Tag Archives: farm work

New Cattle Working Pen

On February 20th our new cattle holding/working pen had progressed to this.

Hubby and I have been working everyday on the pen when the weather permitted.  We were delayed in the beginning due to problems finding the lumber we needed.  One of our neighbors, Mr. All, has a portable sawmill and sold us 20 of the 1 x 6 x 16 boards to get us started.  We then finally found a sawmill that took private orders and we bought 100 of the boards.  Most sawmills that we contacted don’t take private orders anymore and only sell to commercial builders such as mining operations.

100 oak boards from Bennett’s Sawmill in Lowmoor.

First row of posts are boarded and this side of the pen faces Little Mountain Road. We put heavy woven wire on first and then put the boards on top of that. We did this to prevent the cattle and calves from sticking their heads through the fence and breaking the boards. We’re learning from EXPERIENCE!!

Post holes are dug using a drill and our Kubota tractor. We are drilling into a bank of slate and sometimes had to use our big tractor and its front loader to press on the drill to force it into the slate and break it up.

Next row of posts are dug and post put in the ground with Quikrete.

And some bracing rocks are placed in the holes for durability.

This is the roll of wire that we placed between the posts and the boards.

The is the outside of the pen next to the main road.

This is the second section of boards and woven wire. We put boards on both sides of the posts for a sturdier loading chute. This needs to be sturdy because if the cows or calves are going to get honery getting on the truck, this is the spot where they’ll do it. They’ll try to back out, turn around or go over if they’re really anxious.

From this angle you can see the double layer of boards reinforcing the woven wire

This is another angle from the end of the pen to see the reinforced chute.

This gate is at the entry of the loading chute.The chute opens to an eight foot chute that narrows into a four-foot chute. The eight foot gate will swing from the narrow chute to the wider chute depending on what we are loading, cows or calves.

This four foot gate was then hung at the end of the chute where the trailer will load. You can also see another short gate about half way down the chute to help control turning and backing. Cattle are more apt to go into a wider space at the other end and that’s why we start with a 8 ft space that  narrows as you get toward the end of the chute.

This section is where the wider chute will be and the next we will board up. The posts are set and now we put the boards on. I might mention the posts are treated but the boards are not. We are using 3 inch screws to mount the boards. Once those green boards dry they’ll make the chance of coming out because the boards will shrink around the screws.

This is another section of the pen that we expanded from the old pen. We were experiencing lots of pushing and shoving when trying to separate 50 – 75 head of cattle at the same time. This section will have a gate that opens on both sides at the end of the pen toward the scale house. We can release them into the barnlot or if we still need to do some separating we can release them back in to the loading section.

Yes we have a scale house. The scales with in this building are state certified every year. We can watch the growth of the calves, we can check the weight of the cows or bulls and we can get an idea of how much weight is going to the market before they’re loaded on the truck.

This all I have for now but will continue the saga when the pen is completely finished and we can send a load of fall calves that we’ve weaned and been holding for the completion of the pen and hopefully a price increase.  I’m hopeful it will be completed this week!!!

New Fencing on the Farm

I’m not sure why but we just can’t seem to keep up with the fencing repairs on the farm.  Every year there is a field or road fence that needs replacing.  Last year we enlisted the service from a “professional” fencer and though it looked good it wasn’t installed properly.  Electricity was running to the metal gates going into the field.  We contacted the fencer and he told us he would be back to correct the problem but he never showed and within a couple of weeks someone in the community ran through the new fence and didn’t stop.  At this point we had to repair the fence anyway and hubby made the corrections to the electricity himself.

Fencing torn out and repaired.

Fencing torn out and repaired.

We do a lot of patching when we can but Dad is tired of doing that and wants to replace now.  Some of the bad spots look something like these:

These fences are probably 30-40 years old.

These fences are probably 30-40 years old.

Woven wire that gets bad is usually patched with a couple strands of barbed wire.

Woven wire that gets bad is usually patched with a couple of strands of barbed wire.

 

 

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Here’s a look of what the old fencing on the farm looked like before we started the new.

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This year we selected a new fence service who gave us a decent quote and hubby thinks his service was excellent.  His crew worked as hard as Mr. Price and  on days when the wind was howling and terribly cold.   Mr. Price was a true professional and hubby says we will be using his services again in the near future.

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Mr. Price was quick to start the work and his crew didn’t just stand around and wait to be told what to do.  They tore out the old fences, stacked the old wire and piled up the old post which we’ll use for firewood.  You can’t beat locust posts for a hot fire in the middle of winter.

Old fence posts and stacked wire ready to move from the fields.

