Life of a Farm Blog

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Archive for May, 2007

Hay and Babies

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Finally got around to putting in the sheared roll pin in the PTO lever on the 6000. Turned out to be a real simple fix. Just Loosened the bolts that serve as stops for the lever and drove the old one out with a 1/4 inch bolt. Then just drove the new one in while BJ held the lever in the spot I needed it. I’d a lot rather be replacing a bolt or roll pin than replacing or troubleshooting an electro unit. Now that I’ve serviced the tractor and got the roll pin replaced I should be good to go for a while.

Hay season has begun here in Kentucky. We took advantage of the warm weather to get a few rolls done. Just like every year I’ve already broken something though. This time it’s the tines on the Sitrex tedder. Looks like about 5 of them will have to be replaced. It too should be a simple fix. All the other equipment seems to be in good shape.

Spring brings new babies to the farm. I picked up a couple bottle calves for the kids. They are Jersey bull calves. Now if I can just get them to feed them once the new wears off. Right now it’s not a problem. They love to give the babies a bottle. Garett’s rabbits are beginning to multiply too. He has 2 new litters, one of 6, and one of 5. That’s 11 babies and the 6 grown rabbits. It’s time to figure out what to do with them once they aren’t babies anymore. One thing is for sure, it’s time to build some cages. I picked up the wire to line the bottoms and have enough hemlock left to do the sides and dividers. Now if I can just somehow find the time to build them. I’ve got a list a mile long of things to do.

We took a trip to the local Tractor Supply Company to pick up milk replacer for the calves and the girls found some of the cutest shirts. I was opposed to buying them because they are John Deere shirts, but they insisted. I told them we don’t have anything John Deere, but they pointed out I have Harley Davidson stuff and I don’t have a Harley. Marketing genius on both these companies parts. At any rate the shirts are very cute. Madison’s says “Girls Just Love Big Ol Tractors” and Kaylee’s says “I’m a Farm Angel”.

We’ve all spent quite a bit of time in the garden pulling weeds this week. It’s such a hoot because as we pull the weeds we put them in a wheelbarrow and take them to the fence for the goats. They will run fast as they can and even fight over weeds. Standing belly deep in fescue and orchard grass and fighting over weeds. Just seems crazy to me. Everything is doing really good in the garden except the potatoes that were just coming up during the big freeze. The ones we had left from last year in the basement are doing much better. We still have not gotten the corn and beans in the ground. I put about 40 more tomato and pepper plants in the ground in hopes of selling some at local farmer’s markets. The plants were grown at Oakwood, a home for people with mental disabilities in Somerset. I like to try to support their greenhouse program when I can.

Not anything new on the poultry houses. The excavator is over a week late and Cobb obviously isn’t happy. The builder we will contract with and the production manager for Cobb were here early last week explaining that they have pullet farms coming online and have to have hen farms for those pullets as they mature. I guess nicely saying “get moving”. I’m giving the excavator until Monday and then I’ll have to go to plan B.

Well I better go take the tedder apart so I can get the replacement tines I need. Be sure to check out the pics I’ve added.

Planting and Planning

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Today has been a sad day here. One of the puppies got on the road and got run over. Of course the kids were heart broken. They all were crying. I swear I felt like running down the speed demon and giving him a piece of my mind. It’s ridiculous here, people fly up and down the road. The worst part is, they are in such a hurry to get to the dope dealers house. Law enforcement is a joke. If I know who’s dealing you know the cops do. I keep hoping someone will get elected that will actually do what they are supposed to do.

Another busy week here. In between work and spending time with the kids I managed to finish up the service on the 6000 and change the hydraulic filter mount that I destroyed with a pine tree. I had tried to JB Weld it back together, but it didn’t hold. Figured while I was into the service and would have the hydraulic filter off I’d better replace it before I ended up with hot hydraulic fluid all over me.

I got a bulldozing job this week too. I say bulldozing because when I showed up to mow I wanted to say “you need a bulldozer not a bush hog”. I knew the lady didn’t have the money for a bulldozer and I figured I have the next best thing. I took the 7ft IMC bush hog and backed over trees some so big it slipped the clutch on the mower. When I finally got it all mowed I took the bucket and piled all the brush and pushed over the trees I couldn’t get with the mower. When I was done I had a pile bigger than the tractor. As soon as I can find time I’ve got a couple gardens to till and a driveway to grade. Hopefully the weather will cooperate on Wednesday and Thursday and I can get that done.

