It has reached the time of year that I am tired of being hot. You walk out the door first thing and the muggy Kentucky mornings don’t even offer any relief. I routinely take an extra shirt with me to the farm so I at least have a dry one to drive home in. But it is Kentucky and it gets hot every summer, so we live with it and farm on.
Right after the 4th of July we made our second cutting of alfalfa. After the first cutting we put some nitrogen down and with the continued moisture this summer it grew back good. It produced 49 more bales pushing our total in the hoop barn to 368 bales. Typically if we can get 400 bales in the barn we have enough to get through the winter given somewhat “normal” conditions.
At the end of first cutting we were able to put hay into the new Barn Alley Feeder that Dr. Higgins designed and installed this past year. This feeder is built in the center alley of an old tobacco barn. It borrows the same self feeding concept as the Large Bale Feeder but is done so utilizing existing infrastructure. The custom sized wood feeder is hung from barn door track on each side and slides back as the cattle eat the hay. This feeding structure also serves as a hay storage facility as we were able to bale the hay and put it directly from the field into the feeder.
This barn alley feeder will hold 30 5x5 round rolls of hay, and will serve as a storage facility until the first of the year when the cows will be allowed access to the hay. The 30 rolls of hay should be all we need in this location which means the tractor doesn’t have to come refill the structure until we bale more hay next season. Utilizing this structure we have gained additional storage capacity and increased our efficiency of time as we have eliminated the need to haul the hay to the hoop barn and then back to the cattle to feed it. The hay is stored in the same location as it is consumed. I am excited to feed with this new facility this winter.
On July 8th we worked all of our spring calves for the first time. They got vaccinated for respiratory/pasteurella, blackleg/somnus, and pinkeye (cultured from a local strain). They were also dewormed and fly tagged. We also castrated (knife cut) and implanted the bull calves. And lastly, all the calves got a high frequency EID tag. This is part of a retention study we are doing to see how well this visual/EID tag stays in their ear.
Yes, it was hot that day to work cattle. But we started early and turned the pairs back out to shade and water before the heat of the day. And I guarantee you that I wore that extra dry shirt on the way home!
Stay cool out there!