CSI: Dairy Farm Investigation, we had a little bump in the road. After that post we had all of our forages tested. We test our silage, haylage, hay and straw about once a month to make sure that we know exactly how much protein, energy, minerals, and vitamins are in each. We build our diets around those forages, and supplement with grains to fill out the rest of our cows' nutrient needs. The tests came back in a couple of days and we learned that not only had our corn silage increased in energy, but our haylage was more digestible, and our alfalfa hay had more protein in it. All 3 factors caused our cows to get upset stomachs. Too many treats for them, and their diet was out of balance. So we fine tuned the diet once again, and after about 2 weeks on the new diets, we can say the the cows are back on track! They haven't gained back all of the milk they once had, but that's ok with us, their health is far more important! It's great to walk into the barn in the morning and see them all chewing their cuds so diligently! (we know we made the right choices then!)
Other than working with the new feed changes, we have also been busy welcoming a number of new calves to the farm. Be sure to stop by our Facebook Page to see new pictures of our new baby calves! The mother cows are doing great, and the baby calves are thriving. I checked the calving list tonight, and we have 14 more to be born this month, including 2 sets of possible twins!! I can't wait to meet them all!
Minnesota's Winter Weather has also been a challenge for us. We have been constantly bedding in our cows....to keep them warm and insulated from the cold. We have also been working move and remove as much snow as we can, since it snows here almost twice a week. Needless to say, we are experiencing a traditional Minnesota Winter, and all the joys it brings with. The forecast for the coming week doesn't sound too much more promising, but we can look forward to March....and thawing!