Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where did January go?

We are looking forward to this year and will be attending twice as many shows this year as last.  January has gone by in a blink of an eye and our kidding begins in February.  We have four does milking who are worth DHIR and so we slowed down, but did not take the break we had hoped for.

Beyonce and the four calves for 2012/2013.

We have four calves on the ground by the Angus Bull we rented last year.  Three bulls and a heifer.  One bull calf will be raised up to breed back to the herd next year.  We also plan on raising up four pigs this year and will get them in April when the milk is in full flow.  Then at six months, they will be heading to Reed's for freezer camp.  They will be free ranged in the Pecan Orchard and fed goat milk and supplemental feed.  The price per pound live will be in the $1.50 to $1.75 depending on the current feed prices.  Feed prices have been off the chart for 2012, will see what it is for 2013.  We will be raising up a couple of steer calves as well.  They will be grass fed and grain fed.  It will be 2014 before they are ready, but will take reservations and can do 3 if the interest is there.  Contact us if you are interested.  I like the grass and grain fed, more tender and of course, no hormones or antibiotics will come near our beef.  I hope to prime one out for myself and will split it.  Prime means the steer will be fed to the Prime grade which is premium.  These are half to three quarter Angus calves, so they will be excellent eating.

The first two does to kid this year will be Oldesouth Diva Diamond, daughter of UDiamond and Oldesouth SR Cuppachino, daughter of Oldesouth Blue Amber 2*M, 2*D. They are my best yearling does so far and bagged up.  Udiamond will kid in Feb, bred to Sudoku.  Her daughter looks just like her.  We will have several first fresheners who are yearlings and their kids will be reasonably priced until the dams make their milking awards.  It is a great opportunity to get some great milking genetics at a decent price.  Check out our breeding schedule at:

The winter has not been terribly cold here in Alabama, but we have had a lot of rain.  Have had to bed with a lot of pine shavings to keep the girls dry and especially the milkers.  Dry goats are healthy, happy goats.  Quality hay is not easy to find, so we are saving the hay to feed and not bedding with it like in past years.  The pine shavings have been doing well for us and we will continue to use them.

We are on DHIR again for 2013 and look forward to seeing how the yearlings do and our regular herd.  The General daughters are heading into their third freshening, so production should be great.  Most of the first fresheners are sired by NC Promisedland Zyvox *S and *B Lost Valley PG Superb *S.  Great milking genetic potential waiting to be realized.

We are working on a show schedule and deciding which shows to attend this year.  Since I work full time, we need to plan ahead and put in for the time off.  I love show secretaries who put out the show info early so folks like myself can plan ahead.  I have missed shows due to slow schedulers which we would have enjoyed attending.  Show secretaries, please get the info out early so everyone can plan which shows to attend.  There are a lot of shows this year and I am thrilled.  Can not wait to see what the first fresheners will bring to the table in both milk and conformation.

Want to share with folks a gadget I have for putting out the large bales of hay for the cows.  We do not own a tractor yet and this hay spear on a trailer does the job perfectly.  I have borrowed this from a friend and hope to purchase it in the future.  I like to hook it to my small truck, just easier to maneuver.  One just backs it into the bale and give a bit of gas to drive the spear into the bale.

Once speared, you crank the hydraulic jack and jack it up.
 Hungry cow girls and calves waiting at the gate for you.

When you get to where you want to drop it, cut the strings and remove them.  Then all it takes is turning the knob to let the jack down and the bale to ease down.  Drive forward and the bale is delivered.

You really need a hay ring or the cow girls will waste a good 20% of the hay by stomping and pooping on it.  Get one light enough to move around with one person able to roll it up and around.

Flip the ring up like so and roll it on over to your bale of hay.

Roll it to the new bale and then push it over onto the bale.

Ring is on the bale and the cows put their head through it to eat and can not icky up the bale.  When they eat the bale down, the ring is light enough to move around and clean up the bale.

Baby Calf says, "Hi", have a great evening and we wish you a Great 2013.