FEEDING ICE

February 8, 2018

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Icicles of grass are hard to chew!

The cows were very restless yesterday morning, because the "break" of grass offered was encased in ice. They'd put their heads down to graze, extend the tongue to grab plants, and then quickly raise their heads in wonderment about the lousy meal before them. How were they supposed to eat something that is hard, cold, sharp, brittle, and tasteless?! They just stared at me, exclaiming I can do better. And they were right, on that morning, so the feed-man returned with tractor and hay.


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Logistics were difficult throughout the morning. Ice encased polywire, eliminating flow of electricity, which restrains livestock. The reel of polywire was frozen solid, so wire could not be rolled up and then rolled out to establish the next break. Rainwater and ice surrounded the water tub, temporarily limiting access to it. Ice covered windshields of the tractor, rendering challenge to visibility. It also encrusted the top half of hay bales, making it difficult to peel off netting encircling the bales. The gauge on the tractor, informing as to position of forks, was frozen in place. And the valve on the fuel-tank was encased in ice, preventing access to fuel for the tractor... But by moving slowly and methodically, most challenges were met. One never knows what adventure one will wake up to on the farm.

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Livestock with the best contingency plan for the ice storm were laying hens. Their environment was dry and warm, with soft bedding, and easy access to feed and water. How did they plan so well? Ruminants skating on ice were envious!

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Susan is becoming a maven of the meat smoker. Recent adventure entailed smoking pork chops. Like all smoking, the meat is brined first in secret brew, and then gently smoked at 225 degrees. Pork chops take an hour or so, and are fabulous, making for irresistible eating! They are her newest discovery. They can be eaten at room temperature or warmed in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. She will be smoking a batch of pork chops this weekend, so if you would like to reserve several, let us know. You won't be disappointed.Below is a recent Southern meal of: smoked pork chops, baked apples, succotash, and potatoes and chard. Great table-travel!

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We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at Hyde Park, without ice!

Drausin & Susan

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