Find me in Feedstuffs and Just Farmers!

As several may have noticed my blog posts have slowed down here on the Haley Farms blog. This is in part because things have been pretty busy around the far the last six months.

For those that are unaware I have also started writing a column for Feedstuffs! So far this has been very exciting and has allowed me to share my thoughts revolving around agriculture with a much wider audience.

I am also involved in a new project with Jeff Fowle and Ray Prock called Just Farmers. This project is dedicated to challenging others to explore ways to cultivating conversations and grow them into thriving communities. I invite you to check out and explore our site and let me know what you think!

As for this site, the plans are to continue to use this blog to share updates and thoughts from around the farm. I also plan on sharing select posts I write for Feedstuffs and Just Farmers that readers here may find interesting.

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All covered in Poop.

We had a cow bloat this morning. I don’t know if she ate to much last night, or just was laying the wrong direction for to long and the gases in her rumen could not escape. Nonetheless she was stuck on her side and could not get up.

I frantically started to push on her side trying to help while thinking of the tools l may quickly need to help relieve the gas. At last resort I pushed her head around, resulting in her thrashing it back and throwing me in a huge pile of fresh spring cow poop and gave her enough leverage to get up and walk around.

After a few steps the cow began to relieve herself and, of all things went back to eating hay within about ten minutes while her calf was nursing as fast as she could!

Things like this are always coming up out of the blue on a farm, luckily this instance resulted in a happy cow even if I am all covered in poop!

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As seen on TV!

That’s right, Haley Farms was recently on TV!

Things can be very busy on the farm during planting season there are some things that are worth taking a few moments out of the day for.   This was definitely the case when we were asked by Cattlemen to Cattlemen if it would be ok if they stopped by the farm to visit with us!

Check out this video of our farm that aired on recently RFD TV!

Haley Farms on RFD's Cattlemen to CAttlemen

 

Thanks for stopping by, time to get back to work!

 

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Showing off my boots!

This spring has kept me so busy I almost forgot to update everyone that my boots were on the Food For Thought Blog!

Check it out:

When do you put your boots on, Mike?

This time of year, during the winter months, I typically start getting my boots dirty every morning by tending to our beef cows needs. This includes checking to see if there are any new calves that need attention since the last night check, restocking hay and mineral for the cows, and feeding our steers, bulls, and replacement heifers. When all the cattle are content the rest of my day may include a variety of activities like fixing equipment, delivering hay, bookwork, building fence or going to agricultural meetings.

Read More..

 


By the way, check out the boots that Country Outfitter provided me! I am giving them a real test run, they seem to be holding up!

My Country Outfitter Boots!

My Country Outfitter Boots!

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A new look!


It may be winter, but we have been keeping pretty busy around the farm taking care of the cows, getting equipment ready for spring, seeding clover, taxes, hauling grain to town and on top of all this not only did Pam and I move to a new house but so did my parents!

Haley Farms BlogNot sure how I found the time, or why I decided to do it but I took a couple of hours this afternoon to redesign our website. It still needs a few minor tweaks but I am really liking how it is turning out. If you have an extra minute take a look around and tell me what you think.

~ MH

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Welcome To Our Farm!

We are preparing for the 2012 Ohio Beef Expo and we are excited to offer e

mbryos in the Simmental sale this year out of our donor Scarlet.  These embryos are sired by STF Dominance the 2010 Grand Champion Bull in Denver.  The best part about these eggs are that we have proof on the ground out of this mating and they are good.

Haleys Scarlet Y140 - OJSA National Donation Heifer

In fact the Junior’s donation heifer comes from our farm out of this mating, see we donated a pregnancy to the juniors to raffle and Roger Scheiderer of Plain City, OH won the pregnancy but she had already calved and Roger so generously donated the heifer calf back to the OJSA to sell the heifer in the Expo sale.  So if you are needing proof that this mating works look up the OJSA donation heifer Haleys Scarlet Y140 at the expo and see for yourself. 

