I went to town FOUR times today--the reason of course being I can only get one roll of hay in my truck at a time and then I still had to get the feed and Snip's hay. Unfortunately, I forgot the chicken feed so I have to go back tomorrow because they are out!!
I started out about 1:00 and it was 4:00 by the time I got done running around. I didn't have any wrecks (obviously), I snuck under a few yellow lights, and got hay all over myself even while driving down the road.
Dumping off the first roll of hay over here at Granddaddy's was rather intersting. Moon-bat hardly let me get it out of the truck before she took her stubs to it. I hollered at her and she looked up like, "Who, me?" Grrr...yes, you--you scary critter! :) Anyway...she did start eating it after that.
The second roll was less eventful. The third roll, which I delievered to my cows, was also an experience. The cows were up. Abe first started in on the bumper (I even had the engine turned off!) but quit once I threatened him. I started pushing the roll and all of a sudden I'm having something akin to a game of tug-of-war with a 1,000+ lb. (guess) bull with an 800 lb. roll of hay! So, while I was attempting to get the netting off, Abe was shaking the thing back and forth (or forward and backward from my perspective). Eventually the hay fell off the tailgate and I managed to rescue the plastic netting before it got chewed on.
On my way back into town for the fourth time, I stopped to get eggs (must have eggs for breakfast!!) and water-softener salt. Then I got the horse feed at Bryan's and on to Smith's. At Smith's the owner confronted me thusly (I don't think I've ever actually spoken to him before): "I believe you're the lady I want to talk to." Oh? I was like, "What did I do??" (I didn't say that...) Anyway, he wanted to talk to me about the fact that my molassas tank was half-full of water. He had been out about a week ago to put molassas in the tank, but he wasn't going to put the 'product', as he said, into the water because it will make it stale. He said he had called and left a message (I didn't even think the answering machine was hooked up anymore??). So, anyway, he told me that I needed to siphon as much of the water out as I could--and he explained how to do that. I'm glad he did because I didn't remember exactly how to siphon stuff. It took a couple of tries and few different peices of pipe--and now I really need to sharpen my knife!--before the water started flowing. I got sillily excited about it. :D
Then I did a little more work in and about the barn. Savannah helped me put the Snapper back in the barn by steering for me while I pushed. After I got that in, I backed the truck up as close as I could get it to the barn (still a few too many obstructions) and unloaded the cow feed--minus two bags. Savannah drove and we fed the cows.
After feeding the cows, Savannah returned inside to finish our supper (I was hungry!), and I unloaded the sweet feed and hay. I also put the salt in the softener. Since I really am trying to keep on top of all my extra feed sacks better (i.e. burn them--one really doesn't need to keep ALL of them; just enough to come in handy if you need a sturdy paper sack), I hauled another four (yesterday's and today's) out to the burn pit along with the salt bag and the hay netting. Once there, without matches of course, I wasn't really sure if I was going to go all the way in and get the matches and come back out or not--like I said, I was hungry and I tend to get lazier the hungrier I get. I happened to look over and see something very interesting.
A couple of days ago, when I went to burn the trash, I couldn't find the open box of matches, so I just opened a new one. Anyway, looking off to my right this evening, I saw a match box with matches scattered all around it, just laying there in the pasture! I have no idea how they got there, but I went over and picked almost every single one up--and found out that they still work too! In other words, the trash got burned and I didn't have to go into the house for matches afterall!
By now, Snip was really getting impatient for his supper. He'd been nickering, blowing, and whinning at me ever since I got home and I kept telling him to wait...needless to say, he was mighty pleased to see supper show up. I feed the cats and covered the chickens up better with the tarp and came in for supper...and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
There were several tales today related to Snip...I thought you might enjoy them.
First, I rode Snip this morning, instead of this afternoon. He was a tad stubborn about the bit, but it could have been much worse. At one point, he was standing on my spur, so I just leaned back against him until he figured out that he needed to move.
