Good Morning everyone! First I want to thank you all for the support yesterday - what a rollar coaster day. Our neighbor came over last night to talk to the Milk Man, just to get his bearings I think. MM is a rock and our neighbor is a young man - 29 - was needing someone to let it out on. MM is one of those people who will do what he can to give someone a 'nudge'. He told this young man that its not the end of the world and that to take a year and see where he is at - then see about starting over. The light at the end of the tunnel was when the young man said that he is keeping his calves and shop tools!!!! VICTORY! For those of you who dont understand, let me explain - heifer calves grow up into COWS!!! and keeping the shop tools means he can repair future equipment that he purchases!! He is still thinking about his future and NOT GIVING UP! What a breath of fresh air!! For those who dont understand why this was so upsetting - other than for our friend - when a small farmer goes down, MANY MORE follow. We keep on for each other lots of times, to encourage each other, help each other and to make sure that the little guy is always stood up for. AIG sure didnt do that did they - If Obama and his ilk want to impress me and MANY others, give SMALL FARMERS a bailout. Now, go ahead and start in about the 'gov programs' that the farmers get, start in about the tax breaks - etc... but be prepared to prove what you say. For those who are irritated that I said Obama's name - to bad - he's not alone with screwing the farmers over. What has happened to the FAMILY FARM is why our economy sucks bull biscuts as Coffee Man says. Dont believe me? Look at the decline since the mid 70's....Thats when they started to over regulate the farms. When I was growing up on our farm, there were 17 farms in the valley we lived in. We sold our cows in 1986 and were the 3rd farm to do it in our valley... now ya know how many are left..... 0.... none.. not one. They are standing empty and the land is being plundered by a 'big farmer' for his 600+ cow dairy. They 'run' the land right into the shitter. They dont worry about 'run off', they dont worry about making the land viable for when they are no longer using it. There is so much more to farming than the average person knows - like land maintanance. I was thinking last night after CoffeeMan told me to keep being positive, that I would do that - but I am also going to post about somthing differant everyday that needs to change or somthing that we do to preserve the land and each other.
I had an interesting thing to pass on about cattle. With the part time job that I do, I talk to farmers about their operations. I went to a 'big dairy' the other day and asked them how old their cows are before they are 'done' with them. Now for most of you this may not be shocking as you may not know how long a cow can live and be productive - but the guy told me his oldest cow is 3..... We dont consider them a cow until they have had their 3rd calf. Big differance huh? Cows can live to be in their 20's but the average life of them now is 10-12 on a 'family farm' and more if they are on Amish farms being milked by hand. The biggest reason the cows 'burn up' on the big farms is because they are 'pushed'. They are given drugs so they grow faster, so they can begiven drugs so they can be bred sooner, so they can be given drugs so they can freshen faster, so that they can begiven drugs so they can milk faster and more. They are breeding heifer calves at 11-13 months so that they can have calves BEFORE THEY ARE 2!!! We breed our heifers at 2 so that they are not stunted for being bred to early. When these 11 month old heifers are 'ready',meaning the growth shot they were given gets them to 800 to a 1000lbs, they give them a shot to bring them into heat so that they can be bred early. If the heifer 'stays', she is then put in a barn till she is close to freshening/calving. Then when she hits her due date, she is given a shot to make her calve weather she is ready or not. When she calves she is ready to be milked. At this time they are given shots to produce more milk. What happens is that this shot makes them pull the calcium from their own bones to produce more milk than a cow is ment to produce. This is how they burn up.. overuse and missuse as far as I am concerned. After this cow has been milking for about 12 days, she is given a shot to bring her back into heat so that she can have a calf every 10 months apart. A cows gestation period is 9 months or 40 weeks, just like a person. We let our cows come into heat on their own - at times we do let younger cattle get bred, but only if they have grown big enough on their own. We dont push them. When a cow calves, we allow her to 'come in' on her own, meaning that we allow her to come into heat on her own after calving because her body knows when it is ready for another calf. This usually happens with in 3 months. If for some reason she doesnt come in on her own - we check her for infection or maybe that she has a tear in her uturus etc. If we find her to be ok, then we will, at times, give her a shot to bring her into heat. We do this mostly for her health. If a cow doesnt come into heat, she starts to get other physical troubles. We also do it so that she will calve and we can continue to milk her.
Well, I think thats enough lessons for today. I have to work today and finish taxes too..ish. SO, I will try to post some pictures of the farm later. The boys are cleaning seed oats to sell and that is a neat process.
The Weather.... .always!
3 years ago