Monday, March 13, 2006

Weekend Farmer

When things go right I feel like I’ve accomplished something after a weekend of playing farmer. I play “at” farmer some during the week as well, but only for shorter periods of time.

Saturday I had some help, which doesn’t happen too often around here. I ordered a bunch of combination panels and fence posts through my old pall Mr. Cooney who used to run a feed store near here.

The panels are sixteen feet long making them impossible to haul in my little pickup without chopping them up. Mr. Cooney brought them over in his big trailer. He and his hired man then helped me build a little dry lot next to the barn.

Mr. Cooney is seventy-nine years old. If I start now on an exercise and motivational program, I MAY be able to work as hard as he does by the time I’m his age, if I could somehow get younger instead of older for all of those twenty nine years.

Mr. Cooney also has a first name, but it is just not possible for me to address a man nearly thirty years my senior by his first name. I don’t know if that’s a southern thing or not. His wife calls him “Skip” which strikes me as very cute for some reason.

I wanted a place where I can confine the sheep and feed them conveniently. I am killing the grass so there is nothing to eat in the dry lot other than what I provide. This is so I can worm the sheep and allow them to expel the parasites somewhere that won’t just wind up re-infecting them.

As always, click on the picture for a larger view.

The power company came by a while ago trimming tree branches away from the power lines. I got them to dump off a huge pile of shredded trimmings that I’m dumping in the dry lot as mulch. I got that about half done after this picture was taken.

That used up Saturday. Sunday was mostly moving beasties around.

The heifers went into the back paddock. The water tank I stole from back there is set back up and a feed bunk is set up. The paddock is four or five acres and has plenty of grass, but I’m giving them a little soy meal as a boost. They should calf sometime fairly soon.

I had been thinking that spring was here, but we seem to be going right past spring into summer. It’s eighty something degrees and getting green. We could use some rain. Still little blooms and such are popping up everywhere.

These tiny yellow flowers are part of some form of clover that will be everywhere here in the next few weeks if we get enough rain. Then it will die back in the heat.

I set up a paddock to move the rams into where they will have shade, water, and some good fresh grass. We wormed them just as it was getting dark Sunday so they are the first residents of the new dry lot. I would have liked to shear them but we ran out of time.

I also set up the brooder and got it ready for the new peeps that are due here this week. I ordered 25 female and two male Red Sex Links (AKA Golden Comets) from Welp Hatchery.

If this works out the way I hope it will, they will be laying next winter when the other hens slack off and molt.

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