June farm journal - it's Dairy Month!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

June is starting out with a sunny, crisp morning. I imagine the valleys had frost earlier, but we seem to have escaped it this time. It was 38 on the front porch at 5 AM.

Haying proceeds between showers. No rain overnight, but the forecast is for showers this afternoon.

We had two more bull calves over the week end. We're running at 80% bulls this year - not a good sign for our continued presence as a viable dairy farm a few years down the line. I asked Stan if he thought Someone was trying to tell us something and he answered like a true farmer: "Yeah, use sexed semen!"

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

We had a pretty day out. Had to fix fence. Put up a new charger to keep the draft X off the fence. She is a fence pusher. Got zapped straight away and one good jolt is enough for her. Got the garden sprayed for bugs. Planted a few more tomatoes.

southeast, NE

Hello all!

We've been having some very nice rains. Crops look very good and everything is very green.

DH put up the first cutting of alfalfa two weeks ago.

We're getting cows bred. DD does the artif insemination. About half have been bred. We have three small pastures that we will use this year.

A week ago last Friday, DH and I were moving a cow into another lot to be artif insem. Our "15 year-old lady" Abby, the bc, thought she should help even though we kept telling her to get out of the pen as she doesn't move as fast as used to. (Does that sound familiar?) The cow went into protect mode with her calf and charged Abby. Consequently, she broke her hind leg below the knee. I spent two hours the next morning waiting behind all the other emergencies for the vet to patch her up. He put on a plastic type cast. I feel so sorry for her. She wants to be a part of the action and can't keep up. The other day she was crossing the gully that runs through the cow lot and got stuck.

I have been having heal pain and stiffness a lot so I finally went to the foot doctor. She suggested I go to a physical therapist 3 times a week for a month and if that doesn't do it, I'm supposed to go to a rheumatologist. Joy!

Almost forgot to tell you. Several weeks ago when DH was in the local Tractor Supply, he asked if they ever mark down chickens. They called and said they had "clearance chickens" for $1 each. He sent dd after them thinking there were only 24. She brought home 50. (Just a little insanity!)

Better get dishes done - you all take care!

PS - Has anyone heard from Kathy Jo? I heard Missouri has some nasty storms several weeks ago.


Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Are your chicks straight run or pullets? Do you already have chickens?

Sorry your foot is hurting. Pain runs you down.

Hate that about your dog. It's sad to see the work-a-holics get to where they have to slow down. Sometimes they just give up if they can't work. Can she do some light duty work? Maybe round up the chicks? My BC is 11 this year and starting to slow down a bit. I hate to see it. He has taken guarding the incubator as his new job. He is very diligent.

Is DD a vet or can anyone learn to AI cows?

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Oh the joys of horse ownership! My oldest horse has foundered, so his feet are so sore he could hardly walk today when I went down into the big pasture to see why I hadn't seen him come up to drink at the pond or visit with the other horses in a different pasture. He was way down at the far corner, 1/2 a mile from the house. I gave him some bute (anti inflamatory) and it still took all day to get him up to the corral. I'd lead him for a while and then stop to let him rest. When we got to hard ground he refused to go any farther, so that is where he stayed for most of the day. After dinner I finally got him to walk the rest of the way, staying on softer ground. The only thing I can think of that would cause him to founder is too much lush green grass, due to our cool wet spring. He has lived in that same pasture for many years without a problem.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I would guess the grass was the culprit. It gives them more problems as they age. I have a friend with a RMH mare that he has to keep thin and off the grass because it is becoming a very bad problem for her. Did your farrier work on him? Standing them in cold water helps.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

He has been standing in cold water in the pasture. I got some funny wedge things to put more weight on the frog and less on the sole, just tape them on with duct tape. Now that he is in a dry lot, with a soft surface, he should do better until the farrier can get to him. He'll be on bute twice a day. He's so funny, after I give him his medicine, he lays his big ole head on my shoulder and believe me, it's heavy! What a big baby this guy is! I guess it might be age related as well as the fact that we have unusually lush grass this year. All of my horses will now be in dry lot for most of the year so I can control what they eat.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Morning All -

June has begun and the heat is on in a big way. There is very little rain in our area - so while it is a good time to cut hay, I would wish for more rain. I have heard from the locals that this is going to be a very dry and hot summer. Usually is.

MaryE - sorry about your old horse. I have a 26+ old boy named Pal and he has had laminitis off and on the last 4 years. Some days are good for him and some not.

Nebraska_Jewel - sorry about your BC. Sounds like she has a lot of heart in her.

