Candy Canes for Cows

By on Jan 10, 2018 in Carole's Corner |

Don’t know what to do with leftover holiday candy? Here’s a thought; feed to livestock. Of course, too much sugar is not good for cattle but a bite here and there won’t hurt them or their teeth. We only feed peppermint to our “ambassador herd,” which includes our pulling and riding cattle and some of the 4H critters. We also have a bucket of gingerbread man cookies which some of the cattle like to nibble on. Not all the cattle like cookies or peppermints but my oxen team, Topper and Stash, and riding steer, Curious Bleu, devour the treats. http://food.concordmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Bleu.mp4 Even though I don’t feed the yearlings treats they love third cut baleage hay and watch eagerly as we strip what we call, “pumpkin bales.” We call them “pumpkin bales” because third cut hay is fine and when wrapped it shrinks to about half the size of other...

Shivering Calf Needs Attention

By on Jan 2, 2018 in Carole's Corner |

My fingers hurt. The plastic wrap on the hay bale was frozen and so were my fingers. Bruce got out of the Bobcat to help me, the one-woman ground crew, release the bale from its wrap and feed it out to the cattle. We were on day six of the arctic blast and the cattle needed food, lots of food. Besides food, livestock need water to survive cold temperatures so when we aren’t feeding we’re checking water. When the temperatures stay frigid for so long even water heaters won’t work. We have to check four troughs at least three times a day and sometimes heat the water with a kerosene heater I call the “Salamander” after breaking up the ice. Cattle can freeze too. I brought one shivering steer named Xander into the barn away from the wind where I duck-taped a wool horse blanket on him. Wool keeps livestock (and people) warm and wicks away moisture but despite these efforts,...

Pigs Move Forward

By on Dec 27, 2017 in Carole's Corner | 6 comments

The pigs were all piled in the center aisle, not where they were supposed to be. One or more of the two-hundred-pound pigs figured out how to open their pen door from the inside. Then, that or another pig, opened the other pen door from the outside. They were pig piled in the aisle and snoring when we found them. I’m not sure how we ended up with twenty-seven pigs in late December. We wanted to process them in November but after the fire at LeMay’s in Goffstown and labor shortages at other processing facilities, we were stuck with extra pigs and cattle into Christmas. The tide is starting to turn and we were able to send off four pigs and two beef cattle this week. One of the pigs we shipped will be a roaster pig for a traditional South American New Year’s dinner. Apparently, Uruguay, Chile, and other South American countries respect the pig because it always goes...

Livestock Relationships

By on Dec 20, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

The two sheep, Faith and Joy would not leave the trailer. They huddled behind Eleanor, the Sicilian donkey, who had placed her body between me and them. If I walked around Eleanor, the sheep ducked under her head to Eleanor’s other side. Always just out of reach. The three were working together to keep me away. We had just returned from a “Living Nativity” event produced by the Brookside Congregational Church and Friends of Stark Park in Manchester. The oxen, two white Scottish Highlander working steers, Ben and Snuff, were from my farm, Miles Smith Farm. I had borrowed, Eleanor, the donkey and the sheep from a farmer in Chichester. During the event, Mary and Joseph stayed in the manger watching over baby Jesus while Eleanor, her sheep gang, and the shepherds watched. I stood near the manger, dressed in period custom as Jewish farmer, with Ben and Snuff while the Church pastor,...

Turn Kitchen Scraps Into Christmas Dinner

By on Dec 11, 2017 in Carole's Corner |

What can you do with kitchen vegetable scraps? It might take six months but there is a way to convert leftover cabbage, carrots, pumpkins and other veggie scraps (lettuce, asparagus stems, celery stalks) into ham. Here’s how. Collect refrigerated kitchen scraps from a restaurant or commercial kitchen, we get most of our kitchen scraps from Grappone Conference Center.  Make sure there is no meat in the mix and that the scraps have never been served to humans. If they have been on a plate, toss them. Be sure the veggie scraps have been refrigerated and mix the scraps with pig pellets to provide protein that veggies are lacking. Then feed them to a pig or two. Do this for six or eight months and your pig will be ready to become ham for Christmas or Easter or maybe just ham and cheese sandwiches. This is one way to reduce landfill in a tasty and sometimes fun way. I say “sometimes...