Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Update

I am trying to handle feed more efficiently this year. I picked up an old barge wagon for $300 a few weeks ago an started to rework it so it can hold feed on pasture and follow the chicken tractors around the farm. It is an all Parker gravity wagon and I pulled the extension off of it, scraped, primed and painted the inside tray, and built a lid for it with a door in the top for filling. It is not pretty, but here it is.

Movable Feed Holder (Side View)

Feed Wagon (Rear View)

The biggest limitation is that the gravity wagon's current top speed is only around 30 miles per hour (48 km/hr), unloaded. I have to travel 55 miles (89 km) one way to get my feed. It is possible to do this, but it is a very unpleasant trip. Instead, I have been borrowing a feed auger wagon. I must admit that I find this borrowed wagon a bit scary. It has bald tires for one thing and a lot of duct tape on the auger where it likely rusted through. When I get the feed wagon home, I attach the tractor to the wagon and use the pto to run the augers and dump it into my gravity wagon. I hope to work though my feed wagon a bit more because if I could get it to pull a bit faster, I could skip the feed wagon step.

I have planted a number of trees this week. I moved two peach threes I planted last fall and planted two new small windbreaks. I planted a dozen Canadian hemlocks  make these new windbreaks and fill in some dead spots in my Norwegian Spruce Windbreak that I planted last Spring. I am trying to get all of the remaining gardens planted and 100 asparagus plants. I got a start on the asparagus before the rain storms yesterday stopped me.

I have had some trouble with latest batch of lambs. We had triplets born yesterday. When I found them, one of them did not make it and the other two looked good. This morning, one was looking weak so I drove into town to get some milk replacer and when I got back home, it had passed away. That sucks. I have been on the fence about that particular ewe  and if I was going to keep her for a long breeding career. She helped me make up my mind. I have two other ewes close to lambing and five others that should lamb within the next month. I did take some time to admire Eve, my Christmas Eve surprise lamb. She is an impressive looking specimen, especially when you see her next to her mom and consider that she is only 4 months old.

Eve, My Favorite Ewe

In other news, still no baby and I will be going to get more cattle very soon.

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