Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Early July and the hayfields are brown and the corn and field crops are suffering in this drought. Most farmers did get a first cut of hay baled successfully but the second cut is just not happening. And the pastures are burnt and there'll be lots of cattle going to the salesbarn soon if we don't get some moisture.

Our hay is mostly down and three fields baled with the rest slated for the end of the week. The sheep are definitely benefitting from our new rotational grazing system. We move just over a mile of Electronet fencing every three to five days so they move between eight pastures.  Also has worked wonderfully for parasite control and no coyote losses (knock wood) so far. This morning we took our first four lambs to the abbatoir: always a sad occasion which I never get used to. Lambs had their revenge however. I was severely kicked in the eye by the horned ram we were trying to wrestle into the trailer. I've learned to keep my head away from the horns but this guy launched himself into space and his back leg caught me right in the eyebrow.

We have about 135 meat birds growing in the barn and ready to go to their pasture and another 100 baby chicks under the brooder light.  And six piggies, all black charmers, rooting around in the back pig field. Five more are arriving on Thursday.

And I've ordered a dozen new laying hens as our old girls are entering retirement. Tom shot a skunk last week who had figured out how to get into the run. Predator control is an ongoing challenge on the farm.

We are doing two weekly markets: Tom drops me and my freezer off in Pembroke by 7:30 on Saturday mornings and then he continues on to Killaloe with the second freezer. At one pm we do the reverse. And then at five pm, I go off to my part time job as a server at the Granary Restaurant. Helps pay the farm bills.