Thursday, October 29, 2015

Winter is Coming Part 2

Actually got some work done today. The first order of business today was to get the hay equipment put up for Winter and the first step in that job was using the blade to level out some ruts in the old gate between the hay field and the pasture.

I should have taken a before picture but I didn't. There were ruts in there that were over 2 feet deep and no way I was going to drag the baler and rake across them. The ruts come from years of using a tractor too big for the job around here so since I am now using smaller tractors I been slowly fixing all the badly rutted areas.

I managed to get the gateway bladed down enough to pull the baler and rake through to the old equipment shed that has been used as a loafing shed for the useless nags for the last 25 years. So I bladed out another big pile of old manure as well before moving the implements down there.

What is it about chickens that every time I start moving dirt or manure around now they come running? They stand there and watch in like total awe of the big loud chicken that can dig more than they can or something. Within a few minutes of my blade operation pretty much the entire flock was down there with me.

This whole area is in sad shape. The gate is barely holding on and the fence is mostly coming down. It was next on my fencing list for this year but as you all know I only got about half of that project finished. With luck I might get back to it before the snow flies though and removing the rutted area is part of it.

The chickens were like a bunch of kids running out and scratching in the dirt I bladed up and then running back to the cover of the over grown fence row when I came back.

The useless nags were too busy eating to pay me any mind for a change. Usually when I am doing something with the tractor in a place they can get to we have at least one Mexican standoff. The horses always lose though. They hate the big loud iron horse because they know I WILL run over them and then throw the thing in reverse and run over them again if they don't move.

Nothing on earth is more a pain in the rear than a bunch of bored horses.

I managed to get the baler, rake, brush hog and manure spreader stored under the roof. I ended up taking about half the equipment shed to do it and then ran a chain around the area so the horses can't get in among the stuff. Since we are now down to four nags and a donkey they should still have enough room. The donkey and the paint get put up in the barn during bad Winter weather anyway and the donkey has her own little lean-to for day shelter besides.

Speaking of the donkey's day shelter. This is my Winter project for this year. It's an old pig shelter that hasn't been used in probably at least 50 years. One side is falling down and the metal roof is coming up but I managed to save the other half a few years back. My plan is to take the fallen part off this Winter and rebuild it. The metal roofing is still in good shape and if I raise it up it should be the perfect spot for the baler's off season home which will free up some shed space. Overall I am surprised at how well this old building has survived the years. The wood is century old Oak and has dried out to an almost iron-like hardness that seems to just laugh at the elements.

And nails too truth be told.

Lastly I put the dirt scoop on the 8N and scooped up some of the manure I pulled out of the shed. I dumped it in the gateway to help fill in the ruts some more. After a few more loads I plan on running the blade over it a few more times to really fill it in.

Ever so slowly I am making progress cleaning up the bad spots and repairing the old buildings and putting them back to actual use. So much of this place was allowed to fall apart, rot and over grow for decades it's slow work.

Despite the heavy rains early in the year and Mrs. PP's unexpected emergency operation and extended hospital stay I must admit I am very happy with this years progress. It has been years since this place produced as it should. We reclaimed about five acres and put it into hay production or pasture. Have put up almost 1000 feet of new fencing. Managed to cut and bale over 300 bales of hay and put the old shed back to work as well and I still have a few weeks of good working weather left after I get all the important stuff put away and battened down for Winter.

Tomorrow I hope to finish working with the dirt scoop and blade then begin moving posts into position. I still have a few windows in the barn to cover up and some other Winter preps to get in order as well before I can go back to digging post holes though.

I really need to take care of Frazier's paddock before Winter though if I can. He has pushed out the panels so far they are about to pop. Since the ewes have been teasing him suddenly hanging out with the chickens isn't enough for him any longer. With luck I can squeeze in this last fencing project before it starts getting really cold.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!!


  1. Dennis

    Chickens just love fresh dug up dirt. So many bugs and worms to find and they did not have to do a thing. :)

    1. Dennis - No kidding they are all over any dirt I pile up. They also tear apart any hay pile too. Since they been free ranging further and further they are also eating less and less of their actual feed too.

  2. You have got a lot done for sure and there is still some season left but it is cooling down a little every few days. Those chickens provide lots of entertainment and it would be quiet and boring without them. Careful those horses don't tear your shed down, they rub on everything an would love to get in to your equipment. I had to put an electric wire through the building to keep the horse from tearing stuff down to get to the other part.

    1. Sf - Those horses already destroyed the doors that were on that shed but for some reason they haven't chewed on the wood that remains. I am sure they will try to mess with the equipment they can get to though. I thought about the electric wire thing and may in fact string one up with the solar charger if I see them doing any damage. I only stopped short of doing that because these horses are so deathly afraid of hot wire I was afraid they wouldn't go in the shed if I put one up.

  3. I'm really impressed with how much you get done. That is a lot of fencing. I had to laugh over the busy body chickens!

    1. Lisa - I am about half done with the first round of fencing. I still need to do the East pasture for the sheep and fix the ram paddocks. Those chickens were out there with me today too.

  4. I would say you should be pleased with what you have got done this year! We have a list outselves and our fence is on it. Some of the fencing here is new by us some is old. The old is needing repairs bad.

    So far we have had two baby chick hatch and both died. I have no idea why. The girls each have a couple eggs each left. We will see what happens. Its really late to be letting them hatch anyway. I just couldn't help myself I just love baby chicks. Yours chickens see a free easy meal when your doing the digging! lol

    LOL I read Lisa" blog too and when I saw you said you tazed your Mom... I thought why do I believed that LOL of PP.

    1. Texan - Oh ya I tazed her bigger than anything. In all fairness though I DID test it out on myself first and determined the thing was dead then just did it because I was tired of waiting on her. Not sure why it zapped her and not me though.

  5. PP,

    You've been very productive!! I'm sure you'll be able to tackle Frazier's paddock with no problems. I'm so happy to hear Mrs. PP is doing well, and healing. Make sure she doesn't over do things there.

    Chickens are so nosy, just like dogs!

    1. Sandy - I moved the poles out today after I got done finishing up the blading and earth moving.

      Looks like next week before I can dig holes though as they are forecasting rain tonight and tomorrow.

  6. What I have read Preppy is that the chickens come flock at the uncovering of anything to find the grubs and insects and what not that have been under cover of dirt or mulch or whatever.


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