Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video: Calf Meets Round Bale

We’re in round bale season here at the Ranch--we give the cows about a bale a day.
Full Load 'o Hay

This hay ration helps the herd transition from the leafy, green forage they’ve had this spring/summer/fall, and lets their systems acclimate to the hay that will constitute most of their diet this winter. It also allows us to stay out on pasture longer before heading in to the winter paddock area.  Though Highlands are obviously primed for winter foraging, and can graze pasture through feet of snow, we supplement with plenty of hay to make sure that the “lean months” aren’t actually lean for our herd. Plus, the herd loves it...in more ways than one.  Check out this video with one of our youngest calves, Mocha, as she gets her ya-ya’s out pasture style.

Mocha Calf Plays in the Hay

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let Them Eat Pumpkins

The day after Halloween (eager? no doubt), we started gleaning leftover pumpkins from our friends at Shenot's, a nearby farm with sustainable practices to boot.  We've been carting them by the trailer load to all our critters, and while the pigs certainly love 'em, it seems the cows can't get enough.  We've been trying out different healthy treats with them, and so far pumpkins are the clear winner--they like 'em more than alfalfa hay, kelp granules, carrots, or apples.  We've even had a blast hand-feeding the pumpkins to them--very cool to have such a huge head eating out of your hand.

Bellina (the black coat) is one of our more curious cows, especially when treats are involved.
Here she is taking some right from Lauren's hand.

It doesn't hurt that pumpkin seeds are actually great natural de-wormers, too!  Or that after everyone's done eating them, some of those seeds will be left in convenient fertilizer pockets (manure) around the pasture, and will give way to our own smattering of pumpkins next fall!