- Van Wert
Diary of Rita Beiser- Week 3 - November 14-20
Sunday- November 14
I went to church this morning. Andy and the boys fed the cattle and the pigs. They also checked the sows and baby pigs, processed baby pigs and bred sows. I fixed them a quick noon meal. We call it dinner here. After we ate, Doug and Andy finished the cattle waterers and David and Dan worked in the shop. We do all our own repairs and maintenance on our equipment, so there is always something to work on. They had to load soybeans on a trailer for someone to haul early tomorrow morning. Evening chores were done. We then hosted my Grandma’s 98th birthday dinner party. We had about 30 family members here to honor this special lady.
Monday- November 15
David left early with the load of beans. We have six more loads to go by Wednesday. We are hauling them to Cargill down on the Ohio River. Cargill is loading a barge on the river. These beans will be exported to another country. Doug left to go to a cattle sale in Hillsboro. Everyone else did the morning feeding, checked sows and baby pigs. We bred the sows. We had to check feed bins to see what feed needed to be ground. We grind 30 - 40 tons of feed a week for all the animals we own. Andy loaded and hauled another load of soybeans. Doug bought 100 head of calves. He brought a load home and hired three other guys to bring the rest home. I worked on data entry for the sow farrowing cards and breeding dates. David and Dan worked in the shop. We worked on getting everything fed and checked for the night. Time to fix supper for family and get everybody fed here.
Tuesday- November 16
Andy hauled two loads of beans this morning. We all took care of the cattle and the sows and baby pigs. Rained finally today. Finally it rained more that just a few drops. We really need it. I heard we are 9 inches behind on rainfall for the year. Andy and Doug vaccinated the new calves we bought yesterday. I went to my Soil and Water board meeting this afternoon. After my meeting I came home and worked on paying bills. I need to work on this at least once a week. Sometimes it is hard to get it all done. We keep all checkbooks on the computer. The computer software we have helps us keep track of all our costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, chemicals, etc. They loaded and hauled another load of soybeans. Boys worked in the shop and then we had to get the evening chores done.
Wednesday- November 17
They left early with last two loads of beans. The rest of the family fed and checked everything. Our vet came to castrate pigs. We then processed baby pigs and bred sows. After I fixed dinner, we had to move sows in the gestation barn. Usually on Wednesday we need to move some sows so we have pens ready to bring sows into on Thursday after they are weaned. David washed out the semi livestock trailer we haul the weaned pigs in. We use the pressure washer to clean the trailer out and then scatter wood shavings in the trailer for the pigs to lay on while they are riding. We keep this trailer very clean. We put fresh corn stalks in for the cattle. This is what they sleep on. In the fall after we shell the corn with the combine, we chop the stalks with a bush hog and rake them in rows and then bale them into big square bales. The stalks keep the calves dry, clean and comfortable. It is then time to feed and check everything for the evening.
Thursday- November 18
We all worked on feeding this morning. I had to fix dinner to take up to the sow farm. I usually do this on Thursday. I either cook in the crock pot or fix something that can be reheated in the microwave. Today it was hamburgers and macaroni and cheese and a salad. This way they can eat when ever they are between jobs. Andy, David, Dan and Julie started weaning pigs. Doug and Lindsay processed baby pigs and bred the sows. I checked the sows and new baby pigs and scraped and limed farrowing pens. By the time I got everything checked, they had our weaned pigs ready to go. Andy and I left with the truck and trailer to deliver them. They moved sows from farrowing rooms to the gestation barn. And then worked on cleaning the farrowing rooms for the next group of sows that are due. The boys and Andy met with their agronomist. He helps them to decide which seed and chemicals to use for weed control and also they go over their soil maps to get the fertility correct in each field. Every field is soil sampled and then this information is put on a soil map for them to review. I worked on more computer work. They fed and checked everything for the night.
Friday- November 19
We did the morning feeding and then checked the sows and pigs. The pigs were processed and sows bred. We penned up sows that are due to farrow for the week in the clean farrowing rooms and had to take more weaned sows out of the next farrowing room to the gestation barn so we can clean that room next. We washed the farrowing room and the smaller livestock trailer also. We need to clean this trailer so we can haul our replacement females from our sow farm to our home place. The little females, called gilts, are weaned and started in a nursery at the sow farm and then we take them to a grower barn at home that has been washed and cleaned for them. Here they will grow until they are old enough to breed, about 7 months old, and then we will take them back to the sow farm and breed them and add them to the sow herd. I worked on more data entry for the sows and then it was time to get the evening chores done.
Saturday- November 20
We fed and took care of the cattle and sows and pigs for the morning. I worked in the house getting ready for our Thanksgiving tomorrow. The boys penned up sows that are due to farrow. After we ate, Doug hauled cattle manure and put fresh corn stalks in their pens. David and Dan worked in the shop and Andy went back to the sow farm to check the sows that are having pigs and to vaccinate sows. There is always something to take care of at the sow farm. We spend a lot of time taking care of the sows and baby pigs to make sure everything is ok. We all fed and checked all the animals for the evening. And then it was time to fix supper for us.