Life of a Farm Blog

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Christmas 2007


Wow what a difference just a few days makes. The chickenhouses are dang near done. The guys have been busy daylight to dark hanging curtains and installing equipment. I still have a long list of things that need to be done before the chickens come, but I’m much closer than I was. The 6000 is still a muddy mess. I can’t count the buckets of mud, muck, gravel, and trash I’ve hauled. Just as soon as the weather warms up enough so I won’t catch pneumonia I’m going to give it a bath and a good greasing. I’d hoped to use the skid steer the contractors have rented for more of the cleanup, but with all the mud I kept finding myself sitting there spinning. The concrete trucks had left some huge ruts where we had’nt put down gravel yet. One peice of equipment I’ve been glad to have around is the trackhoe the excavating crew left behind. I was hesitant to use it even though they told me to, but after waiting almost 2 weeks on them to come back to clean up and get things ready for the feed bin pads I had to get things ready. The concrete crew was due back in town around noon so I arranged for a truck and my buddy Kenny and I got the feed bin pads ready for concrete. While we were at it we got all the culverts ready to pour headwalls on.


The weather is still crazy here. One day we have snow on the ground and a couple days later it’s highs in the 60s. I geuss the old saying “if you don’t like the weather in Kentucky just stick around it’s going to change” is more true than ever. This week has been full of Christmas parties. Bj and I attended the parties for both Cobb and the McCreary County Museum. Bj won a new digital camera at the Cobb party. We also went to school to eat Christmas dinner with Garett and Mattie this week. It’s good to get together and see everybody and enjoy a meal, but I am always exhausted after these things.


We were lucky enough to get a local drilling rig working on drilling us a water well for the chickenhouses. Water is an expensive utility here. I can’t figure out why water is 3 times more expensive here than in surrounding counties. At any rate the drill is at 165 feet deep and we have some water. The driller says it would be more than enough for a residence, but he’s unsure about capacity for chickenhouses. I’m told the water needs can reach 3500 gallons a day in the summer. Now we must decide whether to go deeper and hope for more water while taking a chance on losing what we have or holding where we are at. Another possibility is that if we go deeper we could get unusable water. Over the years there has been a lot of mining in this area resulting in water heavy in iron and sulfur. I believe we’ll hold what we got and see if it’s enough.


While Kenny was around I got him to help me replace the porch posts on the log house. I gotta say they look much better than the rotten pine posts. I chose the cedar for it’s rustic look. I was planning on leaving the majority of the short limbs on the posts, but decided to saw them off after realizing the kids run and play on the porch a lot and it wouldn’t take but one slip for them to get hurt. As soon as we got the post up Nana asked us to start on a hand rail and rails between the posts.  That meant walking all over the farm trying to find the right size cedar trees. I’ve found the trees and as soon as I can get away from the chicken houses I will finish it up for her.

As always thanks for reading and take a look at the new pics I’ve added. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!


21 Responses to “Christmas 2007”

  1. Kyle Says:

    Merry Christmas!!!

  2. joelw Says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    The Combs’
    Joel, Bj, Katie, Kaylee, Garett, and Madison

  3. teresa Says:

    i just happened upon your blog about 2 to 3 months ago and must say i am hooked…i am a country girl at heart but only live on 3.5 acres in california….i enjoy hearing about the country life you live and am glad to hear that it still exists…thanks for keeping my country heart afloat..merry christmas to you and your family…

  4. joelw Says:

    Glad to have you reading! Good to know there are more country folks at heart out there. Thanks for the comment. Make sure you come back soon. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Melissa Says:

    Hi Joel,
    I know what you’re saying about the weather, it’s like that here in Ohio too. So much for a white Christmas! Hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday!

  6. joelw Says:

    I’m not sure what to make of the weather. One could blame it on so many things. Haven’t had a white Christmas here in many years. Hope you’re having a great holiday! Thanks for the comment!

  7. Piglet Cutter CWD,CPI Says:

    Have you thought about the possibility of drilling multiple wells at the 165 foot depth? This could me a much more feasable solution as you already know that the water at that depth is of good quality.

    Thanks for your time and have a Happy New Year!

  8. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel;

    Glad to hear you had a good Christmas and are getting closer to done on your project, although there always seems to be something that needs to be done!

