Welcome back to the blog y’all! So much has been going on at the farm and we are so excited to share it all with you! First, if you didn’t see our instagram post, we are getting a new addition to the farm in just a few weeks! We are so excited to announce that we are getting goats!
The opportunity literally fell in our laps. Our good friend and mentor called us up one day to tell us that the breeder that she got two of her oberhasli goats from was looking to sell her whole herd. We are planning on getting 2 does, 2 doelings, and a buck. It was such an excellent opportunity since this is an established herd with excellent genetics, bloodlines, and breed conformation.
Goats are the perfect animal to graze with cattle because they eat more weeds and woody plants than just grass. Oberhasli goats are a medium sized dairy goat known for their calm and quiet nature while producing excellent milk with flavor very close to cow’s milk. They can produce up to 1 1/2 gallons of milk per day and have up to 4% milk fat. Be sure to check back in for updates when the goats arrive!
Also, in case you haven’t noticed, winter is coming! We have been diligently preparing for the new season to make sure we are set up for success in the winter. The first thing couldn’t have come soon enough. We finally have freeze proof water spigots and a ball waterer for our cattle. We were trying to make do with a 300ft hose to provide water, but after just one frost, the hose water was freezing. The new waterers will provide constant clean water with a tank that only has to be cleaned 4 times a year versus weekly cleaning. The waterer is also frost proof which will make it great for the winter.
We have also been keeping a close eye on the pasture and encouraging more hay feeding for the cows. With the cooler weather the grass has not been growing back as quickly. We’ve also been getting some early frost this year and very little rain. We’ll most likely pull the cows off pasture sooner than later if the weather stays the same. This will allow the pasture to rest during the winter and not get trampled to mud.
We also transitioned the cows’ mineral supplement to better meet their needs during the winter. The mineral will no longer have garlic which helps with fly control which isn’t a necessity during the winter like it is in the summer. It also no longer has capsaicin, which helps cattle eat smaller meals throughout the day and acts like a vasodilator. These are important during the summer to help prevent heat stress, but not as important during the winter. The mineral will also have an increase in phosphorus to help meet their nutritional needs since they will not be eating fresh grass and mainly hay. The high phosphorus will also aid in promoting milk production and higher calf weaning weights. We will plan on switching their mineral back once temperatures are above 70 and they are on pasture.
For the chickens, we don't have a ton of prep to do. Our coop is draft free and does not require any supplemental heat. We will ensure our emergency kits are stocked and secured. We will also stock up on feed, in case of inclement weather. One thing we do for the winter only, is supplement their feed with some cracked corn. This is a great supplement in the winter because it will raise their internal body temperature and makes for a good alternative to grit when the ground is frozen.
Winter prep is important but I don't want to end this post without taking a moment to remind y'all to find time to enjoy the beautiful fall season. Enjoy the cooler temperatures, beautiful color changes, and just coziness of my favorite season. I hope y'all enjoyed this farm update!
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