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Thursday, August 04, 2011

State of the Homestead

Well I said I would be back after it rained, and well. . .it rained.

We received a little over an inch last night. And the overcast today have finally ended the 40 straight days of 100F+.

We have spent weeks watching the storms come toward us only to split and go around or vaporize.  Last night during dusk we saw it coming. I was impressed with the show of lightening. I didn't get my hopes up. But the winds picked up to around 80 mph. We didn't get any damage, but I heard many other's did, as well as a lightening strike catching a house on fire.

We lost power a couple of times in the evening. But around 5 am Small woke me up with "The cows are out" I jumped out of bed, grabbed the flashlight and looked out the door. As I stood there scanning, Small says "Or maybe not. Could you turn the electricity on?"   I could hear the power company working with their trucks somewhere nearby and explained to Small that it was me, and that it would be back on soon. I didn't realize it at that moment, but he was frightened about being in the absolute dark. About 6am the air-conditioner kicking back on had me jumping out of bed with a start. Oh, well I had to be up in the next 30 minutes anyway.

So, onto the state of the homestead.

We have to downsize our cattle by 30%. This is hard because right now it is calves, breeders and milkers. I wasn't expecting to have to make this decision. Yet here I am writing down names, and reasons why and why not to keep them.

Mama will be butchered first.

This was hard, but had to be done. She is only a few years before she is too old for breeding. And I don't want her to up and die on me loosing all that meat. It's hard to let her go as she is an OC (original cow).

Now to go through the list of the rest of them. It will be a difficult decision.

X is being sold for less than 1/2 of what he is worth. I have little choice in the matter and am lucky to be getting that much for him. Other cattle are going for even less.

We will be butchering all the lambs next month. None will be kept for breeding purposes.

If we don't do these things we will not be able to afford to feed them all over the winter.

Our plan is to make it with a lot of personal sacrifice until next spring. And if the weather goes back to something resembling normal, we will be able to sell of the calves for a very very decent profit. Then, we will almost be starting over, yet again.


Anonymous said...

I am glad you got some rain, hopefully more is on it's way (without storm damage). I am sorry to hear of your downsizing. It seems like even tho the government says "it's getting better" us real people are not seeing it. Hang in there!

FancyHorse said...

I'm so sorry. :-(

teacherkim said...

Butchering is hard when you know who they are. But the only way I can think of it, is to say that their cells will feed my cells and they live on in me forever. A little creepy, but better than having them rot in a hole after they died of starvation or age.

Alex said...

Glad you finally got some relief. Sad that you have to sell off part of the herd. I guess that's life. so out of the lamb business all together huh?

Adnan said...

Man! everything about your blog is interesting starting from your header to the text of your post, every word.It's been raining here every other day but the temps are still over 100C, too humid.

lisa said...

one foot in front of the other. you will make it.

Lamb said...

I wish some of that rain would wander down my way, but I am so glad you got it! We are looking at hay prices right now for the goats...and it is damn scary! We sold one of the wethers and are keeping it here for the new owners, so they are buying the feed and hay for him. Still, we may need to get rid of two goats...a non-productive doe (bad udder, but good breeder), and a young buck we were going to wether and train to harness.
The heat and drought down here in Texas has been brutal for the cattle ranchers. :( Some ranches have sold off 70 to 90% of their herds.Now they are saying the drought will continue until October and be just as bad next year here.

The Environmental Muse said...


I have been a faithful reader of yours since the beginning, and although I rarely comment, please know how much every word you write means to me. You are the epitome of hope-proof of life. When friends of mine have been in the bowels of depression, I have sent them over here to read your amazing journey and it has renewed them. You are a prime example of reality, and drive, and passion. My heart goes out to you in these rough times and I know, without a doubt, that you will survive & thrive once again. Please, know what an asset you are to the world, and NEVER stop writing.

Matriarchy said...

Love you. Don't know you, nor do you know me. We might fight like cats if we did know each other. But you are a real person, struggling to make sense out of life, as am I. No matter what you have to say, about anything or nothing - I will always want to read it.

richard andrews said...

keep up the good work i know u all will get through

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