Even the weeds in the garden are pretty in autumn

There’s been a harvest of a different sort around here this week – culling of some of our breeding stock. Monday we sent Mr. Bull, Missus Hamilton, and 2 unnamed black cows to the Waverly Sale Barn.

Mr. Bull had been moving pretty slowly the past couple of months. We’re crossing our fingers that he got his job done this summer. We haven’t noticed anybody looking like they’re in heat, but we’ll have the vet out to check and be sure. Missus Hamilton was our oldest cow. This year she had a stillborn calf with physical birth defects. It was time to let her go. The 2 black cows we’ve had a couple of years and just haven’t been impressed with any of their calves.

The plan now is to keep our eye out for bred cows with calves at their side this fall, or to buy some weaned stockers this fall and buy bred cows over the winter. We’ll see how things shake out.

Then this morning Matt & Madeline took the open sow to the hog buyer. The other one will go in another month or so, after her litter is weaned. We’ve already arranged for 3 new gilts, a 3/4 Berk-1/4 Duroc cross. They’ll be bred to farrow in April. We won’t pick them up until right before farrowing so winter pig chores will be a little lighter this year, which will be nice. Ollie gets to stay :)

2 years ago:

So far

1 year ago:

Quick update

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4 Responses to Culling

  1. Kendra says:

    I know that the culling of old/underperforming animals is necessary, but I felt a little twinge of sadness reading about Missus Hamilton. :-)

  2. Poor Mr. Bull – but …’s necessary sometimes, isn’t it? One of our older cows just went on Monday to the sale barn and we just loaded 2 heifer calves up this morning to send to the feeder calf sale. Our bull will leave in a couple weeks (but we’ll get a new one in his place) so for now, chores are light at home too – WHOO HOOO!Kris

  3. kendra – so did we :) Matt came in from doing chores the first day after they were gone and said, “It’s the same without Missus Hamilton out there.”Kris – the kids were really sad about Mr. Bull, despite the fact that they’re terrified of him. Interesting :) But not having to chop ice out of as many pig waters this winter will be a treat!

  4. karl says:

    kelli and matt,tabitha discovered it is a cheap and simple method of telling if a cow is pregnant. we were scared and felt under qualified. doing the tail stick is so simple. once you have done it you’ll really appreciate it. if you try it let me know i’d like to know how you felt about it.

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