Saturday, December 8, 2012

Finally snowed

Well the attitude around here has changed.  It has snowed!  We no longer have to look at the brown dreary drab colors of the surrounding landscape.  We no longer have to see the dust rise from the hooves of the animals as they graze and make their way to water.  We returned home from the CHS annual meeting in Minneapolis late Thursday evening and drove through snow flurries most of the way home.  We were pleasantly surprised to see 4 inches of new fallen snow the next morning.

Our load of cattle cubes came in last week.  So we go out every morning to feed cake to the cows and the sheep.  We measure the correct amount by number of five gallon buckets.  Each bucket weights 30 pounds.

The cows get five buckets and the sheep get eleven buckets. Some cows are slower about coming for their cake and we have to wait for them to come.  A few get overly anxious and want their cake NOW!

Fortunately, most of the cows wait patiently for their cake.  The slower one are still coming.

Tammy is the photographer so I poured out cake on this occasion.  All the other times I drive and Tammy pours out cake. The pickup had no driver as we go quite slow to do this operation.

The cows crowd around the stream of cake that is on the ground.  They each get their pound and a half of cake.

Then it is off to feed the sheep their share of the cake.  The cow are in a maintance  phase of their production cycle.  They are dry, meaning they have no calves sucking and are in the second trimester of pregnancy, so they require less nutrients.  The sheep are just now being bred.  The rams were turned with the ewes just last week so we want them to cycle so they can become pregnant and have lots of twins.

Tammy is pouring buckets of cake for the sheep.

              The sheep crowd around to get their share.

While we have three to four inches of snow, it is fluffy and the livestock easily pushes the snow aside and can still graze the grass underneath the snow cover.  This is a hill top and doesn't have much grass cover to begin with.  It doesn't take much water for the livestock to drink as they eat snow with every mouth full of grass.

Here is a picture of the sheep finishing their cake and the cows in the distance, about a mile away.  As you can see there is brown in the picture.  That brown is grass peaking through the snow cover.

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