While riding, I lost my .22 revolover. I ride with it strapped around the saddle horn with one of my belts. Well, the belt busted. I didn't realize it when it happened. Anyway, I was riding through the pens, fixing to go onto the back 40, when I went to check my gun--and found it was gone! Needless to say, I turned Snip around and went back over the ground I had just been walking, trotting, and loping all over. (Loping with no bucks today!! Yippeee!! Improvement!)
I found the belt after one sweep and was off Snip when Mama and Katherine got here. Mom must have noticed that I wasn't on the horse and I probably looked distressed, even from a distance, because in no time, my back pocket started ringing and Mama wanted to know what was wrong. Soon, she and Katie were there helping with the search...then Savannah came out. I got back on Snip and went the opposite direction. I found my pistol out near the briars. Believe me, I was quite relieved!
I asked Katherine if she'd like to ride behind me on the way back to the house. I took my left foot out of the stirrup and leaned to the right while she got her lanky self heaved up. That was all fine and dandy until Snip spooked at the gate. We both tumbled off! I probably would have stayed on if I hadn't had the extra weight pulling on my back...but anyway, we slid off and neither one of us got hurt--except for a stratch on Katherine's leg (most likely from my spur) and a few minor bruises. Anyhow, we both had a good laugh about it and I told Katherine, "Hey, now you can say you've fallen off a horse!" Snip stopped immediately--like he does anytime I disappear off his back. Soon we were back on and had no more mishaps for the rest of the short trip.
Much later in the day...I was filling Snip's water tank. He got curious--as per usual. And...well, have you ever seen a horse drink out of water hose? I got wet as he kept poking his nose back into the stream of water. It was really quite hilarious! He had that rather confused look on his face the whole time too...which added to the humor of the moment. Not that it was like I didn't need a bath...I was filthy from working in the barn for a good chunk of the afternoon. But that water was cold!
Anyway...those are today's horse tails. ;)
P.S. Above misspelling was purposeful...
Well...after the morning feeding routine (which has changed slightly since the chickens are over here now), I changed out of my ratty jeans into some decent looking clothes and plopped down at the computer to work on a 'James and Burke'
episode. I haven't gotten that finished yet.
At about 10:50, I suddenly realized I had better get started on lunch--Granddaddy likes to eat around 11:30. I jumped up and went into the kitchen and stared at the pack of chicken thighs. Something akin to this was running through my mind, "What a dingbat I am!! Chicken takes an hour to bake!!! I KNOW that! What was I doing on the computer??"
With those kind of things running around in my foolish brain, an idea suddenly slapped me upside the head. "Hey! Why not fry a couple of pieces for lunch and just stick the rest in the oven?" Saved by my practical streak, I got the skillet heating and put the chicken into a baking pan and into the oven--minus two pieces. One for me and one for Granddaddy. (I forgot to mention everyone else was not home...)
With the chicken crackling in the pan, I hurriedly chopped some mustard greens, thankful Mama had already washed them in the big sink across the creek. I dumped the baked beans out of the box they were in and put them on the stove to heat as well.
I ACTUALLY HAD LUNCH READY ON TIME....I was rather surprised about that, but quite pleased. I was equally pleased at the way it turned out--tasty. :D As Granddaddy was getting seated and I was dishing up the chicken from the stove (no need to dirty an extra dish with two pieces of chicken that were just going to be promptly removed), I told him, "We're having a good Southern lunch." He grunted, "Good."
We didn't talk much while we consumed lunch...but that's not unusual. He went back to the TV and I to the blanch the remaining greens I hadn't cooked. I also washed the dishes and made my coffee. Once done with all that, I took my coffee and returned to 'James and Burke'...
