Saturday, December 4, 2010

A trip to the feed mill

Good Saturday all!! Come on in and grab a cup.

Seems those of us who have critters know all too well how often we head out to our local feed mill to buy chow for our farmyard buddies. Today was our day to pick up our goat chow, as I had called yesterday to place the order. We have out goat grain made to our specifications from a recipe given to me by a dear friend, and rabid goat raiser, the same lady that runs 200 head of dairy goats. I`ve been using this recipe for years now and am very pleased with the results.

We`ve found that with so many goats buying in bulk is cheaper than buying nationally made brands in fifty pound bags.

Also, my recipe is made for goats in our county, and you`ll see that some of the additives reflect that.

This is the recipe that I use for our dairy goats. In spring when the kids arrive I do add a coccidiostat to the ration.

Steam Flaked Corn
Roasted Barley
Whole Roasted Soy
Ground Lime
Integral (Mycotoxin binder)
STD Trace Minerals in a pre-mix
Vitamin A, D & E

After getting a few loads of wood hauled in for the next week Mister and I set off on this cold winter day. We`re very lucky that our feed mill is within ten minutes of our farmstead, makes getting there this time of year FAR less precarious!

When we arrive our order is ready and Mister helps load the half ton of feed into the back of our truck.

We also had to have some chicken mash so add another two hundred pounds of that and a bag of loose goat minerals. I don`t use mineral blocks. Experience with my goats has shown me that they don`t eat the blocks well, especially if they get dirty. Loose minerals in a wall feeder along with another feeder of baking soda they adore! We offer mineral and baking soda free choice year round. We usually buy SweetLix 16:8 Meat Maker although we don`t raise meat goats. Our goats prefer this brand and as we know what the goats like the goats get!

Once we get everything situated then we trundle back home to unload. It reminds me of grocery shopping and in a way it is! Only it’s the goats and poultry getting the goodies this time!

We put the chicken feed in a large plastic barrel with a tight lid to prevent the mice from getting into it. The mineral is dumped into a large bucket, also lidded, and taken down to the goat barn. Now the thousand pounds of grain has to be carried into the shed. We`ve yet to find something large enough to hold a half ton of grain so we store it in our shed to keep it as dry as we can. We seem to purchase grain every other month but of course that can vary. When the kids begin eating grain we run through more of course. Then when the kids are sold or slaughtered the feed consumption drops down. When we start milking we use more grain also since the milking does get extra rations.

After that busy morning Mister gave his lower lumbar a small rest. Toting hundred pound bags of grain can give a man a spasm! I do help as much as I can by tipping the bags down so he can grab them easier and by supplying a steady stream of witty banter and constructive comments. You know…I think he even commented on my comments as we were unloading.

Is a pain in the back the same thing as a pain in the----Oh that man!!!!!


Sharon said...

Wow, that's a whole lot of food stuffs for your critters! I'll bet they appreciate it too! I really like your picture of the snow and the one with all the goats, they are so pretty!

Now... time to relax and give that working man a back rub! Eh?

Feral Female said...

Thanks Sharon. The snow and the goaties are pretty aren`t they?

Hmmm, maybe. I rub his back and he rubs mine ey?? *Winks naughtily*

~Tonia said...

If I had a way to haul grain that much at a time I would sure do it! I have big white heavy plastic barrels that we cut the tops off of and they hold 300lbs of feed. While the lid is not tight fitting a friend of mine come across some that do have tight fitting lids. I think she got them from a army surplus..

houndstooth said...

I remember our trips to the grain elevator to pick up grain. There was a man who often showed up while we were there with his draft horses hooked up to a wagon and he'd carry the feed off in it. My sister and I were always fascinated by this, but we were glad to be riding in the pick up truck when the weather got cold!

Brenda said...

Your snow photo is beautiful ... but chilly looking! I can relate to the trips to the feed mill. I get mine custom mixed too. They bag it in 50 pound bags for me though. I sure would have a hard time unloading 100 pound bags!! I order 2,400 pounds every 2 weeks... and pick up half of it each week. I store it in the big plastic 55 gallon barrels with lids I got from The lids fit nice and keep moisture and mice out (as well as the chickens). Goats sure will keep you busy ... but they're totally worth it!

Michele Stefanides said...

This fascinates me!! It is wonderful for a city girl to learn how the farmers make our food and their own. I wish everyone would read this blog and others like it to appreciate how much we owe farmers for the food we take for granted. Thank you all so much!

Leigh said...

I dont know what it is about the feed mill but I love going! I love the smells of grain. How are your goats dealing with the snow? We had a few flurries and Jasmine has cried all afternoon!

Willard said...

Again your writing brings back memories of growing up on the farm.

Feral Female said...

Leigh the goats are not seen much this time of year. They peek around the barn doors and that`s about it. They do not like snow at all!

Houndy that is a very cool memory!