Life of a Farm Blog

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More New Arrivals

We’ve been busy as beavers trying to keep everything caught up here on the farm. Seems something new is showing up every day. It’s kidding season for the goats so about every other day we are finding new baby goats. Madison is thrilled with the new babies. That’s the first place she goes when she gets off the school bus. She has to check on those babies. Of 14 mom’s we still have 10 to go so I suspect this ritual will continue for a couple more weeks.

Kaylee is thrilled with her new arrival too. I finally broke down and bought a truck. Not exactly what I wanted, but not the $30,000 I had expected to spend either. I ended up with another Chevrolet 6.5 turbo diesel. This one has a lot more power than the older blue one. Hopefully with a few power upgrades I can make it tow what I desire comfortably and keep it reliable. Doesn’t seem like I tow much any more anyway. First up I have to put a gooseeck hitch in it. Instead of trying to sell “old blue” I’ve been kicking around trading to an older GM muscle car, an ATV, or a combination stock/horse trailer.

It’s time for the 50 hour service on the 7010 so I’m hoping to make it to the Mahindra dealer this week to pick up the stuff to do it. While I’m there I’m going to see if he can get me tires for the dolly on the rake I bought last fall. Both of them are flat. They look really dry rotted so I figure it’s best to just replace them. I also have to pick up the box that operates the twine tie on my Vermeer roller. I don’t want to take the box off the 6000 in case I ever need to use it as a back up. While I’m there I’ll do my usual poking around. I’m in the market for a good square baler and I want to kick the tires on the smaller Mahindra’s I’m considering for cleanout at the chickenhouses.

 Well tons to do so I best get to it! Be sure to check out the pics I’ve added to the site! Thanks for reading and check back soon!

28 Responses to “More New Arrivals”

  1. Kevin Says:


    Cute kids! Hopefully you’ll have a nice crop of them, and no predator problems. It is almost amazing how many people can’t raise a spring/fall lambing/kidding due to the number of dogs and coyotes in this area. A number of them have almost gone to total confinement just to keep them safe. One lady I know raises milk goats on 4 acres. She keeps her goats in old hog/poultry confinement sheds and buys all of her feed. She says she can turn a profit because her goats are purebred, high producing animals which enables her to sell every one she produces, not to mention the demand for milk for cheese production is fair.

    That’s a nice looking truck Joel. I hope you get lots of good service out of it. Here, where I live, we are still fairly rural, but the problem is most of the dealers here cater to the town people and either ignore the farmers and commercial users or they figured out they can make more of a mark up on a special order truck. The manufacturers have gotten away from supplying 3/4 and 1 ton pickups to the dealers, unless they are crew cab, fully dressed, 4×4 model. A big part of that has to do with the camper and horsey people that have moved out of the city and onto “God’s Little Acre”. Now a days you’re hard pressed to find a 3/4 ton standard cab 8 foot boxed pick up on a lot in this area. Most of them are 1/2 ton extended cabs with 6 foot boxes. (I guess people aren’t afraid of hauling 20 pieces of 8 foot sheet rock with the tailgate down. But then they might have never seen a load slide out of the back because they didn’t have anyway to hold it in.)

    Take care, and we’ll see you later.


  2. joelw Says:

    We’re already up to 14 kids. Still a few goats to go too. We don’t have the predator problems here in my area. A few stray dogs, but not many. The problem we have is bad mommy’s. Some of our goats are great mothers, but others just don’t want the babies. We had to take one. I’m hoping it makes it on the milk replacer. They just never do as good on the powder. Thanks for the compliment on the truck. Its a one owner with just over 100,000 miles. Some older gentleman had a camper in the back of it. The truck came from Michigan. My dad drove up and hauled it back for me. Hard to find a good used truck these days and looks like it’s going to get harder as GM and Ford close plants.

  3. paintsmh Says:

    Awww those kids are SO SO SO cute!!! Can I borrow one? Just for a few weeks!

