Making Hay
Week of April 6th, 2003 | The weather was sleet, wind, ice.

First time mother and calf coming home from pasture.

First time mother and calf coming home from pasture.

Hello! Our feed business has been growing. We have purchased hauling equipment for the business, and we still are trying to keep up with everything else on the farm.

We sold 37 head of hogs on Sunday. As always, Sammy was a great help.

On Monday and Tuesday, Dad worked on the pony cart harrow. He replaced the teeth on the harrow; he started that job last week. After school, I came outside to help him since it was so nice out! I think it hit about 75 degrees Fahrenheit! It was perfect weather and the ground conditions were getting dry enough to go out in the fields and prepare the soil to plant barley.

It became very windy on Wednesday. Dad tried to work ground, but it needed another day to dry off. Instead, he built a ball hitch to put on the back end of a tractor. A ball hitch is a connector with a ball to pull bumper or gooseneck hitch trailers. This hitch will be used to pull our grain pups around the yard with a tractor instead of our pickup truck.

It was windy again on Thursday. We did not like the terrible wind because it blew from the east. We do not have any trees east of our yard, so it was very cold in the farmyard and even in the house. Dad worked ground and I worked until after dark when I came home from school. We worked the ground with the field cultivator and the pony cart hitch. These two pieces of machinery were hitched to the John Deere 7405 tractor. It was so windy that we decided to let the soil dry another day.

Dad worked ground on Friday morning, but then had to stop because it started to rain. It then went from rain to sleet, wind, ice, and even a freak 2-inch snowstorm! WHAT HAPPENED? I THOUGHT IT WAS APRIL! Mother nature must have been playing an April Fool?s joke on us because it was 75 degrees and very sunny on Tuesday (April 1st). By the end of the week we had a mess! It was cold and winter like conditions! What a change!

Saturday, we ground a truckload of feed for our feed business. Also that day, Dad and I cleaned the two cattle yards (these are pens that are much larger than the hog floors) and a couple of hog floors. Because of the snow, there was a lot of liquid to clean off of the hog floors. We spread this manure in a pasture that will be plowed up and planted to corn this year. After that, Dad and I prepared for the cattle to come home because it is becoming very muddy in the pasture. The cattle will stay in the cattle yards until the grass starts growing in the pastures. Then, Dad and I moved the cattle home. We had two new mother cows give birth to their young calves a week ago. On Saturday, two more cows gave birth to their young. Dad had to move one of the calves in the barn for a while because she was cold. That calf is with her mother, now.

As a reminder, please use my glossary of farm terms to learn about different terms and definitions that I use in my journal entries. In the glossary, you can also see many pictures. Click on Glossary of Farm Terms at the top of this page.

Farm Fact: A lead cow is very important to have in a herd. The lead cow leads the herd from one pasture to the next. On our farm, our cattle are sometimes moved as far as a half mile away from one pasture to another, or to the barnyard. The lead cow is the most intelligent cow that we have! Dad will open all the gates to go through a lane, and then tells her where to go. She will then lead the herd right to the pasture! There is another cow that wants to become the lead cow in the herd. Whenever this cow wants to play leader, our real lead cow becomes jealous and runs in front of her! It's fun watching the cows follow each other all in line.

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