Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Fun Story About Pig Poop

Your kids will love this:

So I was taking care of our pig (Biggy Smalls) and he had buried his water bowl in the mud (like he always does.) When I pulled it out of his wallow, it had a pretty good bit of mud still in it but it was dried in place (or so I thought.) I had to get it out of his pen somehow (visualize reaching through a wire fence with 4" X 4" square openings - you reach through at the bottom and grab a bowl, but now you can't get your arm out until you get rid of the bowl, so you fling the bowl up and back to get it out of his pen to a spot where you can clean it.)

I flung it and it floated in a perfect arc up and over the fence. Of course, about half way through that beautiful arc, I realized that it was headed kind of towards my foot. I immediately implemented evasive maneuvers, but apparently I am not as spry as I once was. It landed within about an inch of my foot and the dry "mud" that was in it ended up being more like very wet pig-poo and my toss gave it just enough momentum to cause a very nice distribution of pig poo all along my leg and inside my crocs (they are all the rage with farmers these days.)

I washed up in the hose and came home to discover that I had somehow smeared pig poo on my face in the process. Just a few words on how you can tell pig poo is on your face....well, never mind - use your was odorific.

Anyway, after thoroughly washing my face, I couldn't figure out just why the smell was lingering. Jessica confirmed it though - I smelled like pig poo...specifically, around my face. I couldn't figure it out, but luckily about 5 minutes later Jessica was sitting by me and took a good look. She discovered a very large splash of pig poo that was matted into my hair.

The good news (and you'll be happy to hear this) is that once you wash the poo out of your hair, the smell miraculously disappears.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stock Trailer Done!

Finally some closure - the stock trailer "bow" replacement job is over and done with.  Here is a short progression in photos:

Bows are rusted through and the top is collapsed:

Several bows removed (I ended up taking out one more than shown in this picture and probably should have just done the next one too - I ended up spending a ton of time welding in new metal patch sections into retrospect it would have been easier to just replace it.

The new "bows" are bent and ready to install:

New bows welded in place:

New top bar supports getting ready to weld on:

All welded up, primed and painted:

What's next you ask?  Well, I have my eyes on a different trailer that is convertible from just a regular flatbed utility trailer to a stock trailer (the cage portion is removable.)  I'm going to try to either sell this on outright and use the proceeds to get a convertible trailer or try to find someone who wants to trade.  

Since I have owned this trailer, I have had to rent or borrow a flatbed trailer over and over again for various tasks and jobs.  Utility trailers are usually shorter (12' to 18') than this trailer (20') so this trailer should actually be worth more than most utility trailers so it shouldn't be too hard to get a good trade.  I don't mind having a bit smaller of a trailer since I don't really run a lot of cattle.  Having the added utility of the conversion from stock trailer to utility trailer and back though, would be very cocnvenient.  Cross your fangers - I'm sure the magic of CL will hook me up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Memorium (or something)

Back when I was a youngsta, me an' a pal made ourselves a (pathetic excuse for a) boat out of 2X4s and plywood. We christened it the "Dawg" and though we used it frequently, it certainly made a good show of living up that that name.  Somewhere (I can't seem to find it) I have a picture of my grandpa and me taking that dog of a boat out fishing - it is one of my favorites. For some reason, that picture is one of my favorite memories of my grandpa.  It combines fishing, boating, etc. and it made me proud at the time that he trusted me enough to trust his life to my construction skills.  

Another moment like that where I tend to think back on an event with fondness was the time Grandma came out and drove around on our tractor or when Mark, Jessica and I took Logan and Roscoe camping in southern UT.

