The steers have gone to a cool place. Any reader familiar with this blog knows what that means. It is the hardest day for this PFO. There is little hope this day will ever get easy. They have been processed and delivered to the buyers. Buyers who have an interest in the quality of food they eat. They know the farmer. They know the farm.
“Are they grass-fed only?” The most asked question heard from interested buyers. “No, they are not.”
What many folks do not realize is that cattle have a natural fear of man. Unlike dogs, cats, and other household pets, cattle have to be taught to feel comfortable around humans. The way this works for us is with feed. As I heard a cattleman say once, “Feed keeps the cattle humble.”
What does that mean? Here it means getting close to the cattle. This is of utmost importance to this PFO. They are visually checked daily for injuries, pests, and vital signs. Is their breathing normal, eyes bright, coat healthy looking and coming on nicely for cold weather? Do they have a good appetite? Are they interested in their surroundings?
When they are trained to come to the feed call and beating of the feed bucket, they are willing to hang around we humans. If these steers were totally grass fed, I suppose we would need re-training on how to properly care for them. Until our steers are comfortable with us, they spend all their time in the woods and graze at the farthest points in the pasture. They bolt away should we get too close.
After learning to come in when called for feeding time there is a peacefulness to the day here with all the animals. They will hang around with the horses and chickens and feel far more at ease. This is the goal for us. Is there a more bucolic scene than cattle resting in grass chewing their cud? Well, do not answer that. Suppose we are cattle folks at heart!
Training does not take too long. A couple weeks going out into the field to bring them in quickly gives way to them coming when they hear our voices calling.
Our goal here at the farm with our hand-raised steers is to give them plenty of fresh air, a place to run, and all the green grass they can eat, along with a little feed to keep them near us for the best of the best care for them. Right now, as I write this, the steers are out lying in the wet, wet grass peacefully chewing their cud…
Know the farmer. Know the farm.
Homemade is best.