Well the predators are back. I lost two more chickens for sure and maybe a third one (dead chicken bodies are a sure thing. Zeke finds them from wherever they are hid on the farm and drags them around). This calls for a trap. One trap is still at Grandmas but the other one was up on the hill from the skunk incident. I had assumed that the trap was just up on the hill airing out. NOT SO! There was a dessicated rotting skunk in the trap when I went up to get it today. Not very pleasant. I could not find a stick on the hillside (bone yard) so I ended up using an animal femur as a stick and scraping the skunk out of the trap. I hosed the trap down once we got it to the house and will proceed to set it and kill whatever is eating my chickens. We know there is at least one possum in the area as we snuck down to Donna’s house the other night to try and shoot one eating cat food off the front porch. It left before we got there. The lousy part is everyone wants eggs. We could be getting rid of 10 dozen a week at least now and we are only getting about five dozen. The price of feed has skyrocketed to $17/50# bag. This is mostly due to the fact that I don’t drive by the feed store in Hermiston very often so I cannot save the $3/bag. I am going to have to load up next month on the chicken feed. I may just buy it in large quantities of 500#/trip. If I time it with the sheep and horse food I could take the pickup and buy about 1500#, that should be enough to get us through a few months. For me to get enough for all of winter I think it would be around 2500#, maybe less. I will try and keep track of it this winter so I know.
|Back of in-law’s garage.|
|Oliver Horse drawn plow.|
Jason came over today to help me get the old horse drawn plow off the hillside for my mother-in-law, Donna. Monica (foreign exchange student) spent the day with me helping out. We drove up to the plow and after digging it all out Jason suggests that since the wheels are on it and it is intact why not just pull it off the hill. This idea holds way more appeal then trying to chain it up and get in on the trailer. So we raise the plow height with the adjustable handles and I lift the moving end with the bucket. Jason chains it in place and off I go pulling the plow with the tractor. It is slow going but smooth. One hundred feet later one of the metal wheels falls off. There is a special clamp that holds the tire onto the shaft of the axle while letting it turn and one side does not have this clamp. We chained it up and struggled but finally got it onto the trailer. Once down at Donna’s house we pulled the plow out the back of the trailer with some difficulty and I drug it while Jason continually kicked at the metal wheel to keep it on the shaft. We found eight more metal wheels for decoration at Donna’s house, for a total of 11 or 12. I lost track of the exact number.
|Just before plow. I need to stand them up.|
Monica and I went out after lunch to finish fencing. Jason had to go back home and do something that paid. Now on a plus note, the trailer was initially filled with discard wood scraps so we took it over to the lamb shed and cleaned up all the scrap from tearing down the pig enclosure and got it all on the trailer. This was all emptied out on the hillside at the burn pile before we could get the plow. The barn yard is almost totally cleaned up just the freezer and a small pile of metal, about one hour of work and it will be done. We managed to get the “H” supports in for the new fence in the ram pasture and stretched the woven wire. I am going to have to stick a panel across the creek as the fence leaves an eight inch gap over the water. I have some old wooden panels from the pig barn I will use to patch up the holes. We need about another four hours to finish that fence. It is getting cold here, it was 26 degrees F this morning.
I also finished hanging the rings and horseshoes in the barn today. There are over 80 used horseshoes in the barn now. I am going to go find all the different pitchfork heads I have stashed everywhere and take them in to the hardware store so I can buy new handles for them. They do not make pitchforks like they used to. I am also thinking about bringing all the yard tools with no handles that I have stashed out in the wood shed over to the barn and hanging them up on the walls for decoration. A project that may eventually happen but not any time soon.
Before I can put in more fence up the hillside I will need to go to the scrap yard and buy some more used fencing. I only have a couple of small rolls left, not enough to do anything of significant scope.