This next image may go down as one of those moments. This is my mom feeding her first bottle to a calf.  Good times.
It was fun having mom out for swimming, dinner, FHE, and smores and the moment pictured above reminded me of her dad.  I guess that is a good thing for memorial day.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Calf-raising V2

Last night, we had a new delivery here on the farm.  This time in the back of a pcikup truck.  One of our neighbors dropped off a little 10-day old? bottle calf.  He is:

50% Angus
25% Hereford
25% Holstein

In short, what that means is that he should turn out to be a very sizeable bull or steer (not 100% decided on that just yet, but leaning towards steer) that will fetch a pretty price at the sale barn once grown.  He is mostly black and for some reason, in Texas, black cattle are worth more.  (research into this seemingly local-to-Texas phenomenon indicates that black cattle have been favored here since the 1800s and the very earliest Texas "cowboy" days.
He currently gets a bottle twice a day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Puttin' In My 8

After getting up shortly after 4am for a dash to the airport, you can
imagine how excited I am to be sitting in the Atlanta airport (having
missed a connecting flight to Chicago) waiting on a 4:00pm flight to
my final destination.
Oh least I now have some time to meditate?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cinderella (w/ a welder)

The wind has been pretty rough lately - which makes outdoor welding with gas-shielded MIG wire a bit tough.  Tonight the wind was low, so after the kids were all put to sleep, I hit the ol' stock trailer with the welder.  I actually made progress a lot faster than I thought I would.  I started by cutting down all the old rusted off stumps and soon I was slapping the new 'hoop' top bars on left and right...until I ran out of welding wire.  Yep, right about as the clock struck midnight, I ran out of welding wire and my spree was over.  Here's a pic of where she is at right now (sorry for the quality - it is dark out there!)

For a comparison from "before" take a look at the images in this post from a week ago.

By the way, I have to give props on this project to my old pal Jess who, at one point, built his own bender.  Without his can-do attitude towards anything metal, I might never have even tried bending the top bars by myself.  I am extremely satisfied with the results!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


We had a special treat today - Uncle Keith, Uncle Bill and G-pa Earl came out to test out some weaponry on the back-40.  While they were here, I convinced them (it wasn't hard) to see if they could help me get the new cow (hereby christened Big Mama) into the stock trailer so I could move her from one pasture (with low grass) to a fresh pasture (with nice tall grass.)  I had been slowly trying to urge her into the trailer with feed, but she wasn't having it.  Bill and Keith suggested that we relocate the trailer to a less muddy spot and that worked well enough to get her very close to the trailer, but she still didn't seem very motivated to get in it, so Bill suggested we cut some of that nice tall grass from the new pasture and use it to lure her into the trailer.  It didn't take long after that to get her into the trailer and with a swift and correlated bump of the gates to her backside (Keith and I synchronized our watches and then sprung the trap,) she hopped right in.  It was a short and pleasant trip up to the new pasture and she was shortly romping around in nice fresh hay and getting acquainted with all the other livestock that were up there waiting for her.

It would have been really difficult without all the help (I tend to drive my trailer by braille when I am working alone) and I sure appreciated it.  Hopefully the other parties involved enjoyed a little bit of good ol' fashioned texas longhorn cowboyin'

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bye Bye Bessie

With all the trouble we have had getting folks to come over to feed the dog and other animals when we are on vacation, we have come to the realization that regardless of our desire for fresh milk, we just aren't really set up for a milk cow that requires twice daily devotion without fail. If you miss a milking, it can actually harm the animal and we dont want to deal with, I traded Ol' Bessie (our future milk cow) for a 3 year old longhorn cow that is bred to drop a calf here anyday. We loaded Ol' Bessie up on Saturday and took delivery of our new herd queen (she's the queen just cuz she is now our oldest cow) - here she is:

This is a picture of the Bull that is her father (a nice looking animal eh?)
This next one is the bull that sired the calf that we are expecting any day now.

So, we now have an officially all-longhorn herd (except for unkigiashes little Jersey steer who is here on only a temporary basis.)  Feelin' kinda Texas now....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Stock Trailer

It must be Christmas.  Ma & Pa took all 3 of the kids for the weekend.  It is awesome!

I got a ton of work done on the trailer today.  Here's all 5 new top bows bent and cut to size:

Here's the trailer with all the old bows broken out.  I just need to get some new cutting wheels to cut off the stubs so I can weld in the new bows:
I also traded 'Ol Bessie off for a new longhorn cow - more on that later....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Playin' in the Rain

The rain is still coming every other day or so and today it was gushing again after a full nights storms.  Here, after it warmed up to near 80 degrees, the kids play in the aftermath at the bottom of the dam.  Earlier in the day, the water was shooting out far harder and would have easily washed Ginger off the rock she was standing on.