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Almost Done Grazing for the Year

December 14, 2012

Dark days?  Yeah, the days are dark these short winter days.  Talk about the Black Forest.  In the fall and winter on my jaunts through the woods to get to the cow pasture, I get the feeling that my German ancestors that settled here probably felt right at home.  The woods are dark!  The pasture the cows are in right now, is out there beyond the forest in the light that you can see in this photo.

December woods

December woods

June 2012

June 2012

What a difference from solstice to solstice.  I get all warm and fuzzy seeing those babies in that paddock in June.  Now it looks entirely different.

December 2012

December 2012

Now those babies are pretty good-sized, and putting the creep in creep feeding, they remember those baby days and still skinny out under the fence to go off and do teenage cow things.  At paddock shift time, they come “home” and put themselves back in so they can get a swig of milk.  They have my number and know the fence is off when I’m working.  If a cow could roll their eyes at you, that is what it would look like.

December stockpile 2012

December stockpile 2012

This is the last of my stockpile.  Not bad for December, still plenty of green and a good share of brown for carbon trampling.  I succeeded in utilizing my hidden keylines this go around, and feel pretty satisfied with my grazing strategy for the year.


With the cool weather and decent grazing , the cows barely drink any water so I have been more creative with my paddock fencing, splitting the paddocks four ways.  At paddock shift yesterday the twenty head had drank five gallons of water in four days.  I changed my plan again and gleaned a fifth day on the same trough of water.  Each day that I do end up driving (instead of walking) to the pasture I bring home more grazing supplies that I won’t need until spring, posts, spools of wire, and that extra trough from warmer days.

I started this post at the beginning of week, it was raining, then we had a glorious sunny day yesterday, this morning I woke up to spitting snow.  It is time to bring the cows home and get into the other stockpile – the haystack.

December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2012 5:38 pm

    Great barn & photos. Love the one of the forest – it’s not easy to get such detail in such a dark photo.

  2. December 14, 2012 6:45 pm

    It snows in the PNW and it’s bone dry in Iowa… we’ve had one measly, wet snow that never stuck. Could you send some of that weather our way? We need the rain kinda badly. I think I’m starting to get how previous generations felt with drought.

    Is Jane’s mastitis doing better? I miss Jane posts.

    • December 14, 2012 9:19 pm

      Kerry, I would send it if we could, you don’t want to know we have had over 50″ of rain since the fall rains have started 😦 Luckily we have well drained soil! We could use less and you need more, those facts sure make it tough 😦

      Jane is doing great with no signs of mastitis since her bout with it at freshening. She is such a good girl, a delight to handle and milk. I figured everyone was tired of hearing about her. Thanks for asking about her 🙂

  3. December 14, 2012 11:31 pm

    Here it is dark by 4pm and only just light by 9am. Today is windy and -7C (19F) and due to get down to -23C (-9F) by the end of the week. At the moment I think we would swap quite happily, but I guess you wouldn’t. It’s nice though to have all the pictures to look back on I think, at least even in the depths of winter it helps to remember there are warmer lighter days.

  4. December 15, 2012 4:28 am

    We miss our cows…. Next year, maybe we can have them year round again….

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