Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
The past few days it rained and thundered off and on so there are water puddles all over the yard. We don't have a rain gauge that works but by looking at how much water is in buckets we probably got at least two inches. There was hail in some of the storms along with heavy downpours. The animals are all happy to be out now after grazing in between raindrops and the goats spent most of their day in the barn because they don't like getting wet.
We are waiting to hear from a group of people that are coming for a "field trip" to our farm from the Minot AFB but they might have to cancel their camping trip because it is too wet. They haven't informed us if they are, or aren't coming yet.
Over the past few days we had the cows fenced in over the septic drain field beside the house to eat the 10 inch grass that was growing there. It is hard for us to mow that spot because there is still humps of dirt left there from when it was installed so it's easier to set up a portable fence.
Yesterday we sold another goat to someone from the Devils Lake area that had bought two kids from us a few weeks ago. They wanted one that was milking so they bought an adult doe. This spring we sold ten of the goats that we had to people who contacted us. One of those was a 35 pound kid that went to an Italian person from Bottineau. We brought it down to the slaughter house for him to have it processed.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Mom got a really nice Champion 2000+ juicer! I think it is a more commercial version of the normal Champion juicer. It is going to really speed up the tomato and applesauce processing jobs! We made some raspberry sherbert from one of the recipes that came in the manual and it was really tasty. I can't wait to see how it works on other vegetables and fruits. We can make nut butters too with it.
Suppertime! . . .
Monday, May 24, 2010
Correct levels of copper, as well as other minerals, will also prevent Johne's disease and Brucellosis. Also, worms can't live in an animal that has the right amount of copper. A few years ago we had some pretty shaggy looking goats (reddish brown curled hair instead of glossy black on their sides) and offered them a nibble of copper sulfate for the first time. In two weeks their coats were all shiny and they have stayed that way most of the time since. Copper is a must!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The picture is of a corner of the fence where the cows would come to get water on their way down the hill to the barn. The animals always have a path open for them to go back to the barn if they want to or if I need to herd them back before I milk. You can see that the grass on the left side of the picture hasn't been disturbed and is growing back after being grazed only once. There is a wire dividing that part off until it is ready to graze again.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
This afternoon Dad and I planted eight more rows of corn in addition to the seven or eight that are already planted. We are trying out a new thing this year with floating row covers. It works like a green house but it is not plastic and you just lay it out over the plants and loosen it up as the plants grow. The material is kind of like thinly woven cloth so water can go right through it but it still helps warm the ground beneath (the main reason it was hard for us to use plastic row-covers is because we didn't have any way to water it without taking all the plastic off).
Thursday, May 06, 2010
This system works best for a single strand cow fence, but it also works well for goats if you use two or three strands.
You will need:
- Spool(s) with wire
- Posts and insulators
- Small anchor stakes with twine
- Live trunk line as a power source
Making a reel for wireSome places sell a nice reel for rolling up wire but they cost about $20 so I made my own.
2 - 12 x 12 inch 3/8 plywood circles
4 - 2x2s 4 inches long
1 - 3/4 inch plastic pipe 8-10 inches long PVC might work or black poly pipe but I used some PEX floor heat tubing and it worked perfect.
handfull of screws and a 1 1/2 " pan head wood screw with a washer
can align the two in the same position later on).
Drill a hole through both pieces in the center, just large enough for the plastic pipe to fit snugly (really tight is best). Next, sandwich the 2x2s on end between the plywoods so that they are all 2 inches from the outer edge. Use wood screws for these joints and add a little glue if you have some.
Insert the plastic pipe through the hole in the center until one inch of it sticks out the other side. Opposite the side with the most pipe sticking out, screw the pan head screw with the washer through the 1 inch section of pipe into the spool side, about 2 inches from the edge, and tighten into the spool. This serves as a handle to assist in rolling up the wire. Now you can wind up as much wire as you want onto the spool. To keep the wire from unrolling, take the heavy gauge wire (a section of cattle panel bent over at the top is what works the best for me) and insert it through the holes in the plywood. Put an insulated handle on the end of the wire and your spool's done!
Any questions? Another post will describe the use of this spool.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010