Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Can you raise cattle on 1 1/2 acres of pasture?

Most people will tell you that two acres per cow is what you need to raise them. We only have one and a half acres of pasture. Being the entrepreneur that I am, I came up with a plan. Smaller cows. Bottle calves to be exact. Most dairy farms will sell you bull calves for a good price. They don't need them and usually want them gone at only three or four days old.
I bought three or four at a time. I have had up to fifteen at a time on my acre and a half.

  • A good shelter
  • A round bail of hay

  • A good water tub
There is plenty of room and yes, there's plenty of green grass in the pasture. I also give them some grain.

"How could you possibly afford all that milk replacer?" You ask. What most people don't know is that dairies throw away milk. Usually called "dump milk." it is fine for calves, but not good for people to drink. You may want to ask the next time you buy some calves from a dairy.

We raise the calves until they're weaned, sometimes selling younger ones to turn a profit to pay for hay, grain and more calves. We sell them in the fall, keeping three or four to put in the freezer for the family.

If you are creative you can make any situation work for you.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Taking time to teach

We all have tasks we would like to get done for the day. We also have little ones hanging around watching us work. If your children are like mine, they have lots of questions. Sure it would be easier and faster to get our work done without all the interruptions, except this is how they learn, and who better to learn from than Mom and Dad.

The next time one of your children starts asking questions, give them some good answers and take the time to involve them in your project. You will be amazed at what they can learn from you. Remember, don;t be frustrated at them, keep a godly attitude. Give them a chance to rise to the challenge.

Now it's time to brag on my boys. They came to me and said, "Hey, Dad how come we never fixed our dirt bike?" I replied, "It would take a long time to find the electrical problem, and to fix the carburetor." Then they asked if we could go try and fix it. I said, "OK, let's see if we can find the problem."

Since it was their idea, I proceeded to rattle off a list of tools for them to get out. I then told them what to take apart and how to do it. It wasn't long until it was all apart. With some guidance from me on trouble shooting, we soon found and fixed all the problems.

Given the chance, children will rise to the challenge if they are truly interested in the project. That bike sat in the shop for a year, until two ambitious sons of mine rose to the challenge and decided to fix it!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Barn with my Boys

The boys and I have a pretty good start on our barn. Built mostly from bartered for materials.
Cory (12) and Joey (10) ask me almost everyday if we can work some more on the barn. It's just the three of us building it, so that makes for some good father-son time.

I would encourage all you dads out there to take any opportunity to do a similar project with your boys. It is awesome to take a few steps back at the end of the day to see what the boys and I accomplished together.

They are especially excited about the hay loft that they are claiming as their spot. I will load pics as we make progress, we only work on it a few hours here and there between other projects.