Saturday, December 4, 2010

Serious Saturday Snow

We awoke to a nice 8-inch snowfall this morning.  I hesitate to take my camera out while I am doing chores - I don't want to drop it in the snow, and I have been known to set it down and forget it overnight! But if I wait, the snow will be all tracked up by critters and Rog will begin snowblowing.  The risks I take for this blog!
My new strategy is to move the cows dining spot around the pasture more frequently so they get a bit more exercise and distribute their waste more.  I had been scooping up the cow pies with a manure fork and tossing them in the compost pile morning and night, but now they are freezing to the ground too hard.
Figuring out how much to feed the cows is a challenge. Lariat , the small brown Dexter, is naturally barrel-shaped but seems to eat as much as LaFonda, who is considerably larger. LaFonda is half Jersey and should have a lanky dairy cow shape; two  ribs visible is typical. Last week, I thought they both were looking kind of thin so I increased the amount of hay I was giving them a bit. Now they already look perhaps a little too fat and sassy!
It is hard to tell, though, because now they have grown furry winter coats. Plus, they are about 5 months pregnant.
Most of the chickens are staying in the coop or the barn rather than braving the winter. There are 5 chickens who have elected to live in the open-ended loafing shed, however.  I rarely see them fly other than flying up to roost on the roof beams, but this morning they flew across the lower pasture to avoid the deep snow. (Or maybe they were being considerate and trying not to track it up.)
Rooster plow.
The fuzzy gold cat likes to accompany me with the chores and actually seems to enjoy the snow.
Glowing in the morning sun, his name "Orange" is especially fitting.
This might be my last photo of the barn before the roof is transformed by solar panels next week. Even though the silver maple and the box elder are not very desirable trees, I will hate to see them come down.
This morning, the shadow of the box elder tree on the barn door aligned with the old silver maple on the other side of the barn, creating a fun illusion.


katiegirl said...

Susan, your farm is absolutely gorgeous in the snow! I love the pictures, especially the one of Orange in the sunlight. Thank you for risking your camera to show us those lovely pictures!

Allison at Novice Life said...

Beautiful! Don't you just love farms in winter!! So serene and gorgeous!

I struggle with my horses in winter too; I am always worried are they getting too much? Not enough? And then they look like furry marshmallows :)

I read a blog, and she gives LOTS of good advice on homesteading, farming and her cows. You might find it of interest.

Susan said...

Thanks, Katie and Allison. I love red farm buildings in the snow. I read that same fantastic blog --l have learned so much about pasture quality and rotational grazing from her!

Becky said...

Beautiful pictures and farm!!! Wow, Orange seems to glow! What a gorgeous cat!