Newsletter #10 - Lifestyle - Yes or No? Weaning Time!

                                                      June/July Newsletter
 
                                   Lifestyle - Yes or No?   Weaning Time!
LIFESTYLE?? – YES OR NO
John Denver wrote the classic song “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” and referred to life on the farm as being “kinda laid back”. We regularly joke that we would love to find a farm where this is the case!
 
Where is the kinda laid back farm these days?
We can assure you that agriculture and life on the land is not quite as easy as this for country boys or girls! As the years have passed, just like in all industries, we are aiming to improve productivity and do the best we can do for our animals. Science and technology has played a large role in this. We hope that the olden day stereotypical image of “the farmer” has changed and the image of a farmer now is many and varied. We also hope that through our newsletters and social media that we are helping to build our city country connections by explaining why, those who choose to work on the land, do what they do.
 
Agriculture is 7 days a week and potentially 24 hours a day. From negative temperatures with frost on the ground in winter, (like this morning) to extremely hot temperatures (mid 40’s) in summer. The job of growing and providing food does not “take time off”.
 
This crisp Sunday morning, 3 of us have headed out to work. 1 to load a B Double (that is a truck with 2 trailers)  to send fat cattle ready for the supermarket shelves this week, and the other 2 have headed to the feedlots to check the animals, sweep feed bunks, mix the ration of food for the day, feed this out into the bunks, clean their water troughs and hope they don’t find a problem along the way. Eg. Busted water pipe, flat battery (the girls need to hook tractors up to battery charges in the cold each day), flat tyre, a sick animal and the list can go on! All going to plan they hope to be back by lunch! (or a bit earlier if they are lucky!)
 
The word “lifestyle” also gets used to define those who live on the land. That we have a great “lifestyle”. Our lifestyle can most certainly be challenging. It is very rare that all things are as they should be, from drought to flooding rains, mouse plagues (which we are still battling with and are wondering if they will ever will vanish again) other pests, fires and the list goes on.
 
But what we do have is wide open spaces! We also have the most incredible community who support each other through thick and thin. We value family and friends above all else. We breath fresh air and we have the ability to work long hard days and still see reward at the end of most of them!
 
When all is said and done, we do have a very different lifestyle to that of living in the city.

As challenging as it can be, all we need is our family, wide open spaces and our strong community to keep supporting each other. 
 
So yes, after living in the city for 5 years through high school, the girls will say,” Thank God I’m a Country Girl” and yes, we do love living the lifestyle we live. We don’t want to live anywhere else!
 
 
WEANING – What is it?
This week half of the crew are headed to our property "Bellevue" at Yaraka to pull the calves off the cows and truck them back to Bombine to be weaned. It will be a big week ahead but a week with reward as we get to bring 2021 progeny home!

So what is weaning? Weaning is when you take the calf away from the cow (Mum) so she can ‘have some time to herself’, build her strength and build some fat stores before she has another calf. The weaners are fed a high protein ration to supplement the grass, as they transition to learn to look after themselves. This ensures their gut maintains good gut health and they continue to grow.
If you unsure of the terms we use to describe different cattle this may help!
Cow – A cow is a mature female bovine that has had at least one calf.
 Bull -A Bull is a mature male bovine that is at least 2 years old used for breeding purposes. Bulls are usually not used for meat. Bulls are not castrated because they have desired traits that producers want to use for breeding.
Calf – A baby that has been born from a cow and are both male and female.
Weaner – A calf that has been taken off the cow.
Heifer – Heifers are young female cattle that have not yet borne calves. Heifers can be used for breeding, and they can also be raised for meat.
Steer – A steer is a castrated male bovine. A steer is raised for meat.
 
Once a year, we put the bulls in with the cows for approx. 3 months. There is a ratio of bulls to cows as we need to ensure we have enough bulls to cover the cow herd.  By managing our bulls, we manage the timing of the calving process. This allows us to then wean all calves at the same time, manage the heath of the cows and monitor our grazing management. When the calves are taken off the cow to be weaned, we also preg test again to see if the cow is back in calf. If a cow is not back in calf, she is removed from the mob, fattened (if not already fat) and sold to the market. She is replaced with a PTIC (preg tested in calf) cow which we purchase. The aim of this is to ensure that at all times our herd is producing.
 
The preg testing is done by the girls with an ultrasound machine, by inserting a probe, the uterus of the cow can be seen on a monitor and it can be identified if there is a calf or not. Whilst working the cattle we keep animal welfare as our number one priority because if we don’t have happy healthy cows, we cannot provide food to the consumers. We need to manage our food chain.

AUGUST DELIVERY - ORDER TODAY TO HELP US PLAN AHEAD!

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, we have cut back our deliveries to be every 2nd month due to managing the logistics of a family operated enterprise!

We really need these orders in early as we truck for processing on August the 2nd. We only process for orders, so we have 30 days to go!

The box contents have changed slightly to have 3 mince and 3 sausages (2 beef and 1 gourmet). 
 
"Add ons" are still available, however these do sell quickly! The more boxes that are ordered, the more add ons we can have! If you would like an "add on" product and it is not available on the web page, please just put this in the notes of your order and we will back order if we process extras.
 
DELIVERY LOCATION EXTENDED!! $20/order! 
We have been talking to a new cool logistics carrier who is able to offer us a larger delivery location. In addition to Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, we can now make it to most REGIONAL AREAS in QLD, NSW and VICTORIA. If you think you might like to place an order, please do so by our web page and then we will confirm this with the company and then get back to you!. 

Our next delivery will be August 13th-16th and the following delivery will be October 15th-17th.

Please order today at:
https://fourdaughters.com.au/collections/all/products/150-day-premium-black-angus-beef-box-august-13th-14th-15th-delivery

We hope that you enjoyed another month of news from the farm, and our family.
DONATIONS
During our June delivery we again had a wonderful customer, Mr Peter Shadforth, who made his second donation of beef to Urban Angels at Nambour. We threw in another 10kg of sausages to help bolster their meal output and feed their volunteers.
 
We continue to support Base Services in Toowoomba with another 10kg of sausages. We hope this goes a little way to help those in need, especially during this cold weather.

Our new donations have also gone to The Yaraka Gymkhana Committee, The Yaraka Progress Association and the Dalby Wheatmen Rugby Union Football Club.

The Yaraka Community is another example of bush communities working together to support each other. Yaraka is an incredible part of the world where the Yang Yang Ranges dot the wide open spaces. We value the Yaraka community greatly and are happy to support whenever we can. The local community is getting together to host a horse and motorbike gymkhana and the following week they are catering for The Road Boss Car Rally. We are proud that Four Daughters can play a little part in this.

Molly also plays Rugby 7's for the Dalby Wheat Chix. Sport is also integral to bush communities and spirit! Rugby provides a great escape from daily farm life and allows for a bit energy to be taken out on the field!
 
We hope by sharing our beef with other groups, they will share what we do and help us build city country connections.
If you know an organisation who would be interested in receiving 10kg of black angus sausages and are happy to help promote our facebook page and newsletters to help us build our city country connections, please email us on:
info@fourdaughters.com.au
 
THANKYOU
Thank you for all of your support throughout the year. By purchasing a Pink Beef Box you are supporting the next generation of food producers and helping us keep on sharing the story of food production in Queensland!

We also understand our offering is limited and doesn't suit everyone as we need to process all cuts to remain sustainable so have to offer a 'bulk' box. That is okay! Please just keep reading our news and sharing why we do what we do with others! We are passionate about building city country connections. 
 
Happy weekend to all.
Keep safe & well,
The Penfold Family
Dan, Karen, Bonnie, Molly, Jemima and Matilda
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