My Pastures are reflecting silver and the ground is a sopping mess, its green, but the cooler temps me that its growing slower, the only critters on the pasture is Caleb and Bojangles and they are into spring graze mode. They are still on hay but they are eating less and less and grazing more and more, We feed them in the lean too side of the barn so they are out of the rain and standing on dry cement as I am trying to give a hard dry standing area for at least a few hours a day.
Our creek is behaving, its full and its overflowed its banks at touch but nothing like earlier this spring, and so far our river (South Nation) is right at the edge, it is over spilling. . this 100 plus acres was dried out and then our second floods came.. Our farm is doing just fine, the sump pump is running regular and our ditches are full but the pastures around us are wet but not flooded.
But the Ottawa river.. wow.. the Ottawa is overflowing and within 30 min of the farm, there is some real damage going on.
Now this has lead to something I wish it was not.. its pushing the hay shortage. As Regular readers will remember we have a crazy hay shortage last year.. the drought took our hay costs right though the roof and I was lucky enough to get my hay for the winter, but I was given orders to not add anything new to the farm, unless I could find a second source for hay as he had just enough for my regular. I made sure to tell him that a second horse would be coming in and to hold it for me.
So my hay was booked till end of may at which time we should have our first hay cut.. but we are not going to get it.. the rain and wet means no cutting, drying etc.. and the cold temps mean everything is slow to grow.
My hay guy informed me that I am out of my Large Sqaure Bales and that we will be switching to Large rounds, which is ok.. not quite as easy to work with but certainly just fine in and of itself.. but far more worrying is the amount of hay that is left.
So we will be butchering Bullwinkle early, I can feed 8 ewe’s with lambs on side daily for the same amount of hay that Bullwinkle takes Daily.. its a numbers game. I had plans to keep him over the spring-summer and butcher in the fall.
Nope! not going to happen.. So we keep my two biggest hay burners (that are going NO WHERE) the horses on the pasture and take the damage and work to repair it when the time comes..
And we slow down the amount of hay being used on the farm to stretch those round bales till we can get a first haying in and or till the pasture has more growth and can handle more grazing pressure.
Sometimes you just need to make the hard calls..