    Just a comment on the question Piglet Cutter posed; we had a good supply of underground water in my area for several years at the 110-130 foot level. If you went much deeper you would run into sulfur from coal seams, and would have to go down around 600 to get back into good water again. Because of that most people tapped into the water at the same level. Well, as many of the smaller farms got divided up into smaller lots for house sites the developers/owners tapped into the same water table as what we had been using. What eventually happened was that because of the increased number of people using water the water table would drop down at certain points in the summer to where that we would get rusty water or dry pump the well. Right now I am using water from the public water supply district for my house, as my pump needs to be replaced. If I get any livestock in the future I will need to replace my pump, but will need to have my well rechecked for capacity, and possibly think of drilling deeper. A prospect I don’t like to think about. My recommendation is that Joel might want to think about getting a tank installed that would allow him to pump the volume of water he would need in twenty four hours, but would not over tax the well in the amount of gallons per minute/hour being pumped. Yet another option is to increase the bore diameter of the well, it will hold more water at the base of the well, and can allow more gpm/h to be pumped.

    I understand what you are saying about how costly public water supply districts can be. I am lucky, I am on a district that has several users, and is in an area where that setting water lines is fairly easy. However, there are other water districts in my county which are much more costly. They claim that it is partially due to the number of miles to customers that they have to install, and the troubles they have with installing the lines and getting decent water. Some of the pricing problem also has to due with how they set up thier charges; some charge a flat rate per hundred/thousand gallons, and others charge a graduated rate so that they bigger users get a break on the price per thousand.

    They are calling for us to get some more rain/sleet/snow this week. It has been to the point that we have been having a front move through about once a week, leaving a few inches, and then a warming trend where most of it melts off before the next one comes in. It beats the heck out of the ones where it doesn’t get warm and it just piles up. I spoke to my Aunt down in SE Missouri Christmas day and she said that they only had one storm come through and leave any ice/snow for them. She said that the area about thirty miles to the NW of them had gotten more than what they had.

    Well, I hope you keep doing well with your project and it looks like you will be more than ready for the New Year!

  9. joelw Says:

    I have indeed thought of doing just that. Actually it seems a better alternitive at this point than going deeper. According to the guys who do the drilling they have never gone much deeper and found clean water. Apparently once you are out of it there is no more other than water they described as tomatoe soup. I’ll keep everyone posted as to what transpires. Thanks for the comment!

  10. joelw Says:

    Busy as ever here and just think it will get busier when the chickens come. Ran the 6000 for right at 8 hours today moving dirt. Sure could have done it faster with a truck. Think I’ll start shopping since I’ll need one anyway.
    On the well subject, I plan to install a 5000 gallon tank with a float valve in it. That much water would do me 2 days except in the summer when cool cells are at full capacity. I’m looking at a 10 gpm pump. I’d rather pump consistently at that rate than try to suck the well dry all at once. I’m told the smaller pumps are much more dependable also. Along with the big tank I plan on putting in pressure tanks also. It’ll all shake out eventually. Trial and error, we’ll know what’s best. Seems to be the only way I can learn.
    Glad to hear the snow isn’t just piling up on ya up there. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll get over an inch this year. If I knew the weather would stay like it is I’d sew grass. I need to sew about 20 acres or more.

  11. Kevin Says:


    If you set up your tank on a high point of the property you won’t need anything other than a pressure tank near the pump to help regulate the cycling of the pump. If you put your tank in a low spot you may need to install a booster pump between the tank and the lines to provide you with adequate pressure wherever you send it to. (The upside of using gravity to provide pressure from your large tank is that you will have water even during a power outage, something you will need to be prepared for with all those chickens.)

    If you go with a smaller tractor for cleaning the barns and other chores I wouldn’t recommend anything smaller than a 35hp one. You get the benefit of it being capable of having a cat 1 3pt hitch, remote hydralics and still small enough to operate with a front end loader in a barn to do clean out chores. I’ve got a little 2wd 22hp tractor, and while it has a cat 1 3pt hitch it lacks remote hydralics, and it doesn’t have power steering, something you just about have to have on a tractor with a front end loader working in tight places. (Also it is a little too small to handle equipment that a 35hp one could, and make some of my chores go quicker.)


