Sunday, November 27, 2016
Sunday Reading - A Week Long Adventure
I know I have been really behind on getting things squared away for Winter and getting the fence done. Frazier, our terminal ram has about worn out his welcome spot on the Small-Hold the last week and is within one more broken thing of being taken to market when this breeding season is over.
He has busted his fence down twice now and the last time I had to drop all Winter prep work and spend an entire day reworking one entire section of fence that required putting in two new wooden posts and weaving a couple of cattle panels around them while doubling up the steel t-posts and then putting the wire fence back. Basically I now have a double row of fencing with posts set four feet apart instead of the standard eight.
What he is doing is chewing on the wire believe it or not. He gets a hold of the wire and works it back and forth until he finally breaks a strand then begins working on the next strand.
You can see him in these two pics working on a section now. Eventually he manages to bust the wire ties that hold a strand to the t-posts and then either pushes the section out or chews/wiggles another wire tie off.
By using the double panel/fence wire section I managed to get him to pretty much stop chewing one part because when he begins to work a strand free I wire wrap it to the panel and he can't get his nose in far enough to get a hold of the panel and break the weld. Breaking the welds on cattle panels was a trick he learned years ago he is just adapting to the new thinner wire now.
After I fixed the one section that borders on the "single ewe's" pen (which is the barn lot really) he got so upset he destroyed the wooden hay manger I built for him last year.
literally broke it into pieces and then looked at me like "What ya gonna do about it?"
When I went in to get the pieces and broken parts he actually mock charged me although he did stop short of actually connecting and then just sidled up to me and wanted me to scratch his back. He will stand there for hours wagging his stub of a tail if you scratch his back along the spine or his neck but he is getting much more demanding and grouchy in his old age......
And destructive too apparently.
So for the time being I have him sort of contained and I have been forced to keep the ewe's separated from him by leaving them in the West pasture. The temptation of the other ewes being in season and right up against his fence is just too much for him.
The other problem I been having all week is some how Google had me signed in on the wrong account using the one that goes with my phone and wouldn't allow me to sign out. All week I been unable to post on this blog because I couldn't sign out and then into the proper account that owns the blog. I couldn't even comment on other blogs as PioneerPreppy either.
The plus side is I have all the hay and tractor implements put away for Winter along with the riding mowers and the hay that was occupying their storage space moved into the loft.
I got all the fencing materials stacked out of the way in one place except for the big corner posts as well.
The only thing left to do now is put the blade on the 8N for Winter and use it to clean out the barn one last time then haul the sheep manure and old hay into the pasture one last time. Then I can put the manure spreader up as well. After equipment is stored I need to go wrap the hives in insulation and bring in the deadout hives that are still in the yards. Cleaning all the yucky waxworm goo out of them can wait until the dead of Winter I guess.
This year's Winter project is cleaning out the dilapidated old remains of the wooden fence that once ran alongside the barn but is now in the middle of the control paddock.
You can see what someone once did was pour a concrete slab and set the wooden posts into it which worked great for probably 50 years or so until the posts rotted at ground level and broke off. As the thing started to fail it was ethnically engineered up with old cattle panels and wire until we got the mess you see here.
I need to pull all that old wood and mixed mash of wire and stuff out of there and get rid of it and then decide what is to be done with the long thin concrete pad. Once that is done I can finish up the last touch to the control paddock which will consist of a 16 foot gate hung from the corner of the barn that will allow me to divide the paddock into two sections or make a very small section for sorting sheep more easily. When not in use the gate will swing against the barn up out of the way. Once the entire thing is finished I will take more pics of it in operation. I already used the control paddock as it was designed but with moveable gate/panels instead of the permanent swinging gate. The installation of the swinging gate will eliminate the need for the moveable panels and even allow me to make one section smaller as sheep are moved from it.
My hope is to have this fence project finished by mid-Spring and perhaps actually get back to bee keeping and small scale organic farming next year. The bees especially have suffered a major set back due to so much of my time being devoted to this fence project. It's been a HUGE job let me tell you but I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!