Life of a Farm Blog

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Cold, Snow, and Puppies

Well the cold is back and it brought an inch of snow with it. I’m ready for spring. I think everyone here is ready. Yesterday we took a tour of a commercial hen house. I posted some pics here. I was impressed with how little labor is involved in taking care of such a large amount of birds. Everything is automated. I was pleasantly surprised that there was virtually no smell. The birds seem happy and healthy too. Now the only decision left will be is this right for us and this farm. That and can we borrow such a large amount of money.

The children are all feeling bad today. Mattie has strep throat and I’m sure the others will have it too. My mom has gone back home with my dad for a doctors appointment. I’m planning to go to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville this weekend so I’ll drop by to visit with them in Owenton, Ky. I’m going to check out the Mahindra display at the show and quiz the folks about upcoming new products.

I got some interesting pics of the goats yesterday. I see them doing crazy things all the time. Sometimes I don’t see how they keep from hurting themselves or one another.

Kenny (the contractor) is starting on the windows in the log house this week. I guess it’s a good thing my mom went home. I can see it getting cold in the house as he takes out the windows to replace them. We took Kenny on the tour of the hen house with us. He believes we can build one a whole lot cheaper than the projected figures from Cobb.

Still haven’t figured out what exactly is wrong with my truck. It died on me here on the farm a couple nights ago. After cranking until the batteries were dead I finally went and got the 6000. I used the jumper cables to get it primed with the lift pump and then hooked a chain to it and pulled it until it finally started. I used it today to feed and it never once acted up. I guess it’s got a ghost. Sometimes it runs fine and then others it will just refuse to run.

We got a surprise this morning about 3 am. Daisy, the kids’ cocker spaniel had seven puppies. I talked to the ex wife about renting the double-wide. She was excited about the idea. We’ll have to discuss it more when we get the log house all finished.

Well lots to do so I better run………….Thanks for reading!

16 Responses to “Cold, Snow, and Puppies”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Joel, Family & Friends,
    Have fun at the farm show! They have one set up here in Kansas City sometime in the near future, (I don’t recall if it is in late February or early March), it isn’t as big as the National show there in Louisville, but lots of opportunities to see the new equipment and various suppliers.
    Looking forward to seeing photos of the pups, and trying to figure out what breed the dad is. You know how it goes with dogs and cats, sometimes they come into heat and you don’t know it until after they have thier little ones.
    I thought of a couple of other business ideas for you to mull over. One is Christmas tree farming. I know you have problem with the pine beetle in your area, but I am sure with spraying and careful management you can make a profitable venture of it. The down side is you will need to invest 5 to 6 years between planting and your first year of harvesting. You will need to devote some ground to the operation, which will cut down on available grazing, but you can leave enough space between the rows for haying. Looking at the photos of your place it looks like most of the ground is rolling to hilly so tree farming will work well. You also get the added benefit of another income line on the farm. Christmas tree farms also are compatible with the pumpkin patch/cider mill business.
    The other business I thought of was mushroom farming. With the stock you have on the farm, and the area having sawmills, you have two of the ingredients for raising cultivated mushrooms. The other things you will need are water and a building/cellar capable of sustaining year round temps in the 40 to 60 degree range. Your Ag Extension Agent can give you more information on either of these two operations. If he is a little short on the tree farm business contact your state forestry office or tree farm association.
    As to the problem with your truck have you treated the diesel fuel? I am a truck driver as well, so I can tell you from first hand experience, that if it isn’t drawing fuel, it is cranking, and you don’t have air in the line you might have either jelled fuel or a dirty fuel filter. If you took off the fuel filter, dumped out the old fuel and refilled it with ATF, and she still won’t fire then figure it might be a problem with the pump. Just keep looking at the possiblities of what could be causing the problem before you decide it is an expensive part that needs to be replaced.
    Take care and keep at it!

  2. Walter Jeffries Says:

    Cold, windy and snowy here in Vermont. The blizzard dumped about 34″ of new snow on us which the kids are thrilled with for snow boarding on the driveway up to the whey tank as well as in the south field. It is hard to imagine how one would plow snow like this without a front end loader on the tractor. I’m sure a pickup and plow couldn’t have done the job. I got the snow off the back drive just in time for the Thursday delivery of whey for the pigs.

    Found your blog as it was a google ad on my blog. I’m enjoying reading your posts.


