The bull calves are fed, what’s next Papa?
It is now time to take a look in our rear view mirror at some of the issues we dealt with during the past summer, many say the driest summer in the past 50 years here in Eastern Canada.
It was very apparent early on that having enough moisture for our crops and our pastures was going to be a real challenge. We really only had 2 choices, tell anyone who would listen just how awful things were, or do everything in our power to manage the drought and attempt to find ways to economically feed and care for our Fleckvieh cattle. We chose the latter and as we look back, here it is mid November and all our cattle are still out on pasture except the bulls .
The first action we took was to divide those 10 acre cow pastures into 5 acre paddocks and the 5 acre paddocks for the bred heifer and first calf heifer pastures into 2 1/2 acre paddocks. Although tempted to over graze, we stuck to our principle of no more that 5 days before moving on to the next one. Many of our pastures had up to 60 day rest periods between grazing. This action was, in our mind, the most important thing we did that helped us through this troubling summer.
Our hay ground was fertilized following our first cut and most certainly helped with a reasonable second cut of hay. Come September, we fenced and pastured the hay ground and it supplied some much needed relief for many of our pastures.
Calves were weaned early. The bull calves that did not make our bull development facility were sent to the feed lot. The remaining calves were started on feed and by later on in September when we were finally getting some moisture, heifer calves were back out on pasture.
After speaking with a fellow breeder and customer from Indiana at the Bar 5 sale, Mark Jones was telling us that his corn yielded 18 bushel in one field and another at 3 bushels per acre. We realized just how blessed we are and really have very little to complain about.
We are now in the process moving our cattle into their wintering areas, and as in the past, baled hay is taken out to the pastures to supply needed fertility for next years pastures. Vaccinations and treatment for parasites has been completed.
With Fleckvieh sale catalogues arriving daily, it is time to turn our back on 2012 and look ahead to 2013 and beyond.
We continue our 364 day search for that semen that will add to our program and/or that intriguing outcross polled heifer calf that will down the road assist us in raising the bar. Dora Lee’s Platinum, our junior herd sire, from whom we are expecting several calves this winter, will be going into stud late December. There is excitement in the air here at Dora Lee as our 2013 calf crop will soon be starting to arrive.
May your holiday season and the New Year be filled with Joy, Happiness and much success. “It’s the most wonderful time of year” To each and every one of you…