Checking on the Cattle: Random Photo Friday

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Frosty Pasture: Random Photo Friday


King of the Heap: Random Photo Friday


No New Cattle for Us

Just a quickie today because I’m supposed to be watching video lectures for the Greek and Roman Mythology course I’m taking at coursera.org.

After telling us for months that he was going to take 4-H steers to the fair again, A. changed his mind.

I’m sad about this because I’ve been totally in love with every batch that’s been through here, but there’s still hope because the younger cousins got their steers the other day and they’re living at the family farm. (The steers, not the cousins.)

Annie and I went over to check them out…

“Which way did he go, Mom?”

but dog got completely sidetracked by one of the cats that jumped from the top of the fence and ran into the barn.

Annie was so engrossed, she didn’t even notice when the cattle started to come outside to check her out.

“What is that funny-looking brown thing?”

Anyhow, there are five new steers at the farm and I’ve already been approved for unlimited visitation rights.

I just hope no one finds it odd when I’m out there singing to the cattle.

It’s been known to happen.

 

 


A Walk Around the Farm

After supper this evening, Annie and I went for a walk around the family farm to take some pictures to share with you.

We ventured across the street and down the drive and first checked on the neighbor’s cows.

Nice how the cattle camouflage themselves by standing in front of the hay.

We then moved on to see how the soybeans were doing,

Considering we’re in the midst of a drought, the soybeans don’t look too bad.

and checked out the new doors on the fertilizer storage building.

The new doors sure beat having to cover the fertilizer piles with tarps.

Then Annie dog and I took a stroll down the lane between two of the fields.

It’s so sweet that the guys mow the lane so we have a nice place to walk.

I got a picture of the farm from the back…

I love the view from back here.

while Miss Annie plopped her butt down and took a break.

Silly girl.

Though some days I rant and rave and complain about having twice as much work as I have time,

today was good.


Fair Time

The county fair opened this morning, so this is probably the only post you’ll see from this farm wife this week.

DQ (aka #174) has settled in nicely. He gets to do nothing until Thursday but stand around and look handsome.

A cow’s-eye view of the fair

I’ve spent most of my time up at “our” end of the fair, where the air smells more like cow poop than caramel corn…and I’m fine with that.

A “corny” photo op

 However, the neighbors are a bit on the noisy side.

The goats next door

But I did get to see my first Ground Pounders tractor pull.

These guys take their play seriously

Since I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, I hope to see more of the fair…and maybe even seek out the perfect sausage sandwich.

Right now, I’m ready for a hot shower and a snuggle with Annie Dog.

To all of my U.S. friends…have a safe and happy 4th of July. 

 


Weighing In: The County Fair Countdown

Though the Trumbull County Fair doesn’t start until next week, today was weigh-in day for the Carcass Class steers. That means two of the remaining three steers left us.

Headed to the fairgrounds

The guys did a great job (after a few humorous attempts) loading the steers for the short drive to the fairgrounds. Once we got there, each trailer waited for their turn to unload and weigh in.

They both made this part look easy

From their first weigh-in  back in December, the two steers have gained an impressive total of  1323 lbs, or over 3 lbs. per day.

That’s even more than I gain after spending a holiday at my parent’s house!

#173

Now if I could just get the kid to gain some weight…

After both steers were weighed, the paperwork all taken care of, and the pictures taken, it was time to load them back in the trailer.

Luckily, our cattle loaded a bit easier than the one these guys were handling

It’s always sad when they’re gone, but I can look forward to new calves arriving in a few months.

As for our steers, I think the kid did a fantastic job taking care of them–he won last year for the greatest rate of gain, and I think he’s done an overall better job this time around.

Farmer D & I can’t wait to hear how the steers rank with the other 4-H projects.

I’ll let you know when we find out next week.

Want to see or read more about “fair” beef? See what Jenny at Chico Locker and Sausage Co., Inc. has to say. 


Checking on the Steers: The County Fair Countdown

I was a bit shocked when I looked at the calendar and realized that we’re only a couple of days away from June…and a little more than a month away from our county fair.

And that made me very, very sad, because that means it’s almost time for the boys in the barn to leave us.

There are currently five steers in our barn. The black and white-faced steer, a.k.a. DQ, is the boy’s show steer. Two others will be auctioned off at the fair as carcasses, and the remaining two will fill our family’s freezers.

Feeding the Steers

Nothing better than a nice bale of hay for breakfast.

Our 4-Her has been working with his three almost every day, and I have to say that they (the boy and the steers) look good.

Here is what DQ looked like back in December and the official weights for the 4-H projects. 

Here are what the boys looked like yesterday:

Angus and Angus Mix Cattle

They’re all turned this way (and quite content) because there’s an industrial-sized fan blowing on their butts.

Though some people may not be happy about how this story will end (including me), I can promise you that while we have our animals, we take the best care of them that we can.

Angus Steer

My big baby, 110.

Most farmers will tell you exactly the same thing.


Recycled Cow: Random Photo Friday

This 15 ft.-long Holstein on display in Middlefield, Ohio, was created by artist Chris McConnell out of recycled car hoods.


The Steers Say, “Moo.”

Actually, they don’t say much of anything, which according to Farmer D is a good thing, unless you’re in the barn around supper time…then you’re serenaded by a bunch of lovely guys with beautiful baritone voices.

The boys in the barn.

Is that too weird for you?

It’s a little weird to me, and I’m the one that just wrote it.

DQ wishes I was carrying the curry comb instead of the camera.

Anyhow, the cattle are doing fine. The oldest of the bunch will be one year old in February; the youngest is a little over six months old.

Since the weather is cold and endlessly wet here, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about raising beef and about the processing process.

In the food world, the grass-fed vs. grain-fed thing—and which one is best—is a huge (non) issue. Many proclaim that grass-fed beef is the only way to go…but read what Jeff Fowle, a California beef farmer and agvocate, has to say about Grass vs. Grain.

For the record, Farmer D subscribes to the “grass-fed, grain-finished” school of thought.

Milton showing off his good side.

As for the processing part (though I have no desire to do it myself), I’m fascinated with Megan Brown’s article, Brown Ranch: From Pasture to Plate. Ms. Brown is a 6th generation cattle rancher, and a strong voice in the agvocate world, who loves to share what goes on in her family business.

T couldn't be bothered to come over and visit.

If you want to learn more about your favorite meat, and how it gets from the farm to your table, read everything you can from Jennifer Dewey at Chico Locker & Sausage Company, Inc., and follow @KYFarmersMatter (on Twitter.) You’ll find amazing ladies in both places that really know their stuff.

(And by now, you’ve probably noticed that I love to read and love to research.)

I’m sure I’m missing more great info out there, but it’s time to go outside and check on the boys in the barn.

Baby's my fave he loves to snuggle (and there's nothing more attractive on a woman than cow snot in your hair).

What other beef-related  sites do you think I should check out?