  12. joelw Says:

    Putting the tak on a high part of the property ust doesn’t seem an option. Everything around the houses is either lower or on the same level. Cobb specs require the pressure tanks. The well is only about 100 ft from the houses. I don’t thik pressure will really play a big role.
    On the smaller tractor I was thinking something 30 hp with 4wd, HST, and a loader. I plan to buy a cab tractor soon and probably keep the 6000 too. I just don’t see spending the money for a skid steer since it would only be used for cleanout.
    We’re getting lots of rain here today with thunderstorms. Crazy weather for December.

  13. Kyle Says:


    Haven’t you seen our “Tractors” page on our website? Everything is for sale if the right price is offered. Unfortunately, none of them are Mahindras, and only two have loaders, the Kubota, and the Case crawler. Now, the Case crawler I think would be nice because it has a backhoe, but it doesn’t have a 3 point, and is not concrete or landscape friendly. And, it’s also 48hp, a little big for what you are lookin’ for, but is a great deal. I think a skid steer would be nice for what you have. Our up-street neighbor has one, and he clears trees with it ev’ryday, (he has a tree clearing business), and it does fine, even in the woods. I have done my homework on all equipment and skid steers just have so many attachments available, even 3 points on the front. But I’m sure you’ll make the right decision when the time comes.


    Have a good New Years!

  14. Kevin Says:


    I hope you and the family are having a Happy New Year!!! This morning my nephew’s wife delivered thier baby (thier first!). Gwenyth came into the world around 6:39AM and weighed in at 8 lbs, 8 ozs, and 20 1/2 inches! Mom and baby are doing great.

    I hear what you are saying about Cobb’s requirements, but they might not work in your situation. Speak with a couple of well/water system installers. I think they will tell you to put in a pressure tank at the well, along with the control box for the pump and then run a line to your large tank. Then you will need to install a booster pump between the tank and the line running to the chicken houses. The problem with trying to use pressure tanks is that you have to have water coming into them in order for them to supply you with pressure for the water coming out, and that once you deplete the water in the tank to the point that the pressure is equalized you end up with no force to increase the pressure to water being supplied. (I hope my explaination isn’t too confusing.) As your tank will be at a low spot in relation to your chicken houses, or wherever else you will be needing water, you will want to increase the volume and pressure of the water in the line. Just about the only way to effectively do that is with a booster pump.

    Mahindra has a number of nice sub CUT tractors like what you are describing. Personally though, I would go a little larger so that I have enough power to run some larger implements (nothing like what your 6000 or the 7010 can handle, but larger than what my 22hp can). Also you might find that with a 35hp tractor you can do some of the lighter work you have been doing with your 6000 and move on up to that 7010 with cab and use the implements you have for the 6000 for the heavier chores.

    Happy New Year!

  15. JIM Says:

    Hi Joel and family marry christmas and happy new year from 7csfarm.Glad to hear you are a full timer farmer now.I see you bought your 7010 glad to see that the farms coming along nice.Loved what you done to the truck driver im a trucker too and he was a jerk id done the samething.Our farm is going ok wife bought another pick up a week later the motor blew up and the electric to the house trl. shorted out.finaly got it all fixed right before christmas.had a great christmas
    we were home for a week i went to w.v. and got the baler i bought this sumer. It seems to work I had it hooked up to the farm all and it all moved and work good.hope it bales good still got about 10 rolls of hay left from last cut.hope i get them sold soon. well man from me and mine to you and yours god blees….

  16. JIM Says:

    if you dont mind me asking what program do you use todo your web page?

  17. Niki Says:

    WOW You have been busy! Good work.

  18. lella Says:

    Happy New Year to the whole family! Best wishes with all your enterprises. You really have worked very hard on all this. Everything looks very good, all that hard work shows.

  19. joelw Says:

    Thanks for the comment. Good luck with your farm endeavors. Check back soon!

    Busy as a bee as always! Thanks for the comment!

    Happy New Year and Best Wishes to you and yours too! Thanks for noticing all the work we’ve put into the place. Hope you enjoy the blog!

  20. JIM Says:

    joelw thanx check out our web site when you get time love your web site we are about the same age we got 5 kids. and 1/3 the land would love to know what program you use on your web site our 12 yr old son jr dose our site by writing code for it the old fasonnd way.hope yall the best ill check back soon thanx god bless.

  21. joelw Says:

    This is a Word Press format. I gotta admit I’ve got a lot of help on that part of this. Thanks for checking us out!

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