Monday, October 24, 2016
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Spring is now in full swing! Just as quickly as the animals can graze a pasture, it grows right back up behind them with even more variety than before. We are receiving the perfect combination of rain and sunshine to keep the fields lush and fertile.
The chickens are out on the grass as well, with their guardians Sierra and Bo, our two Great Pyrenees guard dogs. The abundance of eggs makes it hard to believe that two months ago, the hens weren't laying hardly anything.
We now have two new pets as well. Muffins is a cat who hopped into the truck once and rode with us to the farm one morning, and Bella, a dog who was supposed to guard our ducks, but decided she liked home life better.
This week, Dad and Mom went on a cruise to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary, and Harrison and Sheridan went off to visit our married sister. So Elliott, Oliver, and Sullivan were left to take care of the farm. Fortunately, the week passed without any major difficulties.
We're making plans for this summer. Hopefully we don't have another drought this year!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The winter-spring transition is finally complete! The cows are now grazing the new spring grass, and the new young laying hens are prepared to follow them. Even the calves are enjoying the season on a field of their own.
We are taking advantage of the abundant grass and are fattening a few beef cows with the extra food. Several of our heifer calves from a couple years ago are about to give birth to calves of their own. All around the farm, new things are popping up; new plants, new animals, and new ventures.
We've been getting rain at just the perfect amount, rarely enough so that the ground doesn't get too muddy, but often enough to keep the grass growing. As the cows knock out the first wave of spring grass, the next wave is steadily growing behind them. Milk production and egg production are moving at a nice rate, and we hope that all of this is an indicator of an excellent summer to come.
Friday, April 4, 2014
We can now add some more animals to our list! This time it's Chili and Reléno, two cows who have been added to the herd and are adjusting to their new life splendidly. We are also now starting to milk Ophelia, the daughter of one of our earliest cows. Hopefully, these three will enjoy healthy and productive lives here at Avery's Branch Farms.
The local veterinarian visited our herd, so we had to make sure everyone was in a good place where he could check on them. For some animals, that was quite an ordeal! Others, however, who have had years of experience with this kind of thing, were perfectly fine and obedient throughout the visit. Due to our holistic practices we don't spend much on vet bills.
The grass is now so tall that if the cows don't graze it quick enough, it'll end up going to waste! Now it's full speed ahead getting animals out to pasture. We are doing this amidst other tasks to prepare us for spring, such as the winter-summer switch inside the house and pasture construction outside. Hopefully, the winter-to-spring transition moves swiftly and without problems this year.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Well, I keep thinking this is going to be the week I'm going to tell y'all that winter has fled, and spring is here at last. But alas, it is not so. Sure, we've had good days, but it snowed again on Monday and was freezing for all of the next day. The groundhog must have been right about six more weeks of winter!
The snow has failed to stop the growth around here, though. It seems that every day a new plant pops up in the fields. Thing are getting greener everywhere you look.
One of our longest serving cows, Althea, recently gave birth to her fifth calf since we brought her in 2008. We have decided to name it Ellie. Mother and daughter are both doing fine right now.
Hopefully, this will be the last bit of cold weather and next week I will give you the much-awaited “Spring is finally here!” announcement.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
Here at Avery's Branch Farms, we've experienced what we hope to be the last snowfall of the winter. Though the snow was fun when it first came in January, we've had about enough of the cold, the wetness, and the mud. The storm started with some rain this morning, which had turned into a snowstorm by nine. Though we've had thicker storms, this one was especially sharp and it hit hard. We opened up some specially-prepared shelters for the cows to find warmth in.
This is quite a contrast to yesterday, when we enjoyed 70 degree weather and warm, radiant sunshine throughout much of the day. Today, however, we must abide with the continually below-thirty climate. This could be the biggest contrast in weather we've experienced all year!
Unfortunately, farmers still have to milk the cows and feed the animals, even if it snowing. We've taken advantage of the storm outside to get some work done inside.