Jump to content
Spring Lake Farm forum

Recommended Posts

March 27, 2018.

Winter still here on the farm, frost this morning when I took the dog for their morning walk. Took this picture Yesterday morning,  you can see the cows walking in the tracks from the tractor, the snow just too deep for them to get through it. They are walking to the water from the hay feeders, do this several times a day.

I was moving hay-bales-rolls down the hill in a field maybe 3 miles a way from the farm Yesterday, hope to finish that today before everything turns into mud. Stacking them up by the road and then move them home in this setup, posted this picture before but here it is again.

This summer I am going to focus on making gravel, got a gravel screen setup for the skidsteer. If I can´t make money farming I can always sell the farm, truck load at a time. :-)

From now on I am going to try to write something everyday and put  pictures in, make you feel a little bit like you are on the farm.

The Farmer.

 

 

 

 5aba64ae9575a_IMG_8009low.thumb.jpg.da17f723d074273946d404165f6ae5fb.jpg

IMG_7979.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ice rain over night, very slippery when I got out. The bitch is in heat and I have to have her on leash kicking the dogs away, the Great Pyrenees Sola in love. Not the most dignified way of taking a morning walk.

Waiting for the first calf's to come and been lucky, no calf's so far, not best thing to have them in snowdrifts and maybe below zero. Has to do with when I remove the bull calf's from the cows. I want to keep them with their mothers a long as possible, but at the same time, don't want steer them too early thinking it sets them back. So I have to be careful not to leave them to long because then I will have calf's out of season nine months later.  

I put the bulls with the cows 15th of July and then the calf's start to come about this time and into  summer. The first calf came Yesterday dead as a dodo. Don't know what was wrong, might just be some birth defect and therefore born stillborn. Or always the worry, an infection, and an abortion storm coming up, many of the cows getting infected. 

If I am right, they then gain immunity. But what ever the reason, this cow gets culled, the farmers remedy to everything, breed it out of the herd. It was cold Yesterday morning but then warmed up, I found them maybe around 5 PM. She had cleaned the calf but it obviously never moved. On the smaller side but normal otherwise. So hopefully not abortion due to infection.

They usually have their calf's in the early afternoon, the best time of the day especially when it is cold. Also at night, predators are more aggressive. So the instinct seems to be to have them in early afternoon. But what ever the reason, the cow gets culled and maybe a problem in the herd removed a little bit that way. 

Trying to start  cattle records in a spreadsheet, more on that later, even tomorrow, that the reason I took these pictures of the cow. As you can see, still snow on the ground but getting thinner by the day, spring coming.

 

IMG_8018low.jpg

IMG_8019 low.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short. Mud season has come. Moved 61 bales home Yesterday, took all day, but finished it before dark, that field at least. The rest will have to wait until after mud season Almost 8 before it gets dark. Mud, mud, mud.

I was going to write about my adventures in livestock records, has to wait, going with the wife to Cooperstown for an eye doctor appointment.

IMG_8022.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spring has sprung. Maybe not with sun and clears skies but the snow is slowly disappearing in the fog,. Luckily slowly, in the low forties during the day and close to freezing at night, otherwise we would have flooding up here.

No calves so far "dead or alive", good news. The cows have never looked this good for this time of year. Usually some of them start to look a little ragged from the winter, burned of the fat in the cold and can´t consume as much hay being pregnant.

Like to believe it has to do with my breeding, heavier coats and stockier animals that can take the cold better. One of the reason they have "big horns" in Texas, the horns help them to cool off in the heat, the blood flows through the horns and the long legs do the same thing.

A cow like this does not burn as many calories in winter and stays warmer, years of breeding.

 

IMG_8033.jpg

IMG_7847.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rob said:

 Thanks for sharing all of the details of what day to day life is like on the farm Ingi :)

You are welcome my pleasure somebody is reading this.

Mild frost this morning and sun. Out with the dogs as the sun came up. Because the snow is mostly gone, I can take them up the hill behind where I think the predators come down from above. The plan, the smell from the dogs and seeing them will discourage them to come too close. Did the sheep going into ground Yesterday, getting better at this every time. 

