Monday, January 28, 2013

Names Needed

So Facebook is on strike from letting me post any pictures! So there are going to be short posts on here, until I can figure out what the problem is! I was thinking it was just my slow internet, but a couple of other pages have been having the same problem as well! If you not already, please Like and follow us along on Facebook!
Admire's Girl.
It's registration time and I still have three little girls that need names. Will you help me out? We name our cows within the same family with the same first letter at least, but try to be close their Mother's name, without being so close it could be easily confused. So still looking for names are the babies from:
 So leave your suggestions! I don't have a picture of Rosalyn's daughter, so you'll just have to go by name!

Here's the rest of the names from this group that are getting registered. Kind of gives you a better idea of how the names work! 
Mama -- Baby


Monday, January 21, 2013

Jack Frost.......

Well I can't complain about our temperate winter weather in Oregon, especially when other parts of the country are experiencing -30 wind chill. (I have a hard time processing how cold that really is?!?) But we have had a couple weeks of freezing weather, with freezing fog that has made for some interesting frost!
Quite the winter wonderland, even without the snow! The trees just have an amazing coating of frost!

 It almost looks like we got pranked with silly string as all the spider webs and strings are coated in frost too!
Jack Frost has definitely been having a bit of fun!

Friday, January 18, 2013

January's Cow of the Month

So I thought it would be kind of fun to introduce you to some of the Ladies here on our farm with a focus on one of them as the Cow of the Month! So more then a little late, but here is Miss January!

For the first one I thought it was only appropriate that it be our oldest and highest producing cow.
January 2013 Cow of the Month
  Born May 23 1998 Abiqua Acres Goliath Velma (EX-90) is the oldest cow in our herd at 14 years young! She is also our highest producing with 210,922 milk, 10,800 fat and 7,178 protein. For you non-dairy people hitting the 100,000lbs of milk milestone is a great achievement, so for her to be over 200,000 in her lifetime so far is very exciting. These numbers land her a spots on the American Guernsey Association's top 10 living lifetime cows in the country for milk, fat and protein. That means of all the living Guernsey cows in the United States, Velma is among the top 10 highest producing currently! To put it into perspective she has made 24,525 gallons of milk! Velma is also the American Guernsey Associations highest living NM$ cow. 

Personality wise, Velma is the quintessential mellow Guernsey. She is very easy going, but in no way a push over. While she's not on the top of herd hierarchy, she definitely isn't on the bottom either. In the stanchions she is passive aggressive, if she wants something she's going to get it. Velma has just been one of those Ladies that is a complete pleasure to work with. She's not a problem causer in any way, although you do have to tell her when it's time to leave the parlor, she likes her grain! Always an easy milker, Velma is just what we would love to have in every cow!
   Velma is the first daughter of Abiqua Acres Nicks Vanilla (VG-87) who also put up a solid lifetime record with 102,939lbs of milk. Velma is currently in her 10th lactation and is still going strong. I would love to say she has been as prolific in the daughter department, but we have only gotten two, she has given us eight bulls! Neither of her daughter are still in the herd with us today. Her older daughter born in July of 2002 Abiqua Acres Lorrys Veda, was strong and high producing, but her line stops there with no daughters. Velma's second daughter in July of 2003 Abiqua Acres Lewis Velvet gave us 94,751lbs of milk in her lifetime and three daughters.  Her youngest Abiqua Acres Yogi Veronica is the only other relative of Velma in our herd today. We were trying to add to her offspring with flushing Velma, but the first try was unsuccessful. Maybe Velma's legacy will just have to live on through her sons. 
Abiqua Acres Banger Verdict
Two of Velma's sons were selected by A.I. studs to be sampled for young sire proving. (A bit of a complicated system, I promised to address this whole program for you non-dairy people in another post!) Abiqua Acres Banger Verdict 1GU435, was her first son selected. Long story short, Verdict did not graduate to the active list. But we still have several of his daughters in our herd, and actually currently have several new pregnancies that will give us calves later this year. Verdict's most notable daughter still in our herd is Abiqua Acres Verdict Beatrice. She finished her first lactation with 18,706m, 804f and 625p for a 21,029ecm. Unfortunately Beatrice hasn't give us a daughter yet! 
Abiqua Acres Verdict Beatrice-87
Abiqua Acres Alstar VIP 7GU450  is her second son that was chosen by Select Sires. A look at VIP's numbers, has us very excited about the future of this bull and his possible impact on the Guernsey breed! You can find him on the American Guernsey Associations herdlife boosters young sires and those predictions sure are exciting. He is outranked in Productive Life and Net Merit Dollars by only one young sire on that list, our own. But a NM$ 507 and PL 5.5 are in the same margins and completely impressive. But the number that has me most excited is Daughter Pregnancy Rate, an area the Guernsey breed really needs to focus on. VIP's DPR 2.7!! The next closest is Sergeant again, but his DPR is only 1.5. I hate to hold my breath and be too excited, but the Guernsey breed needs bulls like VIP. I am not just saying this because he's our own bull, I would be equally impressed in these numbers if he was owned by someone else. But what makes it exciting is that our entire herd's focus is represented in his numbers. Hard working, long lasting Ladies that breed back!
Abiqua Acres Alstar VIP
   Well this one was a little more in depth and more technical then I am thinking our usual Cow of the Month posts will be. But Velma deserves the long winded recognition! She truly is one of those once in a lifetime cows that will always be fondly a great part of our farm!
Velma (bottom right) makes sure Blaine Crosser from Select Sires knows who she is!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Double French Toast

French toast definitely isn't anything new, but after a dinner with friends the other nights I found myself with half a loaf of French Bread. I was running low on bread and wasn't feeling like baking this day, so I thought I would try out French Toast on French Bread.....Double French Toast!