  4. joelw Says:

    They sure are cute, but an awful lot of trouble. Those critters can get out of any fence and they’re so curious. One year we had 2 bottle babies and BJ had to make the rounds at school. Initially she took them to Garett’s class, but once the other teachers saw the babies they wanted all their students to see them too. My dream was always to have a pumpkin patch with hay rides and all the farm goodies for kids.

  5. Chad Says:

    Joel, the idea of the pumpkin patch and hay rides is a great one. My wife works for an orchard in Maine that does that. They also do a corn maze that people come from miles around to go through. I do website work for a farm that has whole gradeschool classes come out and work on the farm for a couple days. Apparently, its called Agrotourism. I laughed when I first heard the term, it sounds odd. As far as your trucks, have you considered running bio diesel or vegtable oil? (both are made from waste vegtable oil)I’ve got a neighbor who makes his own diesel for just over a dollar a gallon. It’s work, but at 4.60 a gallon, its worth it. Running straight (but filtered) waste vegtable oil is also worth looking into, also some work, but just as inexpensive. The biggest problem is if you’ve got other people in the area allready picking up oil from all the restaraunts.

  6. Ray Says:

    Good to see you back and having a moment or two to post. I was starting to think last month we had lost you to the work of the farm for good. Babies are always such a special time on the farm. Good to see that the horses and such are going well also.

  7. joelw Says:

    I haven’t checked into the bio diesel route yet. I’m using so little diesel that I don’t get a “deal” on it’s been low on the list of priorities. Locally we have both a KFC and a Long John Silvers that use a lot of oil. I don’t know if they are selling or giving it to anyone or not, but it would be worth investigating. For now I’ve cut my cost a little by walking to and from the chickenhouse. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump. Nice cool morning air gets me off to a good start too.
    I always wanted to do the pumpkin patch. I just never had time with the full time factory job and hated to borrow the money to start it with no garauntee of a return. Agritourism is really taking off here. Lots of wineries, bed and breakfasts, and orchards popping up. I’ll be looking for ways to diversify this operation, but right now it seems the chickens are paying dividends and I should concetrate on them.
    Thanks for the comment!

    I’m still kicking. I make time for this when I can because I enjoy it and I’m really kinda proud of all we’ve accomplished. We had a little trouble with the host software last month and some posts disappeared. Hope we have it all straightened out now. We’re up to 14 babies now. Still a couple moms to go too. Thanks for the comment!

  8. paintsmh Says:

    We joke that my jerseys are goats in cow clothing. They can get out of just about anything too. And they are WAY to curious! The one is funny though. She wont come down from the pasture until she sees me. Then she walks with her head level with my hip the whole way down and into the barn down the alley way to her stall. Shes a stitch but I am awful glad she is going to the fair with me!

  9. mlytc Says:

    Rule of thumb on goat fencing, if it won’t hold water, it won’t hold goats.

  10. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel,

    I remember reading a story in Countryside from on of the writers about a problem she had with one of her kids. The curious little stinker got its head stuck in the hole of a cinder block she had been using to hold a gate closed. It seemed the goat’s horns kept it from pulling its head back out! She finally freed the kid with aid of a hammer. (She was able to crack it in two.) Unfortunately she didn’t say if the goat learned not to stick its head where it didn’t belong!


  11. John Says:

    Hi Joel,

    I haven’t been to the site for awhile. Sounds like the family is doing well and I like the truck you got. It is hard to find a good used one. Most 3/4 or 1 tons have been worked hard. I like that style.

    Glad to here the chickens are doing well. You have worked hard getting where you are and doing a great job of keeping it going.

    I just finished weening our kid crop last week and have been trying to make hay between the rain drops. We have had plenty of rain in the hoosier state so far. Our county fair in 2 weeks and my oldest son is taking afalfa. We haven’t got a decent cut yet. I am uasally planning second cut by now and havent finshed the 1st.
    I do have a question about your 6000. I am thinking of adding a hay accumilator and need a good loader tractor. I guess the question is are you happy so far? What is the lift height?