By the way, any of you want to be fishermen of the north coast of Iceland with me? Four of us should be about right. Just needs a little tender love and paint and we should be good to sail. :-)

You can walk the streets of this town Siglufjörður by clicking on the link:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Siglufjörður,+Iceland/@66.1484137,-18.9042023,3a,75y,40.12h,107.59t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sm5TG4DbZ4mz1rIgFdI1YCw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x48d2ca166395c12f:0xf714c15efd39b161!8m2!3d66.1511755!4d-18.9112652

 

Opera Snapshot_2018-03-31_092435_www.google.com.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two calves Yesterday, both alive and well it seems. So it worked out one more year, always a little worried before the first calves start coming, that they will not come at all. Will put pictures in tomorrow.

But bigger news. When I took the dogs out this morning, guess what they found? A whole astronaut sitting in some space junk waving at us. I ran up to him and asked if he was okay? "ofcourse" he said "I am a very good driver". "What has that to do with anything?" I asked, "you crashed on my farm of all places!!". "All planned, all planned" he said with a smile.

He then went on to tell me, they had forgotten him on the station, or to be more specific, he was a CIA man, couldn't go home. That he had seen the farm on the Internet and thought it would be a good place to hide out on, would work for free.

I said I didn't think so, if he could double cross 1 billion Chinese he could double cross me in a second, forgetting the Chinese would like to get to him in some spectacular way and I did not want to be between him and 1 billion Chinese, no sirree! He said "no problem, we won´t tell anybody". Well, I can always use some help.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/31/chinas-tiangong-1-space-station-lab-will-crash-land-weekend/

Chinese astronoaut.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning the snow was back. Just a couple of inches and the sun out now, should get above freezing during the day. The calves should be okay, expeically if the sun stays out.

Went for a walk Yesterday afternoon and could not even count the calves. Putting in several pictures I took, you can figure them out. All these calves no more than day old. You can see one of the mothers eat the placenta while the calf is nursing, a very good instinct not to leave anything for the predators. More later.

You all realized I am sure, this was April fools thing Yesterday. Just a photo of the net. :-)

IMG_8049 low.jpg

IMG_8051 low.jpg

IMG_8056 low.jpg

IMG_8059 low.jpg

IMG_8078 low.jpg

IMG_8081 lows.jpg

low.jpg

IMG_8071 low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much to report today, just another day on the farm. Supposed deliver an order to Livingstone Manor today, about 45 minutes away, a pleasant drive with the wife. When I fed the cows Yesterday,  no new calves that I saw. Have a theory they can forecast the weather, have the calf on a nice day and delay the birth when the weather goes shitty.

Took this picture the day before Yesterday. There she is nursing her calf from last year and pretty close to having her calf this spring. They will then both nurse for a while. It does not seem to matter when I separate the mother from her calf, the mother get just as upset even if the calf is one year old. The calf forgets the mother pretty soon, but the mother walks up and down the field for several days to find a hole in the fence. Therefore I only separate the bull calves from the mothers before they can breed the cows, everybody else just stays with their mothers .

 

IMG_8076 low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has warmed up quite a bit, windy over night but not too bad right now. The snow almost gone, only the snowdrifts left. Feeding today. We are doing the taxes, not the most pleasant thing going through how stupid this farming thing is. But hope springs eternal, really believe we are shaping the future by this direct marketing and how it is evolving. Just one thing, a year ago I did not know much about spreadsheets even though I knew they exited. Now everything with the marketing is in spreadsheets and they are getting better all the time, graphically too I think, easier to understand with the new color schemes.

Just last night I made up a new spreadsheet for freezer inventory. We have been doing the inventory on paper, forgetting or neglecting to write down when we put something into a freezer or take it out, a real mess. Sometimes we have to look in everyone of them to find a share, of course always the last one. I am putting in an old photo, just to remind us summer is coming, grass and flowers.