    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in Vermont

  3. Kevin Says:

    Joel, Family & Friends,
    I forgot to mention to you that if you decide that you need to finance buildings, equipment, stock or other items necessary for the farm you ought to check with your extension agent. Here in MO we have a number of programs set up for beginning young farmers, many of them offer reasonable interest rates and terms. You can also check with some banks in your area that handles ag loans. Another source is the Production Credit Association. They used to be a good lender for small farmers in our area. They were great for farmers who were either just starting out or expanding thier operations. If your dad and mom are on the deed to property with you, you can still qualify for some of the young farmer loans by having them give you a lease on the property, but they would have to get financing for the construction of any structures that you would need.
    I’m glad your ex is interested in the idea of renting the house from you. Just make sure to put whatever the agreement will be in writing, that way there will not be any way of disputing what the two of you agreed to.

  4. Paul Says:

    Hey I have a question and this will let you know that your gmail link is actually working. I just logged into my mail and saw your feed so I clicked on it. How does a farm guy with three kids afford that kind of marketing?

  5. Jamie Says:

    Hello Joel,

    Thought you would like to know that your Google ad is getting noticed. You have an interesting site, so I’ll spread the word.

  6. joelw Says:

    I’ve thought of Christmas trees. That’s something else I just haven’t had time to get into. The slopes would be suitable for any kind of tree farming. I need to get the KY Dept of Forestry out here to do a timberstand improvement. I never really thought about mushroom farming, though I gotta admit Kingsford treats me like a mushroom sometimes. The pups are Cocker Spaniels. I bred her to the male I just didn’t realize it was time. Now I’ll have to find a home for some puppies. The trouble with the truck is a fuel supply problem. It’s been treated with Cetane and got a new filter, but it didn’t help. I’ll figure it out I just hate working on them. Keep the ideas coming.

  7. David Says:

    sounds like the pmd is going out in your truck, I just had to replace it in my 2000 gmc. I got the part from and it was somewhere around $430 for the parts and shipping. Go to their site and look up the GM 6.5 Diesel FSD Heat-Sync kit. That will solve your problem, because the kit relocates the pmd and it’s about a 10 to 20 min fix that anyone can do. On the chickenhouses, make sure it’s what you want to do because it’s such a huge investment and it’s not something you can get into and right back out of easily. My family has been in the chicken buss. since the mid 60′s. Once you get them up and running someone has to be there all the time in case something goes wrong.

  8. joelw Says:

    Thanks for the link. I’ve looked for a 6.5 litre turbo diesel site, but it doesn’t seem like too many folks still work on them. I know what you mean about the chickenhouse investment. Is your family happy with being in the chicken business?

    How about a link to your blog?
    I don’t know how we made it without tractors with 4wd and a loader!

    As you can see, I have partnered with Mahindra.

    Thanks for reading!

  9. David Says:

    My dad loves it, we built 3 more houses last year and he was finally able to retire from being a auto mechanic. I’d like to build some houses myself, but the problem is finacing. Can’t find anyone who will finance the land and houses/equipment. We grow for Koch, foods in Chattanooga,Tn.

  10. joelw Says:

    Thanks that’s very reassuring. There seems to be a lot of negativity out there about this. It’s good to know you folks are happy with the business. I don’t have a problem with being home all the time in case something happens. That’s kind of my whole goal. I just want to be home on the farm and with the kids in the evenings. Good luck, I hope you can find someone who can help you with financing.

  11. Scooter Says:

    I’ll wish you luck on fixing the truck. I hate having to trouble shoot problems with machinery.

  12. Charylene Says:

    Hi. Really cute pups. I was looking at the expression on the pup’s mom’s face. I wonder what she was thinking? LOL. Char

  13. Niki Says:

    I’m beginning to wonder how I live without a 6000. Sigh. Hope you’ll post the solution of the truck.

  14. joelw Says:

    Thanks for the sympathy. I used to enjoy working on stuff, but lately I just don’t have the patience. Thanks for reading!

    It was mom’s first litter. I’m not sure she knew what was going on, but she has done very well.

    I’ve ordered the part I hope will fix the truck. I’ll keep you posted. Just run on out and pick yourself up a 6000 or even better a 6500 or 7520. If you can get a 7010 cab I’ll just trade with you. Thanks for reading!

  15. Charylene Says:

    Hi, again. So that explains that look on the mom dog’s face! I have read about all your hard work. It is amazing and it is a wonderful legacy now and to leave your children.I am really impressed and everything looks wonderful.

  16. joelw Says:

    Thanks for reading I hope you enjoy!

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