Spring steers

rich/ April 30, 2007/ Beef, Farm photos/

It’s a beautiful time of year, and so of course posting on a blog is not the highest of priorities. But, occasionally, it comes together.

Here’s the steers a few weeks after we turned them out onto pasture. It’s amazing how much less they bawl for our attention now that they’ve got more grass than they can possibly eat.

A note on the picture…the brush piles behind the leftmost steer are remnants from our oak thinning project. Historically, during extended snow cover in the Willamette Valley, homesteaders would cut down a large oak. The thick cover of lichen and moss was a high protein treat for the hungry animals, to the point where the cattle would have to be restrained during the cutting process to keep from getting crushed by a falling tree.

Not exactly a sustainable way of managing the slow-growing oaks, but interesting nonetheless. I’m using that to feed our steers the lichen-y goodness before the piles become a fall bonfire.

Besides lichen-y goodness (I just like writing that), the farm has been ringing with the sound of birds; swallows nesting, thousands of geese flying overhead, and thieving ravens just now starting to be chased off by the nesting blackbirds. They were getting pretty efficient at eating all of our chicken’s eggs, which was getting pretty grim there for a while.