Working with the cows and calves

We have just been doing a bit of work with the cows and calves.  It is important to have a closer look at them from time to time, even though they are checked every day, we like to get them in the yard for a more detailed check.  We look for pink eye this time of year which can be a problem when it is dry and dusty,   After inspection, all our animals have no problems.  You may ask what do we do to cure an infection. Well if you go to our FAQ section you will find out.

I was out on the tractor this morning doing some slashing of dry grass to tidy up the paddocks a bit. There is a lot more of that to do, but it lets the summer grasses grow better when we get some rain.   It is better to do this job in the late afternoon when the grass is dryer as the grass cuts better when it’s dry.  This means less fuel is used to do the same job which is important to us here at Eden Farm.

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Check out the picture of our bull.  The breed is Maine Anjou and he is huge. We are trying to breed a better and bigger animal that is quiet to deal with. My son and I were working with the cows and bull yesterday and we nearly got to pat him.  He is about 1200kg with a great straight  back and excellent rump muscle.

The calves are doing very well.  They will stay on their mothers until they are about 10 months old.  Then we will give the cows a rest from feeding the calves before they calve again.  However, the cows are putting on weight even though they are feeding.  That is what good nutrition can do. This is all done without chemicals and artificial fertilisers.

It’s a great life style here on the farm.  Maybe you could come and see for yourself sometime.   Cheers, Gary.

Moving the big round bales of hay

The big round bales of hay have started moving  from the paddocks to three storage locations around the farm.  This can be a slow job, but somewhat rewarding, as once it is done the harvest is finished.  This year has been so good for hay that we have about three years worth of hay to store.  This gives us great feed security for the cows.  Keeping the cows well fed is important for their overall health.

This hay is just not your every day hay.  Let have a talk about this.  What does this hay have and what does this hay not have.  The hay is mostly Rye grass.  There are a variety of other grasses, sub clover, and some native grass in the hay as well. The variety of feed in the hay gives greater nutritional value for the cattle.  The hay is quite often used to supplement winter feed which can be quite watery, so the combination of the two is great.

The hay does not have herbicides or pesticides.  Most farmers would have sprayed for weeds like Bathurst burr, Hog weed, Bindii  and others. Bathurst burr can be chipped with a shovel or slashed; Hog weed our cows will eat; not problem there, and Bindii can be chipped with a shovel or the cows will eat it if there is not much else.  Most farmers may have sprayed for Red legged earth mite, Aphids or a variety of other pests.  All these chemicals get into the soil and therefore into the plants the cows eat.

On Eden Farm we don’t spray for any of these weeds or pest issues and never have in the 15 years we have been here.  This means no residual chemicals in the soil or plants.  As part of our Biodynamic-In-Conversion certification our soil has been tested for residual chemicals and none were evident.

 

Hay season, and best one we have ever had.

Well, all the hay is baled. Small square bails and large round bails. The small bales are now in the shed and the large ones are still in the paddock. The large ones can get rained on, that’s ok, but the small one cannot. Anyway, here are some pictures of the hay stack.

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So what’s next to do on the farm? All the big round bales have to be move to three stack locations. There is about three hundred of them so this will take a while, but it has to be soon so the cows can eat the left overs in those paddocks.

We had some rain this weekend so it was important that we had the hay finished. 15ml of rain did not do much as the days are now very long and it is warming up. Summer is around the corner. The farm is always busy but its a great life in the bush. Also, I think the mozzies are backing off a bit.

Cheers for now.

P.S. Trump?

So much hay. What a great season.

I was out raking hay this morning and yesterday.  This would have to be the biggest hay season we have had in the 15 years we have owned this property.  The hay is so thick my hay rake is having trouble coping with the amount and is leaving large clumps in the rows.  We will be making large round bales and small square bales.  The small squares will be carted into the shed by hand.  It’s great exercise for me and others who I can ring in to help.  I’ll let you know how much hay we end up with.

The huge hay harvest enables us to have back up feed for the cows for some years to come.  This means we can keep increasing our stock numbers and therefore our meat supply to our customers. Because we run Eden Farm on Bio-Dynamic principles, we can’t just buy in fodder when we need it. It has to be all our own feed, or sourced from other Bio-Dynamic farms but in poor seasons it becomes scarce.  To have quality feed for our animals is our number one priority and it’s great to make hay while the sun shines.

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Our on farm shop will be open Friday and Saturday and we will be having a tasting day again Saturday from 9am to 12 noon.  I will be doing something special with some steak this time; a cooking method I learned for our food technology friend David List.  I believe our meat has the best flavour around and it is chemical free, but sometimes I have struggled to get the tenderness I desire because of my cooking methods. I still have much to learn. I think that will be resolved with what I will be doing on Saturday. We hope to see you there.

Eden Farm seen from the eye of a Drone

Last time we spoke, I was talking about cutting hay, well if you want to see this then go to our Facebook page. This is what it looks like from the air. As I mentioned, we will have a lot of hay this year, and as you can see many acres of cut grass.  Also in this video is some footage of our cows and calves.  They are quite curious when the drone has a look at them.

Friday and Saturday our farm shop is open.  There will be cows to see close by and if I’m around you could get a look at the farm.   On Saturday morning we will be cooking some meat for folks to taste.