One thing about the mother nursing a calf from last year and the next one coming soon. She might dry up just before she gives birth, maybe not. Last year we had a cow, abandoning her newborn, happy with her old one or something. That cow did not stay in the herd no way.

 

Cows V March 5 2017.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is cold out, really COLD!. Then it was the wind over night, gone now. Will check cows later today, but everybody should be good we hope, Not thaaaaat cold but we are into April for crying out loud. Snowing heavy right now, but hopefully just a short thing. What is it called, a "snow squall", think so. And as you see every thing turned white again.

IMG_8082.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cloudy this morning and very cold for April. Pictures sometime lie. Took a picture of the sun to proof how early I was out with the dogs,. The sun just over the horizon and visible through the clouds. But on the picture I took no sun as you can see. Took these pictures of the pigs sleeping in their nest, helps to have a few buddies to keep you warm.  You can see the frost on the hay. 

At dusk they get together and start pawing with their front feet until they have made a nice nest. Then they sometimes pile on top of each other, I have to be careful not to have too many together and different sizes, the piglets can suffocate if they end on the bottom.

As you can see, I have been quite successful breeding a coat back on these pigs. Very simple, just pick pigs for breeding with more coat and in very few generations pigs with an impressive coat as you can see. Not there quite yet but coming.

These marketing systems of mine are working, getting rid of bugs and making everything simpler. Seems like we are on to something, does not take that many dedicated customers to stick with me through the mistakes and everything to make this work. Things are getting more redundant, easier to catch the mistakes and correct.

My mission is to know all my customers and only sell to those I know are eating my meat them self's or their families.. One middleman and you know nothing about nothing, as we say here in America. :-)

IMG_8086 low.jpg

IMG_8089 low.jpg

IMG_8090low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enough already, about four inches on the ground this morning. Thinking about putting the bulls with the cows this summer first of August not 15th of July. That way they will start coming middle of April instead in the beginning of the month.

Will be sending you who ordered emails today and getting everything together for tomorrow delivery. See you. Getting quite organized, some way to go but is getting better and better in every way day by day. :-) 

Not quite right is it, but close enough. 

IMG_8100 low.jpg

IMG_8104 low.jpg

IMG_8106 low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a short thing, a big day, delivery day. Putting a few pictures in I took the day before Yesterday, before this snow and cold. Really think I am going to put the bulls in with the cows August 1. not July 15. as I have done, two more weeks in spring before calves come ,better.

IMG_8094 low.jpg

IMG_8095 low.jpg

IMG_8096 low.jpg

IMG_8099 low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is all about focus, more focus and focus some more. Sitting here somewhat exhausted, after the delivery Yesterday,. Went very well expect for one mistake. One customer (you know who you are :-)) started talking to me and I am like a toy,  you push a button  and I start talking  forgetting everything else, turning a delivery trip into visiting friends.

He was to get 6 boxes. Remembering that,  I give him 6 boxes but forget to read what was on the boxes. Drive off in my merry way thinking things were going just great. Then two stops later a box is missing and one of his boxes right there in front of me with his name on it.

After calls back and forth with Temma my wife, it is decided to go back and exchange the boxes, only 12 minutes away according to the GPS. They had put everything into their freezer and somewhat of a puzzle figuring out what had been in the box. Everything got fixed except a bag of pork bones, could have been a lot worse.

The 1. moral, don´t get me talking, tell me to focus on what I am doing and check on the boxes you get, that your name is on them, not somebodies else's. I can not chew gum and walk straight at the same time, no way,. Never could and never will, just a farmer remember.

The 2. moral being, when you make a mistake, don't give up, look the situation over and if there is a solution go for it, even if you have to muddle through. Next time you will do better. 

Did not take any pictures this morning but found these ones on the camera card. Believe it or not, but I am pretty sure, this is my grandmother and my father, can tell you that story if you want to, just ask. Maybe we can do all our visiting here and focus on delivering when we are delivering, focus, focus, focus.

