On the farm with Anna Evenson

In last week’s paper, I talked about my unexpected jump into being a farm nanny due to COVID19 and I would like to share what is happening on the farm when I am not nannying. I feel lucky to be outside and working on the farm during this time. Springtime is a busy time on a farm so there is plenty for me and my family to be doing.
This week, my younger brother, Victor, has been busy helping our uncle get the planting equipment cleaned up and ready to go into the fields in the next couple of weeks. We plant corn and soybeans every year. My Grandpa, Jerry Evenson has been disking up the fields so that my uncle can go and plant the seeds.
Not only does my family grow crops, we also raise steers. Our family’s farm used to be a dairy farm until my great grandparents retired in the 80s and my grandparents chose to start raising steers instead.
We do not have your “normal” steers that you think about like Black Angus or Herefords. We raise dairy bull calves that we purchase from dairy farmers in our area. Dairy farmers do not usually want to keep their bull calves because they want to focus on milk production or do not have the room to keep them so they sell their bull calves to us when they are a few days old and we castrate them and raise them as steers.
We mainly have Holsteins, but we also have a few Jersey steers. We have about 100 head on our farm at a time. We manage three different farms all on the same road. And each farm has steers of different ages and sizes.
Springtime on the farm means lots of new baby animals are born and this year it especially true here on the Evenson Farm. I purchased 60 baby chicks this week that I will raise up to be processed and sold to neighbors and locals in our area. Our chicks arrived through the mail and we had to pick them up at the post office in town. I think that the employees at the post office were very grateful to have us come and get them so that they didn’t have to listen to their constant “peep peep” sound.
To prepare for the chicks, we had to replace all the fencing on our chicken coop and clean it out from last year’s chickens. It was so much fun taking the little chicks out of their box and placing them into their new home. They are growing so quickly in only a few days and already have some little white feathers coming in and replacing their yellow fluff!
Victor and I also have a few small animal projects that we have been working on. We purchased three piglets in March. Victor’s pigs’ names are Miss Sassy and Bobby and he will be showing them this summer at the Jefferson County fair and my pig’s name is Wilbur and I will be just raising him for meat to sell in the fall. The piggy’s favorite treats are marshmallows and bananas. Wilbur is especially good at finding the marshmallows when I hide them in his feed pan.
We also own three goats, Minnie, Hope, and Lena. Hope is pregnant and due to have her babies any day now, so we have been busy preparing the barn for her and her babies. We are guessing that she is having twins because of how large her belly is. Did you know that it is more common for a goat to have twins and sometimes triplets than it is to have just one single kid?
I also started a new animal project this spring and am raising laying hens. I purchased a chicken coop in March and after repainting the coop red to match the rest of the farm buildings, I brought home six Wyandotte hens to lay eggs for my family. The hen’s names are Winnie, Winona, Wilma, Willa, Wendy, and Waverly. They settled into their new home very quickly and we have been having fresh eggs almost every morning for breakfast.
Everyone loves having the hens on the farm except for the goats. The chicken coop is in the goats’ pen and occasionally the goats will get curious and sniff around the chicken coop fence. Poor Hope, Minnie, and Lena have all been pecked at a couple of times by an unfriendly hen who does not appreciate the goats getting near her fence.
Springtime on the farm is an extremely busy time of the year so every week I will share with you all what we have going on and keeping you up to date with all the activities of the farm. And I will try to share more cute baby animal pictures because I know that is really why you’re reading this story.

Wilbur and I the day we brought him home.