Tag Archives: pasture

Wordless Wednesday-Family Pasture Walk

Yesterday, we had our first 60 degree weather since last fall. Tim was itching to go check the culverts and see how the pastures were fairing. We took the hike as a family just before sunset. I wish I would have had my camera. Instead I took a few pictures from my phone.

It was warm enough to be without a coat, except for Hannah

Erik was making bridges out of the branches that fell with last week’s storm

Our trip started in the yard. We followed the “river” and see where is went.

No trip is complete without a really big stick

“Don’t fall in Jonnie!”

A full moon was rising behind us as we walked

Made it to the top of the hill (stick and all)

The heifers greeted us as we made our way back.

Milking was just finishing as we walked into the yard.

Hannah got all tuckered out from the fresh air.

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Until the Cows Come Home-Wordless Wednesday

 

Photo by David Nevala

I had to post one last pasture picture of the season. Tim is bringing our cows in for their evening milking.

Emily

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Filed under #AgChat, dairy, Livestock, Raising Animals, Wordless Wednesday

The Chicken Hotel

Yesterday, I posted a picture of a project Tim and Steve are working on this summer. Thanks to Cassy and Bree for guessing correctly on yesterday’s post

So what is it you may ask? It will be our new “Chicken Hotel.” The laying hens have over stayed their welcome in the yard and are being put out to pasture. It is very understandable that Lisa is growing tired of them messing up her mulch and pooping on the deck.

Decades before Joel Salatin became famous in movies such as Food Inc  and  Fresh, he was better know by his book Pasture Poultry Profits.  Back in the 1990’s Jon and Lisa had read his books and attended a lecture he gave on the subject. The farm started raising chickens on pasture using Salatin’s methods. Our broiler production has grown from a few hundred to between 700 and 900 annually.

Now we are employing another one of Salatin’s methods: the egg mobile, or as we call it, the Chicken Hotel. We are converting an old hay rack into a portable living and roosting quarters for the laying hens. During the day, the hens will be let out into one of our pastures to free range, eat bugs and fertilize the soil. At night, they will be protected in the “Chicken Hotel” from predators. This hotel will be a complete mobile unit complete with nesting boxes, roosts, feeders and waters.

Salatin's Egg Mobiles

The hotel will not be done soon enough. The hens have really made themselves at home in the yard. We are thinking that their first pasture visit will have to be far away from the house…so that they don’t return.

We are nearing the finishing time for our first batch of meat chickens. If you are interested in purchasing chickens pre-cut please contact Lisa ASAP.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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Who is Your Farmer?

Did you know that by visiting the Organic Valley website you can learn Who Your Farmers are? By typing in your zip code you can find a list of Organic Valley farmers in your area. Since Organic Valley tries to sell everything as local as possible, these farmers really “are your farmer.”

Take a look at what we do on our farm:

Visit the Organic Valley YouTube page to tour more family farms like ours.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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In the Eye of the Storm-Wordless Wednesday

Here are two photos Tim took on his phone last Saturday at about 3:00 PM. Funnel clouds had been spotted all around us. Tomorrow, I will write about how our farm continues to care for our animals during severe weather.

cows, storm, pasure, organic, rain, tornado,

storm, farm, pasture, tornado, organic

I am linking up this week with Pinke Post Wordess Wendesday. See what others are (or not) saying

 

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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The Blessing of Grandparents-Wordless Wednesday

Our boys are blessed to have a close and special relationship with their grandparents. Three generations work and play close together on our family farm.

One of my favorite prairie dwelling mommy blogs Pinke Post, does a Wordless Wednesday link-up each Wednesday. Check it out and see what others are saying (or not saying) today!

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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Potty Training and Dairy Farming Have One Thing in Common

… a whole lot of poop. manure spreader

It is an exciting time here at our household. Jonnie is starting to show an interest in potty training. Yeah! We had about two days of real effort and then he decided that the super cool Lightening McQueen underwear was not for him. We are now back in diapers, but at least the interest is there. My dream would be if he would get out of diapers before the new baby. Here is to hoping, but in the mean time I still have to deal with poop. ugg.

Our training chair for the barn restroom toilet

While encouraging the potty training thing, we have been reading a very funny book titled “Have You Seen My Potty” by Mij Kelly. In the story, a cow steals Suzy Sue’s potty chair and all the farm animals want to use it. No more stepping in poop they say.

If ONLY animals really did use the potty or at least a designated area to relieve themselves. All the time, money and effort we spend to make sure our animals’ waste is cleared from their pens, composted and then applied on our fields in an environmentally friendly way, could be spent NOT dealing with poop. Manure (or animals waste) is a big issue on our farm. Tim and Jon spend probably 40 hours a week just moving and spreading the stuff. One cow will eat about 100 pounds of feed each day and produce about 100 pounds of manure.

Thankfully, now that the cows and most of the young stock are out on pasture, the animals take care of the stuff themselves. We purposely intensively graze areas, so that their manure (a very valuable, natural fertilizer) is concentrated in a way that is beneficial to the plants, but doesn’t create environmental problems. Many people only associate a negative image with animal manure. Images of polluted rivers and stinky farms give the stuff a bad name. In fact, animal manure is one of the best resources a farm can have to rejuvenate soil nutrients. Without it, we would have to rely on chemical inputs. Growing up my Dad would always say “smells like money” when we smelled manure being applied on a farm. Dad was right; manure is like liquid gold. See a video of Tim hauling manure yesterday.

A couple weeks ago the farm bought a new manure spreader and you would have thought it was Christmas for Tim. The spreader is bigger than our old one and more importantly, not falling apart. Hauling time was reduced significantly. Only a dairy farmer would be excited about a new poop hauling tool.

I hope that we can get Jonnie back on the potty training bandwagon. If you have any potty training tips, please share. With Erik, he just decided he wanted to be done with diapers one day and we never looked back.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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Raising Healthy Chickens

We got our first batch of chicks two days ago. They are very cute at this age and of course all we want to do is hold them. Hear the boys and I explain what the chicks need to be healthy at this age.

To get a healthy start, the chicks will need a mixed feed of variety of grains, clean water and of course a very warm (90 degrees) room. In a few weeks they will have their feathers. Then we will move them out to their pasture home to live until they are market age.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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The Dairy Cows are on Pasture

I was going to blog about something else today, but it will have to wait.

THE DAIRY COWS ARE ON PASTURE!

organic dairy cows on pasture May 3, 2011

We thought this day would never come. Today, the weather is in the upper 50’s and sunny. That is a huge change from snow flakes and 30’s degrees on Sunday.

Getting the cows on pasture is a huge relief because we had run out of quality feed and were just limping by with some sub par stuff we had bought. Now the cows can enjoy luscious grasses!

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

 

 

 

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Taking a break clearing trees

image

To get our pastures ready for cows, Jon, Tim and friend Ed spent today clearing Cedar trees.
The boys and I brought out some lunches. Then sat a safe distance away watching and enjoying the sunshine.

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