The name of the statue is "A mothers love", stands it the middle of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

 

IMG_0004 cropped.jpg

IMG_0004.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So getting back on track after the delivery, takes a couple of days to rest and will take care of mistakes done with two orders, no liver and no porkbones. Have to check if the liver is still in the freezer, know the pork bones went to the wrong person.

This cold weather not leaving, as I drove home Sunday night, the temperature fell steadily as I went north and higher up in the mountains, By the time I drove on Hayes Road, ours, it was 20 degrees. We are at 2000 feet so understandably colder, but now we are almost into middle of April, some years the grass is growing about now.

We lost some calves due to the cold, but when I went out Yesterday, lot of healthy calves with their mothers, so just an other days on the farm, could have been a lot worse. This summer though, the bulls are not going with the cows until August 1, no need for this. 

Somewhat of a misunderstanding I put the bulls in this early. Has to do with other farmers want their calves very early in the spring or even winter, they have to be ready for when Big Meat buys the feeders for their feedlots, something about getting the calves to the right size for the right time of year, obviously not my problem.

 I keep them and finish them out, takes at least two  and half year. The feeders as they are called, go quite young into feedlots, put on hormones and grain to finish them very early and slaughtered before they get sick from their grain diet, destroys their gut I understand.

On to other things. Through the years I have been making these "Channels" or "dikes" if you want. Supposed to catch the runoff from the fields and retain the nutrients that sink to the bottom. They go long the contour of the land and the water sits in them. They then get cattails and other vegetation in them. The plan to dig them out ones in a while and use the mud for fertilizer in the fields. These channels are full of live, frogs, crabs, ducks, muskrats and now beavers it seems  to my utter surprise, thought they needed a bigger body of water to be happy.

Couple of days ago I was walking the dogs along one of these chancels  and they got interested in something down there. I saw a brown creature moving under the surface and assumed it was a muskrat. Then this morning when I took them the same way, a tree was down over the path, somebody had gnawed a tree growing by the water about 7 inches across maybe,. Right through over night, went there Yesterday (will take a picture). Can only be a beaver unless you tell me a muskrat can do this too. This is only about 300 feet from the farmhouse

It so happens we have a big beaver colony on the lowest spot on the farm just before "Steel Creek" leaves the farm. You can see the picture taken from above, below here, took these pictures of Google Map.

You can see how they dam up the creek, making it so very little runoff leaves the farm. I could then go there and get the mud for fertilizer later. The other picture show these channels I have been making, more on them later.  

Opera Snapshot_2018-04-01_133025_www.google.com.png

Opera Snapshot_2018-04-01_133412_www.google.com.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nora

Nice read! Thanks for posting!

Just recently I've came across an article on the potential benefits to the environment from a beaver colony, pretty cool!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I know why a muskrat has the word "musk" in it's name, never made the connection. The plan with these dogs (Decker rat terriers) they keep the vermin away so we can range raise poultry. That they like killing the chicken too, somewhat of a problem but we are working on it. Pu killed a chicken Yesterday and we had a serious talk, think he understood.

Muskrats in these "made by me channels" we walk by in the morning, and the dogs keenly interested. Even think I saw Pop smelling the water to try figure out where a muskrat was. Think she might have some kind of "waterdog" in her, differently built than Pip. Maybe a little bit like a seal with a fat layer under the skin. I think so, her feet not as big as Pip'sand her body thicker, he is more of a runner with longer feet and not an ounce of fat on his body. 

Then Yesterday while we were finishing the taxes, we noticed they where tearing something apart in front of the House. I went outside, a muskrat freshly killed . Left it, want them to do this even if muskrats are going to take any chicken. Next time maybe a mink or another predator. Then later we took them inside and a pungent smell heavy in the air. Not like skunksmell at all, not even totally disgusting, but pungent. While I am writing this the day after and they sleeping maybe ten feet away, the smell still in the air.

This is a picture of the "chicken killer Pu". Lets hope it is all in the past.

You are welcome Nora, appreciate the feedback.

IMG_8094 low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just short, lots to do. Took them for a walk by this channel where the beaver took down the tree, must have moved on, no more trees down.

