I just came inside from a glorious morning walk around the farm. Here is today’s state-of-the-farm report. It has been a mild, dry first half of the last month of the year, and the animals are still out grazing. This is good – more time on pasture equals less expensive stored feed. The milking cows are way up the hill by middle road; just Alma, Clara and Juniper left to calve. The draft horses are in the same area, grazing a mix of pasture and corn stover. They are largely idle now except for a bit of plowing; I’m looking forward to doing some logging with them next month.
The dairy heifers and dry cows are on Long Pasture where the coarse grass has turned palatable. Jenny and Liam took a roadtrip this week to pick up a new Jersey bull. He’s in the bullpen now, ready to join the cows. The sheep are cleaning up the ditch and laneway between Superjoy and Monument fields. The flock of 17 has been enormously useful against weeds. The ram, Rambo, returned today from breeding duty on another farm. The dairy calves are under the protection of the east barn’s shed roof. We have increased the milk ration for the calves this year and oh how they have grown. The fall-born heifers are already big, robust girls.
The boar and his ladies are next to the calves, under the same roof. Black Diamond’s romantic moves are a great source of entertainment during calf chores, as pig love is just as awkward as you might imagine. It also appears to be totally exhausting, for the boar at least. He looks about as done in as a Chippendale at a Tupperware convention… (Continue reading Kristin Kimball’s Essex Farm Note)