Old fence posts and stacked wire ready to move from the fields.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s some of the finished work and I know we will be using Elmer’s Fencing again in the very near future!fencing-2016-17-30 fencing-2016-17-29 fencing-2016-17-27 fencing-2016-17-23 fencing-2016-17-17 fencing-2016-17-11 fencing-2016-17-9 fencing-2016-17-8fencing-2016-17-38fencing-2016-17-36fencing-2016-17-35fencing-2016-17-35new-board-fence-at-farm-entry-2016-1 img_0012 img_0011 img_0010 img_0009 img_0008 img_0006

Board fencing with high tensile behind it.

Board fencing with high tensile behind it.

Beautiful new board fence behind Heather's new house.

Beautiful new board fence behind Heather’s new house.

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Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!  The next fence project is a line fence between us and a neighbor and Eddie & I are going to tackle it alone probably in the next couple weeks.

Farm work is NEVER done!!

With age, there is wisdom!

Every year for the last few, I’ve started my year out with a list/book of things that needed to be done.  I would get really aggravated with myself if at least half of that list didn’t get completed.

To-Do List for the outdoors

To-Do List for the outdoors

I had lists for indoors, outdoors, spring lists, summer lists, fall lists.

I had lists for indoors, outdoors, spring lists, summer lists, fall lists.

My list of things to do on the farm.

My list of things to do on the farm.I’m not talking about a list of 20-30 things, I’m talking about a notebook with sections for each room in the house, the yard, porch, buildings on the farm, garden, farm work, whatever needs to be done.  

Rather than beat myself up with resolutions and lists this year I’ve changed my tune!  If I’m in the mood, it’ll get done!   My new motto is:

If it gets done, hurrah, if it doesn’t it’ll be there tomorrow!

Uncalled for Work

Last week we had a visitor during the night that tore down some fence along the main road and left the scene.  The field where the fencing was damaged held 30+ weanling calves and Miracle.  Our neighboring farm manager came to visit to let us know about it on a very foggy cold morning and luckily the calves were on the opposite side of the field.  The driver did the damage and ran leaving what could have been a very dangerous situation especially for people going to work that morning and the bus full of kids going to school if the calves had got in the road. It was so foggy that morning that we could not see more than 10 yards in front of us but thankfully it only took about 30 minutes to repair.

We had just paid a fencing company to build this stretch of fencing in January due to the urgency of getting the calves in a secure field away from their mama’s while we waited for the right time to sale.  The mama’s needed a couple months of recuperating before their new babies arrived this month.

The bottom two strands were broken and it would have been very easy for the 30+ weanlings to have gotten in the road and caused a more dangerous situation.

The bottom two strands were broken and it would have been very easy for the 30+ weanlings to have gotten in the road and caused a more dangerous situation.

This was new fence that we paid to  have put in along the highway.

This was new fence that we paid to have put in along the highway.

The new post wasn't broken off but the wiring was knocked off of it.

The new post wasn’t broken off but the wiring was knocked off of it.

These are the tracks of the vehicle where it went into the field and back out.  Hubby is sure it was a car instead of a pickup or more wires would have been broken.

These are the tracks of the vehicle where it went into the field and back out. Hubby is sure it was a car instead of a pickup or more wires would have been broken.

The insulating tubes were shredded on the bottom and fence tore off at the end of the tubes.

The insulating tubes were shredded on the bottom and fence tore off at the end of the tubes.

More tracks along the road leading to the broken fence shows that the driver went out of the road on the wrong side, over-corrected as he went back on the asphalt and went back on the wrong side and into the fence and field.  This is where we found the broken antennae from the car and some amber light fixture fragments.

More tracks along the road leading to the broken fence shows that the driver went out of the road on the wrong side, over-corrected as he went back on the asphalt and went back on the wrong side and into the fence and field. This is where we found the broken antennae from the car and some amber light fixture fragments.

Black marks on the road in front of the field.

Black marks on the road in front of the field.

Skid marks heading to the broken fence.

Skid marks heading to the broken fence.

Skid marks in the grass.

Skid marks in the grass.

Broken fence wire hanging from the posts.

Broken fence wire hanging from the posts.

We were upset the fence was torn down but more upset thinking about what could have been a more disastrous situation.  I would hope that if it ever happens again that the driver would have the common courtesy of letting us know as soon as it happens!!

Hay harvest slow but moving along

I wanted to share some photos my daughter took last week while helping her Dad harvest some more hay!  I think they’re beautiful!

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Jippy decided to take a nap!!

Jippy decided to take a nap!!

Everyone was enjoying the day on the farm!

Everyone was enjoying the day on the farm!

 

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It was such a beautiful day to be on the farm!