Archive for July, 2008

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How to catch a heifer!

July 31, 2008

For the past couple of days I’ve been praying that I will be able to catch one or both of my yearling Dexter heifers.

We came home from my daughter’s karate class last night to discover that Maggie was all tangled up in fence line string that apparently was left within her reach of her horns.  She loves to play with anything she can get her horns on and this time it was her undoing.   Maggie wasn’t the one I was hoping to catch first, but apparently God thinks I need to tame her first. )

I managed to snap a lead line on her halter while I was carefully cutting her free and then I led her, with Matilda tagging along, to the corral.   I tied her up for an hour or so and then let her loose with the lead rope dragging behind her so that I can catch her again in the morning.   She will spend a good portion of today tied up in the shed until she starts to get desensitized to my presence and starts allowing contact.

The next few days should be a whole lotta fun!

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Field Fence Unroller/Stretcher

July 28, 2008

A field fence unroller/stretcher is a real back and time saver.  I first heard a description and saw pictures of one of these nifty devices at the Homesteading Today board.  The person had purchased theirs from Tractor Supply, but since there isn’t a Tractor Supply in the whole state of Oregon I had to go looking on-line.

The only other manufacturer I found was Farmland by Tarter.  Fortunately Coastal Farm and Ranch is one of their suppliers and even then I had to have it special ordered.   No one at my local Coastal had ever seen anything like it and a couple of the guys that helped me load it asked about buying it from me when I was done with it.

The description from Farmland is pretty accurate, “This Unroller/Stretcher lets one person handle the work of a crew. Field fence of all sizes can be unrolled and stretched easily without kinking or tangling. Once unrolled, fence can be stretched to the desired tightness and held in place for nailing or stapling. Easily hooks up to your 3-point hitch using the Category I pins included.”   We never tried working with it with only one person, but I could see how that claim would be true.  Usually we had at least two people and sometimes more helping attach the fence to the t-posts.   “Many hands, makes light work!”

We also used Wedge-Loc fittings for all of our corners so that we didn’t need to use wooden posts.  The best price I found for these fittings was at Kencove Farm Fence.  Basically the system uses t-posts to form any sort of braces your fence might need.    The Wedge-Loc company also has hinges that fit t-posts, and other accessories that allow you to build simple run in shelters using t-posts and plywood.

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Words of Wisdom…

July 27, 2008

“There is no place like a farm for raising children, where they can have in such abundance the fresh air and sunshine, with pure living water, good wholesome food and a happy outdoor life”                   -Laura Ingalls Wilder

It is surely a blessing to be able to live on a little acreage and give the kids a chance to experience the joys, responsibilities, and even the occasional disappointments of caring for a variety of critters.


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A little bit of bragging…

July 21, 2008

For the first time ever I decided to enter the County Fair in the photography category.  Just went and picked up my entries and discovered that I received three awards.  A third place in the Farm Animal category for the picture of Sunshine (our new herd buck) and a 1st place in the same category for the picture of Bekah and Stormy.   The picture of Bekah and Stormy also received a special award for “Most Representative of the Fair Theme”.

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A Minature Addition!

July 17, 2008

This evening we had another small addition to the “ranch”.  Koozy is a friendly 12-15 year old miniature donkey who is used to children and doesn’t mind giving them rides.   Ari & Bekah are thrilled with him, but the cows aren’t quite sure what to think of him, especially after he chased them around the pasture when they dared to wander off from his location.

Right now they are out on the newly fenced pasture (yes it is all finally done!!!!) and he is in the corral.  We will try the introductions again in the morning when the cows can more easily see the fence line.   Hopefully they will all adjust to sharing the same three acres, and we won’t have to fence in a separate paddock for him.

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Progress!

July 14, 2008

Hubby came home early from work this afternoon and got a whole bunch of t-posts pounded in!  Only about 45 more to go and then we will be ready to try out the fancy field fence unroller/stretcher that I got for the tractor.  It is supposed to make installing fence a one person operation.   Since he is off tomorrow we might have the pasture completely fenced by dark tomorrow evening.

Just in time for the newest member of our mini-ranch to arrive.  But I will save that announcement until he is actually here.  😉

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Pasture

July 10, 2008

This morning I got all the old electric fence wire and posts pulled at the bottom of the pasture – had to hack into the blackberry jungle to do it.  Also cut half a pick-up load of grass for the goats and cows.  It is better nutrition and a whole lot cheaper than feeding them hay.  Plus cutting grass by with a hand scythe is good exercise for me.  But I’ll be glad when the pasture is finally fenced and I don’t have to do that any more.

Now that those old posts are out of the way and the wire is cleaned up, we can figure out the fence line for the new fence and start pounding posts.  Hubby doesn’t have a day off this week, but is going to try and take at least an extra half day at the beginning of next week to help me pound posts.

I’ve been reading up on folks like Gene Sollock who raise their beef cows 100% on pasture without any supplimental grain or hay!  I’m hoping to figure a way to do that sort of thing with my cows on the just under 3 acres of pasture we have.

There is entire series of videos available on YouTube featuring his on the farm seminars.  Here is episode #1:

You can find links to the rest of the epsiodes here.