    Thanks in Advance,

  12. Jim Says:

    HI all,
    alot of what yall are saying sounds real familar we ve been cuting between the rain drops too we hay about 25acres of our own and about 20 that our real estate man owns we get to keep all we cut. hay price seems to be in a slump right now noone wants to pay much for it and nomatter how you bale it they are not happy,we been going to actions three days a week and the prices are running about 1.75 per bale up to 3.00. straw is paying better than hay its going for about 4.00 a bale thats bad real bad. we bought a secound goat a female this time and when we went to get her at the sale barn she bolted be fore we could get a rope on here it took me an hour to chace her down I finaly caught her in a corner in a warehouse next to the sale we bought 4 more calvs too that day brought them all home in the bed of the f-150 worked good they range in age from a few days old to a month old got them all cheap. I been working late almost every night lots of 18+ hr days we sleep in till 9am this morning but ill be up getting ready to go to the sale another few hrs Im taking a break right now,lol.That is a nice truck u bought Joelw.the goats are4 cute too by the way i got my baler on ebay for about 500.00 its old but works as good as gold we bought a hay bine from the dealer down the road for 1700.00.i love it so far we ve done about 600 bales with them and my old farmall only prob has been we have to pick them all up thats a full time job,lol my wife found out why you dont ware shorts to stack hay she scratced and sun burnt her legs real good lol.its been a real trip the kids love it and have been pitching in like grown folks its been real nice.not much free time though ,well ive done it again ive talked for ever well i got to get the truck loaded and the trl loaded so i can get a nap before the sale see yall later god bless you and yours from me and mine.

  13. joelw Says:

    Thaks for the vote of confidence! I spend an awful lot of time on the place and I sure hope it shows.
    Here’s a link to the 6000 loader specs
    I like the 00 series because they are simple. No electronic gizmos to wear out. They’ve made a few improvements to the line since I bought mine and now call it the 30 series. I’ve been really pleased with the durability of the 6000. I too have been looking at a way to handle square bales. First I have to find a good square baler though. Seems like they are outrageous this year. Most folks here are getting upwards of $4 a bale for their squares. That’s driving the price of balers up. I priced a heavily used New Holland 565 a week or so back and they wanted $7995. That’s too high in my opinion.
    I’ve see that your part of the country has been getting lots of rain. Hopefully it will slack up soon. Thanks for the comment!

    Straw has always brought better money than hay here. Some folks have to have that perfect yard and that means covering with straw. Hay here is still high. I geuss on suspicion there might not be a second cutting.
    Gotta watch those goats they get away quick. Glad to hear you can buy calves cheap. They too are staying high here although there is some sign it’s starting to slip a bit. If I had a trailer I would take the 2 Jersey’s I have to the sale so the others would have more grass. The last cow had her calf so they are a bit overcrowded.
    I really like the truck too. I can’t seem to sell the 96 dually though. Everybody says diesel is too high. Maybe I can trade it to a trailer or an ATV.
    Good luck with that equipment you bought. Hope you got that nap!

  14. R servoss Says:

    enjoy following your story

  15. paintsmh Says:

    How big are the two jerseys?

  16. Jean Ann Says:

    The little ones are so adorable!!

  17. joelw Says:

    Glad to have you reading! Thanks for the comment!

    The 2 Jersey’s are about 400 lbs now. The one is still a bull and he’s going to have to be cut or moved soon. He’s starting to feel his oats.

    Jean Ann,
    Thanks, I agree. They are a hoot too. Today they were playing in what’s left of the topsoil pile and it was hilarious. Dust was going everywhere. It was a game of king of the mountain. Thanks for the comment!

  18. paintsmh Says:

    If you can build a box to put over the top of your truck high enough with some sort of roof to it and devise a way to get them in the bed you could probably get them gone that way. Just a suggestion. That was how a bunch of my buddies who couldn’t afford trailers used to bring their cows in to the shows. Should work for a pair of Jerseys that size easily.

    And having had Jersey bulls around, just my personal opinion, I’d get him cut or gone fast. Once they start getting even the least aggressive they turn bad fast.

  19. Kevin Says:

    Yeah, but without Jersey bulls, you don’t get purebred Jersey calves. (Same holds for all breeds.)

