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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Early Calf Weaning and Some 4-H Baking

This past week was a bit busy with random activities.  In fact, I wasn’t really sure where to begin.  I guess I will start at the beginning of the week.

Monday we weaned calves.  We normally don’t wean our calves until at least September.  Our area, like much of the country, is in a drought.  This is the second year that out area has been in a drought and our perennial grasses are having a hard time growing this year.

The grasses were getting shorter and our first time mothers were getting thinner trying to produce milk for their growing babies.  We made the difficult decision to wean the calves early after much discussion.  The calves are only 5 months old.

To get them to eat at the feed bunks, we put prairie hay in and then put a little bit of ground corn on top.  They are used to eating grass, so the hay helps to get them eating at the feed bunks.

They were pretty hungry because they went straight to eating hay.  That doesn’t happen when they have plenty of grass in the pastures.

On Wednesday, I was the Crazy Farm Mom.  I have talked about how we have a community of babysitters when we are busy in the field.  The 4-H girls are all getting ready to go to the fair and for some reason they like to bake in my kitchen.  This is one way that I pay them back for helping with countless 4-H projects, making sure chores get done and the long hours they put in when I am driving the combine.  They are all way under paid, but never let me pay them more.  

Their favorite recipe is a Two Cheese Braided Wheat Bread that I found from the Kansas Wheat Commission.

They also made yeast rolls, wheat bread and a fresh apple cake.  God did not bless me with any girls in our family, but I am glad he placed these 3 girls in our lives.  Teenage girls can be a bit trying and have very busy schedules to work around, but they bring a lot of joy and love to our family.

My 4-H’er also made Oatmeal bread in the bread machine and some delicious no bake cookies.

Thursday we took the lambs and calves to the first fair of the summer.  Our 4-H’er has been working really hard every day with his livestock and it showed Friday night.  He came home with 4 Reserve Champions and 1 Grand Champion.  He said the best part of the evening was that he got to hang out with his buddies (average age of 15 and he is 9!).  The amazing thing is that they all tell me they love him as much as he loves them and they treat him as a peer not a little kid bothering them.  I love 4-H kids!

Reserve Champion Breeding Heifer and Grand Champion Beef Showman!!

Little brother gave up trying to watch the shows.  They got done well after 11:00 pm.  Long day for everyone.

Friday afternoon we were blessed with a very localized 2 inch rain.  Most of our crop fields got a bit of a drink and all of our pastures received some much needed rain.  The sad thing is that our neighbors 10 miles to the north and south did not get a drop.  We are very thankful for what we received, but know that this did not come close to ending the drought in the area.  Everyone is praying that the crops can hold on until the next rain which isn’t forecast for at least a week from now and we are going to have high temperatures again this week.

Just had to share the view from my kitchen window this week.  The bulls are all back home after the breeding season.  Every so often they stop by the house to visit.  I love looking out the window to see one of them.

Have a great weekend everyone and try to stay cool!

-A Kansas Farm Mom