SELLING COWS

I think Jude is eating too much pasta! He is definitely achieving my objective of ‘fatness’ before the cold settles in. Soon he will be too big to pick up.

It was soaking wet all day yesterday but warm so I was not complaining. The ducks were not complaining either they turned every puddle into a swimming pool complex.

Usually I throw down hay by the bale from the loft to the barn floor but little Jude would not be shifted. He was determined to hang out just below me, so I had to throw it down by the leaf so he would not be hurt.

He thought this was very exciting!

I have decided to sell 73 and 84 instead of breeding them. Now that John has retired I am able to see exactly how much outside income we have so I am curtailing the cows again. The cows cost a LOT to feed and bring in very little income. There are a number of big grass fed and field grown beef growers in this state – enough for that small market anyway. So my own market is selling to friends. Small.

My pork is very easy to sell – now that I have built a reputation. Of course the chicken and duck eggs pay for themselves and some.

Plus. We have two calves on the way ( from the Aunties) and that will bring my numbers back up to eight if all goes well. Lucy the little ( and getting bigger fast) black angus heifer will be bred late next year as well, so that is certainly enough.

Eight is my limit. Or I run out of grass too early. Eight is quite a few cows! And a lot of winter hay.

The farm must pay for and feed itself and rejuvenate itself and pay for me. I have worked towards this – being properly self sufficient – so this coming year is the test. The financial back up for the farm is gone. ( I told you his retirement terrified me – poor fellow).

So, I am casting about for a good home for 73 and 84.

I am happy with this decision.

I hope you have a good day.

Love celi

39 Comments on “SELLING COWS

  1. Good thinking. We have gone from a two income situation to only one income – and have decided only to raise/farm for ourselves. This year we’ve spent our time repairing the barns and reconfiguring things so we can physically handle the workload better in the future. Very much a belt tightening year.

  2. I’ve only just realised that you see animals only as a means to an end and have no real concern over thaem being murdered, so I’m going to stop following you.

  3. Jude makes me laugh. He’s one lucky pig. Love seeing all the photos of the farm. The weather just wanders and can’t seem to make up its mind. You have thought through your plan very carefully and I’m sure everything will work out perfectly. Or as close to it as possible. Thanks for today’s smile. Have a great day.

  4. Yup, I totally understand, it will be a interesting coming year for sure Miss C. we have to learn, grow and adjust.. something work great, other things work because we put so much effort in them that they seem to work well until we realize the lift is far heavier then it could or perhaps at times should be.. and so we adjust again..

    I am so glad that the pork is working so well for you 🙂 You do have a wonderful program set up!

  5. That is SO important. Because our production is so dysfunctional, and some cultivars are on different schedules from the majority, we get batches of leftovers that go bad. They might have started out as the leftovers that got put aside as a new batch was moved in. The problem is that they cost money. That is what I try to remind those who do not want to dispose of them. Every time someone touches them, there is a cost associated with that. They take water. They take fertilizer. They take everything that the salable crops take, but will never recover. It is best to dump them onto the burn pile sooner than later. For years, I gave the slightly old crops to the Department of Public works of various nearby towns. Loading them in the trunk and delivering them was not much more effort than taking them to a burn pile and dumping them from their cans. (I did not need to dump them from their cans.)

      • ? Gardeners purchase the material and put it into the landscape where it hopefully does not need to be replaced anytime soon. We just grow it and send it on its way. The longer it stays around, the more it costs. There are crops out there that could not be sold for enough to offset the expense of growing them, and some that have cost us a lot of resources, just because we did not just get rid of it once it was past its prime. (It is easier to talk that way about horticultural commodities than about livestock. One would not want to ‘get rid of ‘cattle as they age.)

        • Ah yes. Now I see where you are coming from. And these girls are still good animals. Not too too old. Plus they replaced themselves, recently weaned their fat calves so financially they owe me nothing as long as they are sold on in a timely fashion.

  6. I’m a city kid, from New York originally, and I love reading about your farm for the past year. You’ve got a fan in Oregon! I hope this year turns out well for you. Love your photographs too. Good luck and if you need any inexperienced city volunteers for a week . . . 😊

    • Thank you Lisa. And I do have people coming to help on the farm during the summer! Either through the Airbnb for a farm stay or as interns. Let’s talk about it sometime! That would be great

  7. Impressive: your budgeting and planning. I admire the way you think it through. Hope you find perfect spots for them. Glad you have some warmth.

  8. The financial realities of a small farming operation like yours are sometimes stark and the bottom line is an absolute that must be achieved. Have a good day.

  9. Now, if only I could run my home as efficiently; but, when you have a mate of 29 years of the opposite mindset, it calls for a lot of compromise!

  10. I think maybe you already knew this was on the cards when you didn’t name those two girls… Pigs and ducks and chooks do seem to work well for you, and a smaller number of cattle (I do hope you’ll still have a milker, I know you love your dairy when it’s available).

  11. I love the duck tableaus….they always seem to be rushing off to the next adventure. And the others……Jude sneaking closer to Wai. And Boo sitting between pigs and chooks…..it all looks wonderful today.

  12. Years ago I briefly studied economics, and the logic of economy of scale has always stayed with me, that tipping point before you are worse off. Even in my domestic-residential situation it is weighed up, and now courtesy of horticulture studies I have another tool – input and output analysis, as closed of a circle as possible. Which is what I have been watching you practice all these years. Since our move from the city to country the G.O. and I have been managing on a vastly reduced income for 3 years, it’s not easy but with planning, focus, work and some creativity, it’s doable.

    • You have made me smile, Dale ! I also have two years of Economics at Uni of New England under my belt – and the best remembered phrase of macroeconomics I still quote is ‘economies of time and money’ . . . .

        • You are right: the original is ‘time and motion’ . . . . except the fact that one can ‘spend’ but any minute or ‘use’ any time in your life at any one time and that time only made that much more valid . . . sleep well . . .

          • During an exam break I actually looked this up: these are two totally different sayings with Benjamin Franklin being ascribed as the one I quoted . . . you can only ‘use’ once 🙂 !

  13. You call the pigs ‘my pork” – is this to keep a distance as it were, knowing they will be gone/consumed?

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