Bullwinkle was a lovely calf last year and a very active almost to friendly Yearling this spring. (yes, he pulled his tag right out of his ear, thankfully it was found, that is why his ear looks like that) I had stopped by my hay farmer and we had a chat, he needed to know how many big bales of hay I would need for the month of june.
Ideally I need six bales (that is the min) and normally, the farmers around here would be cutting hay and there are a few that are doing silage and are cutting wet and green in small amounts to feed their livestock.
My farmer had been out on the highest and driest field two days ago and only did a certain amount of cutting before having to stop due to equipment sinking into the ground, the hay that was cut is super wet and was heavy enough that it was giving clogging issues..
I have cut down sheep last month after I got the “talk” that we would not have hay cut until june.. Yesterday, I was informed that if we don’t get some dry days with some heat and such, that we are not likely to get our first cut off that I can use as dried hay till july..
wow.. July.. so farm Helper #1 came over to give me a helping hand and we spent the day doing the kill, skin, gutting and bury of non-people or dog parts. By the end of yesterday, I was stick a fork in me done tired, we had four quarters, a huge meaty neck, loins and organs (heart and liver) all cleaned and either in the fridge or in a extra smaller chest freezer we have that has blocks of ice and loose ice in it acting as a clean “fridge” area.
I will do weights for human meat but I am not doing weights on what I am using as dog food, which means that my stats will be off in the finished post but not by much. I had really hoped to keep him till the normal time which would have been late fall.
It will make a big difference to our daily hay needs, I can feed six ewes or the whole herd of weaned lambs for the same amount of hay that Bullwinkle was eating.
Well, I had better wrap up this post, finish my coffee and go grab myself my first quarter and get my day of trimming, cutting, deboning and wrapping meat for the freezer and or for the fridge that will be going to the canner.
J & D > Hard choices are best made before the weight of them is bearing down on us.
At least in my case I was only six months early, I watched a farmer down the road sell off half his herd, and I see the asking and the selling going on locally on facebook livestock groups..
If someone had land and money, and Hay, they could be buying up some amazing stock..
Thankfully, I am now done, I had a buyer for three yearling ewe’s that I am not sure on right now..
If they do not buy them as planned, then I will butcher them but I am back on track. otherwise,
You know you are right.. while there was more sadness yesterday, today its all about the work but otherwise, there is a pressure off for sure.
I should also own that I made this choice, my sister in laws family who run a mixed grain and beef farm in northern Sask did offer me a full load of hay and my big brother offered to take time off work, load his big truck and trailer and haul me enough hay from across Canada so I could keep on my normal plan. Now I am very lucky that my family was willing to do this and drive three days each way at around 12 to 14 hours each day.. (I have done that drive but I do it in four or five) but I said no to it..
I made the choice to butcher as needed, I had done what was needed to get us to june which is what I had been told, it was a bit of a shock yesterday to find out that I needed to work out another month with limited amounts.
So unlike many people, I did have a choice.. I could have taken my families offer.. here is hoping I never need to do that..