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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR DECEMBER

Fair and cool (1,2,3) turning windy and colder, lake-effect snow (4,5). Nor’easter, snow heavy in the northern part of the region (6,7,8,9)returning to fair and cold weather with periods of more lake-effect snow (10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17). Fair and cold (18,19) with more snow, some rain in the south (20,21); fair and cold again (22,23,24,25,26) with heavy snow (27,28) ending the month with fair but very cold temperatures 29,30,31). 

GARDENING ACTIVITIES

FOR DECEMBER 



A THOUGHT 
FOR TODAY'S LIVING 

     "The thought that goes into the giving 
       of a gift to a friend or loved one is so 
       much more important than the value 
       of the gift"                      
                        John Gruber (1768--1857)


DAIRY & LIVESTOCK

To shorten up a bit on cows and get a few more sheep, would make the farm work much lighter. Just as much money in it, too.

Reprinted from The Almanack of 1914

Beef calves born in January, February, and March are more desirable then those dropped later in the Spring. It is the early freshening cows that provide most milk for their young calves; and the latter have the necessary maturity to take advantage of pasture grazing. 

From The Almanack of 1964

CALF CARE

Calves should be kept on milk for 5-6 months and will require 10% of their body weight in milk per day.  (Example: a 100 lb. calf would need 10 lb. of milk per day; one lb. equals one pint, therefore the calf should be fed 10 pints of milk per day, split into 3-4 feedings per day.)  Always watch your calf for scouring (diarrhea).  If this occurs, decrease (but do not eliminate) the amount of milk and add electrolytes to their diet.   At three weeks of age, calves should begin eating calf starter grain and high quality hay.  If your calf is not interested in the grain, blend some into the milk to get him or her accustomed to the taste.  

The average lifespan for cattle is 18 to 22 years, though they can live in excess of 25 years. On the average, adult males (bull if un-castrated; steer if castrated) weigh between 1,200 and 1,800 pounds, and adult females (cows) weigh between 1,100 and 1,500 pounds.  The normal body temperature for cattle is between 101° and 102°F.

BASIC BARN SAFETY

Keep floors clean and dry to avoid slips and falls. Replace old and worn planks in the floor to prevent falls or breakthroughs. 

Stow away hay ropes and pitchforks to avoid accidental hangings and puncture wounds. 

Don’t leave baling twine, haywire and old fence wire hanging. 

Repair trap doors and railings. Keep all cleaning and veterinary supplies out of reach of animals and children.

Farrier costs for the average horse operation vary greatly but at a minimum include trimming the horse every eight weeks. Farrier practices may substitute shoeing the horse with resetting the shoes, which reduces the cost because new horseshoes are not used. Periodic trimming is much less costly than shoeing, and the need for shoeing verses trimming will depend on owner preference and the type and location of activity. 

Dipping a cow's teats immediately after milking is the most important single practice a dairy farmer can employ in preventing mastitis.