The weather has been dry and hot, I think we had 5 mm of rain one night, that's all, so its a typical end of winter and into a long dry spring. We have also had a couple of really cold nights with heavy frosts in the mornings. This was enough to dry of most of our grass. Some of the more sensitive plants in the garden have died back, but I am hoping they will grow again.
|Chime all rugged up on a cold night (next to the woodstove!)|
The chickens are laying lots of eggs and I'm waiting for my babies (now 6 months old) to start laying too. Unfortunately early in the month I shut the door on one of the cages before half my babies went in for the night, and they disappeared, apart from a few piles of feathers. Something ate 14 of the Rhode Island Reds that we hatched, leaving only two roosters, one that I think was hiding in the hay bale (as I caught him trying to sleep there the next night) and the other that wasn't walking properly, so he was in another cage recovering, so not our best specimens! I try to look on the bright side, at least they were eaten and not just killed and wasted as sometimes happens, but it is annoying to lose so many in one go. Also on the bright side, the cross-bred babies were in another cage and they are all fine, so we still have eight lovely big mixed up hens and three roosters from that mob. We probably had too many chickens anyway..... and now I double-check them all with a torch before I close up the cages.
The dairy cows - Bella had her calf just after the chickens disappeared. A couple of weeks earlier than we were expecting, but we might have counted wrong. We hadn't even moved her to the house paddock, she was down the back, near the creek with her little calf one day when we got home late in the afternoon, it was quite a surprise! After last year, when her calf died, we were both a little nervous about how this birth would go, and it worked out really good that the calf came early, as I hadn't had a chance to really start worrying yet.
|Bella with her new calf Nancy|
My house cow book is progressing, I have received feedback from all my proof-readers, so now I just need to make some changes to the book, and add a few new sections about what we just learnt through Bella's mastitis! Learning about our cows seems to never end! Then I just need to tackle the technical part of actually publishing the book. I am looking forward to making it available to you all.
|Enjoying their milk while they can....|
I wrote about the garden yesterday, and I'm glad I spilt that up, because this is getting long!
|garden harvest basket|
We rounded up some of the Brafords and sold a few weaners and some older cows, they had got a bit naught since last time we had them in the yards and we're going to get a friend to help muster the rest of them. We also had to sell Maus the bull because he was starting to get an eye cancer. This is common in Herefords and should be less common in Brafords, but we must have been unlucky. He was only with us for 9 months and only 5 years old! So now we are looking out for another Braford bull and hoping we can find one as quite as Maus, because he really was no trouble at all in the yards and such a lovely bull. The next round of calves should be coming soon.
Some links that I enjoyed this month:
why I gave up peanut butter - Real Food Forager
how to prep for the unexpected - Sky Minded and Ever Growing
choosing a dairy animal - cows vs goats - Simple Country Home
worm farm how to - Childhood 101 with Tricia from Little Eco Footprints
seasonal calving - Matron of Husbandry
How was your August? What does September hold for you?