Time to feed and water.

Good day to all.

Melissa

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

MaryE
I sure hope your old guy is comfortable today. It must be so miserable for their feet to hurt with so much weight on them. I'll be praying for him.

Please say a prayer for my BC. He is throwing up this morning. I am going to worm him.

MelissahL
Hope you guys get the rain you need. It does help to cool things off. Folks are trying to get hay cut here between showers. We need to get ours bought for the year. We picked up the last load we had bought from last year. Just under 50 bales. It will go too fast feeding the 4 extra horses we had on the farm. We need to sell 6 horses.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

The horse seems to be a bit more comfortable today. Thanks for the prayers. God cares about the animals too, and I'll pray for your BC. Did all your little chicks get hatched ok?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

No action on the eggs as of yet. Hope the whole batch is not duds.

My dog hasn't thrown up in a few hours. Thanks for the prayers. I always say that what is important to us is important to God.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Could you all say a little prayer for my grandson in KY, please? He's in the hospital with an abscess in his throat and on IV antibiotics. The docs say he's doing well and should be able to go home on Saturday

Hope the dogs and horse are all feeling better. We have an extraordinarily pregnant border collie. She's so heavy that she has to sit on her haunches like the Sphinx. I hope it's not another 11 puppy litter!

Stan hopes to finish first cutting chopping today. He'll still have about 20 acres of baling hay to do, but this will be done. The weather is looking partly cloudy, but there's no rain in sight (knocking on wood) for the next day or so.

This message was edited Jun 5, 2009 8:55 AM

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

Just a quick note here before I run up to feed a bottle calf before I go to work..

Hubby's "employment status" changed.. He was extremely unhappy with his job.. His boss had written him up and I thought it sounded like she was going to fire him.. He had enough vacation time to get him to his 55th birthday so he went on and retired.. This cut our monthly income by quite a bit... We are fine for now.. It just hit hard in the "pocket book" ..

Our hereford bull didn't pass his test at the Vet.. He got shipped yesterday.. He only brought 224 bucks. bummer..

I am also trying to get used to trifocals.. I feel like I am trying to walk around with a fish bowl on my head.. hope I get more used to it soon..

All the crops are in here.. and although rent out our crop land , I am also very interested in how they are doing.. I am spreading gravel in the pass between two bottom land fields tomorrow.. so they don't get stuck at harvest.

I'll try to check in more here.. I have been on FaceBook quite a bit lately..

off to the barn..

kj

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Kathleen - Prayers are being said for your grandson. Poor little guy, no fun in a hospital. Glad to hear that the docs are giving him a good prognosis and a trip home!
Do you have an easy time selling your pups? Do folks buy them for work dogs, companion or both. I read a couple of Jonathan Katz's books on his BC's. Very interesting breed. What workers they are.

KathyJo - What a shift for the both of you. Will he seek other employment? Everytime I hear of somone's employment status changing it scares me a little bit more. I will keep you both in my thoughts as you make the transition. As for the trifocals - don't look down when you walk, it could be disastrous! LOL

Cajun - how is the BC? Keeping everything down I hope.

Well, our sun has risen here and it is a bit cooler with lower humidity. Won't last for long tho. Heard our temps will be in the 90's for a while. I really do not like the heat - I become such a hermit.

Must go feed and check the stock.

Melissa

Waddy, KY

Was downright cool here yesterday, 55 degrees and drizzled all day. The good thing was not a drop ran off. We were needing that.

It's always good to have a stretch of dry weather to get the hay off the ground. We got about half of ours rolled before the rain rolled in. Then for a week every time it'd just get dry enough to get in the bale another shower would come up. We'll either feed that stuff first or try to unroll it in a barn for bedding.

KJ, the main reason I didn't retire when I could have last fall was the economy. I have to cover my husband's insurance and by the time I chose a retirement plan that would leave him a little income if I died first I would have been looking at $1000 a month cut in pay. I was going to retire and do Farmer's Market full time but I was afraid the economy wouldn't support it and chickened out. I've been surprised with the strength of the market so far this year but still fear the economy and it's effects. Fortunately my job's ok and so's the boss but I can't blame your DH for making that decision. I'd have probably done the same thing in his shoes.

We've got to get drip tape and plastic down on the tomatoes and get the garden hoed out. I picked sugar snap peas night before last. They tried really hard considering the groundhogs and rabbits ate half of them off. I should have squash and Roma beans in 2-3 weeks. If I can get my pole beans staked that'd be good too!

