Monday, July 22, 2013
Working Hard on the Farm
Between the gardens and animals we stay extremely busy this time of year.
As I was feeding two bottle babies the other day, I realized I have been bottle feeding baby goats, with out a break since January!! No wonder I am tired of it! :) Bottle feeding baby goats is not my favorite part of farming anyways. Usually, I have my best milk goats milking and breeding and don't need any to replace them, so sell off the babies quickly. I haven't had to bottle raise any for a long period of time to keep in my heard. Actually in probably five or six years. I sure got my fill this year. But I need to bottle feed the ones I am keeping in order for them to really be tame and handle-able for milking purposes. It is a time consuming but good investment.
We all work together here on our farm. With us all working together it takes us about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening every day to keep our farm running well. But....about once a month we have a barn clean out/up day where we all work together to muck pens and tidy up. And about every six months we take about a week to fix things, paint things, remodel things and just generally try to do what needs to be done to make things work more functionally and smoothly around the barn.
Well, last week was that week. The kids and I took time off from home schooling and just spent most of our time out in the barn. We did everything from knocking down cob webs, scrubbing out all the feed buckets and cleaning. To remodeling one of my Hay Saving hay racks to making one in a pen that didnt have one. So we were very busy last week.
Here is some of what we did. We have hard Georgia clay for flooring in our barn. I love it. As it quickly drains any urine right thru the ground and the pens stay pretty dry. But over time, with us mucking out the stalls for the last 14 years, we have little by little taken out stall flooring (clay) as well with every load. Bluebells and Twinkies stall was beginning to stay very damp because the floor, over time, has gotten about a foot deeper than the rest of the barn in some areas and the urine could not drain properly. Also their Hay Saving Hayrack I had built was very large/long and bulky for just two goats. A waste of space.
So I took apart the old hay rack and cut the front hog panel in half and we mucked the pen down to the dirt. My dad brought up a huge bucket load of clay with his tractor and we moved it into the pen and tamped it down and leveled it out. Bringing the flooring back up to level with the rest of the barn flooring again. I put two stall mats down where I was going to rebuild the new Haysaving hay rack to keep moisture from coming up under it and keep things cleaner around the hay rack. I had intentionally made the floor slope slightly from wall to center so if the mats got peed on it would drain quickly to the clay flooring in the middle. And here is how it all turned out.
One of the other stalls, I used to keep a pony in, had a standard hay rack in it. I now have Amelia, Minibell and Calfy in there and they were wasting a ton of hay every day. So we cleaned out that stall and I build a hay saving hay rack in there as well, using the other half of the hog panel I had cut in half, from out of the other pen. It is sooooo much better now. They waste hardly any now at all. Praise God! as hay is expensive here.
We also moved the Silkies we are raising into a larger pen.
We also moved the 25 roosters, I am raising to butcher this fall, to a indoor/outdoor stall so they can grow out with more room and have outdoor access.
A few other things we did was hang a few new mineral feeders and rise up some feed dishes for goats that have grown.
A few more days out there and I think we will have things up to snuff once again.
Here are a few random pictures of our growing bucklings that I left on their moms to be raised. They are growing so fast!
Blessings and happy farming!