Thankfully, it’s not heavy ice, but it is slick and i’m cramponed up to keep from falling and even though i use polybraid and not poly tape, the ice was heavy enough to bring the fence down to the ground.
With below freezing weather for the next 5 days, i left it up as best as i could and still have it peeled back so the cows wouldn’t get trapped behind it. Sounds odd, but stock can always get across a fence one way, but are stymied by a return.
So they are set now with access to the water tank though it is unlikely, with all the snow, they’ll make the trek, but they also have a clear path to their protein tubs. The poly and reels are frozen stiff, so the cows/calves have the whole paddock for their enjoyment. There isn’t a lot of forage on the remainder of the paddock so i’m not concerned with them wasting any. Just glad i don’t need to go back and check on them in this cold and icy weather (with winter storm moving in tonight and another 5 inches of snow forecasted)- did i mention a few times i don’t do cold?
This is where that flexibility in grazing happens.
Cows graze right through this little bit of snow and ice – teaching their calves how to graze. Still a lot of green beneath the snow.
Saw a small ad in Stockman Grassfarmer recently for an adaptive full flow valve which can be attached to a low flow valve and float assembly. I was super excited about this and it being a Jobe product, there was a good chance it would be a quality product.
So i hopped on the internet to find one and, although Valley Vet Supply had it for a good price, i didn’t need any other supplies to meet the $75 minimum for free shipping (we use this good company regularly). Then i found one on Ebay for a dollar less and Free shipping! Seems like it was direct from the importer. Jobe is a New Zealand company.
I only bought one because i wanted to see if it would actually work, then i may buy another. I hesitated because these puppies are not cheap at $43.65 a pop.
Yesterday, i installed it on a tank here close to the house so i could keep an eye on it in case of failure, but it worked perfectly! The flow is nearly that of just an open hose with the excellent pressure my husband built into the system which pumps from a distant pond.
Looking forward to seeing how long this will last.
I thought i’d already posted the brooder building photos, but guess not. Remember, the key to keeping it cheap, is to raid the rubbish pile to build something. But one must also guard against the cost of labour involved in ‘making it work.’
Somehow we always manage to wait until it turns cold before we realise the water tanks must be dealt with. At least it wasn’t uncomfortably cold. I already had two tanks drained, but still had one more to go, and two to turn on the leak valves so they won’t freeze. I chopped out soft ice about an inch thick that had formed on the surface. My husband had dozens of tanks to deal with!
Quick trip to my farm to shift the cows across the road.
Yes, i was just there yesterday, but discovered that I had grossly overestimated the amount of forage the cows would have, so they had to be moved today.
Ready to shut off the valve from the pond.
Turned off – notice the grove in the head of the bolt – it is now turned perpendicular to the water line – this tells us it is turned off.
The overflow pipe will just pull out (the white one).
Once it is out, then if the hole in the bottom of the tank is not plugged, the water will flow out through the buried pipe.
Water rushing out from the tank through the buried pipe into the ditch about 20 feet away from the tank.
Tank drained as low as it will go.
The system has a leak back design, so the water in the pipe with the float will drain back and not freeze.
Took Dallas with me just in case my temporary netting decided to take flight in our 33 mph gusting winds. But all went well; he wouldn’t have needed to go, but sure gave me extra peace of mind. Taking out mineral,
shutting gates, and draining a water tank took us 55 minutes. Driving up there and back takes 1 hour 15 minutes. Obviously, I usually plan to spend more time up there to justify the trip.
Waiting patiently for me to get out of the way!
And moving on! Took about a minute for 210 cows, replacement heifers, and 130 calves to move across!
My ‘stuck in the house’ routine continues as the pollen count rises due to excessive wind!
Couldn’t sleep well last night due to allergies, but laid on the recliner from 5am to 7am before finally giving up on more sleep and just getting up.
Had found a package of beef stew meat in the refrigerator freezer that was four years old! I absolutely do not recommend keeping meat frozen that long – it doesn’t actually go ‘bad’ but it does not taste as good – especially coming from the frig/freezer which does not keep frozen as hard as a deep freezer. So, not wanting to waste it, i planned lunch around it with browing it in olive oil and simmer for tenderness, then closer to lunch time, adding enough flour to thicken, then plenty of milk to make a tasty white gravy. I also scrambled farm fresh eggs with butter from grass fed cows and garden raised spinach. Whipped a batch of baking powder biscuits for the gravy and that was lunch. It’s weird only fixing for four.
In the meantime, I drove to the seed plant to do some paperwork (always that..:-( , picked up some apples from the tree as well as a water tank float and a short hose. The latter two to set up a small tank for my recip cows since i’m getting tired of going out to fill up the water tank twice a day. After repairing one end of the hose, I hooked up the fittings to the hydrant and moved the water tank in place and filled. Working great – no leaks. Awesome. Now they won’t run out of water and I don’t have to work so hard.
The apples were to cube along with a butternut squash, mixed together then poured over with a bit of orange juice and maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon, then baked. I don’t think i’ll keep this recipe – it was okay, but well, it’s just not chocolate…….
I did manage to wash the front storm door – it looks great, but later when i tried vacuuming the spider webs built between the glass and screen of the windows, i was totally overcome with allergies – it’s like breathing sand! So didn’t do that anymore, but did manage to vacuum all the furniture under and between and around and beneath. And wipe down one of the ceiling fans Really feels a lot cleaner in here.
No cows exhibiting heat today; tomorrow is supposed to be the big day, so gotta hang around the next two-three days for observing.
Drove to north and west of Purdin this afternoon to pick up our weekly allotment of milk and return the empty glass bottles.
Watered the mums that I meant to transplant today – best get that done in the morning.
Spent about an hour removing items from the silver garage. Hope to get it torn down and removed sometime this fall.
My early morning is catching up with me since I feel quite sleepy.