The contractor came back and started putting the hemlock siding on the log house and barn. I think it really helps the appearance. I think we’ll be done for a while when the siding is done and stained, the metal work is finished, and we get some gutters.

We had planned to rent equipment and start clearing land as soon as the house was finished, but when we went to set up an account with Whayne Supply they were borderline rude about their requirements and that really turned me off. I hate when someone thinks they are better than me. I don’t have much, but I’ve worked hard for what I have and if I tell you I’ll do something I’ll do it. It just seemed to me they looked down on us. Caterpillar hasn’t been exactly great about taking care of the equipment they’ve sold/rented Kingsford either. Actually that’s the very reason they bought a Komatsu skid steer. At any rate a friend of the family has started his own excavating business and we decided just to hire him on a per acre basis to clear for us. He should get started in the next couple weeks.

We got our beef and pigs back from the slaughterhouse. Filled the freezers to the brim. It’s good to know we got plenty to eat. Sold the last of the pigs today. I had been holding one for a friend of a neighbor. My friend Wade came up today and we decided to go ahead and start cutting the hay. I hooked up the disc mower and he took the 6000 to his garage to put in the roll pin I sheared. He’s gonna cut while I’m at work. We both agree too that it’s time for a radio. He said he’d hook it up if I’d buy it.

The kids and I did a little hoeing and planting today too. We set out about 40 pepper and tomato plants. I’m going to try to get the beans and corn out one day this week. I’ve seen neighbors planting them both the last few weeks. I hope the children continue to be interested in agriculture. Madison has talked about becoming a large animal vet. Garett wants to be a dentist. Kaylee a nurse. It’s scary to think it won’t be too long until I’ll be paying college tuition. I noticed an ad today describing a scholarship program for women in agriculture sponsored by Mahindra. I’m glad that Mahindra is encouraging women to pursue careers in agriculture. Women have a sensitive style about them that men don’t have and I have seen many times a woman could handle an animal a man couldn’t. It’s good that a company would help support this style of life. I believe they are the first tractor manufacturer to do this sort of scholarship just for women, not open to men.
Well 5 am will come early so I’ll go for now…………Check back soon and be sure to check out the pics I’ve added to the site.

Long Weekend

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007


Well, I think mother nature decided to skip spring and go straight for summer. I spent the whole weekend outside with the kids and we got a little too much sun. We all have bright red cheeks and necks. It was a lot of fun though. We spent a day in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and went horseback riding here around the farm.

It was a short week for me at work. I had scheduled off Friday and Saturday night and then before I left for work on Thursday, school called to say Garett had a low temperature and was complaining of a stomach ache. That meant I had to skip work and pick him up. He ran a fever all night Thursday, so BJ took him to the doctor on Friday. I figured our weekend would be spent at home since he was sick. Turns out he has strep throat, but after he spent most of Friday napping he snapped right out of it and wanted to do what we had planned. He must be over it now because he has not had a fever or acted sick at all since.

The Spring Planting Days in the Big South Fork NRRA was great for the kids. It was great to see all the aspects of early farm life. They got to see draft animals working, flint knapping, quilting, pottery, blacksmithing, wool spinning, and live dulcimer music. I can’t say enough about how nice all the exhibitors were. They all welcomed the kids in to participate in the activities. The Park Rangers were all very nice too. The shuttle driver made a real buddy out of Garett. When Garett told him we were going to go eat our picnic lunch he asked Garett if he had brought an extra sandwich for him, and Garett told him “no, but I brought an extra apple” and he took it to the driver when we went back to the farm.

We managed to get 3 of the horses shoed and 2 shoes on one other this week. Madison has talked about horses all weekend. She loves to ride. I’ve got to find her some boots. She has cowboy boots but has a hard time standing up with the slick bottoms. Today after we got back from our ride she told me it was time she start riding by herself. She assured me she knew what to do so I let her ride a little in the field by herself while I stayed close. I think she’s going to be a real cowgirl. BJ has adopted the colt. She got him out of his stall and gave him a bath and led him around a little.

Earlier in the week I did a little mowing. The roll pin in the handle that actuates the PTO on the 6000 broke on me. I’ve got to take the old one out and put in a new one. I’d alot rather be putting in a roll pin than trying to figure out why an electronic part isn’t working. I still need to finish the service too.

We spent a few hours with a builder from Arkansas Friday evening discussing the poultry houses. They can offer the total package minus excavation and fencing. I can do the fencing myself and save money. I cannot believe the time that I have spent just getting bids on this project.

Check back soon and be sure to check out the pics I’ve added to the site.

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