Fertrell Blog

Cultivating Community: The Fertrell Company Spotlights Dove Song Dairy Farm

Tucked away in Berks County Pennsylvania, amidst rolling acres of verdant pasture, lies a hidden gem: Dove Song Dairy Farm. For 27 years, Dove Song Dairy has been a beacon of sustainable agriculture, helmed by the Schaeffer family, with Lena Schaeffer at its heart. What began as a humble endeavor has blossomed into a thriving operation, renowned for its commitment to quality, sustainability, and the well-being of its livestock.

why do my cows eat dirt?

Well, that’s a good question! And it’s one that we hear by times from astute dairy managers as they observe the daily, changing behavior of their herd.

Summer Heat and Laying Hen

The summer season is just around the corner. While many of us look forward to our summers it will change how our animals behave and perform. Putting together a plan to reduce the effects of summer heat and longer days will be beneficial for your animals and you.

Fermentation of vegetables


Natural Fly COntrol

To me, there are few things more frustrating than walking out to the field on a warm summer day, soaking in the picturesque image of a full, lush pasture, just to have the setting spoiled by seeing that the herd in this pasture is covered in a swarm of flies.

Potassium: Produce Productivity

Essential Macronutrient

Old tools work

It seems an easy thing to forget about some of the old tools at our disposal. And I do not mean an old beat-up tool that doesn’t function anymore. I am referring to some of the old tools that just somehow get lost to the wayside and unused. It also seems an easy thing to let the new shiny technologies of the world overshadow some of the things which work well and certainly already existed for a reason.

Disbudding/Dehorning Tips

If you are a farm that practices disbudding/dehorning of your animals, it is important to have everything ready to go once you have animals on the ground. This is not a pleasant procedure, but necessary if you raise certain classes of animals. Both males and females have the potential to grow and develop horns, unless they are naturally polled, so count on devoting a good chunk of time to this each year. To have a successful result, you should check bud development daily as soon as the babies are born. Horn growth varies between animals. Sex, breed, species, will all affect how fast a bud will emerge and how much time you have to stop the horn from fully developing. In order to have the best result, the bud needs to be emerged from the growth plate but still fits within your iron. 

Split Fertilizer Application

Preparation for the upcoming season for fertilizer application is especially important when planning to apply multiple times throughout the year. At Fertrell, a frequent practice for the agronomy team to recommend is the Berry and Tree Care Programs as well as when growing large fruiting vegetables. Plants have different nutritional requirements during the growing season and elements have different benefits to the plants depending on the time of year.

Sacrifice Pastures

When pasturing animals for winter, many farmers and homesteaders choose to use a place the animals will stay through the duration of the winter months- a sacrifice pasture. There are many good reasons for this, including: a lack of structured winter housing, ease of manure management, accessibility to livestock in winter weather, and the ability to rest other pastures through the winter. While the use of a sacrifice pasture works well for many operations, there are some considerations to run through before implementing this practice.

About this Blog

The Fertrell Company blog is for farmers, backyard gardeners, and homesteaders alike. Learn from the experts on all things natural and organic for both soil and livestock.

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