Feeding Time Again, a Long Cold Winter
Fall at the Ranch
Fall in West Virginia is all most heaven, but also a busy time getting ready for winter. I have to have enough food stored to feed this crew through April next spring.
I have 10 acres available for hay production. I start getting the equipment I need. I have a good Vermeer dealer nearby so I am going to use Vermeer Farm Equipment for my hay harvesting. I started off by spreading 60 tons of chicken manure over the future hay field in addition to the 60 tons I spread over the pasture. I have never harvested hay, so I begin by practicing mowing and raking in the future hay field.
I had 60 tons of chicken manure brought in to improve the pasture. Chicken manure is an outstanding fertilizer and researchers have found that chicken manure is as effective as lime in raising soil pH. This also involved the purchase of a manure spreader.
Arrival of our first Longhorn cattle from Mountain Diamond Longhorns, LLC of Tunnelton West Virginia
Left to right: JS Merry Loo, Callie Sadie, Janie Starling arrive at the farm. Longhorn cattle ranching has begun.
Springtime is the Best Time
Feeding Time & Teaching the Boy to Work
Survival of the fittest.
This was the last turkey, and also the ranch boss. The meanest of the mean.
One of the biggest joys is when the critters start having babies. New life at the ranch always brings a smile to ones face.
Getting my John Deere 5115M tractor was definitely one of the biggest joys. It will be my main farm hand.
My livestock feeder is well built. It came from Platinum Feeders and is made in Ingram, Texas. If the feed is the least bit sticky, it will not fall down when the timer turns on the motor each day. The feeder is solar powered and the solar panel has no trouble keeping the battery charged and the timer is reliable. The goats and cows have learned they can knock it around when the timer goes off to get the sticky feed to drop. Whole corn falls down fine but the livestock does not digest it well and it gets wasted. Crack corn is better digested but even it sticks to the point of not falling well when the timer turns the motor on. I made the mistake of not locking the door to the timer control and the goats got inside and ate all of the wiring. So I had to call the company and buy new innards and install them in the zero degree West Virginia winter.
Winter is Just Beginning!
A early winter storm before all the leaves are off of the trees always causes devastation. This one took out my orchard fence. Now coyotes can attack the turkeys along with what ever is coming out of the sky.
I tried raising turkeys. Hawks or something ate half of them, so the other half went to the freezer before they all disappeared.
Andrew Stickler & Mitchell C. Stickler: the goal of this website is to assist those who are considering raising livestock for the first time.