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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Well, only if you are a little abnormal, like I am?

It's lambing season here at the farm, due to babies having to be born at a certain time for our local 4-H auction in July. I don't like doing it this early, due to the wet Oregon weather, but actually since we've only lambed 3 years and always at this time of year, I don't know any better.  Anyway, it's exciting to watch for babies and then when they get here, watch over them and their mommas.

Gonna order chicks soon.  I'm actually behind this year because normally I order in October so they are ready to start laying in the spring. But, soon I'll have the peeping of puff balls in the pump house (say that 5 times fast).  Last year I got Black Stars from McMurray, this year I'll be ordering Red Stars.  My reason for alternating breeds is so that when they are about 3 years old, I'll sell them and so this way I can see which hens need to go and which can stay.  I had about 20 Barred Rocks one year that were anywhere from 1 year to 4 years and I checked every vent 30 times and couldn't tell one from the other.  Never again!

It's also time to start looking for a bottle calf or two (I have about 24 gallons of goats milk in the freezer for babies to start on, so I'm a little ahead of the game).  Unfortunately, they can be hard to come by around here.  Last year we got Angus/Holstein calves.  This weekend we are going to a friends ranch to pick up a 3 month old Simmental/Angus/Hereford mix bull calf.  His momma is older and not producing enough milk.  We are going to turn him into a steer before we load him up, along with a tetanus shot and a Covexin 8 shot.  Then, since he is eating alfalfa, he'll come to our place for a while and hang out with Mojo the ram while we feed him up good on alfalfa and grain.  Once I know he's doing good, we'll move him out to our friend's ranch.  They have about 25 acres of good pasture with only 2 steers (ours from last year and the one we raised last year for them) on it.  We are still looking for another calf. The deal we make with the friends with the ranch is they buy their calf and the milk replacer, we bottle feed their calf til he's weaned then take both their calf and ours to their ranch until butchering.  Since we only have 5 acres, we would have to hay feed and so it's cheaper and easier in the long run (I don't have the attachment when they grow up across the river).

Anyway, it's a exciting, fun time of year for us... It's all part of homesteading, wouldn't you agree??


  1. Makes me think your "spring time" starts a lot earlier than ours. ('Course, spring time EVERYWHERE else starts earlier than ours!)

    Pictures, pictures, we want pictures!!! (Kinda demanding, aren't I?)

  2. Wow, you are heading into Early Spring with a HUGE to-do list! Great deal on raising your beef. Wish we had or knew someone that had pasture to do that with. Alas, we'll just have to suffer with venison, pork & goat....oh, the horror! :)