Yield: Long-awaited answers about Damphewmore Acres
April 14, 2017
Talk about a week of crummy weather! We've had it here in the Flint Hills. More than 5 inches of rain, temps in the 40s and 50s, cloudy and windy all the time. Where's that 90-degree day we had in February?
I don't know what this world is coming to. I read a story about PETA last week. That goofy animal rights organization is now claiming that pure, wholesome milk, is representative of, you'll never guess, white supremacy.
Yep, if you drink white milk, you're now a racist. PETA didn't say what you are if you drink flavored milk. Guess you'll have to decide that on your own.
“Q. Have you been raisin’ livestock very long? A. I never feed my livestock raisins.”
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The pesky chicken-killing coyote finally got me to say "uncle" after killing and packing off the sixth chicken from my little flock. So, I did what I should have done a long time ago. I raised the height of the fence around the chicken yard 2 feet so the hens and roosters can't fly over.
Not only that, the coyote always kills a chicken when I ain't at home. I think that's pure bad luck on my part and good luck on the coyote's part. Now I only let the hens out to free range when I'm outdoors and can keep a watch on them.
A kindly reader sent me an email with a lot of questions about my farming enterprise here at Damphewmore Acres. Here are some of the questions and my answers.
Q. Have you been raisin' livestock very long?
A. I never feed my livestock raisins. This is the High Plains, not California.
Q. What kind of corn and soybeans do you produce?
A. Mostly weedy and widely-spaced.
Q. What kind of hay do you produce?
A. Mostly moldy and leafless.
Q. Do you raise any organic commodities?
A. See the answer to the first question. This is Kansas, not Oregon.
Q. Have you suffered any losses because of bad weather?
A. Yep. I lost a good pair of gum boots and a good log chain in the mud and I lost a fine Stetson hat last summer in a dust devil.
Q. What forms of fertilizer do you use on your crops?
A. Silly question, but the cow manure is in the form of a patty and the horse manure is large brown pills.
Q. Do you use AI on your farm?
A. Which kind of AI do you mean? If it's artificial intelligence, the answer is no. If it's the kind of farm machinery I use, it's all antiquated implements.
Q. Do you use any risk management procedures on your farm?
A. Certainly, I have my yard dog run off all the black cats before they can cross my path.
Q. Have you made any genetic improvements to your livestock?
A. Certainly, after years of selective breeding, now more than 50 percent of my sows have multiple births.
Q. What labor-saving techniques do you use on your first-calf heifers?
A. I've found hiring a veterinarian to do C-sections saves the heifers a lot of labor.
Q. What management practices do you use on your calves?
A. Mostly I practice my rudimentary vet medicine skills on them.
Q. Do you use any "out-there" new technology on your beef herd?
A. Well, I developed Stealth Coveralls. The high-tech clothing makes it possible for me to sneak up on cattle in the pasture so I can doctor them before they know I'm anywhere near.
Q. I understand you have a poultry flock. Have you made any improvements in the genetics of your chicken flock?
A. Yes, I crossed a homing pigeon with meat-type chickens and call them Homing Chickens. It serves a real niche market for picky poultry eaters. The chickens deliver themselves live and fresh to the customer and have the bill attached to their leg.
Q. Do you have a satellite dish?
A. Nope, only a nice set of tupperware.
Q. Do you have heat pump in your home?
A. Nope, I'm still trying to afford a new water pump on my pickup truck.
Q. Do you have a smoke detector?
A. No, but I use a Gomer bull for a heat detector on my cows. Does that count?
Q. What do you use to build soil fertility on your farm?
A. That's an easy one. I only buy "mud-ball" feeder calves carrying at least 200 pounds of manure and mud attached to their hair and tails. When they shed off in the spring, all that new fertile soil from somewhere else is now on my farm.
Q. Have you ever participated in the government's CRP program?
A. I guess I'm dense. I didn't even know the government had a Cattlemen's Retirement Program. I'll sure enuf get in though, if President Trump doesn't kill the program first.
With that, I'll retire this column for the week. Hope you have a good 'un.❖