IT rained last night so no cutting hay today.  I have the fear. I think I am losing my nerve for hay. But every few days there is a chance of rain and if it is over 40% the risk is too high.

Our next good break looks like starting on Monday. And the oats have already gone to seed along with the alfalfa.

I always get it in eventually though, but the protein levels will be low for this batch.


Happy ducks6264


And happy pigs. Today I will shift the four Uglies into the Big Pig Pasture. Then after giving this little field a break, so I can watch and see if there is any regeneration of the underplanting of the field, I will bring in Poppy’s Six.


The pig pastures are still evolving but I already know for sure the sunflowers were a good choice.


The latest battle of the thistle war is over for the home fields for a few weeks. Today we will relocate our spades and weed eater over to the West Side and start there.

My small alfalfa fields are working well. I open the gates for the cows to wander in at will for a period of two or three days and the animals are growing nicely. Watching ciws is interesting. Cows do not eat all day long. A contented field cow does not gorge. They take long cud chewing rest periods a number of times a day. They have a choice of grass or alfalfa in each field and seem to graze for a while in the alfalfa then move off to the grass for their break then their next meal begins with grass and moves back into the alfalfa. They seem to naturally pace themselves.

I always introduce cows to a new field in the early afternoon – after a mornings grazing.

No bloat. Though my cows get no grain so their bellies are better set up for the rich greens. And it is getting to mid summer now and the alfalfa is more mature which is better eating. All these components are part of my equation in the pursuit of wonderful grass-fed beef.

I would rather feed cows in the field than feed out hay.  As you know my objective is to have them on fields longer and longer each year – right into the winter.

OK. Time to start work.

I hope you have a lovely day.


WEATHER: A good day for cows!

Wednesday 20% Precip. / 0 in
Mostly cloudy skies. Slight chance of a rain shower. High near 80F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday Night 10% Precip. / 0 in
Mainly clear. Low near 65F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.


37 Comments on “THE FEAR

  1. Lovely shot of Tima and Mr Flowers peacefully enjoying the same fresh salad greens. Those rainclouds look dramatic, but I suppose it depends on the wind that’s bringing them across your skies…. My fingers and toes are crossed for a successful cut and bale (which should look amusing in tomorrow’s tai chi class!).

  2. Wow – those dark skies! We never had a drop of rain here nor all nite long!!! And we actually wanted some cause we sprayed the yard for grub kill. Trying to get rid of a million moles – they’ve done so much damage here.
    The greatest picture I’ve seen for a while – Tima and Mr Peacock!!! Calendar foto!! Stay dry for hay!!

  3. I bet the ducks are missing their pool. Hope you dry up for hay harvest. Laura

  4. Just wondering about your guineas…, are they reproducing, and do the mamas take care of the babies, and do they grow to adulthood? We are down to only four right now…all males! 😦 And the youngest male, the only one of about 12 from last year that made it from incubator to halfway house to adulthood is chasing our lone female Muscovy duck. She is constantly running away from him! We need many guineas here as they help with the huge tick and chigger populations.

    • I heard guineas are not terribly good Mother’s. And no mine never bred and you remember I started with twelve years ago. Are you thinking of buying more guinea chicks?

      • We just met a friend of a friend who says she should have eggs from her guineas she will pass on to us so we can incubate them. Fingers crossed that happens!
        Do you still have your original 12 guineas? Do they sleep in the barn at night?

  5. The irony here is that when it gets hot and sunny for days on end, you’ll be praying fro rain. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tap to control the weather!

  6. my knowledge of farming is I have a question ..I just hope that you won,t all think I am stupid ( OK so I am) To get milk from a cow ..does it have to produce a calf first? I ask this because I saw a picture on FB where the calves are killed off as soon as they are born so that milk can be obtained. Is this what really happens to produce milk

    • Yes. Like women a cow will not produce milk until she has given birth. In a big dairy farm the calves are sold so the cows can be milked so you can buy the milk. Most of the beef you eat is from the grown dairy calves. I know if none who kill them off anymore. In the old days coats were made from the young calves. Plus rennet. They sell them now to fatten for cheap beef when they are grown. Well done for asking – Facebook is a hotbed for gossip
      And agenda driven false statements. Never believe anything you read there without first triangulating your information sources – the anti dairy lobby is still going strong apparently

  7. Whew! I’ll bet the humidity is HIGH today! Hot and muggy! Those skies and the greenness of the fields make such a beautiful contrast! Happy piggies, ducks, peahens, peacock, but no cows today. Gorgeous photos, Ceci!.

  8. It sort of makes you wonder how people did it before weather forecasts. As much as people complain about the inaccuracies of weather forecasts (it must be a tradition), they are remarkably accurate nowadays. In the orchards of the Santa Clara Valley, there was no choice about scheduling. The trees did it on their own. If rain came during bloom, the crop could be ruined for the year, and many of the same crops throughout the Valley could be ruined with it.

  9. Enjoyed listening in and learning–about milk cows, beef calves, and all dishes with goat. (Not having ethnic restaurants nearby would get my goat too) !

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