    An ex-neighbor of mine was a real trader. At one point in time he bought a few head of longhorn cows that were bred. After the calves were born he sold them off piece meal. He had a flat bed trailer with a set of removable racks that he used to haul the livestock he bought and sold. When he got down to the last cow and calf he had been using the trailer to haul hay, and had to put the racks back on the trailer. Since he was in a hurry he just slid the racks down into the stake pockets, pinned the corners together, loaded the cow and calf and took off to the auction. When he got about half way there he had the awfullest racket and movement coming from the trailer. When he stopped, he found the cow had decided to fight with the racks and had gotten one of her horns between the bottom of them and the floor of the trailer. As a result of it, she had ground the end of her horn off on the pavement! She sold that after noon with one horn a little shorter than the other. I hope you don’t have that sort of problem when you haul your calves to the sale.


  20. paintsmh Says:

    Kevin, I realize that. But that is why there are bull studs and AI breeding. And I will never keep another Jersey bull. One of my friends in college bred them for people running free stalls that wanted to breed their heifers to a Jersey for the smaller calves. One six month old bull in a half an hour killed her grandfather, her uncle, and mauled her cousin and brother in law. Unless it is absolutely necessary keeping Jersey bulls which are known to be the worst to handle and the meanest is just crazy to me. And I’ve had plenty of them. And once they start to turn they are literally unmanageable within weeks or at most a couple of months.

    And dang. Reasons why all my cows are dehorned.

  21. Kevin Says:

    Paintsmh, I know what you are saying about stock getting mean quick, and how some have a greater tendancy than others at getting aggressive. But in my experience the greatest problems arise when you are dealing with stock that has always been handled by people in a manner that has never established that the humans are the master, and not the other way around. I’m not saying you should be excessively rough or cruel, just that the animal, from the time it is born, needs to put into a situation where the only way things go is the humans. You’ve got to be smarter than they are, because some day they will be larger than you are, and when that happens if they can run over you, or do whatever it is that they want, they will do it and you might be hurt as the result of it.

    An example I can give you of this was my cousin’s husband had his ribs broken by a 6 month old stud colt at the Illinois State Fair. Albert had handled the colt from birth, but as often happens it was handled very gently and had not had the pleasure of meeting someone whose will was greater than his. When we were prepping him for showing at the Missouri State Fair he decided to act up in the barns. I grabbed ahold of his halter and pulled his head down even with mine. I blow up into his nostrils and told him to stand still and behave himself. At first he tried to jerk away and stomped around a little, but as I had ahold of him, he just settled down after a couple of minutes when he decided that I wasn’t going to let him get by. Karen and Albert saw what I was doing, and how it calmed the colt down. Albert said he had never tried being that forceful with him before. I told him, sometimes a young animal has to be reminded that you are the one in charge, and you’re not going to put up with any nonsense out of him, no matter how big he gets. Especially when he is a draft horse! Albert showed that colt with very few problems after he became stricter with it, and eventually he was placed into service as a stallion on his breeding farm.


  22. paintsmh Says:

    I am vastly insulted Kevin that you think I am not smart enough to know that. My father has been breeding and raising bulls since he was a kid, and he’s going to be 60 this year. He kept bulls until they weighed over a ton and were too tall to be kept in a pen with a 6ft+ ceiling. With the exception of a couple of Angus we have boughten we never had many problems with our bulls. Until we started running Jerseys. I’ve never seen bulls turn that bad that fast. A bull I bought as a calf turned mean at 8 months, despite being handled carefully and so he knew we were the boss. And before you decide its because I’m a woman, I’ve raised 5 Holstein bulls with no problems. All of them to between 500 and 800 lbs.

    And bulls aren’t horses! They dont think or act the same. They don’t have anywhere near the same temperaments. Yes some stallions are meaner than rattle snakes. Yes some bulls are gentle as kittens (case in point the Shorthorn bull we sold in January at 6 years old). That doesn’t mean just because you can push a stud colt around and make him mind you you can push the average bull around. And I don’t know many stud farms that run their stallions in pens alone with their mares for months on end. Beef and dairy farms do. We put bulls on pastures and in huge breeding pens with heifers and cows for, in some cases, as much as a year, just rotating cows in and out. Do that with the calmest stud you can find and I can darn near guarantee you that he will have a mean side when he comes back in. Because as far as he is concerned you are his underling now, no matter how respectful he was before.

