Friday, July 31, 2009
At the cross roads once again, looking this way and that way, not sure what direction to pursue. I am open to any offers if someone wants to start a real nice herd of mini's, as every one of these animals is a keeper, a foundation to build on. A nice mix of bloodlines, the culling has already been done. Maybe I will keep 2 or 3 heifers, maybe not. I tell myself I can always buy again....
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Ever since I was 18 I have been smitten with cows. I was never raised on a farm, and didn't grow up in farm country; quite the contrary, I grew up in the northern suburbs of New Jersey, not 50 miles from the Big Apple.
So what happened?
Back to the land is what happened, and I happened to have some friends who went right there, there being a small farm in north central Pennsylvania. Which didn't have cows, but was right next door to a farm that did. The rest, they say, is history.
I have always loved the outdoors, the changing seasons, the planting and the harvest, the ebb and flow of nature. The satisfaction of looking back after a days work and seeing the results, a new fence, a garden, a field freshly plowed or hay stacked high in the barn before a rain; witnessing a newborn calf struggle to its feet for the very first time.
That was quite a few years ago, but the feelings and connection and satisfaction has not changed over the years.
I owned a small herd of registered Holsteins, and ran my own small dairy. It was a simple set up, but profitable. I drank the milk fresh from the bulk tank, made butter and real buttermilk pancakes. The cows went out every day, every season. They had fresh quality feed, and clean dry bedding. They were well looked after, and in return gave me milk to sell and calves to add to the herd or sell as registered stock.
After 4 years my partner in the business decided he had had enough of milking and cows in general, and we auctioned our little herd off to the highest bidder. The money from the sale of the stock allowed me to pursue my painting, drawing and writing for several years.
Fast forward to 2005. A small run in barn is built, locusts posts pounded in, wire fence in place. A gooseneck trailer with Oklahoma tags pulls in after dark carrying 4 miniature Herefords from west Texas.
It seems that 4 years may well be the lifespan of my cattle endeavors, and history seems poised to repeat itself once again. I walk among my growing flock of registered miniature Herefords daily, thrilled with the quality of the first calves born and excited that next spring they would be calving, carefully tending them 365 days of the year, hauling hay and hauling water, fixing fence and building more..once again realizing this is my dream, and mine alone.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Here is Blue and her new heifer calf. We would consider selling them together.
Please contact us if interested. Both registered with AHA.
We can also put together a nice starter package for anyone who may want to start their own herd of registered miniature Herefords.
Please keep in mind that with any registered livestock, initial cost is always higher than with grade stock. We encourage folks to check registered livestock sales and auction sale results!
Here is Emerald, a Red Pride daughter (Texas show bull). She is the tamest heifer we own and will stand to be scratched and brushed without being tied. She has very good conformation and would show beautifully. She will mature at 00-000 frame size. Registered with the AHA, she will be bred to our registered polled bull for a spring 2010 calf. $3800.00
Here are some of our cattle that we have available for sale.
With just so much room, we have to part with several every year.
Each one of these would make a great addition to any herd, or could be combined for a great starter herd! Remember, a registered animal is an investment for your future. Why settle for less?
Here is our cow "Blue". She just delivered a beautiful heifer calf this week. She is a frame 0, but her offspring are very small, and will mature in the 00-000 range. She is registered with the AHA. $2800.00
Friday, July 17, 2009
You know, sometimes we tend to forget dad. With all our pictures of calves and heifers and bulls, mommas and their babies, once in while you hear mention of the sire, or daddy to these beautiful little babies. Well, here's to you Mr. Bull. Thanks for all the gorgeous healthy friendly miniature babies you have help produce here on our very small humble farm. And thanks for making most of them heifers as well!!!
Because Mr. Bull has produced so many daughters for us (with full eye pigment I may add) we have to offer him for sale as his daughters are now breeding age. He would be a fine addition to any herd!
Just a quick update....
Our cow "Blue" (named after Blue Mountain in Texas in case your wondering) had a lovely very cute heifer calf sometime last evening! This is the second time Blue has "surprised" us with having her calf, as she is a cow that shows no real outward signs that she is about to calve, no fretting, no huge udder, nothing. Just "here you are" and thats just fine! We named her Amber Sweetbay. Welcome to the world little one!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Probably the most frequently asked question , (after "how much?") is how big are they when full grown? Well, pictures say a thousand words, so here is a picture of myself with a 2 year old heifer "Babette" She is considered full grown, and although I have not measured her lately, I would say her frame score would be 000. She is roughly half the size of her mother, "Miss Piggy", which amazes me at how much the size of these animals can be reduced in just one generation with the right bull!
