We got hungry and was running low on groceries so it was time to fill the void. We butchered a steer that we raised. He was about 14 months old. Our neighbors came over also yesterday to help. We estimate we got 300lbs of meat out of the fella. Nothing like raising your own animal and sending it to freezer camp in your own freezer. You know everything that went into the animal and you can cut it up like you want. We dont have fancy saws to make all the pretty cuts so we just send most of the meat through the grinder after boning it all out.
Now we are saving some money and when your saving money your making money. We estimate at the time of this post we will save $225+ a month at the grocery store and $40+ a month at the feed store.
Now to start raising another one for next year and hopefully be butchering some pigs soon to help fill the freezer.
We are making progress. We have built the storage area or possum belly on the trailer to hold the water barrels. When raising livestock you have to make sure they have plenty of fresh water. With two fifty five gallon drums for a total of a 110 gallons of water the animals should have more than enough water. We still have to figure out how we will fill the barrels.
On another note we are kicking around the idea of how we can put rabbits on the trailer also.
We had some scrap goat / sheep panel wire that we are going to put in to help hold the water barrels.
You can see the water storage or possum belly sits about the height of the axle. If done again we would drop it a couple more inches.
Our compost pile consist of hay and produce we feed to the cows plus their manure, cardboard boxes the produce come in and the chicken dropping from when they stir it all up. This was pushed up into a pile 2 days before the video and with almost 4 inches of rain and about 62 degrees its a steaming active pile of wonderful goodness. This is gonna be great stuff. Below you can see some pictures of our compost pile and a video describing our compost pile.
Here is where we fed the cows all winter.
Boxes from the produce we haul for the animals.
Also got wood chips from the county to mix into the compost.
This is the wood chips, boxes, manure, and hay being pushed up.
These two pictures will give you a size comparison of our compost pile versus the tractor and cows.
This video has a bit of a description of our compost pile.
We got some seeds started. Having our greenhouse sure makes it all worth while. We can start our growing seeds weeks ahead of schedule. You can also plant more seeds so that you have plants to sell. We can get over 1,000 seeds started in this greenhouse. Which means there is plenty of room and a possibility for another income opportunity.
Having an ex-dairy cow turning it to a nurse cow is a great way to earn a little extra cash and put a little meat in your freezer or a customers freezer. We have given this ex-dairy cow the best retirement we could and in return she helps us raise some steer calves for the freezer or the local sale barn. We have customers that want a steer butchered so we will haul it to the local butcher for a fee of course. If we cant use the meat in our freezer or at the time nobody wants any farm raised freezer beef we just haul them to the local sale barn because we only have so much room here.
Now with our new to us retired dairy cow we need a milking stall. Well with the purchase of the dairy cow kind of being a impulse buy we didnt have any sort of milking stall. So until we can build a decent one we need something we can use.
We took some wooden pallets we had and just threw them together to make a temporary milking stall as you can see below. With out using a measuring tape or not having any plans we did ok for a temporary stall. This will give us an idea of what things we want to change before building the permanent milking stall.
You can see in the last two pictures that she is making a wonderful nurse cow.
Well we ended up with a retired Jersey dairy cow and her bull calf. We will use her as a nurse cow to feed any young calves we may purchase along the way or any orphan calves we may have from our current cows. Her secondary job is to provide milk for whatever comes along like ice cream, butter, or just feed for the other farm animals. She is settling in to her new environment really well. We are so proud to have her here on the farm. Her bull calf will be a temporary addition just like the other two we recently purchased. His name is Steak.