Friday, July 29, 2011

Water Cleanliness

Someone should be able to bet you $10 and you'd drink out of your animals water trough. If that idea makes you gag - you need to scrub your buckets pronto.

This is a cut-up barrel. Not really my ideal water bucket
but it's nice and low so the goats/sheep can get into it

Clean water is the easiest way to keep your animals healthy. All it costs is a $4 scrub brush from TSC and some elbow grease.

I like to do mine every other day in the heat of summer, that way all I need is the pressure-nozzle on the hose to clean all the algae out & it's a really quick & easy job! Plus the grass doesn't mind a little extra watering.

Yes, most animals will drink out of filthy puddles, but they will drink more out of fresh clean running streams.

The nice new bucket, give it a quick spray every other day &
it still looks just like new! 

Livestock must have access to clean drinking water at all time of day. Doesn't matter if they are just going out in the field for an hour or two, throw a bucket over the fence. If nothing else, if something should happen (an animal gets outs, you fall down and break a leg, get caught in a traffic jam) you'll know your animals are out with fresh clean water and you can concentrate on the emergency at hand instead of getting someone home to water.

1 out of 52 ain't bad... knock on wood!

Brought him in because he was acting very lethargic, perked up after a poop, but dead the next morning.

You're bound to loose a few, so loosing 1 out of 52 (they always pack 2 extra) isn't bad. Lets hope he's the only one! We've got a hungry family.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Skinny on the cows.

Our farmer popped by the other day for a hello, so I got the full story on the cows.

Hilda is a shorthorn x Limousin cross, which is why she's bigger & lighter in colour. She's about 7 years old.

Gertie is a pure-bred shorthorn, around 6 years and has probably been milked before. Gotta say, I'm still a little too scared of those big hooves to try that one! 

We're thinking if we get a nice cow calf out of one of our girls that we want to keep, I may try milking her, if we can keep her friendly. The only thing with a milking cow, is that once you start milking you really can't stop & you've got to be around and available every single day to do it. Or find a farm-sitter who wants to go above and beyond! 

Their morning nap spot against the barn
If we do decide to keep a calf one year we'll have to buy some more cows off our farmer. We're selling to friends/family at $4/lb and our second steer was spoken for before he even arrived! The farmer does have some more beef to sell still, you can contact me if you're local & hungry. I don't think his are going in until the fall, but grass-finished, no hormone & they are yummy! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wet & Muddy, but Clean!

Had a 'me make fire' moment standing in the barn holding the hose... with the new pressure nozzle on there, I just knocked off about 3 days of work! 

Boards still have some old poop on them
so there is more scrubbing to be done.

I got soaked & filthy, but the barn should be dry by tomorrow! 
The hose worked a lot better then trying to sweep all the dirt out of the little nooks & crannies. 

Barn rooster is impressed 
I don't know if this is something I would do once a year, hopefully I can just keep the barn from collecting so much dirt & cobwebs through regular maintenance! 

Goat Logic

Why eat the lovely green lawn when we have dead crab apple leaves to eat??

Proof Billy is the brains of this brigade :) 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Last Sunday, on just about the hottest day you can imagine (I believe it was 46C with the humidex) we decided it go pick up 200 bales out of the field. 

Our lovely hay just waiting to be picked up.

Didn't get quite as much of the old stuff out of the hay-bays as I wanted, so it filled up quite quickly! We're going to need 100-300 more depending on who are occupants are going to be for the winter.

Mighty tasty looking stuff & we got an amazing deal on it!

It's about 10% wild canary (which the horse won't touch, it's too course) and 90% beautiful soft, thin orchard grass which is my favourite for them. 

There is almost no clover that I could see, which makes me really happy! While lots of people like clover in their hay, because it's high protein, my gal is a very easy keeper, after a month on our pasture she already looks like a beach ball (pretty impressive given the condition her leaser left her in May). 

Mmmm, looks good enough to eat!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Meat Birds

50 little white rock birds from MillPond Hatchery

Little chickies arrive at home.
You wouldn't believe how loud the feed store was!!

So the boys & I set up one of the "lamb/goat" stall up for the chickens (since the lamb & goats are down the end of the barn now). I was thinking I should keep all the chickies at the end because they are small, I didn't want them to wander away from the food/water. New to baby chicks much?

Yeah, they all immediately piled out!! 


So my 18 m/o, 3 y/o and I are running around trying to get the chicks. 3 y/o is grabbing and throwing the chickies back into their pen (so glad little guys bounce a bit! he didn't hurt any of them), 18 m/o is running away from the chickens, and I'm wracking my brains for a way to keep these silly things in!! 

Oh yeah, and the dogs are standing around licking their chops... good girls didn't touch a single feather!

The feed-bags keep the chicks
from picking at the shavings
and eating them instead of food

Remembering we've got wood at the front I managed a makeshift barrier, and plugged the hole on the side with a yucky bale of hay. 

Don't ask about all the feed on the floor...
There were goats involved!

Dealing with the heat-wave best we can, the chickies have their fan on & electrolytes in their water and hopefully we'll have something we can eat in 2 months!