaller calves get just corn and minerals until they weigh a bit more.  All of the 4-H calves also get a "wedge" of alfalfa too for more roughage.

Remember our expectant mommas?

They need some feed as well, but in addition to the feed, TG makes sure they have hay to munch on between meals.  That means warming up the tractor and hauling up some round bails of hay to put in the feeders for them.

This process involves opening gates and making sure the mommas don't mix with our young feeder calves on the other side of the bunk.  I will be telling you more about these expectant mothers later this month as they get closer to their due dates!

Last but not least, and actually first so they will not be under foot and in the way, the kitties and cats need to be fed.

I can happily say that we do not have a rat problem in the buildings thanks to these furry friends, but they do require some supplemental feed every day.  This picture doesn't include of all the felines around our barns and tool shed, but you can see they all look pretty darned healthy.

Not to be left out is Miss Sadie.

She has her food in the garage since she has some arthritis issues, but she does go outside and romp around, especially when we are outside to play and give her some loving.

The last thing that needs fed before we eat is our boiler.

It heats the house and our water, so it is VERY important to make sure it's tummy is full!

Once back in the house, we can think about coffee and what WE would like to eat for the first meal of the year.  May all the livestock farmers out there find their herds healthy and safe today and every day in the new year.  For those reading who do not have livestock, we hope you are enjoying your corned beef and bacon today brought to you by your local farmers!  Happy 2016!

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