Three-Toes is one of two heifers we kept from herd legend One-Toe. For the story of this special family, you can check out “One-Toe—Matriarch of the Toe Family,” posted March 14, 2017, and “One-Toe’s Legacy—The Toe Sisters,” posted a week later on March 21, 2017.
We are expecting 60 calves this fall, down from 70 last year. Earlier this year, Bill culled a few more of the older cows from the herd than he has in the past. The wisdom of that decision was confirmed when summer arrived early, grinding spring into the dust! Winter precipitation was almost non-existent in our area of Northeast Kansas. No spring rains and early scorching temperatures resulted in the worst drought since 2012, although some say this one is worse. Pasture grass dried up. Pond levels fell drastically, leaving sludge and the danger of a cow or calf becoming trapped in mud on a day when temps reached triple digits. Some cattlemen experienced a decrease in the numbers of quality hay bales which they then had to start feeding early to replace the pasture grass. The result: price of hay went up. Some cattlemen have had to sell part or all of their herds. Surprisingly, that hasn’t had much affect on the price of cattle. But then, other areas of the state have received much more rain.
We’ve coped fairly well with the drought. Bill saw the writing in the dust on the wall early and sold last fall’s calves—except for twelve heifers that will be bred this winter and join the herd—about two months earlier than usual, before the price started to fall and to take pressure off our pastures and water supply. He was forced to start feeding hay and grain in July. Cattle from three of the rented pastures were brought home so he wouldn’t have to haul feed to them. The ponds in those pastures were dangerously low anyway. He got lucky and found big round hay bales to buy at a reasonable price. We did have a decent hay crop but not enough to last through the winter for the few head we keep at home.
The good news is we’ve had a little over six inches of rain since August 7th!
Hello, My Beauties
New Farm Felines
Calf count as of September 9th is 19.
Will try to get pics for the next post.