City Family Moved to Swannanoa

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11 years 11 months ago #23684 by Hamdon
:D
Hello out there! We have just moved out of the city to a 10 acre block in Swannanoa (not far from Rangiora). We are still in the process of deciding what to do with our land, any suggestions welcome! We have recently placed an order for 4 beautiful jersey calves which we are very excited about! Our farm family begins..... :D

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11 years 11 months ago #337078 by The Kats Place
Hello and welcome. I'm sure you will love it out there. I'm in the North Island but have a daughter in Rangiora (also on 10 acre block) and parents still live in in Oxford where I was raised. I know the area and I'm sure you will love it there.

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

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11 years 11 months ago #337084 by Shropshire Blue
Welcome along, there's a few of us in the locality :)

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11 years 11 months ago #337085 by Pumpkingirl
Congrats on the move, I love the name of your new "town", it's so pretty.

Whatever you do animal wise, just go slowly, if you get excited about having a particular animal, just slow down, do your research and most importantly, make sure your fencing is the best it can be for that particular breed. Do that and you can't go wrong!

Have fun :D

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11 years 11 months ago #337100 by kate
Replied by kate on topic City Family Moved to Swannanoa
Hi Hamdon and welcome to lsb :D

I hope you enjoy rural life as much as we do...

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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11 years 11 months ago #337107 by Hawkspur
Just found a bit of trivia on the name Swannanoa, it is anglicised Cherokee:
It comes from a river and mountains in Pennsylvania, from where the settler John Evans Brown came.

"The Cherokee name for the route from the mountains to the Cheraw country was Suwa’li-nunnohi [Suwali path Suwali were the people of the area]. In English pronunciation, that became Swannanoa and was applied to the river and the mountains just east of Asheville"

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11 years 11 months ago #337109 by feedqueen
Hi Hamdon, glad you could make it. :) See you when the babies arrive! There heaps of info on here for your calf rearing venture , and as mentioned you can come to me and practise Cheers, Lyn

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11 years 11 months ago #337210 by Hamdon
Hi again, thanks very much for the lovely welcome and keep the advise flowing, always gratefully received. Swannanoa is a lovely place to wake up every morning, even the last week of frosty mornings hasn't managed to put us off. I look forward to picking all of your expert brains.

We have 4 kids, Samuel (12), Jessica (10), Dannii (7) & Marshall (5) who are all starting at Swannanoa School on Monday.

The only animals we have so far are our city ones, 2 dogs - Macca & Nugget and the lazy, constantly hungry cat Eddy!

We already love country living...yaye! :D

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11 years 11 months ago #337317 by LongRidge
Welcome....
Now the bad news .... unless you have a buyer for the 4 heifer calves already sorted out, and have a cheap supply of milk, then expect to lose money on them. Raising the calf will cost about $200, by which time it will be worth $150 unless you have all it's pedigree and registration papers.
Jersey bull calves are good for nothing, and Jersey bulls are notes for their aggresiveness, so don't let the children handle them or go into the paddock with them when they get older.

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11 years 11 months ago #337349 by Ronney
Good heavens LR, you are full of doom and gloom. Let them rear their little Jerseys, more important at this stage that they do it right than worry about the monetary gain (or loss) they will suffer. In fact, I would think Jersey calves are a good way to start as they are small and easy to handle, and a good introduction for children.

Yes, Jersey bulls are reknowned for being the worst of all breeds but whose to say they will be bull calves, heifer calves or that they won't be steered? And a steered Jersey bull calf is not fit for nothing, they make for very good meat and I deliberately keep Jersey calves for my own table.

Hamdon, welcome to the site :) and enjoy your little Jerseys. LR is correct in some ways in that if you have to buy in milk powder etc. it will probably outweigh any saleable value of the calves given that the Jersey is a light dairy breed, take longer to grow out and never make the weights of larger breeds, either dairy or beef. However, it will be a learning experience for you and hoepfully a fun one. They do make good beef and if there is a heifer amongst them, they also make excellent house cows if you have a bent in that direction.

And as PG says, go slowly.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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11 years 11 months ago #337350 by feedqueen
"Good heavens LR, you are full of doom and gloom."

:)

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11 years 11 months ago #337370 by Stikkibeek
If they are jersey heifers you have ordered, that is a great way to start calf rearing. The children will be able to take them to calf club and it will be a good learning experience for all. In two years time if you breed them, you will have cows for the house and be able to rear beef calves and pigs for a fraction of the initial costs, make your own cheese etc. A good plan I feel.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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11 years 11 months ago #337388 by Seaside
Hello and welcome Hamdon

Swannanoa is a great community, we've been here 4 years and love it. The school is great, I have boys in rooms 3, 6, and 8, and your oldest and youngest will most likely be in room 3 and 8.

The school fair is in March each year and is the major fund-raiser for the school. Everyone joins in and people flock from far and wide. Every parent, child and pet sheep helps out :)

The jersey calves might not be the most cost effective for sending to the works for beef, however there are plenty of dairy farms around here that may want them (especially heifers).

If you enjoy growing stuff, there are plenty of farmers' market around here, Oxford, Rangiora and Kaiapoi and a newish one on Friday mornings in Ohoka. The Oxford one has been running a few years now, and is growing well in terms of stalls and customer numbers.

If your kids are into sports, there's basketball, and of course rugby and netball at Ohoka Rugby Club in Mandeville (rugby season has almost finished, but will be quickly replaced by cricket).

Kids, beasts, and chillies in Swannanoa South.
www.farmaway.co.nz

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11 years 11 months ago #337949 by Hamdon
Hello all, thanks for the all the feedback and advice. Slow and steady with the animals - got it! It's exciting though.
Swannanoa is a great place, the school is great, the kids are in rooms 1, 3, 5 & 7 (Sam is actually 12 in October), they enjoy it so far. The teachers are lovely and I have found all the parents super friendly which is awesome.
6 weeks and it nearly feels like home! :)

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11 years 11 months ago #337976 by LongRidge
Hamdon, if you have heaps of spare cash and don't mind losing about $1000 for the experience then don't read any further.
Raising a calf costs about $250 per head, plus the cost of the calf and the value of your precious time. If you don't have a contracted buyer that will pay you more than it costs, plus 20 cents per day in grass that a more profitable animal could earn you, then you will have a very upset partner for him/her having been negleted for 12 weeks while you fluff around wasting time and money.
We accidently raised a Jersey cross calf (sold as a Limousin) that we ran for 30 months so was worth $450 in grass and $200 (back then) to raise to weaning. We had to sell him because the freezer was full. For that $650 plus time and effort we got $120 back.
Raising calves is a great learning experience, but unless you have got free milk or a contracted/guaranteed buyer, it has a huge learning curve before most people make money out of it most of the time.
Remember that for the first 6 weeks you will have to be at home/where the calves are at the same(ish) times every day to feed them. The time is not so important for the last 6 weeks - being home every day is probably enough. Once day feeding is hugely riskier for the calf health than multiple daily feeding.
Not much kills relationships faster than Life SENTENCE Blocking, especially if it was your idea. If OH is out working every weekday, then he or she might get very upset that you are swanning around wasting his/her hard-earned wages.

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