Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Real mowing


Tractor mower deck repaired

I can tell it is almost summer by the time between blog posts.  I am slacking again and need to keep up.  I had attempted to mow the grass with the tractor on Friday when I heard this awful clanking.  It was so bad that Donna came out and met me to ask if I could hear the noise?  I have music ear buds playing and hearing muffs over that whenever I am on the tractor.  I could still hear the clanking but was hoping it would go away.  I took it back over to the machine shop and realized that an original weld had broke and the metal deck had bent inwards.  I spent ten minutes and bent it back into shape.  It lasted until I hit my first rock, about 2 minutes then started clanking again.  I headed right for Packy's Welding shop to see if it could be fixed ASAP.  I made it just before they closed and they fixed it all up for me so I could start mowing that evening.  I have been taking every opportunity to get on the tractor and mow the cheat grass and weeds.  We have had enough rain to make everything grow very well.  The grass is almost two feet tall now.  I have spent three days mowing.  The only thing I have left is the roads going through the bottom pastures and the bottom pasture.  I would like to mow the back upper hillside and stunt the sage brush.  I had the sage brush mowed two years ago and it really put the hurt on it.  I think I can do it every five years and get better grazing off of the hillside. I have another two days of mowing.  I need to install both culverts so I can drive over the irrigation ditch with the mower.  Otherwise I cannot get the mower into the bottom without getting the tractor stuck.  After the last time I got the tractor stuck, I don't want a repeat performance.
 
Mowing in progress
I can sure tell that we have been here for a few years.  I do not hit as many things in the tall grass/weeds when mowing as I used to.  Every year I try and clean up a section of the property by either burning the wood, scraping the metal or picking up large rocks.  It is starting to pay off. 

The lawn mower is broken again so I spent part of yesterday mowing our yard with the weed eater.  I did a pretty good job and got about 2/3 of the way done until I hit a hidden hand scythe near the fence and broke the head on the weed eater.  Luckily, I have a spare head already, I just need to install it.  I had heard the mower was broken so I fired it up today to see where.  It smoked badly, but ran.  I am going to fill it with oil and see how it does this summer.  I may just have to add oil with every tank of fuel.  I need to get the lawn under control.  Once the lawn is corralled and controlled, and the bottom fields are mowed I can work on the horse enclosure fence.  This weekend I am going to try and get the irrigation pump piping all lined up and working.  I think it is possible. 
All four babies visible
We had another baby calf this week, for a total of four.  There is one lone heifer holding out on us.  Unfortunately, we will need to get the bull away from the January baby girls by June.  So the plan is to sort the cows in a couple of weeks allowing us to gender check the two new babies, tag them and band them if necessary.  We will pull off the bull and the pregnant heifer and toss them in with the two steers.  We will move the other four heifers and babies down to the schoolhouse pasture.  This will put three fences between the babies and the bull.  I need to do some more fencing in the barn lot before anything else.  I need to install some solid wooden posts to keep the bull from leaning on the fence.  I also need to raise the barn lot fence on the wheat side, it is too low, the bull gets over it. He will need to stay away from the babies as they grow so we can eat them next year.  They are too closely related to breed back to him.  He is rough on fences so I will have to put woven wire top and bottom with no gaps to keep him from working his way through the fence. 
Our new ram, Oreo, has been doing his job, I see him out there milling around chasing female sheep nonstop.  He won't be near as tame when we pull them back in a couple of months. No human contact time.  We will try and bribe him with treats to get him to remember we are nice.

I needed to mow the new alpaca enclosure area.  I installed a four foot gate so I could get through with the tractor.  I lined up on the opening and had to pay super close attention so I did not snag the mower on either railroad tie as the opening is barely wide enough.  I had totally forgotten that I had installed an overhead 4x4 to keep the posts from spreading.  I had my roll bar up and snapped the post in two and got conked in the head by the flying piece.  I always forget how tall the roll bar is and how many things I keep hitting with it.  I am not sure what I am going to do now.  I should have made the bar another foot higher and this would not have been a problem. 

I will try and call tomorrow to get the irrigation sprinkler parts ordered and I can pick them up on Friday. 
 
It seemed like a good idea at the time