Fall is upon us. The leaves are starting to change and the temperatures at night are finally down into the 50s.
This summer has been a hot one for us. With all the work that still needs to be done here on the farm the break in temperature has been a welcome change. Fencing off new pastures in 95-degree heat with 85% or higher humidity can be brutal and not much fun. But the work never stops.
The heat this summer did help us learn a few things.
- The pond we put in will lose water without rain for months on end, but the small spring feeding it allowed it to lose less water than the ponds of our neighbors. Add to that, the perch continue to grow and thrive in the pond even with the heat. The depth of the water and the abundance of minnows (fat heads, shiners and creek chubs) seems to be a huge help. The occasional fish food doesn’t hurt either.
- More importantly, the highland cows did well in the heat. They do spend a lot of time in the trees, and the creeks, but overall the heat didn’t seem to have a negative affect on them. I was a little concerned about the possibility that the high heat would be bad for cows with fur.
- Birthing a new cow with highlands is actually pretty easy. Connor was born on his own from Rhea after some mild panic on our end because we have never had a baby cow before. It seems the Rhea was a shy nurser and having us around to ‘keep an eye on things’ was a bad idea. We’ll be more relaxed with the next one.
- Having a squeeze chute makes working on cows with horns a lot easier and safer.
Now fall is here. We have 2 new pastures to get ready (lots more fence), we need to move and rebuild the duck enclosure, we need to improve the areas where we keep the cows for when they have babies, and so much more. It’s going to be a long winter, but at least it won’t be hot and full of snakes.