Mary & Nick Dengler- Walnut Creek Farms

Diary of Mary Dengler – Week 1 – Feb 1-Feb 6, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First day of my diary – started raining @ 4:30 a.m. – turned into ice by 7 a.m.Nicholas and Jake worked on well pump most of the day to be able to water cattle at the farm in Preble County.  Penned cattle up around barns at the 3 different pastures so they wouldn’t want to go drink @ the creek – We’ve lost cattle before slipping on the ice, so preventive measures. Had to buy 2 new water tanks.  The guys filled the tanks & plugged in heaters to keep from freezing. Alot of extra work to keep cattle safe. Nicholas and Austin delivered horse farm in Woodsdale 25 bales of hay.  They were out down there, so a late job. Nick fed silage to home herd and more round bales. This ice isn’t the most pleasant of working conditions.  Takes twice as long to do the outside work.  So much doesn’t get done in the shop. Austin, the high school boy, tore down a motor inside a building.  We take the different parts, clean and store on shelving for resale. UPS didn’t run due to the weather.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today is Groundhogs Day – wonder what prediction is in store for us.  Last night we had another major ice storm.  In the middle of the night you could hear limbs cracking and ice hitting the windows.  Trees bearing alot of weight.  We retained power.  The farms in Preble County w/DP&L not so lucky.  They were without power more than 24 hours.  Lines broken along the roads.  Thankfully, the water tanks were filled yesterday, so the cattle okay until tomorrow.  Hopefully the tanks didn’t freeze. A new generator is on order to pick up tomorrow at Grainger – getting the Farm Bureau 10% discount too!!Cattle were fed round bales & silage.  Nicholas & Austin went to the farm where we rent pasture and fed those cows round bales.  They checked heifers at the barn.  A-OK. Nicholas did have a pleasant surprise this morning.  One of our Simmental cross heifers had a calf.  She did have it in the barn and is a good mom.  They are doing well.  Have an orphan calf in a pen that’s eating well.  She drinks a gallon of milk replaced out of a bucket.  Also, gets feed and hay.  We don’t usually have calves in the winter. We pen up our bulls in January and turn back out with the herds the first part of July.  This insures we don’t have newborns in the middle of the winter out on pasture. The cattle do have shelter but have free range of pasture.  We bed them in the barns with straw. Nicholas worked on an engine in the shop to sell to a customer.  Talked to a customer in Missouri who had 18″ of snow and more on the way.  Another parts yard in South Dakota had 3 1/2′ on the ground – no getting parts out of that place until spring thaw. No UPS again today. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Ground hog predicted only 6 more weeks of winter – Let’s see if he’s right. Nick went to Grainger to pick up the generator.  Still no power @ farms in Preble County so will pump water to the cattle using the new generator. Preble County back roads still a mess.  Nicholas wearing ice cletes over his boots – a must in this ice.  New calf and mama doing great.  She’s a good mother for being the first time.  Austin went over to water cattle at Mill Rd farm and bed down w/straw. Trying to do some catching up.  Parts hard to get off w/ice covering.  Alot of them are stored on shelves inside a large pole barn.  Nicholas working in the shop on a motor for a customer.  Electric came back on in Preble County so that makes it easier there. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today is bright and sunny.  very cold – we had 9%.  It has warmed up some and there is ice and snow sliding off roofs.Nicholas and Austin are working on the well pump again at the Preble County farm.  It still isn’t pumping right. Nicholas welded some rims this morning for a couple of customers to pick up.  Fed round bales and silage to main herd at home farm.  Quiet today.  Much of the country is either in ice or snow, so everyone is busy taking care of their own today.  Nicholas turned their herd out from the pen to be able to go to the creek.  This way we have one less tank to worry about filling.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Started snowing this morning.  Austin bringing silage wagon home from the rental farm in Preble County to fill later on. The heifers that are penned up in another place in Preble County are cared for by the man that lives in the house there. He feeds them rounds bales, feed, and shovels silage to them. He also keeps their water tank filled.  Nicholas stayed in this morning. Not feeling well.  Cold and achy.  Nick and Austin took the silage wagon to the rental farm.  The cows really dug in.  They also gave them round bales.  That farm has automatic waterers in the barn that really makes it easier.  I watered the cattle here at home and fed the calf and cows in pens.  The BC Cattlemen’s dinner/meeting was great.  Food was delicious – beef of course!  The speaker was from Cargill Nutrition and very informative. Talked on needing to supplement the grass fed cattle to help with weight gain and general nutrition not ony for the cow nursing the calf but the calf to have a good gain for when weaned.  They also require more grass and hay to keep and continue with the weight. This winter has been especially hard.  Let’s go back to the summer of 2010.  There were several fields we normally get 2 if not 3 cuttings of hay off of. We only got 1 cutting.  The large fields we bale, we did get 2 cuttings.  Rounds baled the majority so we would have plenty to feed our cattle.  Did not have near as many square bales so we have had to turn people away needing hay.  We started feeding hay in late summer due to the drought and the pasture not growing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nicholas is sick today.  I went over to Mill Rd. farm and filled the water tank.  Made note they had plenty of hay and silage.  This is why we put out several round bales at a time to last several days. I fed and watered here at home.  The new calf is even starting to eat feed. Did get to grocery to get us through the next round of snow.  Fixed a roast from the beef we got from Jim Jordan last fall.  Yummy.  Nothing like good beef in your own freezer.  We don’t butcher our own.  We send all of our calves to market.  We save back the heifers for replacement. I think everyone is getting tired of this winter.  Every week we’ve had a major snow or ice storm come through.  We sure will be glad to see some grass and sunshine!   

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