THANK YOU to our buyers at the 2011 New Directions Sale back in October.  We are extremely excited for Cheznee Bundy ofUtah who bought our open heifer in the sale, Good Luck at all the shows and we look forward to seeing you in Ohio this summer.  Buying our bred heifers and cow were: Sloup Simmentals, NE; Jay Anderson, NE; Snider Simmentals, NE; and Kasl Simmentals, NE.  The Embryo lots sold to: Locust Lane Farms, OH; Gonsior Simmentals, NE; Rick Harlow, IN; and Welsh Simmentals, KY. 

Well it is right in the heart of winter here at Haley Farms but you wouldn’t know it because it is warm and muddy just like spring.  We are right in the middle of calving with only less than half the cows calved out and things are going well and the little ones are so fun to watch.  It is also the continuing time of breeding said cows back for next years calves and starting the planning process.  It never stops around here but we love what we do and we sure have fun doing it.

HALEY FARMS is now on Facebook.

SEMEN PACKAGES AVAILABLE ON THE 2010 NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW POWER BULL. Click on the Sires tab for more info!

NEWS FLASH!!!!!!! Embryos available on all the donors and we will be flushing again this spring so get your orders in soon.  OMF Cherry Bomb, MMP Kiss This, SVF NJC Jewels Dream, SS Mercedes and J & C Scarlet…. Check our Donor Females. Pictures up now — .

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On top of a grain bin – Wordless Wednesday

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On top of a grain bin, all covered with snow, I sighted Pam's Moo cows, enjoying some hay.

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How many cows do I have?

How many cows do I have? This is a question that I face quite often. The simple answer, of course, is that I have no cows. While my grandfather often talked about a few shorthorn cows he and his grandfather raised on our farm there were no cows on our farm while I was growing up. I spent most of my youth helping my father care for his pigs as well as helping my grandfather raise and feed his steers (for those who may be thinking that a steer is a cow, there is a difference). I also had a few animals of myself, mainly pigs and lambs that I raised as 4-H projects and one year I had 50 chickens…now THAT was an experience!

Now, back to my cows. Up until the day I got married I do not remember any cows on our farm, then six bred purebred Simmental bred cows showed up the day Pam and I got married. While I didn’t admit it at the time to my new wife, I had very little knowledge about how to care for cows…how hard could it be anyways, ya just throw them out in a green pasture and let them eat grass …right?

cows on pasture this winter

Cows grazing last week on corn stalks

Well, I found out its not exactly that simple, perhaps a few of my experiences learning how to care for my wife’s cows will be a good blog post in the future. Anyways, as most newlyweds do, Pam and I talked a lot about our dreams and aspirations, she wanted 30 cows and of course I thought we only had enough grass and space for about 20.  As most of you can guess after a very short amount of debate on this subject we decided 30 cows would fit real nice here on our families farm.

That was six, errrr…seven years ago and those six cows had calves, some of  which we kept for replacements to add to the herd along with picking up a few cows from other breeders along the way.

cows suI in Ohio

Cows grazing last summer

Last summer I noticed that the herd must be getting close to about 30 cows, to my surprise when I asked Pam how many cows were around she replied with a big smile “45”.  Immediately I went into panic mode as it is my responsibility to make sure there is enough feed around throughout the year, and there was no way we had enough hay to feed 45 cows all winter and with the rough summer weather I knew it would be hard to find extra hay to buy from others in the neighborhood. So we began to discuss our original thoughts from seven years ago and decided to work our way back down to 30 cows by the time winter hit.

So back to the original question, how many cows do I have? None. Pam, however, has 38 cow’s all of which have either already calved or will calve this year, 14 replacement heifers, one mature bull, three replacement bulls and three steers.  As you can tell, we didn’t quite make it down to 30 this winter, but I was able to find enough hay to keep them more than satisfied!

