Guy’s been working on the cattle lane, making it smoother and flatter for the cows to walk on. It’s just been completed with the help of an Ingersoll-Rand blacktop roller. “I wanted to show it to you before the cows stepped on it, because it’ll never be the same again.”
It’s a pleasant late-summer day in the Choinieres’ back yard. Foraging chickens keep Scout company as he wrestles with a stick twice as long as he is—“Whenever Scout gets excited, he goes and grabs the biggest stick he can grab.” Meanwhile, Guy reflects on the good growing season he’s had.
New Way of Spreading Manure
Matt explains that he and Guy have begun to inject manure into the field via a tractor with a tank, instead of laying it on top of the grass. “This is a more effective use of our manure, because not so much nitrogen is lost into the air.” It also doesn’t smell as much.
New Cattle Lane
The cows are walking on their newly resurfaced cattle lane, which is easier on their feet as they cover the long distance between pasture and barn. The lane passes under the local two-lane road and also crosses a river.
A New Calf is Born to Hershey
Minutes ago, Hershey gave birth to a new calf. She uses her tongue to clean the calf off and to stimulate her circulation. The calf tries to stand, but her legs are too wobbly yet.
Moms with Their Calves
Most of the cows are returning to the barn from pasture, but three who have just had calves are lingering in the field with their new babies. Guy lets them stay there; they need to eat extra grass to replenish their hormones and make enough milk to feed their calves.
Late September Day
The cows are out at pasture. Guy talks about how many calories they burn per day just by making milk, and how he keeps up with their nutritional needs.
Kittens Don't Mind the Heat
The barn kittens are feisty and playful, even on a muggy summer afternoon. The other animals, especially Scout the black Lab, aren’t quite as energetic.
Intro to Blue Top Farm
Matt visits neighboring Blue Top Farm, another organic farm, run by his cousins Luke and Lori Choiniere. Blue Top milks goats, and Matt shows us the goats at feeding time, just before they’re milked.
Hippo and Milk Fever
Hippo the cow is ready to have a calf…and milk fever. Guy explains that she needs calcium, which he gives her subcutaneously in liquid form to get her through calving.