Welcome back to Deer Creek. Its been a busy month since I last touched base with you and we have seen quite a few babies hit the ground. From cattle to goats I have had my hands full this last month or so. We have had several calves born and for whatever the reason end up spending a few hours or weeks in the barn being fed by bottle from our Jersey milk cow. This is not the first time we have ever had a milk cow on the farm, but it is the first time that I can tell you I had to help with the chores and responsibilties of having a milk cow on the farm. I think the last time we had milk cows full time I was about 6 years old and lets just say that was a few decades ago.
This past January my dad decided with the price of cattle so high it would be a good idea to have a milk cow to supplement any calves that got sick, lost thier mother, or were not claimed by thier mother. And we have definately had our hands full with calves in and out of the barn. It has been an unusual spring in the fact that we have had several sets of twins born on the farm and that seem to leave one calf in the barn each time a set is born. Plus with calving out around 150 head of heifers between all the herds we have had our hands full of momma's whom had trouble having thier calves and with those whom refused to care for thier calves. On any given week we have had 2-3 calves rotate thru the barn.
But with all this rotation you would think we would have plenty of calves to drink the milk one dairy cow could produce. However she is an excellent milker producing over 4 gallon of very rich creamy milk a day and it seems that the past week we have had more milk than we could find a use for so we started making different types of ice cream. My mom has tried plain vanilla, chocolate chip, and today she made a cinamon version. So far they have all been a hit and she plans to take some to our church social dinner this Sunday. So lets just say we are eating well here on Deer Creek and if its been awhile since you had a batch of fresh homemade ice cream well I think its time you found a way to get yourself some. I think it tastes so much better than the store bought and it is not loaded with the corn syrup and artifical ingredients that we as a society have a tendancy to over eat.
I've also been sharing this same barn with the goats. It is really quite the sight to see a Jersey dariy cow in a stand milking beside a Nubian dairy goat. This took some adjustment periods, but they now have pretty much gotten used to each other so you can milk a goat and the cow at the same time. Right now we are milking everything by hand, but I hope to get our milking machine back into working condition by late spring or early summer so the flies won't be so bad while I milk.
I have had 7 nubian kids to feed each day and they are growing like weeds. 4 of the 7 are sold and I am retaining 2 of the does for our own herd. This only leaves me 1 buck for sale at this time. I have a caprine bucket system that I feed them on and I think it is so funny to watch them all attack the bucket at once for a feeding. It takes the kids less than 5 minutes to be done with the bucket of milk. And then they are ready for play time and lots of attention being cuddled and played with.
Last week end I had one of the bucks picked up to go to his new home along with 2 4-h show piglets. I'm very glad we could help the Havel family get started with thier 4-H projects this year. Good luck Kinley with your projects. We also had the Long family come and get 3 show pigs on easter weekend. We will be down to Beaver City in July to see how this family does with thier projects. And today I sent a second buckling to his new home with the Rutherford family. They only brought the two youngest kids of 7 down to pick up thier buckling but I know he will be spoiled and well taken care of by this family. I think thier children would have taken one of everything I had to offer on the farm. It's always exciting to see how children react to life on the farm.
In addition to the Nubian goats taking up space in the barn Dillon (my son) finally got two sets of boar goats this past week as well. So they too have been taking up stalls in the barn to make sure they are extra healthy before I send them back out into a pen and to deal with our weather that seems to change hourly. This year our boar goats were born a bit later than we are used to so we have only til July to get them to a minimum of 55# for fair. This will mean that I will have to feed the mommas extra well and keep the kids up to insure they eat thier pellets and supplements instead of just running the creek and eating whatever they find that tastes good that day. Goats are natural grazers and I think it is really cool when they can move from location to location eating a bit here and there. Last year I was amazed that when turned loose for the day they basically made the same trip every day and returned to thier pen for bed at dark each night.
We will soon be looking at starting to plant the spring crops. We already have the oats drilled and we are gearing up with the planter to be ready to put the corn in the ground. Hard to believe that winter is basically over and that spring is well into its movement. But here on Deer Creek I know there is never a dull moment or a stop between seasons. So I will keep you updated as we go forward with our year.
Please pray for rain as we are heading into another terrible drought in our area and could really use the moisture to help us continue to survive here on the farm.
It is a proven fact that the American farmer now feeds over 155 people per day. Therefore please ask God to grace us with moisture so we can continue to feed the world.
Proud to be an American Farmer