Things have really picked up around the farm. We have had eight Dexter calves born over the past five days. Our herd bull worked hard in January and February to service our Dexter cows. Cole, has been helping with the cattle this week and is enjoying every minute of it. He helped tag new born calves and monitor laboring cows. This past Saturday, Cole and Jolie, helped tag our first born calf of the season and noticed a cow in labor. We kept our distance and monitored the cow and were able to watch her give birth to a heifer. This was the first time Cole and Jolie, got to watch a cow give birth. We are still expecting calves from 17 cows and the next few weeks will be eventful.
As we inch closer to fall things are picking up around the farm. We have brought our 25 bred cows back from the lease farm to prepare for calving. We will continue to utilize rotational grazing to provide nutritious growth for our nursing cows and develop strong root system in our pasture to increase spring hay yields. We have four designated paddocks for grazing and will stock pile fescue in our remaining pasture field to be strip grazed once the growing season has ended. We are hoping to graze our stockpiled fescue into January. Our calves from 2017 and 2018 were returned to the lease farm to graze through the end of the growing season. These calves will have half to the pasture ground available to them as we are renovating the remaining ground by no-till drilling fesuce.
Our retained ewe lambs have been merged with the mature ewes for the first time since weaning. These ewe lambs have been managed aggressively to gain weight in preparation for breeding season. The ewes are on good pasture and receiving an additional half pound of grain each per day to maximize potential offspring. We will sort the ewe group into two separate breeding groups and place them on fresh fields to be exposed to our rams. We will be expecting lambs in the middle of February.
We have had a busy few weeks making hay. The time and resources that go into making hay exceed all other yearly projects on the farm. There have been numerous studies done that show hay left sitting on the ground is subject to 20-30% loss. To help minimize this loss we have 66 bales stored on pallets and tarped. These bales should only suffer roughly a 5% loss. This is a short term solution to preserve hay. Our long term goal is to build a permanent hay storage building to help limit hay loss in the future. This is the first time we have stored hay under a tarp, we hope it works well.
A few weeks ago, we were approached by friends about adopting their cat. They told us Mr. Whiskers enjoyed being outside and thought he would be a great barn cat for us. We agreed to take him, hoping he would help to eliminate mice around the barn. To our surprise he has really taken to the bottle lambs we currently have. He is frequently found in the pen relaxing near the heat lamp with the lambs.
It is an exciting time on the farm. We had our first lamb of the year yesterday evening and this morning we were surprised with triplets. The farm is going to be busy over the next few week as 28 more ewes still have to lamb. I attached a short video at the bottom of the triplets.