Hello from Graze-N-Grow. My hope for an Indian summer is gone now, I’m afraid. At least we have forage available to graze for a while. The ewes and ewe lambs have been moved to the red clover/ryegrass field where we baled oats and peas last June. I had planned to bale these 80 acres last summer and then graze the re-growth now, but there was not enough growth to warrant all the mechanical harvest cost, so we’ll let the sheep do it for nothing now.
The clover stand is great, though, and should do well next spring. The ram lambs and three finishing steers are still on the cover crop mix, but after the cold weather came, it’s mostly turnips and the frosted oats now. The turnips will probably not survive the single-digit temp forecast, but we’ll see. We have plenty of baleage, but I was hoping to wait until late December to start feeding them. Any sooner makes for an awfully long winter chore.
We had our Freedom Rangers butchered Nov. 6, and over half are sold, along with the Rock Cornish done earlier. I think next year we will start them earlier so as to avoid November feeding. Except for some aerial predator losses, those Rangers did well.
Next year we also will be growing a lot more chickens since we have partnered with a young couple who create frozen meal preparations. They have built up quite a business and will use other meats, as well, so after many years, I’ll be in the pastures, not business. Between beef, chicken, lamb, and pork and probably duck, as well, we should be able to cover all the bases — with Cole and Alyssa’s help, that is. Having young and enthusiastic people involved will make life much easier for Ruth and me.
Our puppy enterprise has four left, eating us out of house and home, so for anyone interested in an early Christmas present, you can forgo the shopping crowds and give us a call. We have six replacement ewe lambs bonding with them now. Hope you all are weathering the season well. Happy trails.