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new life on the farm

Posted 3/14/2018 12:46pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Even though we just got buried in snow, signs of Spring are around the farm. We have a new heifer calf born this morning at 2AM. Odelia gave birth to the calf inside the warm, dry barn. Once the calf is born we give it an oral vaccine and milk the cow. The colostrum provides the calf with a good dose of immune system booster. Every hour after birth the calf's intestinal wall closes more and the calf can absorb less of the colostrum. So getting the calf feed right away is vital. All the antibodies come through the colostrum. The cow get free choice electrolytes  to drink, good hay and her dish of grain. We want to see the cow up on her feet, eating and having passed the placenta soon after calving. If these things have not happened, there usually is a problem with the cow. We bring our close to calving cows and heifers inside into individual box stalls. The box is bedded with dry pine shavings. This is our 3rd heifer calf in a row. We have 3 more heifers due to calve next week including our Holstein. In the greenhouse heated with propane and the sun it is spring like. We have seeded onions, leeks, spinach, beets, celeriac, bok choi, lettuce, chard, kale and scallions. Most of these plants are just emerging from the soil. The greens will be transplanted in our unheated high tunnels in early April. We still have a few CSA shares available for this season.

On the cheese side of the farm we have sent our first batch of Gouda to be smoked at Grafton Village Cheese. We will have aged and baby smoked Gouda available at the farm stand and in stores by the end of next week.