Tag Archives: hay

Pasture Rotation

18 Jun

Part of good land management includes making sure pastures don’t get overgrazed.  Before I bought the farm surrounding my acreage, my poor front pasture was constantly eaten down, which is really bad for it.  With the addition of another almost forty acres of pasture, that has really made things much better (and I finally made a map of my pastures so you can see what I’m talking about).

This past weekend I shut the gates to the back pasture in the Back Forty. There are several reasons.  First, the goats have been eating back there most of the time since March.  The grass isn’t very tall, and that’s where we make hay.  I want to get them off the hill so the grass can grow.

I was also tired of making the long trek to the back hill two or three or four times each day to make sure nobody was stuck in the pasture.  This past week, Milo decided he wanted to get stuck in the fence.

Milo

Then Penelope got stuck in the fallen tree.

Penelope

I kid you not, she could not figure out how to put her head down and just back out.

I was also really struggling to count my babies in the tall grass to know if I needed to go get someone out of the fence.

Joker, Jester, Astra, and Avril

I decided that it would just be much easier to shut the gate.  Now they are confined on the front half of the Back Forty.

I still have Joy, Margarita, Aphrodite, and Antigone on the front pasture.

Front to back:  Antigone, Aphrodite, and Joy

Over the weekend, I checked that fence and found where Uno managed to escape to get back to his maa, and I plugged that with a panel.  The escape route is marked by the purple spot.

Front: Penny; Right: Athena; Back Cutie, Addie, Chiffon

I’m pretty sure Freddie and Fannie haven’t forgiven me for weaning them the other day (for like ten minutes), but I managed to catch and wean them again.  This time, they are on the front pasture.  We’ll see if I did a good job repairing the fence.

Ava with kids Fannie (front) and Freddie

I have more changes planned pretty soon because of the need to replace the fence between the Back Forty and the crop field.

Aurora, Maybeline and Odie

It’s kind of a necessity.

Caught

30 Jan

Aurora is always very elegant and ladylike.  Execpt, when she doesn’t know I’m watching.

Aurora and Maybeline (Astra too)

As soon as I said her name, she quit the challenge to spit and looked sweet and innocent again.

Silly llama.  And what is Astra doing?

Astra

She was trying to snag an extra serving of hay from the barn.

Because, you know, I never feed them.  Silly goat.

Chores When It’s Really Cold

21 Jan

The really cold (but not quite stupid cold) weather we are having right now adds another level of challenging to doing chores.   Part of that is because the animals went from pretty mild temperatures to really cold temperatures.  They have to have time to adjust, and they didn’t get that.  Even Odie is acting a bit cold.

Odie

I worry about Wanda with her fur not completely grown back.  The greenhouse is a bit warmer for her than the main barn.  (The hazy look is my breath steaming.)

Wanda and Aphrodite (and Athena’s body)

Caroline is her typical brat.  Not even the cold can change that.  You’ll notice Anubis on the shelf below her because Zeus is still kind of pushy.

Caroline (Anubis below and Zeus’s back)

I’m glad it did this over a weekend when I was home to check everyone more frequently.  I’m also giving them an extra feeding of hay.  This would be easier if we hadn’t had the ice that froze my door down.  At least I can open the top and throw my bale of hay out and then climb over.  It’s just another level of fun.  Although, I have gotten it chipped away so I can open it enough for me to sneak through now.

Moose

This extra feeding helps me check on everyone.  If someone is not getting up to eat or is just standing there shivering and not eating, they need to be moved.

Cupid and Cutie

That’s why Stormy got moved to the garage on Saturday.  She was lying in the barn shivering, refused to get up and wouldn’t eat when I put hay right in front of her.  She’s doing much better now.

Stormy

Sunday, Dolly joined them.  I have a couple more old ladies and the young kids that I’m keeping a close eye on.

Antigone and Dolly (Pistol across the front)

The front door to my garage is also frozen shut, so I have to carry hay through the milk/soap rooms, or I can climb the fence and go through the buck room.

Xerxes and Hilda (the door that will open between them)

Poor Xerxes still is the biggest chicken on the farm, but he’s also hoping I bring him lots of grain.

I’ve also been breaking the ice off my cattle tank.

Penny

The heater is working, but it is warm and the steam freezes, and it just keeps freezing until it’s completely iced over.

Luckily, the cold is supposed to break tomorrow, and I can put my old ladies back out of the garage.  Of course, with the warmer temperatures comes the threat of more rain, ice, and snow.