Today was a day of little tasks. Those last few pesky things that have been bugging me all summer long and I had just never gotten around to dealing with them.
I had taken the outside corral gate off its pegs a couple of months ago. It was dragging severely as I had tried to stay too close to the ground and it opened up on the wrong side. When you kill a cow in there and try and drag it out the gate is in the way. So I had planned on switching sides the gate hung on. It took drilling two new holes and then finding another nut to use as a stop nut on the inside of the hinge. I finally got the gate on then had to run to the hardware store to get a chain link so I could add a section of chain to the existing latch so it would fit all the way around the railroad tie. The gate opens very smoothly now and has a couple of inches of clearance.
I moved onto the chute gate since I was working on the corral. We were going to run the cows in and tag the baby cow and potentially band it if its a boy when I got done fixing the corral. I ended up screwing a 4×4 onto the outside of the latch area and drilling into it. I also used a couple of pieces of metal to go alongside the bottom lock. No more chain to hold it closed, you can use the locking slide mechanism for ease of use.
I went and got Annmarie so we could sort cows. I brought the dogs along so they could work. We got the cows into the barn lot fairly easy. I was running the dogs as Annmarie’s voice is still tender. The dogs were working but being stubborn. Annmarie got a ahead of me and was over by the old granary concrete pad. She was hollering for me to put the dogs away and why did we bring them. I always work all the animals with the dogs. The bull was very angry and was snorting, pawing at the ground and throwing dirt into the air all while staring at Annmarie.
So I put the dogs in the old chicken coop and then we tried to herd the cows into the back barn area. Nope, they would not leave the feed area. We tried to throw out some food but they would not come. I ended up grabbing a flake and walking up to the cows and enticing them into the corral. The momma and baby we wanted were the first ones into the corral so we shut them in. I went to go get the ear tagger and the banding pliers. It was a boy. By the time I got back with the tools she had them separated out into adjoining pens in the corral. The calf is one month old, he is huge. We should have done this two weeks ago. I missed jumping on him the first time and just ate dirt for my troubles. The second time I went for the neck and got a good grip around it and proceeded to get drug around the corral. I could not tip it over and I could not get a hold of one of its legs. My ride was over 20 feet long and finally I managed to get the opposite front foot and pull it toward me causing the calf to tip onto its side bawling for all its worth. I managed to get the ear tag into the the right ear as we are not keeping this calf. I needed to trade places and get Annmarie to lay on the calf so I could attempt to band him. Oh Boy, we need to do this at 2 weeks for more reasons than just catching them. I messed around for a good 15 minutes trying to get the correct angle and both testicles into the scrotum. No matter what I tried I could not get it. I needed a third hand. I finally had to put one band on at a time so I could open the pliers far enough. He is a mighty fine looking animal. It is real hard to get pictures when its only two of us and we are both working.
After lunch I went into the barn and bolted on the old front door latching system. This worked great and now that we will be locking the sheep up every night it is necessary. I also installed a couple of eye bolts inside the door so we could attach tension bands.
The cows are all mixed together down below now so we can start watching their hay consumption. I gave them a 1300 pound bale seven days ago and it looks like 1/3 of the bale is left. Its going to be tight on hay.
We have started looking at micro hay equipment already. It will work with our small tractor and will only make 50# round bales. I just need to get the upper prime squared field burned and planted.