  23. Melina Says:

    Just for curiosity, with so much to do, are you into making homemade goat cheese and other specialty with the first-quality ingredients that you have on your farm?
    I have farm experience in homemade bread, cheese, sausage, pasta, pasta sauce, etc. Let me know if you need suggestions.
    Thank you for the opportunity
    Melina from PA

  24. Jim Says:

    Joelw, straw is normaly some what cheaper than hay year round but 4-5.00 a bale for straw when we are all used to paying 1.5-2.00 a bale. Thats harsh when the price is normaly just the opp.sounds like its a good thing all my Jerseys are banded we only have a gernsey bull and a holstein bull.we have 4 Jersey steers they are all real young but i dont give any of the stock an inch our billy was raised that way i never move any stock with out my whip stick it keeps them in line real well. our secound cut starts around the 4th of July hope it will be dryer than the first cut.we are still trying to get the first cut done we have about 1000 bales left to cut and make at our place. and prob not going to make any hay at the oter place till secound cut but thats ok too we hope to be able to make hay for a week after the forth june is about gone and now its cold up here strange weather we are having. I think fuel is going to put a lot of guys out of biz. If grain drops real low alot of folks are going to drop like flys.well the kids found out that death comes to farms one of our holesten calvs died the other morning and they found it still dont know what killed it he was doing fine then died in a few hours so hard to say we wonder if it spooked the horse and got kicked but dont know. my boys where sad for about an hour then got over it our little 7year old girl wanted to know if we could eat we still got two calvs that have the runs but they seem ok still weve tried everything weve been told to rid them of scoures they still got loose stool though i think the milk replacer is cousing it. Ive had alot of folks say its done it to there calvs and ours all have had it till we put them to pasture so maybe.well we hope all is well c ya next time.

  25. Kevin Says:


    Well, I’m like Jim, it’s awful wet here too, but out temps are getting nearer to normal (mid-80′s in the day). They are warning us that with all of the flooded areas we might be having an increased problem with mosquitoes.

    Jim, we often had problems with scours, even the ones nursing from thier mothers, if they are getting a richer or higher than normal milk fat level. (This was especially true in the spring.) All I can say is that I have seen people lose as much as half of the bobby calves they try to raise.


  26. Jim Says:

    Joelw I know im not the only one its going around alot of the farms.but on to other news hope all is well.we just had a big rain it rained out the tractor pulls bummer but thats how its gone this year anyway.I tell u this year sucks bad so far hope it gets better soon before im one of those folks that go under faster than a sinking well wife looking at going back to trucking not real sure i like that but you gotta do what you gotta least we would have some more cash to spend getting things done around here before dinner.the spec. say my back may never heal so i may never get to go back to work.well i better go see ya later.

  27. Phantom Says:

    Just stumbled across your blogsite – look forward to reading more.

    Re the comments about keeping Jersey bulls — my family milked purebred Jerseys for over 70 years. We kept several bulls – some probably longer than we should have – but luckily we never got seriously hurt.

    My grandfather used to say \”a Jersey bull would work for you all his life just to get to kill you when he got old\”.

  28. Jayne Says:

    Love you blog! Your are living the life I dream of.

    Have a 1999 Blue 1500 Chevy,and like you needed a new ride. It only had 90k miles so we figured we have another 100k to go so we put a 5 1/2 lift with some 36\’s and are taking it off road. Got a new Gold Mist Metallic 2500 fully loaded for less that what we paid for the 1999, but had to go out of state to locate 3/4 ton. Love them both THE BEST!!!

    I am in California and will be faced with Prop 2 come election time. Would love to hear you opinion on this and I dream of having a cage free range free egg ranch.

    Again thanks for your blog!

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