Saturday, November 12, 2016

Farm 3, predators 0.

Well Annmarie is showing me up again.  We tried to go to bed on Thursday night but the dogs would not come in.  I stand on the porch and holler at them like they are five year old kids.  Annmarie comes out and just hollers “come” repeatedly.  I know they do better with that but trust me they all know what I am saying just like a five year old kid!  So both older dogs come in but Mouse will not come.  He is somewhere in the front yard and its realy hard to see a mostly black dog in the dark.  So we grab the $18 wonder flashlight and scan the yard.  We spot Mouse at the base of the big front tree near the barn.  Annmarie flashes the light up into the tree and there is another raccoon.  After the last time we did this and she didn’t have a 22 rifle I had gone to my parents and picked up my fathers rifle.  It is a Ruger 10/22 bolt action with a Leopold Vari IIx 2-7 power scope.  She had not shot it since I brought it home.  So we trudged back inside, left Mouse to keep the coon treed and got coats, rifle and Walther P22.  We walked out and I held the flashlight.  The racoon was about halfway up the tree now waiting.  She shot once and it fell 35 feet to the ground.  It was dead but I made sure it was not getting up.  She complemented the rifle stating that “this is a much nicer scope” than mine.  Yes, I had a $40 wonder on mine, I don’t think she knows the scope costs more than the rifle.  Once the shooting started Mouse wanted to be any where but near us.  I find it amazing that our chocolate lab would run for the door and get excited when the guns started blasting but would run from all animals but our border collies will attack anything but absolutely hate guns.  Shows you how much behavior can be associated with breeds.  I realize you can train almost any breed to do anything but natural affinity makes it much easier.  So now I need to make another trip to the boneyard before it rains and makes the path up the hill impossible.  
 
Clean Horse Hay area.I went out yesterday and finished loading the last of the alfalfa in the machine shop.  I need to get it in the barn so I can pick up the last two loads of hay.  Once that is all in the barn then I need to get our large bales brought over to the house so we can stack them in the machine shed. I purchased too much hay so I need to get it all under cover and stored so that I can use it over the next couple of years.  I got carried away.  The light in the machine shop and the high speed internet are both amazing things!  The internet is 5 times better than it was.  In an effort to not but all the hay in the barn I also fed the cows.  Mouse still does not like the pickup or any moving vehicle.  I put him in the back of the pickup with Zeke and he promptly jumped out. I had to tie a rope to his collar to keep him from jumping out.  We drove from the lower field to the house and then I made him stay in the back while I talked to Frank.  He was out doing some pheasant hunting. Mouse was super happy when he got out of the back of the pickup.  It is the next big thing to work on with him.  He needs to be able to ride in the back of the pickup.  I cleaned out the horse area with the tractor and laid down some new straw.  The rain is supposed to come back.  
  The rain is suppossed to be coming back on Sunday or Monday. I am trying to get as much done outside as possible.  If the weather holds out much longer I may even have to start working on some fence!  The fence over in the momma sheep area needs to be redone.  I need to add a gate, restretch the fence and add another layer of woven wire to keep the babies in.  The horses pushed a lot of the fence over last summer.  We may need to run a single strand of hot wire across the top to keep the horses off of it next summer.  
If I can get the horse area built back up then I won’t need to use the hot wire, I can open a gate and let the horses go behind the barn to get their own water. I like this plan but it requires a lot more work on my part to be implented.  It also requires a lot of rocks to be brought down from the hill.  
After we slaughter in a couple of weeks then I can start pulling rocks off the hillside and creating a large pile by the sorting chute. I will need them for the horse area.  I need middle size rocks, not too small and not too big!
 
 
 
 The butcher should be here just before Thanksgiving for 2 cows and 13 sheep.  I have not plugged in our other freezer yet.  I moved everything and defrosted it last month.  It needed it, I really should do it with our small freezer also.  
I talked with a coworker and I may be able to raise a few turkeys and have someone else process them as trade for a turkey so I don’t have to clean the bird.  I will need to build a turkey house first!  One more potential project.  I think it would be cool and a couple of turkeys for the freezer would be nice.  I would like to eat one fresh.  If they are as good as everything else farm raised and free ranged they will be very good indeed.  
 Second to last load of alfalfa to put in the barn.  It is going to wait until Saturday.  I already moved 35 bales yesterday and I am too sore to move more. The hay stack is seven high now.  I do realize that I have made hay stairs but I am here to say that after six bales high the stack becomes very painful to keep dragging bales up the pile. A lot of work!