Cutting The Alfalfa.....

April 28, 2012

Out of pure necessity....we became "farmer's of alfalfa...." pure necessity!
It started when The Boy announced that he "needed" a horse...and then it became two...
and then another came along...who when we purchased her...was already pregnant...
which came as a great surprise...
And when The Farmer thought it would be fun to own a Longhorn cow...which became two...and
again another great surprise....little Chencho was born...and now that make three!
(This morning we noticed that Carne looks a little like she might be expecting again...who knows!)
The Farmer resisted the animals a first...he said that they would be very expensive to feed.
I said..."how much could a bail of hay really cost...???"
and he said...."if it were one bail of hay there wouldn't be any problem!!"
So here is a small calculation just for fun!  If we were to feed the horses and cows just
with hay, it would require 4-5 bails a day.  Currently hay is $100 pesos per bail, today that
would be $8.00 dollars per bail.  So to feed the beloved animals, it would be $40 dollars per day.
Now, if that was all they ate year would coast $14,600 dollars to keep them
fat and happy!  Holy Cow!!  That is alot of money!!
And...because they are pets...we don't see any return on our investment....any time soon...
actually EVER.  I asked The Farmer one day about two of the horses that are getting older,
they don't enjoy being ridden too much, they are kind of grouchy...and one has some health
problems that require the Vet. checks on him semi-regularly....
"so what do we do with them now....??"  I asked The Farmer....
and he said "you keep feeding them and caring for them until they die...and that
could be quite a while."  And truly, it is fine with me...I actually like those animals;) back to the feeding plan....
Before we began growing the alfalfa, we decided to plant two pastures, two so that we could rotate
the animals from one to the other, during watering.  It also gives the pasture to grow back once
it has been eaten down.  Planting the pastures required a special seed mix, so that the animals
would have good nutrition, so I headed to El Paso and loaded the back of my car with special seed
to plant a great pasture.  The seed is good for 5 years and then you need to re-plant again...and
so this year it was time to replant!  Thank goodness for the pasture!
Somewhere, along the way, The Farmer decided that we should plant alfalfa, so that during the
Winter months, we wouldn't have to buy feed.  Growing alfalfa, means that you also need special
equipment to harvest it when it is time.  You need tractors...(we already had those)....we need a
planter...(we had that too) need a special rake...(we didn't have that, but soon acquired one)...and you will need a bailer,
 (again, we didn't have one, but now we do!) 
Now we are set!
The first cutting took place about a week ago.  I happened to be with The Farmer when he
 decided to stop by the Solecito
 to see how the cutting was going.  I can't say that I have taken
the time to watch the process of cutting, raking and bailing the alfalfa until that day.
It was fun to watch and alot of fun to photograph.  The men who were working, seemed
to like having their pictures taken too;)
There will be 4-5 more cuttings that will happen during the next several months....and
then we will be all loaded up with feed for Winter!
So out of pure necessity, we are Alfalfa Farmers....and I am sure glad we are!

1 comment :

Pedaling said...

As a child I always wanted a horse...thanks for reminding me that I really don't.

but, really- I do love looking in on your awesome life and adventures...

who would've thought?

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