We need to use bull Alcatraz

Annmarie called me on Wednesday, while I was at work to let me know that the bull was out. When I went to answer her call I noticed that I had a text on my phone from a neighbor saying our bull was out. Her call was that he was out and she had managed to get him into a neighbor’s corral and needed me to bring the horse trailer.

So I drove home and got Hoss to back up to the horse trailer. We have not used the trailer since we bought it two years ago. We knew it would be needed. Hoss and I had to unload the wood out of the trailer before we could use it. It had a flat tire and the spare was flat. Luckily, I knew there was a tire pump in the pickup we just needed to get there to use it.

We were able to back right up to the corral and use two panels to make an alleyway and the bull just went right into the trailer. Usually the bull pushes through a creek crossing or gets through the wires. Hoss will look at the fence line after they get the bull put away. I convinced Annmarie that we should put the bull up with the steers in the upper prime pasture as we just fixed that fence. I went back to work as they unloaded the bull.

Annmarie called me again at work in the early afternoon to say that the bull was out again!! This time he had gone the other way and headed up the creek. Annmarie headed up with the pickup and dogs to push him our way. I headed home early. I should have stopped at the house and change shoes, but I knew that Annmarie wanted to get done as our company had just arrived and she had left them alone at the house.

As I was driving up the gravel road looking for Annmarie I called her and she hollered stop I see you as I drove down the road. She had been with the uncooperative bull and the two deaf dogs for over 45 minutes. One would not know that she was to be ordained this week as a priest!! Mouse thought that the only way to move the bull was to grab his tail or bite his heels. I ended up having to walk up to the bull and take over the dogs as they had gotten ahead of Annmarie. I got him down to the road and let him out onto it. He started ambling home and I went and got my car. I could see Annmarie coming off the hill but the bull was going out of sight. Once Annmarie saw the car moving a steady stream of yelled comments began and I ended up stopping, getting out and chasing the bull on foot while Annmarie drove the car. The dogs, I and the car pushed him back to top of our property and he turned down and started headed home. We got him into the corral and locked him in. He will be staying there until Sunday so we don’t have to chase him down again. It took us two hours this time to get him.

The next day the bull had a pretty bad limp. He has a bad left front foot and when he walks too much it bothers him. He was not getting any sympathy from either one of us its his own fault.

Final fall Mowing

I am still trying to get ready for winter. I should be ready, I guess I am ready if you count having enough food for all the animals. The nice thing about Winter is it waits for no man! Once it is here I will be done prepping regardless of how many things are left on the list. This morning after I went out to let the sheep out of the barn I unhooked the hoses and shut off the outside fire hydrant spigots. I had two of them still open with Y splitters and hoses still attached. Annmarie caught me unhooking these hoses. She said I got lucky as we have had three freezing nights this last week. I like to think of it as good timing, no break, no foul.

I decided to rake the leaves in the yard and do the final mowing. My heart is really not in the task and I have lots of other things to do so I cheated. I closed off gates so that the only place the sheep could go to get real food was our front yard. I am hoping the sheep will eat the leaves along with the grass. I had to keep the dogs inside all day which they did not appreciate but hopefully with a couple of days of no dog time the sheep can make a dent in the yard.

Annmarie wants us to create a chute that goes from the barn to the bull/ram corral. She doesn’t want us to create a mean ram by pinning him up against a wall, tying on a halter and dragging him across the barn lot. We were suppose to go out and calmly talk about needed changes to the fence and I was supposed to listen not throw up road blocks to change. She doesn’t want any more of my mammoth rock cribs. We need a rock crib to keep the fence from leaning over courtesy of the horses. She wanted a gate in the side of the fence. I managed to pull the fence out of alignment and add in a four foot gate bolted to the large corner rock crib. The fence is still leaning and I will need some type of rock crib I am just unsure what kind I will construct.

