Life of a Farm Blog

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Hay and Babies

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.


9 Responses to “Hay and Babies”

  1. Niki Says:

    Woohoo! You go girls! They are smart! A John Deere ad on shirts isn’t Mahindra but heck better than Botox or Viagra ads. LOL. You’ve been busy and deserve great praise. Ohoh with the little bulls. All my friends suggest goats to help me keep up with the weeds but I think a riding mower a much better idea. Going to pick one up at the beginning of June. Keep up the good work….it gives me a chuckle.

  2. Kevin Says:

    Joel, Family & Friends,

    Yup, those guys who come up with advertising merchandise are real slick. I remember back when you could walk into any feed store, implement dealer or other business and they would just about give you any number of hats, T-shirts, calendars, thermometers, pens and coffee cups you would want, then it dawned on them, “why are we giving this stuff away, I bet people would pay for it!” And like lemmings to the cliff,we do, just jumping at the chance to pay for something that once was a freebie.

    Well, that is the thing about being a contract grower, you are always on the other man’s schedule. You know how that goes at Kingsford, now you’ll be doing it on the farm. I hope the excavating company can give you a reasonable explaination, and better yet, get onto the job ASAP! I know I get aggravated with the guys I’ve hired in the past who spend two hours discussing how to do a twenty minute job.

    I went over to a town about twenty miles from me to look for a seat for my tractor. The one here has some, but not the type I wanted. They still had chicks, ducks and turkeys in the store. The lady at the front told me that it was the last shipment she was going to get. “Thank God!” (her comment on the situation.) Some of them were getting big enough they were starting to feather out. The prices she had on them was probably why she hadn’t sold some of them, I can go down to a hatchery not thirty miles away and buy the same birds for a third of the price. The farm store here was having “fish day”, today. You could order fish, up until Wednesday, and they would deliver whatever you wanted to stock your pond. This time the main fish they were offering were the channel catfish and minnows. In the fall it will be bass and walleye.

    Well, I need to get busy and get back to mowing. I’ll put on the new seat whenever I get the chance, but the grass has got to be cut first.

    Kevin

  3. Mai Says:

    I don\’t remember if I have ever commented here, but I visit your farm often. This blog has its own distinct freshness and charm.

    I, being a frustrated former truck farmer, come here for nourishment of the spirit. And memories of better days, when the body was more cooperative.

    Thank you.

    Mai, the Sick Sikh of Seattle\’s South Sound

  4. betty Says:

    wow You have a wonderful blog! I haven\\\’t the time to read through the whole thing in one sitting,but plan to do so a little at a time.
    I don\\\’t know how you manage with 3 kids,farming, and working another job.We rarely hear of a man raising his children. You are doing a wonderful job with raising your children out on farm. May God continue to bless your home and your children.

  5. Bigboy Says:

    Did he quit the blog?????????

  6. joelw Says:

    Niki,
    Never thought of it that way, but a Deere ad certainly beats a lot of things I’ve seen on shirts. Good luck with the riding mower, but the goats would be much more fun. Thanks for reading!

    Kevin,
    You got it, these guys really are slick. They have chicks certain times of year here. Always only straight run though. I think they would sell more if they would sex them. Not a lot of folks kill their own chickens any more and thus noone wants a bunch of roosters running around. Have you seen shipping on birds since 911, it’s gone sky high. I’ve been going to get some fish for the pond here, but it just hasn’t been high enough on my list of things to do to actually happen. Oh well maybe soon. Thanks for reading!

    Mai,
    Glad you enjoy. Please keep coming back. Thanks for reading!

    Betty,
    It’s sad that more men don’t get a chance to raise their children. The courts are biased against men. I’ve been through torment in the courts here. I can only say that I have an understanding ex-wife who wants me to be a part of my children’s lives. I would encourage every father to join an organization that promotes father’s rights.
    I hope that the farm can continue to be successful and a good influence on the children. Most of all I hope they can learn important lessons about life, develop good work ethic, and most of all be happy here on the farm. Thanks for reading and please check back!

    Bigboy,
    I haven’t quit. I’ve just been terribly busy both at work and here on the farm. Finally got all the hay done and now having to work overtime at Kingsford. On a good note though, we got all the hay up without any rain on it and Kingsford had record sales for the month of May, so both fronts are doing good. Thanks for reading and keep checking back!

  7. Matthew g Says:

    Great work, an inspiration to me – a single father with 6 children. Matthew Gebken, Beaverton, OR

  8. joelw Says:

    Matthew,
    Glad to have you reading. Tell those 6 kids I say hello!

  9. jim Says:

    love the blog read it as i can we got 50 acres and another 80 were hoping to get online we do a lot of hay. wife and i have 5 kids and a trucking out fit as well as the farm know about long list of things to do hope u get them done good luck.

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