Friday, May 19, 2017

Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats (and so do cattle)!

When I was a kid, one set of grandparents lived in Haskell County. To a child, it seemed like it took FOREVER to get to western Kansas from the south central part of the state. One of my memories of those long car rides was of my dad singing nonsense songs. One of them went like this:

Mares eat oats
And does eat oats
And little lambs eat ivy
A kid'll eat ivy, too,
Wouldn't you?

When sung quickly, it ends up sounding more like this:

and doezedotes
and littlelambszedyvy
Wouldn't you?

Other songs in my dad's car repertoire included "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "I'm An Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande."

But when we checked a field, it was that "Mares eat oats ..." song that I couldn't get out of my head. We're sure hoping that cattle eat oats, too, ... not just mares and does!
In March, Randy planted oats in an old alfalfa field.
They are "haying" oats vs. "grain" oats. This is the alfalfa field's last "hurrah" before it's torn up and planted to something else.
He used the disc to lightly break up the soil and to kill volunteer cheat and other weeds. Then, he planted the oats, using the same drill we use to plant wheat. Disking up the alfalfa wouldn't be a "normal" thing to do. But it's an old field, and to stretch its productivity for one more year, Randy planted the oats in the already-established alfalfa field. It should provide a mixture of alfalfa and oats that we can bale up for cattle feed this summer.
The spring rains have given the oats a good start. Depending on weather, Randy may put down our first cutting of hay next week.
It will be disked up after we harvest the oats/alfalfa combination this summer. But until then, it may not be the last time that the old song is stuck in my head!


  1. Now I've got that song stuck in my head too!! :) We just finished first cutting here yesterday. Sounds like spring/summer work is off to a quick start everywhere!

    1. As I told another friend, if I have to have it stuck in my head, I might as well have others join me. Maybe we can hum in harmony across the miles!

  2. Your oats is about as high as ours. This must be about the only crop that is grown at the same time in both our continents?