Pam and Jewel

Pam with one of her cows - Jewel

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Winter Grazing – Wordless Wednesday

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Visitors On The Farm, Oh My!

Recently a good friend I met online, Ryan Goodman, asked an interesting question on his popular blog Agriculture Proud:

“How would you farm differently if a total stranger (non-farmer/rancher) followed you around all day?”

I found this an interesting question. My first response was that I would do nothing different but after thinking about how I responded to finding out about visitors stopping over in the past, I began to ponder whether this was entirely accurate.  No different than most individuals expecting house guests over when guests are expected on the farm I normally tidy things up a bit to make sure they are presentable.  It’s also common for me to think about what places and tasks I definitely want visitors to see and of course…. what places and tasks are best left until after visitors leave.  Most importantly I think about the worst, this is a working farm and what if something happens as a cow could slip and break its leg, go down, or who know what else!

Thomas Song and Pam Haley

Thomas Song and Pam Haley

That is what normally happens, but while driving home from a Thanksgiving feast at the in-laws on Thursday Pam suddenly remembered that a college photography student from Kent State University had scheduled a visit on our farm in the morning for a project in one of his classes.  Immediately I started to think about everything that had to be done before Thomas Song arrived in the morning as the steers needed to be bedded, the cement feeding pad was due to have the manure scraped, the dogs latest hunting prize needed buried and of course there was bale twine and feed bags needing picked up and taken to the trash.  Of course it was Thanksgiving and there was little time for all of this and after thinking it through (as in Pam informing me) I realized that Thomas was visiting our farm to see and document these very activities, therefore I could relax and wait till he arrived to get to business!

 

Thomas arrived as planned in the morning, on the list of things to do for the morning were

Ear tagging a calf

Tagging in a new heifer calf. Photo courtesy of Thomas Song

to feed, add  straw bedding for the steers, scrape the pad, tag in and give vitamins to a newborn heifer calf, load our bull, Laredo, into the trailer and move him to a new group of cows and deliver Dharma (a bred heifer)  to a neighbor who recently purchased her.  We quickly got started on our day and explained what we were doing along the way only pausing briefly a few times to explain a little more of why we were doing a few things.  Things moved along great, and all that was left was to unload Laredo from the trailer and load Dharma into the trailer.

So we separated Dharma into a holding pen as we unloaded Laredo off the trailer. This is when one of my fears happened, a what if, what else, an OH NO! Dharma decided she wanted to be with Laredo and all the other cows and somehow she squeezed her head between a wooden gate and a post turning  the space into a giant Chinese puzzle and making it nearly impossible to get her head free.  Pam and I immediately ran over

Trapped cow

Pam trying to free Dharma from the gate. Photo courtesy of Thomas Song

and tried to assist Dharma in getting her head loose, but it was too tight and I could not unhook the chain from the post.  Logically next thought was to lower Dharma’s head to relieve some of the tension on the chain, knowing all my actions were being photographed I hesitantly began to push down, trying to force her to lower her head but it was useless as she was much stronger than me.  I then remembered I had some tools around the corner, and I could perhaps use them to break the chain that was immobilizing Dharma, and after a little work I was able to split the chain and Dharma was free and other than a little mental grief she was unharmed.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson, no matter how much you plan and prepare things can and will go wrong.  At the end of the day we have to be willing to except this, invite others onto our farms to share farm life experiences.  We have to be able to read our guests motives and do things to insure they understand why we do certain things and what motivates our actions. In this case, I feel like Thomas could see that Pam and I were very concerned about what was happening and that we were trying to help Dharma as quickly as possible.

I am sure next time I learn of a farm visitor I will think of everything that needs to be done before they show up, and despite past lessons learned, I will do what needs to be done and welcome my guests when they arrive!

At the end of the day I am thankful that Thomas took the time to seek out a farmer to learn more about beef production, and I am thankful that we were able to take the time to show him around.

 

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