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Life On & Off My Farm - Life Changes


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#361 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2012 - 04:13 AM

Wow Ducky, that is really large scale farming. Locally most farms are milking about 60-100 cows. It is hard for me to imagine a setup like this. I guess this would be like a business rather than a family farm. No wonder Wisconsin has the cheese capital name. Dan, how many are you milking by now? Now that harvest is starting, it starts to pull to go back to a farm. With the windows open at night, to hear a custom guy chopping in the distance it just brings back all the good memories. But when I get up the next morning and they are still working, I think my bed felt real good. Thanks for all the stories Dan, it is very interesting to me to read.

#362 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2012 - 07:33 AM

We are VERY low on herd numbers. 3 years or so ago, we were at 100 total, milking & dry cows. Now we are milking 65 with about 15 dry cows. 5 of these 65 aren't even our cows. A friend who quit milking needed us to milk a few of his remaining cows until he figures for sure what he wants to do. He'll likely end up selling them to us if we decide we want them. All but one of his cows were in poor shape, but are coming around now that they are on good feed again. He had ran out of silage.
The hot summers have taken their toll on our herd. The first hot spring/summer we lost several head of mostly older cattle that just couldn't cop with the heat. We haven't lost many at all since installing several cooling fans in thew stall barns. We prefer to raise all our replacements, but we may have to buy replacements if we are ever to get back to where we used to be. But to tell the truth, 72 milking is a good number for my son & I to manage. When you go higher, it makes things tougher. More cows=more feed=more manure=more hours. To milk more will almost demand a hired hand, which would require even more cows to afford paying him. A vicious cycle!
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#363 ducky ONLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2012 - 09:32 AM

Here is a vid of one of Tidey Views barns.


This is a walk thru of the Rosendale operation Back in 2009.


This was there 2009 silage pile.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&v=_2GSHgIE5RQ&NR=1
This was for only 4000 head. Last year the pile was just unbelievable in size and height.
I am going to take a ride down there this year to see what it looks like for 10,000 head.
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#364 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2012 - 12:08 PM

Wow ducky.....what an operation.......I want NO part of that! LOL

#365 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted September 16, 2012 - 07:21 AM

Oh yes, we don't depend heavily on hay like we do on silage. We have plenty of both now! :dancingbanana: Just wish we had more corn for grain. We'll shell the 38 or so acres of corn in about 2 weeks. I figure 80bu/acre tops, or about 1/2 the corn we feed in a year. That means purchasing about 3500bu of corn at almost $8/bu. $28,000.00 direct loss due to the dry year just in corn losses.
Could be worse, as it is for many farmers, so I feel pretty blessed at this point.


Just got updated on your thread Daniel, darn you must sleep well when you hit the sack :).

Although we are not all farmers, it would do us all good to keep your above statement in mind as we go about our day to day lives.

#366 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 16, 2012 - 08:20 AM

Greg, rest assured I do my share of moaning/groaning/stressing, but I have to check myself now & then & realize how much I have compared to so many. Yes, I will complain at times, human nature to do so, but I have a great family & a job that puts food on the table. :thumbs:
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#367 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 19, 2012 - 08:42 AM

Late yesterday evening found a cow down after delivering a baby bull. Her right side beaten up from trying to get up & bloated. Got her pulled from this "off camber" spot up to the top of the hill, then got her in a sitting up position. Soon as I did, her belly gas escaped. She's still down this morning, but looks much better, and can get her belly off the ground, but her legs still weak. I gave her meds last night, and more this morning, and I expect she'll make it through it. Have another cow that I'm pretty sure has Johne's (paratuberculosis). She is wasted to nothing & likely have to put her down. No cure for it.
Gotta go bed 96 stalls with sawdust, then de-horn & vaccinate calves after lunch. Busy day!

#368 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 21, 2012 - 10:54 AM

Update on the cows...the Johne's (pronounced Yoe- knees) cow had to be put down, along with the cow down from calving. Not a good day. The dead animal service picks them up today. $150 pickup and the cow losses. At least it's been several months since losing anything.

#369 HowardsMF155 ONLINE  

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Posted September 21, 2012 - 11:11 AM

Ouch! I know that smarts. Not only have you lost productive animals, you have to pay to dispose of them.

#370 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted September 22, 2012 - 07:04 AM

Update on the cows...the Johne's (pronounced Yoe- knees) cow had to be put down, along with the cow down from calving. Not a good day. The dead animal service picks them up today. $150 pickup and the cow losses. At least it's been several months since losing anything.


Back about 50 years ago my Dad and I worked on a dairy farm for a guy and if he had a cow go down like the one from calving it would be butchered and put in his freezer. He often asked my Dad if he wanted some of the meat and my Dad always politely turned down his offer.

#371 tractorman604 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 22, 2012 - 08:53 AM

Maybe a dumb question Dan , but if a cow goes down like that is the meat spoiled. or what do they do with it?

#372 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 22, 2012 - 09:00 AM

Maybe a dumb question Dan , but if a cow goes down like that is the meat spoiled. or what do they do with it?


You can't use a downed cow for human consumption unless you butcher & eat it yourself. To sell a cow for beef, or to take it yourself to a custom slaughter house, it MUST be able to walk! An old milk cow's meat is pretty tough, and best as all hamburger, and then not the best burger. Plus when they've been down, even for a short time, they are usually bruised up badly from thrashing trying to get up.
This animal removal service ONLY takes cows that are dead, and you have to put them down yourself. Years ago some dishonest farmers started trying to claim the rendering services shot the wrong cow and collected money! So they do NOT put them down for you these days. Most goes to dog food and the like, with hides sold for leather.
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#373 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 25, 2012 - 06:15 PM

We got 2 truck loads of corn shelled before it rained this morning. The breeze kept up, then later the sun came out, so I shot to the corn field top finish shelling it. Got it done, then figured I'd go out to Dad's & do the last 2 acres....a good patch of corn in a wetter area. Ground felt ok, but I knew I may have an issue where Dad planted straight across a drainage ditch instead of inline with it. Yep....stuck big time. This JD 7700 combine doesn't raise the header very high, so it bottomed out. If it weren't for the low rise header, I'd have walked right across. Only a Massey 1100 out there, and it wouldn't move it. Tomorrow we'll take a V8 Massey 2745 to snatch it out. Been years since I've hung anything in mud.

#374 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2012 - 07:00 AM

And just a while back you were praying for rain!

#375 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2012 - 08:02 AM

And just a while back you were praying for rain!


Isn't our weather crazy! In all fairness to Mother Nature, this field stays wet almost all the time. Must have an "oozing spring" or something. Dad had to put in a "wetland sewer" system into this field, as the old std system just didn't cut it.
Getting ready to see if we can get the combine pulled from it's "mud mooring".
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