I just used left over french bread.
Grabbed some eggs from the fridge. In case you need incentive to raise your own chickens, the egg on the left is from our chickens. And the one on the right is store bought. Notice the huge difference in yolk color?!?
Whipped together the usual french toast ingredients. I've always done the ratio of one egg per bread slice, 1 tbs of milk per egg and then pretty much as much cinnamon and sugar as you want!
Bast it on your bread just like usual. I found that my two eggs did 6 slices of french bread since they are a little smaller in circumference.
Cook! I did find they cooked a little faster, and I ended up with my toast a little browner then I like. But that could just have something to do with a busy toddler running around! ;-)
Ta-Da Double French Toast! Now you know what to do with that left over french bread! Although that usually isn't a problem in this house, I think I could live off of bread! Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Celebrating 60 Years part 4

Well I got a little more then a little bit behind with the Christmas Season and then a nasty cold in our family. So you may have noticed that parts 3 & 4 are back to back, hopefully you don't mind! So without further delay here is the last of our standout farm history from our 60 Years with Registered Guernseys Celebration. These were first posted on our facebook page, I hope you have liked us and are following along! Also make sure you didn't miss parts 1 through 3!

#46 Paul and Delores celebrated the official sale of Abiqua Acres to their youngest son Alan and his wife Barbara in 1985.
#47 The best farm dog ever, Tippy, joined our family on August 1st 1986!
#48 Back when cow picturing took an entire crew of people and pretty much a whole day to get that perfect shot! Thank goodness for digital! This picture from October of 1986 was of Naomi-VG88 taken for Select Sires Inc., as she was the daughter of the hot young sire that year Kenmir Nance's Baker. Naomi put up a decent 2-11 record of 17,412M, but the picture was the highlight of her career, didn't even get a daughter out of her!
#49 Alan and Barbara welcomed their second child to Abiqua Acres in 1987, a daughter, Darleen! <----That's me Your Farmer's Daughter! ;-) Now you all know how old I am! Haha

#50 Also in 1987 Alan and Barbara were recipients of the Outstanding Young Guernsey Farmer award, presented by the American Guernsey Association.
#51 Lots of construction around the farm in the late 80's and early 90's. In 1988 we finished the new heifer shed (pictured). And also converted an area into our "special care" pen, which has been a vital addition for our cow care!
#52 This construction also included remodeling the freestall barn to include loop stalls and "rubber mattresses" for the Ladies.
#53 Since 1981 Abiqua Acres has been distinguished for breeding over 25 Gold Star Cows and have been honored with Gold Star Breeder over 21 times.
#54 Seeing black and white on our farm became a thing of history when the last Holstein was finally sold in 1993. We are the only 100% Guernsey herd in Oregon and one of the few in the nation.
#55 As these breeding decisions that have yielded awards continue the Guernsey industry has started to take notice in recent years. This has resulted in 5 young sires entering AI sampling programs- Abiqua Acres Banger Martini, C Marksman, Banger Verdict, Grumpy Sergeant and Alstar VIP. The first bull to ever be sampled was born 8/8/88, Abiqua Acres Pender Milkman-Twin. His mother, the super sweet Mignon-EX90, is pictured here during classification in 1987. She completed a lifetime record of 143,684M 6,328F 4,977P and is fondly remembered.
#56 Born in 1998, Abiqua Acres Goliath Velma is the oldest cow in our herd, at 14 years young! Velma is the dam of Banger Verdict and Alstar VIP mentioned below. She is the number one NM$ Guernsey, holds the Oregon Guernsey Breeders Association Living Lifetime award for two years in a row, and holds places on the American Guernsey Association's Top 10 Living Lifetime list for milk, fat and protein. Velma has produced 210,922 milk, 10,800 fat and 7,178 protein and is still going strong!
#57 The 900-gallon tank that was installed in 1976 was large enough to hold an extra days worth of milk, three days total. In 2009 that milk tank had to be replaced as it was regularly running over with just two days milk. We are looking forward to the day when we have to replace the new 1,350-gallon tank due to the same number of good Guernsey cows filling it up!
 #58 In 2010 Abiqua Acres was featured in The Guernsey Breeders Journal. At the time of the article we had 11 Ladies in the herd that had surpassed the 100,000lbs mark! Together they produced 1,809,397lbs of milk! That's 210,395 gallons!! All bred by Abiqua Acres, Left to Right: Goliath Loralee: 126,465 Hotshot Miracle: 177,216 Showdown Happy: 138,394 Goliath Mari: 174,216 Lorry Lonna: 158,081 Lord Sprinkles: 167,775 Saber Bluebird: 161,930 Goliath Velma: 210,922 Rueben Monster:160,985 Lorry Speckles: 181,150 Liberty Meredith: 152,437
#59 2012 marked our 60 year anniversary with registered Guernseys, and what a huge year it was! As the Oregon Guernsey Breeders association hosted the 2012 National Guernsey Convention and one of the stops on the tours was Abiqua Acres. We opened our farm to more then 200 people from across the country for a tour and dinner. Truly memories to last a lifetime from that day!
And last but definitely not least we come to #60 Convention week concluded with Alan & Barbara Mann being awarded Master Breeder! This lifetime achievement award is the highest honor bestowed from the American Guernsey Association.