Back to work,
Janet

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

We have no hay made yet because SU decided not to even try and make any before we took our trip to France for the wedding. It has not been haymaking weather since we got back Thursday night. Ho-hum........SU not a happy man. An unhappy man is VERY difficult to live with.

Had 4 calves born while we were gone; a set of twins and 2 singles. Yesterday another set of twins and a single. but both of those were still up in the dry cow/springer pasture. Now have 7 stoopid calves I have to bottle feed, but the 4 that were born while we were gone got a rude awakening last night when I took them down to the calf barn stalls and poured their portion of milk into a bucket and said "drink up, boys". All these calves are bulls, except one of the twins is a heifer. Will get her blood tested next time the vet comes and send it in to see if she is a freemartin. Found a local guy that will buy my bull calves, so will be nice to start replenishing the trip fund. I put all calf money into our "vacation account". Oh, the account is in the safe in an evelope. :>) Well, time to go and feed said calves.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Anna, it must be something in the air this year - we're running 80% bull calves. How was your trip?

Stan got the first cutting chopping done yesterday and baled a few bales down in the little orchard below the house. That's the baler test field this year, I guess.

DGS will go home from the hospital today. The doc and his mother (a Phys. Asst.) decided more night would be a good thing. He's getting to the 'rattling around the room' stage. When DD calls, he's right there trying to get her attention. Needless to say, the calls have been short.

I got the veggie garden planted. my garden 'slave' was here Friday evening and we did the bulk of it then. I got two tomato towers planted yesterday. I'd still like to get some more carrots in the ground, but I'm waiting to make sure the mole chaser drove whatever rodent had decided to call the raised bed home. We stuck it right down the nice little round hole he'd dug in the bed.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

It's been super busy here lately.
Finished the transplanting Thursday. 700 sweet bell peppers, 600 hot peppers, 600 or so eggplant, & 500 watermelons. My son puts these in one at a time. We now have enough garden hose to reach anywhere in the field. We made a piece of pipe with a dibble on the end. It connects to the end of the hose. So for each plant, you poke a hole in the plastic, make a hole & it's filled with water all in one motion. (This used to be my job, but old age says not any longer. I did a couple hundred holes & body said enough!) Then a plant is mudded in. We have used this method for many years & never lose a plant. Enough water in there to get them off to a good start. We use green plastic mulch on all our crops. T-tape is under all the plastic, so no rain, start the water.
I planted green & wax beans, more carrots, beets, & some odds & ends on Friday afternoon. All the ground is now planted.
Beautiful rain started early Saturday morning. Rained most of the day. Added up to near an inch. Same as Janet said, not a drop of runoff. We were getting terrible dry.
More towards Mankato & the Twin Cities, even lawns were drying up. We wern't at that point yet.
So we got to sell in the rain Saturday at the farmers market. We had 4 pop up tents, complete with rain gutters, so we stayed dry. Wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. People will brave the elements for their fresh veggies & eggs. Even sold 10 Hostas.
We are working on a kitchen for an architect. Natural finish Maple. We put in the base cabinets last Monday & tomorrow will hang the wall cabinets. Usually do everything at once, but trying to fit cabinet work in with the gardening gets tricky.
Today we are going to DD & SIL house to build a wall. They are going to add on to their house. This wall goes in so they can tear off the old garage.
Of course you know who will be doing the building.
We hope to do our addition this fall, also.

The best to all that are ailing, GS, dogs, horses, etc.
I had my surgery last Friday. Went for check up this Friday & it is nearly healed. I had a little skin cancer on my ear. All gone now!
I've never wore a hat in my life, but now have a nice big old straw hat. No more hot sun on the head! Wore it all Friday afternoon. It isn't to bad & kept me cooler.

Have a Great Day!
Bernie

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

We've had rain and more rain. So far, in about 10 days, only 1 or 2 days without at least a shower. Lots of lightning too. A couple of nights ago it rained over 2 inches and the postholes we had drilled the day before were full of water. Hubby and a friend were out there trying to set railroad ties for posts and get enough mud and rocks into the holes to hold the posts up straight. Our fence project has had many delays. We have had 3x the normal rainfall for June in just a few days!

My horse seems to be doing pretty well and is moving around more. Still slow, still on the anti inflamatory (bute). I think he might need more space to move around in, but I still want to keep him in the corral. One corral has lush grass on one side of it, so I will move a few of the pipe panels and enlarge the other one to keep him from eating the wrong thing. Another project just got added to my list! I think I can do that without help, handling just one end at a time and pivoting it around.