This is only about maybe 350 feet from the house, the beaver dam maybe half a mile further down. You can see it in the other picture taken from the farmhouse window just now. This is one of the channels made by me and as you can see ice on it now April 12th, a cold spring I guess. This tree is not that small, maybe 6' inches across.

One of these days I will go down to the beaver dam to take some pictures for you. Not that I will catch them swimming around and doing their stuff, nocturnal. I read somewhere that originally they were out during the day, only because they were hunted so severely they stopped doing it. 

I consider it a privilege having them on the farm and luckily they are in spot not doing any damage, wetland to begin with. Even better, the dam will catch any runoff, mud, nutrients and such and it will settle on the bottom. I could then go down there, dig it up, little bit at the time and spread it back on the fields. Not sure the New York City water shed would like that too much. I could argue, the dam will eventually fill up and better I take the mud before it ends in the reservoir. Not sure they listen to reason, bureaucrats. 

IMG_8107[1].jpg

IMG_8111[1].jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nora

Would love to get my hands on that mud  :)) It will be full of nutrients to spread on your fields, I think Aztecs were doing exactly that (well almost the same - growing their crops on top of the  mud dug from the bottom of the lake!) Hoping for a warmer weather, its been a very long winter and I'm pretty sure everyone, including animals, missing the sun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Guest Nora said:

Would love to get my hands on that mud  :)) It will be full of nutrients to spread on your fields, I think Aztecs were doing exactly that (well almost the same - growing their crops on top of the  mud dug from the bottom of the lake!) Hoping for a warmer weather, its been a very long winter and I'm pretty sure everyone, including animals, missing the sun!

Interesting, will use that as an argument when the New York City Watershed starts breathing down my neck. Also that I am a native American :D, can do what I want on my own res. You have not heard this theory have you?. The Vikings, meaning Green-landers meaning Icelanders, meaning Leif Ericson was born in Iceland.

According to this  theory they brought native Americans (would be native Vine-landers then of course) back with them and part of the genetical makeup of us Icelander's. Another theory, the "Greenlander's" never really died out all of them, just went back to Iceland when it got colder in Greenland.

I can also mention, my grandfather was brought up on a farm next to the farm Erik the Red (Leif's Erikson's father) lived on before he went to Greenland and that is a fact! Erik the Red, became an outlaw when he killed his neighbor, that the reason he went to Greenland.

On to other things, took this picture to proof how early I was out with the dogs, the sun just over th horizon and supposed to be there. But for some reason the digital camera just skips it, fake news I guess.

A funny thing writing about these beavers, they become more real that way. Never seen them and a little bit like ghost beaver in my mind. But by writing about them, not so ghostly no more.

 

IMG_8110.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. Decided to go down to the beaver dam shortly before dark when done with getting hay to the cows. Nothing shy about these beavers to my utter surprise, two of them swimming back and forth and slapping their tails a they went under ones in a while. Maybe it had to do with the time of day, time of year, never seen them behave like this. Not more than maybe 30 feet away from me at some point, and they knew I was there. Bought a used telephoto lens for my camera on Ebay and when I get it will go down there again, maybe I can become the "Beaverman"  http://www.beaversww.org/about-us/history/

Putting in some pictures. not writing anymore, have to do a pig today, last change to bid https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JvevwXSQzm1sMbq8s_hJuY-szbOeYTwAy5nytRFOAhc/edit#gid=0  

Have to close the auction down before I do it, the law with custom slaughter. What I did, made the lots smaller so each lot is smaller. I going to eat a lot of this so anything you dont take will be for me and my family, we have to eat too.

If you need a bid number let me know, you can also write in you initials and send me an email so you can get a bidnumber. My email ikjarval@gmail.com

The beaver lodge at the bottom. Only saw one. Another smaller dam right below this one, did not go there, maybe there is another lodge there.

IMG_8798 low.jpg

IMG_8801 low.jpg

IMG_8804 low.jpg

IMG_8806 low.jpg

IMG_8808 low.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×