The New Hay Feeder

Hay Feeder http://wildflowerfarm.org

The chickens are pretty well set for the winter, we have been working to get the heat to humidity ratio figured out for the coop, but otherwise the girls are doing well. Egg production has slowly been picking up. The cows on the other hand have still needed a little work. By most standards they are ready for winter, but of course I feel they need that extra little bit. This keeps my husband and dad busy, not that they don’t have plenty of their own stuff to work on.

The milking station that I mentioned previously should be the simplest task and the last for the season.

A few Sunday’s ago, the project was building a hay feeder for in the barn. I found some plans here: http://uglydogsfarm.blogspot.com/2011/01/sheep-feeder-design.html and gave them to my husband. He’s so handy. He made a materials list and went to town. They made a couple adjustments to the plans height and some board spacing. It turned out really well.

In my own defense, I will say, I didn’t just hand him the plans and say “Get to work”, while I sat in the house and drank coffee. While they were busy building, I was busy in the barn. I cleaned out all the hay that the ladies had been using for bedding, which was more than I realized. I knew they were wasting hay, but my goodness. Ugh. I clean the barn every morning as it is, but this was a “Mom is coming to visit” kind of clean. I didn’t get water hauled before church, so I got that done as well. Then I was off to the chicken coop. That needed it’s weekly cleaning, remove the old shavings, put in the new, clean the laying boxes, clean the waterer really well, and so on.

Once the new feeder was in place and filled with that day’s hay, I put down fresh straw for bedding. It looked so nice! Two mornings later, I went out to do morning chores and the feeder was tipped over. Twice this happened. That lovely feeder is heavy to tip up and move back into place by yourself.

We figured out that the vertical boards are spaced just far enough apart to allow the cows to put their whole head through. This would be fine, but it they get startled their horns keep them stuck in there. I assume this is what has tipped the feeder.

With a little adjusting of the boards, they are now able to eat without getting their horns caught and everyone is happy.  I also ratchet strapped it to the fence, just in case.

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer- Preface

Yes, pregnant. 31 weeks now. We never made a “real” announcement; if it happened to come up in conversation it was mentioned otherwise not. Not that we are not excited, but it’s another part of life and so it goes. For the most part I keep my complaining to myself. Really, who want to hear someone wine and complain for nine months about things that really can’t be fixed before then?

One Sunday (before Elvis was born) after church we were talking about how Lucy “gets after” Wheezy with her horns to get the first of that mornings hay or grain treat. My husband said “it must be the pregnancy hormones… I know how she (Wheezy) feels. I eat my meals upstairs.” (upstairs at our house is two bedrooms and a bathroom) This got a good laugh out of everyone.

I think he was kidding…

I know he was kidding. His story changes too, last time he said he ate in the basement (which is storage/root cellar/wood furnace). But I didn’t think I was “Lucy crabby”. Geez.

http://wildflowerfarm.org

Anyway just because I am pregnant doesn’t mean anything stops or slows down around here. The cows still need water and hay, as well as the dogs, cat and chickens. Well, not everyone eats hay but they all want to be fed and to get some attention. Oh yeah, there’s the little boy and my husband too. Some how everything gets done by the end of the day. As much as I’d like to just sit (or take a nap) there’s no time for such nonsense. It just takes me a little longer to get from here to there and at times, I’m sure it’s been quite a show along the way (like me carrying a calf across the summer pasture to the corral gate).

I will share a couple stories in the near future…

 

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A Quick Barn Update

I have spent the last week and a half trying to paint the kitchen, going from a sea-foam green and wall paper to a warm, buttery yellow. The can said “Paint and Primer in One”.

Perfect! Only two coats. I could have the whole thing done in two days…

Seven coats later, it’s finally done. That being said, there has been nothing note worthy going on in the house, cooking, laundry and painting. It looks like a disaster at the moment.

The barn is still where most of the action is and even then it’s gotten quiet with the cold weather and arrival of Elvis.

I have yet to figure out who the Egg Eating Clucker is. I’ve been making a few extra trips to the coop to see. This has also spurred me into coming up with some sort of scratch grain pecking block that will include some extra calcium and such. If it turns out and works maybe that will cure the problem so I don’t have to remove the bird.

http://wildflowerfarm.org

Elvis is doing really well. Feeding well and seems like a happy little guy. He always comes over and rubs his head on my leg, looking for some scratching and attention. It’s cute for now… in about 500 lbs. it might not be.

http://wildflowerfarm.org

Lucy looks so skinny now. She’s healthy just not pregnant. She was a little cow before and now she looks really small!

Louise (Wheezy) is still a jumpy little thing. She has more spunk than most cows I’ve seen.

I also figured out why I have been having such a hard time keeping my straw bales nice and neat. Someone has been eating them through the fence!

Wheezy - http://wildflowerfarm.org

“Wasn’t me…” -Wheezy

wheezy- http://wildflowerfarm.org

“Ok, so maybe it was…”- Wheezy

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Elvis is in the Barn!

Saturday I was a poor farmer, I went to work in the morning and did the absolute minimal cow chores that day. I hauled enough water the day before, so I didn’t need to do that. I gave them their daily hay and said hello and that was it. No grain treat, no checking Lucy’s teats. I didn’t even do the daily cow pie clean up. It was bad.

The next morning we had friends over for Sunday brunch. We gave a quick tour of the farm, which is when we noticed the first fluid sack hanging from Lucy. Baby was soon on it’s way. I did a quick barn clean up and put down a good layer of fresh straw. I coaxed Wheezy outside and shut the barn door. This way Lucy could  do her thing without Wheezy nose’n around in the way.

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