December 22, 2010

Winter Work

Here's Clark relaxing in the winter loafing yard after a long morning of dropping off hay for the cattle.  There's less work for the Fjords during the winter months, but Clark and his fellow Suffolk teammate Fred stay pretty busy almost every day. Along with the feeding and manure spreading, there's also the random odd job like hauling firewood or harrowing.
While Clark is as steady and dependable and they come, all the horses benefit from some kind of work as often as possible.  It's no surprise that after a few days of laying around the barn and eating hay, some of the younger horses like to pretend that they've forgotten how to work when duty calls.

December 17, 2010

Out to Pasture

We have six different pastures we use for grazing and haying here on the farm and we've informally given each a name loosely based on some physical feature. There is the "Mailbox" pasture, the "Upper" pasture, the "Shire" pasture... things like that.  Here we have Ryan driving Fred and Clark back from dropping off hay in what we inventively call the "Waterfall" pasture.  This particular nook is one of the most remote spots of the farm, and due to its' northern exposure and the tall maples, cedars and hemlocks on the hillside above,  it gets very little direct sunlight. At the moment, it is the home of Big John (the Dexter bull) and his harem and attendants.  

December 9, 2010

Winter Feeding

We've been feeding hay in the waterfall pasture for a few weeks now even though there is still some grass, but the animals seem to appreciate the extra feed, and it allows the pasture to rest and recover over the winter.
The young heifers and steers are being kept outside, while the milk cow and the new mama and calf stay in the barn.  At feeding time, we toss a few large forks full of loose hay down from the loft, load it up on the wagon, and head out with Fred and Clark.  It didn't take long for the cows to figure out that the approaching wagon meant chow time.  Here Ryan is hauling the hay out to the far side of the pasture so that the same spot of ground doesn't get trampled day after day. Moving the feed around also utilizes the animal's natural abilities as self-loading manure spreaders.