Posts tagged ‘cold’

Pray for Rain

dirt blizzard 3dirt blizzard 2dirt blizzard 1Pray for rain. Please.

The road graders rolled out of the county yard early this morning to try to repair the damage. Not a speck of gravel left on the county roads, ranchers’ teeth rattling around the washboard-covered curves this morning as they set out to feed cows, check for calves, and start the neverending task of fixing fence.

The fences are all bearing the load in one way or another. Some lean under an invisible force to the south. Others stand in sand, covered in tumbleweeds, with drifts of dirt from someone’s field or pasture covering them to the top wire. They look like something from the Dust Bowl or the desert or somewhere haunted by ghosts of people Read more…

Hogs, McDonald’s and HSUS

McDonald’s has moved to support HSUS in their quest to do away with gestation crates. http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2012/02/mcdonalds-news.html

As a hog producer, I could tell you all of the scientific evidence. In gestation crates, sows’ feed and health can be more closely monitored. In gestation crates, “bully sows” don’t beat up on other sows. In gestation crates, “bully sows” don’t overeat, resulting in piglets too large to pass the sow’s pelvis. The question posed to the pork industry has not been “can you use gestation crates?” the question has been, “Should you?”

Science and measures of production efficiency aside, I’ll tell you this. As hog producers we don’t use gestation crates. I’ll also tell you this. We have a gilt who was a victim of bully sows so we had to move her to another pen away from other sows until her due date neared and we moved her to the farrowing barn. In our pens, we’re unable to control individual feed intake. She overate, as pigs will do. I’ll also tell you this. I spent 16 hours in our farrowing barn to try to deliver her piglets. I saved one. One. The others died and we had to administer antibiotics and hope that she would recuperate and continue milking for her one piglet. She’s since recovered but as soon as we wean her, the cycle will continue.

I won’t tell you that I’m an unfailing fan of gestation crates. I can’t because we’ve not used them. But I can tell you that if you want the scoop on hog production, ask a hog producer first.

Lions, piglets and calves. Oh, my!

I think mountain lions are pretty. I also know that mountain lions and piglets mingle poorly.

A mountain lion, weighing in at 130 lbs., was taken within five miles of our house this week. I know the arguments against shooting these beautiful creatures. I also know that the lions are a direct threat to local ranchers as we are all in the midst of calving. Read more…

From the FarmWife Project: Busy Day, Amy Vice

  • Steam cleaned the living room, hallway, and basement.
  • Rearranged said living room.
  • Fell down the stairs to said basement with the steam cleaner.  Finding many more sore points today.  Ouch. 
  • Planned to take kids to ride their horses. Read more…

From the FarmWife Project: Hockey, anyone?, Jean Meinzer

I figure when it’s cold outside and we’re facing daunting chores such as chopping ice half of the morning, we might as well enjoy it. I like to “become one” with the ice, so to speak. It takes my mind off the sore muscles I know I can expect later that night and off of the seemingly unending striations of ice I have to chop through before I see the “liquid silver” (water).

Joe, the goalie, celebrates a block.

            So a few days ago, I thought I’d try my hand at ice hockey. I’ve never been much of an ice skater—my ankles can’t handle the stress of standing on a thin blade while I’m sliding down a sheet of ice at autobahn speed. I love watching ice hockey and my husband and I even attend games at the Air Force Academy when we get the chance. Read more…