Monday, January 13, 2014

Let the Family Fun Begin!

What a difference a week makes in the winter time!  Last week it was 40 below zero, and this week it is 50 above zero.  Yesterday was such a beautiful day that we just had to take advantage of it.

We have one of the heifers signed up for her first show in a couple of weeks so we thought it would be a perfect day to work with her.

Both heifers got to go for a little walk around the yard, and then over to be washed.  They both seemed to enjoy their baths.  Lily and Belle both enjoy being around people.  They are so much fun to work with!!

After their bath, we took them into the shop to be combed and blew out.  Neither of them had been in the grooming chute yet this year.  Things went pretty well walking them in there.  Belle will also be getting a hair cut this week in preparation for the show.

JM is getting back in his groove of working with his calves every day.  This time of the year it is hard to balance homework, basketball, and getting out there to work with the calves.  He always gets his chores done, but finding that extra time for walking and grooming is more of a trick.  We all enjoy the calf projects so much that this is more like family fun than work.

Our family is very excited to start show season.  We have met so many great people showing cattle.  Each show is a new and enjoyable adventure for our family.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Challenges of Raising Livestock

You've heard of fair weather fans, right?  Well...for us livestock farmers, the term "fair weather fans" is not an option.  As we left our toasty warm house this morning, the outside temperature was -21 degrees with a wind chill of -50.  Although we would love to stay in where it is warm, we know that our cattle are out there waiting for some warm bedding and to be fed.  The thoughts that are running through our mind as we head out to get started are:  how many waterers will be frozen, how are the cattle handling the cold, will the tractors/payloader start and how long will they keep running in this cold?  So...our first steps are to start the tractors and payloader, then we walk through the cattle to see how they are doing and check the waterers as we walk in the pens.

After the cattle are fed, we begin to bed the pens to give our cattle a warm place to lay.  We have been giving them fresh bedding regularly through this cold snap.

We also changed their feed ration a little to add some more energy to their diet.  We know that they will need more energy to stay warm.

Even though we had a high of -11 degrees today, the cattle were having fun running around in their fresh bedding.  We take extra care during these cold days to make sure that our cattle our warm and healthy.  Our livestock are our first priority when the weather is not ideal.  Our family works together to make them comfortable and happy.