Sunday, January 14, 2018

Manure clean

A week or two ago I cleaned much of the manure from the cattle's loafing shed.  Cow #20 was laying under the barn's lean-to so I didn't clean there.  Since then she often would lay there when I wanted to clean that area.  Yesterday I shoveled the snow to the ground in a small area of the south corral as another spot for the calves to lay.   This morning cow #20 laid there.  So I cleaned under the barn's lean-to as the temperature was just above freezing and I could shovel the manure.

Lots of manure was there.  Mixed with a little bit of the straw left that I had laid there when it was cold last month.  What a mucky mess.   With a rake and a shovel I was able to clean it out.  You can see the pile of manure outside the area.  I wasn't able to clean all the way to the closest post as that area was still frozen.

Then in the afternoon I spread out two straw bales in this area.  The heifer calves came to check out what I was doing and nibbled on some of the straw.  This time instead of eating most of it they laid on it.  I am happy they have a dry and warm place to lay.   And clean - though that probably won't last too long.

The cows prefer to lay under the rain shadows of the trees in the north pasture.  Unless the wind is blowing strong and/or it is very cold, then they will lay in the loafing shed.  All the cows, except Sugar, were out in the north pasture when I laid the straw for the heifers.  I closed the corral gate to keep them out there. I didn't mind that Sugar stayed in the corral with me.

Two months before the first calf is due and it is time to put out a tub of Vitalix mineral supplement for the cows to lick.   As you can see above I have had a tub out for the heifers ever since I put them in the corral.  The tubs weigh 250 pounds so I had to roll the tub out of the barn and over to the loafing shed.  I prefer to keep snow and water out of the tubs so that is why I placed the tub under the loafing shed roof.

 The other cows - except Mama - push Sugar around when they eat.  Mama - the smallest - is the lowest on the totem pole.  While Sugar is not the second smallest in size, she is the second lowest on the totem pole.  So while the cows were locked out of the corral for the afternoon I decided to push some of the loose straw in the barn's hayloft out and to the ground below for Sugar to munch on.

What a nice cow.  Can you believe that her beautiful calf sold for 51 cents pound less at auction last Fall?!

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Flat tractor tire

Yesterday it was time to haul another large hay bale for the heifers in the south corral.  I drove the tractor to the hayshed to get the hay fork for the tractor then over to the south corral to flip up the empty metal feeder.  After I had done so I walked in back of the tractor and saw the right rear tire was flat.


I was able to drive out of the corral over to the toolshed.  Before Christmas I had bought myself an air compressor.  It was needed as the rear tire is large.  I pumped up the tire and quickly moved a hay bale to the feeder.  I didn't know how fast the tire would lose air.   This morning I checked the tire and it is still inflated.  It may be a pound or two lower in pressure.  The leak must be pretty slow.  I'll keep an eye on it and wait for warmer weather.  I have no idea what would cause a flat in such a big and thick tire.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

2017 bicycle miles

I rode 5540 miles on my bicycle in 2017.  My 6th highest annual total.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another day after the storm

This morning the sun was out.  The temperature was 3 degrees.

That's a bird on the bottom of the suet cage.

More snow shoveling today.  I shoveled a driving path from the house to the pole shed in the backyard.  I am in no rush to drive anywhere so I planned on shoveling the front driveway to the road tomorrow and/or Tuesday.  But in the afternoon my neighbor Calvin called and said he could plow out my driveway.   I tried to decline saying I would get to it and I was in no hurry but he said he could stop by and plow it for me on his way home.  It was no problem for him to do so.

All right then.

He plowed the driveway to the house with his pickup and plow.  He has a really nice V plow.  Since that went quick I had him plow a path to the hayshed from the garage.  It is nicer when I get hay for the cattle if I go through the NE pasture first.  It saves me from having to drive through the corral with the cattle and multiple opening and closing of gates.

I still have a little snow to shovel in the very backyard so it isn't like I got all lazy and have nothing to do.

I cooked my Christmas turkey today.  The only turkeys left on sale were 21 pounds.  This is the biggest turkey I ever cooked.  Good thing I love eating turkey.   Oh... and Calvin gave me three large packages of meat from the deer he and his son shot this year.  So January looks to be a month of eating meat.

Happy New Year!