For the last couple of days I have been doing chores for a neighbor who has a goat to milk and about 20 hens. I get the milk and eggs, and he also said he would give me a day of garden work to pay me back! He borrows greenhouse space from me to start his vegies and gave me a few plants to thank me for that. He will be back home this afternoon. The goat gives very good milk, and I have collected about 3 dozen eggs. I think he needs a pig to take care of the excess milk. He clabbers it and gives it to his chickens when there is too much for human consumption. It will come in handy at lambing time, if he gets the doe bred to be fresh before bummer lambs need the milk.

My potatoes are almost all up and looking great under their strawy manure cover. Several weeks ago I brought home several tractor bucket loads of sheep pen cleanings from this year's lambing season. Now that they are up I need to add more, and that will clear space for planting the tomatoes, which are still in the greenhouse due to the cool rainy weather.

Neighbors who had newly planted fields now have gullys across their land, and are hoping there is still seed in most of the ground to germinate. One neighbor has 6 inch tall grain, another had just finished seeding alfalfa. He was delayed due to wet conditions earlier, and lack of help to get his irrigation going. It's always something. The storm that dumped over 2 inches on us also caused culverts to pulg and water to run across the road near us. Yesterday was dry, and today looks good so far, but the forecast says we will have thundershowers for the next few days, again. Next thing we know we will be hot and dry and wishing for rain, but first the hay needs to be cut and baled. With all this rain there will be a heavy hay crop.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Started chopping hay today. Good thing we borrowed 3 chopper wagons from the neighbor. We were a mile from home, and the furnace guy was here this aft to set the furnaces where they will be "living" out on that slab. Of course SU had to run the loader tractor to do this for the guy. Which put him behind unloading silage. So, it worked out great and I was done by 3:30. Came home and I was sent over the hill where he had 2 long contour strips mowed and ready to chop. Kid took over for me while I milked and blew an antifreeze line. Ho, hum..............he knows a guy that he used to work with that now works the night shift at Fabco in Madison. Fabco is a Caterpillar dealer. Our chopper has a Cat motor in it. Fabco had the parts, and the guy that works there will drop them off at sons' place of work before he goes home about 1 am. So, then SU will have hours of fun and entertainment re-assembling. LOL He mowed off the last 10 acres tonight; unless there is a pile of sunshine tomorrow, I'm thinking we won't get that off.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Chapter 2 of the "fixing the chopper" saga............went to town to pick up the parts that the kid's friend dropped off where kid works. I gave the 2 hoses a rather dubious look and told the kid "doesn't look like THOSE are gonna work". Kid says "they're sposed to". Guess again, bunky. Wrong, wrong, wrong parts. I scoured town trying to find something a whole lot closer than we had (not "right", just "less wrong"). Nope, nada........SU called Maize Corporation, the company that made the chopper, and he got the correct part numbers. Won't have the parts till Monday. And we have hay down. So, I called the neighbor we borrowed the wagons from and said "you still wanna chop?" He had originally planned on coming to help chop, we'd have had 2 outfits going. So, he was here chopping what was ready. Don't know if the rest is too wet or not; we'll see when the kid gets home and if it goes, he can chop with the neighbor's outfit. I am SO GLAD we didn't try and do this before we went to France, or we'd have been hung big time with hay down and a busted chopper. Will it ever end???

Humansville, MO(Zone 6a)

Anna the answer is no, but it does get better at times lol good luck on getting everything running
Dave 719

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

lol, dave, that's just not funny (snicker)

Really Anna, I feel your pain.

We had 8/10 of an inch of rain yesterday. I'm going out in a minute to look at the garden. Things were starting to push up on Wednesday, they should be up nicely now.

Stan's been rebuilding SIL's brush hog. There's some kind of curse on Stan when it comes to brush hogs. He bought a new mid sized one a few years ago, used it maybe three times, hit a rock and put the blade up through the cover, about half way around it. It's sitting in the weeds until such time as he drags it out and welds it or takes it to a guy he knows who welds for a living. So, he borrowed SIL's, and has been pretty much fixing it ever since.

Hope you get you're hay, Anna. Next week looks like baling weather here.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Dave, it was a rhetorical question......I KNOW it will NEVER get better..........

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

What is "chopping" hay? We bale hay.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

chopped hay is slightly dry hay that's run through a hay head on a (corn) chopper. It cuts the hay in to semi uniform lengths and you store it in a tower silo, ag bag, trench silo or pile as you would corn silage, making it haylage.

