Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The things we bring in our houses....

As farmers, we bring a multitude of things into our garages, houses, basements.  It is nothing for me to clean used needles (caps on - that is a rule!) out of the folds of the washing machine, along with nuts & bolts, the occasional wrench, and whatever else may not have gotten completely cleaned out of coat pockets!  This week, I've been working in the garage on reinforcing heifer bunks from our wean calf barn.  As the heifers get older, they have begun a habit of standing in the feed bunk. 

Partially done with reinforcing the bottom


Adding top rail supports

The sheet of plywood on the bottom just wasn't quite enough to support them, and they've been cracking the plywood & pushing out the reinforcing 2x4. (they always think they are starving, when they are actually fed quite well.  If we fed them what they wanted, we would end up with a bunch of fat, unhealthy heifers).  So, I've had one side of our garage occupied with a feed bunk for the last 2 weeks, and I slowly, but surely, have been reinforcing & retrofitting to prevent their future destruction.
While my woodworking will never pass as quality enough that I would build furniture or other things for our house, it is "barn-worthy", and so I use the skills my dad taught me to drive a nail straight, drill, saw, and whatever is needed to work through the never-ending "Farm Improvement List".  I'm one of the few women in America that receives circular saws, drills, & grinders as birthday presents, and is genuinely happy about it.  (And they are MY tools...believe me, I have thought about spray-painting them pink to illustrate this point on more than 1 occasion!) 

10 comments:

  1. I want a circular saw too! And we got a power drill 2 years ago for Christmas. :)

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  2. I probably should preface that I'm one of the few women besides 4-H House women that are excited about getting power tools as presents! :-)

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  3. You go Carrie it must be the women in our family. Last year I replaced the door jam and put a new lock on the front door. I should ask for some tools for gifts to thanks for the idea.

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  4. My top wishes the past few years have been Bosch cordless drill, Craftsman tool chest, new self darkening welding helmet, Pipe wrenches, crescent wrenches, and well you get the picture. Definitely enjoy being a "dirty girl" like Terri Clark sang about. Life is so much better when you aren't afraid to get dirty

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  5. Miranda in Mrs.Mimlitz classApril 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    hey ! I have question does some animals live in the garage ?

    :)

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    1. We would only bring babies in for a little while if it was really cold in the winter, and we needed to get it warm and dry. If you click on the word "basements" in the above post, it will take you to another farmer's blog who did just that!

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  6. Quinn from Mrs. Mimlitz's classApril 19, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    I was wondering how many babies can a cow have in a life time

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    1. http://mycowsandpigs.blogspot.com/2011/06/our-kays.html

      Check out this older post, and it should answer most of your questions.

      The short answer is ~1 calf every year from when the cow reaches the age of 2. So, a 5 year old cow will have had typically 3 calves, and an "old" cow of 8 or 9 has had 6 or 7 calves.

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  7. Do you build everything by hand or do machines do your work.

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    1. Thankfully, there are a lot of machines that do work for us: tractors & pumps haul the manure (but we still have to drive the tractor & turn those pumps & valves on and off), milking machines milk the cows, although we may still have work on certain quarters by hand, and we use all of the tools known to man to help us build the many things we use around the farm.

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