Ok, enough gushing about the cattle, heres something for the homeowner who has a landscape (unlike myself....) around their home. Well, after designing all these fabulous estates and homes, the last thing (honestly) I feel like doing is coming home and, you guessed it, landscaping! I am partial to planting trees, however, and have planted well over 100 of them so far on our property since moving here 8 years ago, so, at least we have shade around our house now.
Which leads me off in another direction entirely than what I had planned on writing about....shade tree placement!!
Folks, get your shade trees planted asap when you buy your home if they are not already there!! Pines, conifers, evergreens are nice, and do serve a purpose, but most people waste their time with these because they are cheap to buy (when small) and easy to plant, but they do not do the job of summer air conditioning and allowing winter radiant heat like a decidious tree will.
Watch your sun patterns for a summer season, where is it hottest at what time of the day? This is where you will need to correctly place a deciduous shade tree. Late afternoons are the hottest, morning sun is usually welcome. Do you have an outdoor living area? Nothing will drive folks away from a patio or deck like the sweltering afternoon sun. Do you have shade there for afternoon entertaining? How about that hot afternoon sun beating on your house? The sun sure feels good in the winter, but it can be brutal in the summer. And folks, please don't stick your trees so far away from your house that the shade will never be cast where you will use it. Take a look at old farm houses and older homes, they have plenty of shade trees quite close to the houses, right where they will actually do some good. Know the mature spread of the tree you are planting, and plant it close to the house. ( Just close enough that the mature branches may someday possibly touch the house, maybe). Don't worry about it breaking up your foundation, etc, by that time (if it ever even happens) you will not be around to deal with it (well, its true!!)
One more thing, and its a pet peave for me: plant some shade where you park your car!! Nothing is worse than baking your car all summer long on a nice hot driveway! Give it some thought, and I dont mean some sticky sappy pine tree, or messy crabapple, a nice shade tree!
Got kids? A play area? First,and I see this all the time and it drives me crazy.... don't stick the swingset- playset in the back 40; kids want and need to be near the house and mom....nobody is gonna hoof it all the way to some forgotton back corner of the yard to play and bake! Near the house and in the shade of course (no shade? plant some!) Some trees will grow as fast as your children! (More on that later)
And now that you are inspired, or shamed , one more thing....please, dig the hole twice as big as the root ball, pull off as much burlap as you can, and plant at the same depth as it was balled or potted. See previous post on mulching. Trust me on this, take time now to do it right once...its no fun having to dig that hole a second time. That tree can never move, give it a nice comfy place to stretch out and thrive!
Enjoy the tree for as long as you live in the house, and know the next folks and their children will as well.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
We have some new pictures of our little bull calf, as well as a fine registered miniature Hereford yearling heifer we are thinking of parting with. We have such a small operation here, which in some ways is very good, in that it enables us to fuss over each and every one of our animals, but at the same time requires us to sell several animals every year, whether we want to or not.
One of the most pleasant ways I know to spend a quiet summer morning is walking around the pasture with a cup of tea and the camera. The animals move slowly, eating, scratching or walking up to me to see if I have anything to offer them. They are so docile, I am sure my blood pressure must be at its lowest point when I am standing in the middle of the herd, just watching, giving a scratch....I almost think they are more therapy than anything else....of course, check back this winter when its below zero and the wind is howling and the water is frozen.....then we'll see who NEEDS therapy!! LOL!
Be that as it may, here are some pictures of our little boy who is a few weeks old; a fine Red Pride daughter who will be bred to our new polled bull, and of course our standing herd sire, who gave us all these lovely calves you see in many of our pictures. He looks better every day if I do say so myself! All our animals are available for sale, and if you see something here that interests you, please, do not hesitate to give me a shout!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Ah yes, summer, time for everything, except blogging!! Be that as it may, we have had a busy summer so far, expanding our pastures, pounding in posts (yes, by hand....) and watching the babies being born. We've had a lovely little bull calf born here recently, and cannot wait for his siblings to join him. The cows and bulls are all sleek and fat on the lush pasture we've been blessed with again this season; we've had enough rain and then some to keep things greening after a late start this spring. So far we've not had to feed hay, and with the new pasture we've added, won't have to until frost hopefully. The new pasture was frost seeded to red clover two seasons ago, and the deer have enjoyed it; now its time the cattle do as well!
Our cattle seem to be pretty carefree in the summer months, we water once a day, check the fencer, and check the animals at least once daily just to see that all is well, which, thankfully, all has been! Aside from keeping tabs on the pasture conditions, and moving the herd from old to new pasture, there's really not much else to do with these guys....except take pictures of them, dream of a bigger barn, better hay feeder, nicer fencing in the barnyard area.....
That reminds me, I had better get outside and put in some more posts....