Election 2016 – Update


Apparently we have some folks out there who would like to know the answers to the question in the previous post, so here you go!

Do you know how to tell if a cow has had enough to eat?
The rumen is the first stomach of a cow; she grazes steadily until her rumen is full, then goes to find a spot where she can chew her cud. The rumen is located roughly in front of the hip bones on the left. A cow who is finished grazing for the day shouldn’t have a shrunken area here (it also shouldn’t be overly distended, as that can indicate bloat). Cows that are getting enough to eat will also be mildly interested in you when you come to feed, but they won’t be bawling all the time and following you down the fence line when when you drive by. Nita Wilton has a great post on this issue, plus pictures:https://matronofhusbandry.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/is-my-cow-getting-enough-to-eat/

When the tie-down bolt on the trailer breaks, can you either replace it by drilling it out for a new one or weld the old one back together?
This isn’t really a here’s-the-answer question. It’s more of a do-you-have-the-skill question. I must admit that while I could drill it out and replace it, I’m not the welder around here, so that job would go to my hubby.

What’s the difference between white, Dutch, alsike, ladino and crimson clover?
White Dutch clover is the stuff you find in your yard. Although other clovers are often better choices, odds are you’ll have some in your pasture just because it spreads easily. Alsike is usually better in cool than hot climates and is good for soils with poor drainage. Ladino is like a giant form of white clover that does better in warm climates and is often used as forage, especially in mixed pasture. The aforementioned clovers are all perennials. Crimson clover is a winter annual that provides good forage fairly early in the spring (at least in my area).

Is it better to grow ryegrass, orchard grass, Bermuda grass or reed canary grass in the wet spots in the pasture?
Well it depends on your climate, rainfall and soil type. In some places reed canary grass is considered an invasive species. Bermuda grass is better in drought conditions.

What can you do with baling wire after you break open the bale?
Darn near anything! It’s an old joke that many ranches are held together with baling wire and duct tape.Just this last week, I used it to make a new latch for the chicken coop, keep a horse blanket snap closed and wire a hole in the fence closed so the deer couldn’t go through it.

How can you tell if those thunderheads are going to give you a sprinkle or a downpour?
Thunderheads with a dark blue or purple band across the bottom are likely to give you a downpour, especially if the wind is out of the West.

Can you midwife a cow, sheep or horse?
My answer would be yes, but I try to avoid it by making sure I use a bull, ram or stud that isn’t known for large babies. An animal that has birthing problems gets sold, eaten or is used for some other purpose than breeding.

Do you know how to milk a cow, ride a horse, rope a calf or shear a sheep?
Yes, yes, no (but hubby does), yes, but I prefer to raise hair sheep so that isn’t an issue.

Can you shoe a horse?
I know the basics, but hubby is the expert.

How can you tell if your cows have selenium deficiency?
We live in a selenium-deficient area, so I just assume our cows don’t get enough and supplement them. Signs of deficiency include poor production – especially in milk cows – calving problems, mastitis, low fertility and weak or premature calves. You can also take a blood sample.

How many different knots can you tie?
I’m good for four or five; hubby knows how to tie just about any knot in the book.

When can you expect to see swallows in your area each year?
Around here, it’s the end of February.

What are the indications that a cow might need to be wormed?
The cow looks poor and won’t gain weight no matter how much she eats. She may have diarrhea or pale gums (a sign of blood loss).

How do you save seeds from biennial plants?
You have to carry them through the winter and let them go to seed the next spring. Most of these are pollinated by wind and insects; in fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any self-pollinating biennials in the vegetable garden.

What widely available herb makes a good cough syrup?
Horehound. It tastes terrible, even with lots of honey, but it really works.

Is it better to feed horses alfalfa, grass or alfalfa/grass mix hay?
Young horses in good condition will do fine on good quality grass hay. They also get more roughage with grass hay, which is a good thing; in the wild, horses graze about 18 hours a day. Alfalfa/grass mix is better for those that are pregnant or working hard; I like a 40/60 ratio of alfalfa to grass. Straight alfalfa can make them “hot” behavior-wise, and it can make it harder to ensure the proper calcium ratio.

How many of the following skills do you have: welder, plumber, veterinarian, electrician, cowboy/cowgirl, carpenter, logger, herbalist, hunter, cook, dairyman/woman, shepherd, naturalist, meteorologist, salesman/woman, poultry man/woman, accountant, blacksmith, heavy equipment operator, mechanic, harness maker, gardener?
Among the four adults on the place, we have all of these, as well as skills/knowledge in chemistry, microbiology, computer skills, hand crafts like making jewelry, knitting, crocheting and sewing.

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4 Responses to Election 2016 – Update

  1. littleleftie says:

    Thanks so very much for the well-written tutorial on Farming/Ranching 101. The knowledge level you have–between you and your hubby is amazing!!

    Again, all I can say is that I am in awe.

  2. Denny144 says:

    If I get advance notice of the Apocalypse, I’m coming to live with you! Those survivalist cults have nothing on your skills.

  3. Karen says:

    Thanks, Bee! I have much to learn. But that’s one of the things I enjoy about gardening and agriculture.

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