Our cattle farm is a cow-calf farm. That means that we have cows that get pregnant and have a calf every year. We sell the calves in the fall, and keep the cows to have more calves. Most cow-calf farms are mostly on pasture. We have cows in two locations, since we have more cows than grass at either place.
I’ve already shown you some of the pastures at the farm that is at our house. Here is the view of the front of our house. (All adult cows here, the calves were weaned and in a different pasture.) All the cows at this farm are registered Angus.
This is part of our other pasture, about 20 minutes away from our house. This pasture is bigger, so we can have more cattle on this part of the farm. We keep our cross-bred beef cows here. (They’re the mutts of the beef cattle world. We still love them, they just don’t come with papers.)
You can see that part of this pasture is muddy. Part of that is spring in Indiana, it’s just always muddy here. The feed trough is in this part of the pasture, so this part of the pasture gets a lot of traffic every day. The movement of the heavy cows walking across this ground keeps it soft and muddy most of the year.
There is a lot of grass (and plenty of dry ground) at this pasture, but we still need to supplement the cows with hay in the fall, winter, and early spring. We do move the hay bales periodically to keep the ground from getting too torn up and muddy.
These cows also get fed corn every day at this time of year. We have a concrete feed trough at this farm, and the cows line up to get their meals. They’re pretty messy eaters – they drop a lot of food out of their mouths, and they’re kind of slobbery. But they share nicely (for the most part) and do a good job of licking the feed trough clean.
On our cow-calf farm, the main food for the ladies is grass and hay, with some corn supplement when they need it (late pregnancy and during lactation). Next time, we’ll talk about beef feedlots and how the feeding is a little different there. Is this what you expected? What is different?
Malinda Gilbert says
WOW, Marybeth, I really learned a bunch from your essay. Excellent writing and expression–I’m impressed! Keep up the good work.