I managed to get the rest of the cow panels up inside the fence to stop the sheep from jumping through the feeder panels. I also found all the tools and picked them up. I found an impact driver and two 3.0 amp batteries and about 12 fastenal anchor bolts in the lamb shed hidden! This is a major score as I needed those 12 fasteners to finish the last of the wooden rails over behind the lean to. Once those four boards are in the corral will be officially completed. I still have to fix the low side of the lamb shed as the sheep have punched out about 4 boards and can now get out of the barn. Tomorrow the plan is those four boards and hopefully get the lamb barn completed. I put both batteries on the charger and should be good to go in the morning.

We had ordered a white mail box for our repainted stand but the new box was smaller than the one my Mother-in-law purchased. So then we had to buy another mailbox that was the same size. I put the numbers on today and cut wooden platforms that I screwed onto the stands. The platforms allowed us to then screw the boxes to the entire stand creating a completed official mailbox. I had already brought gravel down to the road and created a flat spot for the mailboxes a few weeks ago. I love our new red and white mailbox. Since the gates are open for the sheep the dogs cannot hang outside. At night they want to terrorize the entire front yard so I put a stop to that. I placed a flashing light on everyone’s collar and was able to stand on the front porch and holler at everyone in the dark. It is even better than trying to keep track of them during the day!

Corral and barn lot blues

It has been a great weekend! Annmarie and I sat down and created a list of things that need to happen before snow flies. Now I realize that it should have already been done but I have been busy. So now that the prediction is for a wet and warm winter I can pile on more outside work. So there are only 18 things on the list, my full time plus job and 6 hours a week of college to juggle to get it all done.

I had started a burn pile in the barn lot when we cleaned up the corral area. So I lit it on fire Saturday and started dragging all the burnable materials onto it. I had three other piles of scrap wood that the animals had made into not piles that needed to be picked up. If a flame could clean it up I tossed it on. I went through the entire barn lot and tossed all the scrap wood onto the fire. I also picked up all the rocks in the barn lot and tossed them next to the lamb shed to fill in the runoff channel that the water was creating from running off the metal roof. I even managed to drag the entire barn lot clean of horse poop and straw from the barn.

Today I concentrated on attempting to finish up the bull/ram corral. I needed to finish the space between the lean to and the lamb shed. I also had a gate that needed to be installed. The problem was the railroad tie needed to be tied into the lean to before I could hang the gate on the post. The gate is beat up so I knew there would need to be some necessary latch adjustments.

There is no power out near the lamb shed so I used my battery operated sawzall to cut the lumber. I ran out of heavy wood anchor bolts and I still need about 10 more. I have four more boards to install and three more panels to remove before the corral is done. I am going to have to order some more online. Through Amazon they are about 40% cheaper than I can get locally. I just have to plan better so that I have them on hand before I actually need them. I had to finish cleaning out the corral and remove all the panels I had laying around. I found enough to go across one side of the barn lot. I have to install one more gate in my quick fence and we will have an area blocked off for the cows and horses. It’s not sheep proof yet and I think I really need to install a fence with three more rock cribs to hold everything in place. Maybe next year, or the year after that if I get time. You can kind of see it below with the opening on the left side of the picture.

I even managed to get all the horse and sheep poop drug out of the old lamb shed and I spread out one of the compost piles in the barn lot. I will hit it with the corral rake this week and smooth it all out then toss on some seed.

We are putting the sheep into the barn every night now after I had to get up and scare off the coyotes with the 22 pistol. We are also putting the horses in so they don’t continue eating new green grass 24/7.

I sprayed our door stops with clear coat today and installed both of our bathroom ones. They keep the door knobs from hitting the walls and making dents. Annmarie put screw holes in them so I don’t have to glue them onto the wall anymore. Now we can take them down if needed. I had to zoom into get a close up so you can actually see the design. Annmarie prints them on our 3D printer then we spray them with black paint, then she appliqu├ęs some brown paint onto them with a sponge and then we hit them with clear coat. They turned out very nice.