Saturday, February 7, 2015
Saturday Catch Up - A Disappointing Week
This week in homesteading didn't quite go as well as planned or hoped for. It started off very cold and then we got a bit more rain and snow which made the ground muddy but then froze hard. It would melt some during the day and then refreeze at night which meant you never really knew what you were going to be stepping on or in and guaranteed any movement of large equipment was going to leave ruts.
I hate ruts....
The sheep separation went well as did the market run but because we waited too long we actually ended up costing ourselves about $1200.00 overall. What happened was the yearlings were allowed to get too heavy and the average weight pushed them up into the third sales category. The 75 to 90 pound division and prices for that weight average were almost a dollar less per pound than the 55 to 75 range we usually aim for.
I know it doesn't make sense to some people but had I taken them in back in December when I usually do we would have gotten more money overall and not had the expense of almost two months of feed either. Of course the market price was lower then too because supply was heavier. Either way it's going to hurt the numbers for this year and more than likely we are going to get pushed into the red. That was expected though as this last year has been anything but normal and I have been sinking some huge amounts of money into the operation so there is no way we are going to hit black on the bottom line. More than likely won't this year either unless I scale back some big purchases and the fencing project and I don't plan on doing that.
Speaking of fencing. Yesterday was a beautiful day with a high in the 50's and little wind. I decided to start tearing down the old fence and made a little progress until I got to a section of woven wire that had the bottom six inches or so buried in the ground. The ground under about an inch is still frozen solid as a rock and no amount of pulling was going to get that woven wire out of the ground. I brought out the tractor and tried to pull it that way and only succeeded in lifting the front off the ground. Eventually the wire broke and I now have woven wire sticking up out of the ground I am going to have to dig out after it thaws.
This was when I discovered the top inch or so was thawed and I ended up tearing the top soil off the Alfalfa field a bit. So the tractor went back in to the barn and I tried working on another section that had been patched with a cattle panel. I got it pried off the posts easy enough but the bottom was stuck in tall grass and wouldn't come free. I didn't want to bend the panel up since it was in good shape yet and I hope to reuse it so I was pulling it out by hand.
I only got it about halfway free before I gave up as I felt a heart attack coming on :)
Well I over did it. If I don't injure myself at least once a month around here I feel like I am not working hard enough. This morning I woke up and can't straighten myself out past a bent over old man stoop and my lower back feels like it has been crushed with a sledge hammer.
Guess that will learn me.
So here is an even more beautiful day with highs projected into the 60's and I am stuck inside moaning every time I have to move.
Maybe the pain will reduce itself enough to at least allow me to hobble out to the bee hives and watch the girls fly for a bit. At least I will know some work is getting done around here today then.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!