After a few hours of loading hogs in the field, we got 13 of 16 to cooperate. Had I not been running about 3 days behind, we probably would have had them all. We kept 3 breeding animals and shipped the rest on the trailer. The three non-cooperating hogs will have their day soon. We will regroup and load them from the barn. I am very interested to get the numbers back on the ones we sent. After delivering them, they looked much bigger than I expected. They were a great assett to our operation. We are grateful to them for providing for us.
I returned Saturday Night with our two new lowlines. They are nice animals. We got two cows and a newborn heifer. The heifer is 30 pounds right now. She is a sight. I have never seen a calf so small. But, she is full of energy and zest. She runs around the pen and carries on with the other calves in the barn. Today we should be taking the hogs to the butcher assuming they cooperate and load. It is a wet miserable day out. We hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. During our dinner, we were discussing our year and what is in store for next year. We are considering adding turkeys to the mix for next year. Would you be interested in fresh turkey for Thanksgiving? If so, leave a comment on this post so we can decide if it will work.
I apologize for the lack of posts, but we have just been swamped. last week I attended an artificial breeding course in Ohio where I learned to breed our herd. After 3 days of practice, I got the hang of it (I think) and came back home to breed our first cow on Tuesday (11/22). Since the average cycle is 21 days, I will let you know how I did. If she comes back in heat, I missed. We are very excited to turn over our herd to the AI program. The stresses of a bull are not here. No worries about one turning aggressive, no worries about heifers getting bred early, and no problems with family lines. For our program, AI just makes sense.
Yesterday I spent the majority of the day taking an animal to the market. She was past her productive years and had lost her ability to raise calves. Once a cow hits that point, she has to leave. She was a great cow and we hated to see her go, but that is how it has to be.
Tomorrow we will be getting 2 new Lowlines to add to the herd. They come from a great herd with excellent lines. They will be an excellent addition to our herd. We have now grown to 28 animals (14 breeding). We are going down the right road.
On Sunday we will be taking the hogs (16) to the butcher. They have done a super job for us this year. Both in growth and in the field. I am pretty sure that next year I will not have to plow our sweet corn fields, just plant because the hogs have done all the cultivating we need. I wonder if that qualifies us for no till?
This weekend, we decided we should pick our cron while it was nice and dry. The moisture is a little higher than I would like, but in NW Pennsylvania and November, the weather changes quickly. It could snow a foot next week, then the corn is stuck on the field. So, Saturday we moved a corn crib up the hill to our house where the breeze is much stronger, then we went to picking. We got 3 loads yesterday to add to the other 3 we picked 2 weeks ago (to be directly ground for hogs) and have 3 left for today. This should be enough corn to get us through to next year. We used a Doeblers corn that performed very well for us. The ears are nice and big with lots of kernals.
I moved the cows up the hill yesterday and will be putting them on another pasture today. They should make a week there then will be moving over to the barn for winter. With the colder temperatures at night, we have problems with our water systems freezing. The upper pastures are all frost free, so they are not a problem.