Pretty morning here. Stan said last night that he'd like to mow some up on the hill today. The weather forecast is a bit iffy, but it's at that point where it needs to be done.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Hay is DONE and in the bag. Kid chopped 10 acres in about 3 hours. He said "that chopper just eats hay". I big New Holland pull chopper and he has a Case IH 72-something on it. Duals. Kinda overkill, but I guess he wants to make sure there is enough horsepower. LOL And of course we had to change bags on the bagger about 8 pm. We had to get a different bagger late last summer as the one we had busted the rotor in it AGAIN..........did it a few years back and welder-boy son reinforced it. SU said he wasn't gonna go to the expense of trying to beef it up again so we went bagger shopping. We got a Versa bagger. No backstop for this one which means no hassle of winding up the cables. Oldest DS and I SO miss that..............NOT!!!!!!!!! Trying to horse that stupid backstop around about gives you a hernia and back spasms. LOL

I had looked at the weatherliars site about choretime and told SU that if he was smart he'd try and get what he could if it was even remotely dry enough to chop. So, it went ok, we are done, and the parts for our chopper will be here Monday. Get it fixed for the 2nd crop onslaught.

Time for me to get going.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

So it doesn't have to be fluffed and dry before you put it up. Won't it mold?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Only if there are air pockets. Feed is compressed into the bag by the bagger, then when you are done you seal it up and make it air-tight. We fold the top down and under the bottom, and hubby puts a tractor bucket load of dirt over the folded over part to seal it. He does, however, cut a vent hole close to the dirt to vent out the gas as the feed ferments. he closes it after about a week with special bag tape and then puts a little dirt over that to seal it.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Can you feed that to horses? I'd be scared it would colic them.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

No. It is too wet.

Waddy, KY

Anna, basically you're making haylage or hay silage in the bags right? My father only used bags one time while he was milking. Had a super big corn crop and filled the 2 seventy ft. and the 1 sixty ft silo and still had corn to spare so they got a fellow that had a bagger come up and do it for them. They thought it was an ok thing and if they hadn't already had the 3 silos would have considered putting up silage that way.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

That is correct. We don't bale hay anymore. So, all hay goes into the bags as silage.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Anna, you are a lot less dependant on the weather to put hay up this way. Next question, how do you get it out of the bag and to where the cows eat it? Our rainy weather is continuing, so everyone here is waiting and watching the hay get over ripe and nobody wants to risk cutting it and having the field grow up around the windrows while waiting for it to dry and watching it get ruined, so there it stands.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Hubby has a loader tractor, and a big Patz TMR mixer. Dumps everything in the mixer, mixes it and dumps into the bunk for the cows. He mixed a different batch for milk cows than h e does for dry cows and heifers. Different feed/mineral requirements.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Sounds like a science.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

It is, and he is good at it. Making good hay silage, I mean. Our nutritionist told him about 4 years ago he needed some crap hay for the dry cows (our "good" hay had way too much protein for dry cows). That man couldn't make crap hay if he tried, and he sure did try. It still had over 20% protein and relative feed vaule of over 150.............that is darn good hay. LOL

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Years ago, when I was milking cows, they always produced best on the haylage.
Been sprinkling & raining off & on for last couple hours. Things are growing like crazy. Lots of corn around here already knee high.
I dug some potatoes for market today. Largest are 1" diameter. Also have peas, radish, kohlrabi, lettuce, kale, collards, broccoli raab, cilantro, onions, Daikon radish, & of course, eggs.
I hope the rain stays light. Hard rain ruins our market. We have pop-up tents with rain gutters so we stay dry.
Workers nearly are done with hand weeding. Sure nice to have some good people. Last few years, had a though time finding good help. 3 cheers for poor economy, more help to be had!
I need to check my chickens, then off to market.
Bernie

Waddy, KY

We dodged some major rain today. It looked like it was coming straight for us but then dipped a little south and pounded them. I'm thinking some of the folks got 6-8 inches or more. We definately didn't need that. I've been trying to get another couple rows of green beans and other stuff in the ground but it hasn't dried out enough in the last two weeks to work ground so I guess we'll just wait. We cut a little hay last Friday and it's not been touched. I guess we'll eventually roll it and try to use is for bedding somewhere. Don't know which is worse. Watching is ruin still attached to the roots or watching it rot in the windrow.

I need to pick the raspberries tonight. I'm making raspberry jam as they're not quite enough to market as fresh berries. At least all this rain has kept me from having to water my blackberries. So far it looks like there should be a bumper crop if nothing goes wrong...

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I'd love to have blackberries and raspberries.

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