Saturday, October 12, 2013

Winter is coming.

All the sprinklers and hoses are put away.  I have one more hole to fill in the front yard.  I will do it this next week.  We have started to feed the horses out in the orchard.  They are doing well.  I had Jason come out and help me tear up Grandma Ruby's garden, we took the vines and green things and placed them out in the barn lot but it took the sheep a few days to catch on that they were there.  Obviously, they are not hungry.  The sheep won't even really come into the barn yet.  A couple of times since we opened it up but there is not consistency to it.  We are going to slaughter ten sheep.  I definitely misbanded several when I was neutering them.  We have at least three rams out in the pasture.  This just means that we won't be keeping any of the babies this winter.  I think the sheep will start lambing around February.  I am just going to throw it out there and see if I am right!  The cows will be around the same time, maybe March.  

I brought home two plum trees and five black walnut trees from Ruby's garden but the cows ate two black walnuts off the trailer before I got them in the ground.  I planted two plums, three black walnut trees and then placed wire and posts around all four holes to keep the critters away.  

The new pickup is great, lots of power and sucks gas like it was water!  I still haven't figured out the mileage in it.  I lost my wallet and have no credit card or ATM card.  So I have been one of those annoying people who only puts $5-20 of fuel in the pickup at a time.  The local gas station let me write a check and I put in $60.  It was about 2/3 of a tank.  Sarah has driven the new pickup a couple of times.  We had to do a check ride on the back gravel roads first.  She doesn't particularly like driving it but it saves on gas when she only has to go to Pilot Rock.   Tomorrow, she has informed me she will clean out the wrecked pickup.   I need to take the drivers side rear tire off as the rim is broken and the tire flat.  I will just take it to the junkyard and see if I can scrap it and pickup an old rim.  

Here is a picture of Grandma Ruby's garden after we created the elevated beds for her.  We used pea gravel, ground cloth, horse troughs and she wants to add some wine barrels in the spring.  It turned out well.  

Fields back in service.

 My mother-in-law, Donna, has decided to place the fields back in service.  They were due to come out of the CRP program this year so she was approached by a local farmer to put them back in rotation.  They want to burn the fields to cut down on the weed seed, let it sprout, spray with herbicides and then disc back under a couple of times so they can plant in the spring.  The funny part about this is if you plowed you would cut back on the weeds dramaticaly but you lose soil and moisture.  There is always a trade off and I don't know of anyone around here that plows any more.  Of course there is a huge 5 bottom plow out in the equipment area.   They had to move the big John Deere tractor, but after installing a new battery it would not move or do anything.  The mice have chewed through the wiring. Luckily, they had a large CAT with rubber tracks and were able to chain onto it and drag it out to the equipment area.  There was a seeder out in the field also, that had to be moved before burning commenced.  After the weather cooperated they just burned last night.  I thought it would all torch right up, but there were sections where it doesn't even look like a fire passed through.  I was pretty amazed.  They pulled the disc around well into the night after the fire burnt through and were back at it first thing this morning.  

The cows are back out front near the cars and are doing well.  If you go out with an apple they all will come over and take it from your hands.  You can even touch noses and the occasional head.  They are not as tame as the horses but after this winter they should be a lot more easy to handle.  The three heifers are pregnant again!  They are starting to put on baby weight and size.  I am looking forward to fresh beef next year.  

I had a date for slaughter lined up for the sheep but it was when I was away.  Annmarie and Zeke tried to sort the sheep into the old baby area and the sheep rammed the external door off its track and got away.  Annmarie says Zeke was not helping, more like causing problems.  He has been a pill so the last two weeks we have been practicing tight control on all dog behavior.  He is much better and waits and listens better.  I had to have some help to reinstall the door it was a two person and a lever manuever.  I rescheduled the slaughter day for later this month.  I will help sort the sheep even if it means I need to feed and water the for a couple of days in the pen.  They are scheduled for two weeks from today.  

Catching up where to start.

I am way behind on the blog.  I know it and have been so busy I have let it slide.  On a plus note I have been taking pictures of the changes.  Lets start with the chickens.  I got more of the little buggers.  There was a sale at the feed store and I picked up some naked neck turkens, only 8 pullets.  We kept them in the house for almost two weeks in the brooder I made a couple of years ago.  When they get so noisy that you cannot watch TV in the living room then it is time to move them outside.  It is never simple so I had to go outside and clean out the baby area, apply more wood pellets, clean out the feeders and waterers and install them in the baby area.  I opted to go with the nipple waterer.  It is not freezing cold yet so the nipples will not freeze up yet.  We managed to get everyone moved over without incident and the chickens are doing well.