Monday, September 10, 2012

I am really fencing...

Century Farm sign version 2.0
Annmarie and I went to town today to do some quick shopping.  It is Round-Up time in Pendleton and the traffic and craziness is too much.  I only almost got side swiped three times.  We went to the tractor equipment store to get shear bolts for the post hole digger for the tractor but they had to order them in. 
So I worked on the century sign again.  The wind had ripped it down early this spring.  I retightened the whole structure and put in some longer screws then my mother-in-law wanted barb wire wrapped around the sign.  I had some old wire from the orchard fence I worked on last week so I wrapped it around the sign and added new eye bolts and new chain (welded this time so it won't come apart in the wind). It turned out pretty good.  They want to spray paint the shiny chain so it looks aged, works for me.

I got the tractor going today.  Yesterday when I went to start it there was nothing.  No sound came from the tractor when I turned the key.  I had left the key in the ignition and the key turned on.  So I had to go get a charger from my dad and hook it up overnight. 

The slaughter truck was coming this morning so Annmarie and I went out last night to sort out the four lucky souls.  Zeke and I had them in the pen ready for counting in 10 minutes.  It is amazing how much faster it is to work the sheep with a dog.  He is learning so fast and now follows some hand signals.  He still does the best with me as we are always outside hanging around together.  Since the sheep were all together we counted heads again and compared ear tags.  We found one of the missing lambs and lost another adult sheep.  No I truly do not get it.  So we are still down two sheep for the year.  The sheep would not cooperate and go through the gate in a single file line.  Once they started going for the gate it was like a bunch of exiting concert goers with the stage on fire!  It was out of control.  I had to just let go of the gate. We chased the sheep into the barn (the old section where they have been staying the last three winters) and Annmarie waded in and caught the whethers (neutered male) one at a time.  She grabbed them by the head, and pulled their noses in the air, straddled them and then waited for me to wade in and drag them out.  The first one pushed up off onto his hind legs and she was holding his front legs off the ground, he overbalanced her forward and she fell forward.  She was scrambling to hold onto his legs when I belly flopped on top of him!  It stops them cold every time.  They only weigh around 100#.  My 165# does make a difference.  I was laughing so hard it took me a while to get off the sheep.  We had one whether that got away three times.  Eventually, we got all four into the pen for the night.  The truck came this morning and soon we will have more lamb chops.

On a side note, since it was getting dark I went in and collected eggs from the chickens and counted them.  There were 21 chickens!  We were + 2 chickens from last month.  Obviously, a few someones had been sleeping outside the coop.  So the predators don't get credit for those two chickens.  The score is Predators 6, Farm 3.  We are counting Annmarie's skunk and the nephews shot a raccoon on the back hillside recently. 

There were only four eggs today, I think the light may have burned out in the last couple of days so I will endeavor to change it tomorrow.  I still need to clean out the coop and refill it with fresh wood pellets before winter. 

Today I built a ramp on the front of the barn so the sheep can go in and out of the fancy door.  There was almost a two foot jump before the ramp went in.  I just need some rain to settle out all the dust and see how much more dirt I need to move.  I started moving posts into position with the tractor.  I will get them all laid out next to where they go so when the post hole digger is available I can just punch some holes in the ground.  I need to go get some more used sheep fencing from the scrap yard also.