Coffee gone, I turned my attention to my afternoon's errands. I dropped by Wal-Mart first to get silver spray paint for the 'new' gate, as well as cat food since they are almost out. I made an impulsive (not too implusive really) buy of the Tintin movie. I've wanted to see it ever since I first heard about it (I LOVE Tintin!) and was just waiting until it came out on DVD. (I think I'll watch that tonight...)
I fully enjoyed this next part...While standing in line, the lady in front of me looked me over once. A minute later, she turns back and motions to my spurs (which I had noticed her looking at) and asked me, "Are those the real deal or just for decoration?" If she had noticed that the sole of my beloved boot is coming off, she might have answered that question herself. :D I told her, "They are real." Then she asked me if I used them...duh. "Yes, I use them on him sometimes...sometimes he needs it!" "Is he standing out there in the parking lot?" she teased. "No...when I left the house he was standing there eating hay!" A little later she said, "I'm a Northerner, can you tell?" I laughed (this whole episode was hilarious), and said, "Sorta."
I was checking out and the cashier carded me--because of the spray paint!! That is kind of weird. Anyway, she said I didn't look over 18.
From there I went and got fuel...then with a full tank, I headed for Bryan's.
At Bryan's I hopped out and headed in; the Hispanic guy (who for blogging purposes I'm going to call 'Jose'--unless I find out his name), saw me, grinned, and asked, "A roll of hay?" I laughed, how could I help it, and agreed with him...only I was actually getting two! Scott (I think he owns the place or is one of the owners) took my plastic for both rolls and Jose loaded #1. Seeing me fumbling with my straps, he backed the forklift around and basically asked me if I'd like him to show me a better way of strapping in the hay. Why not? And you know what? It really is better! The hay doesn't roll near as much with the strap around the back rather than over the top.
I arrived home and unloaded roll #1. Granddaddy's cows have never had hay before, so they haven't exactly attacked it. I think they will eat it--once they get done butting it around and ripping it to shreds with their horns. Moonbat started 'horning' it first thing and I yelled at her while shaking my PVC head-wacker. She just looked at me over the roll of hay...nevermind....
I dashed back to Bryan's, and Dave (who has an injuried eye--he might startle you if you weren't expecting it--he makes up for that disfigurement with a quick smile and laugh; I like the guy...and I appreciate it when God places physically non-perfect people in my path. He continues to teach me not to judge by outward apperances or get 'grossed out' because someone has something wrong with them. I just hope Dave didn't see the reaction I had when I first saw him...I fail miserably on this front and I am ashamed of myself for it.) loaded roll #2. I strapped it in like Jose had shown me and left again.
After unloading that one, I headed out again...after filling a five gallon bucket three times and carrying it around 100 yards to make sure Snip had water. The pump is no longer pumping water--even though it was sitting there and running! I have to do some research on that. (If anybody reading this has any idea what might be the problem, contact me! Please...I'm totally lost on this front. :})
At Smith's I picked up another 14 50 lb. sacks of pellets and one of chick feed...I was going to get 4 bags of mineral too...but they were out. Drummer Dude, Redneck 1 (who I hadn't realized was so short! It's been a while since I've seen him) and Redneck 3 loaded my truck. Redneck 3 seems to be a real nice kid--he smiles an awful lot...
I got to our place, swept out the garage (I remembered Mama! :D), unloaded six of the bags of pellets and left again. I got over here, unloaded feed, chased calves, filled up Snip's water tank a bit more (the cows can get water out of the creek, so I'm not too worried about them), got something to drink myself, fed cows with Katherine's help, then fed Snip, the cats (I only saw Shadow), and the chicks. By now I was really hungry...three measely prunes at 2:30 don't exactly qualify as a filling snack and it was almost 6.
We (the first shift, Katherine, Granddaddy, and I) ate shortly after I came in. I really tried not to shovel...something I'm really bad at when I'm starving. And that pretty much sums up my day...it was busy, exciting, and even distressing to some extent...I have to figure out what to do about the pump...but I'll worry about that tomorrow!
Until next time, enjoy laughing at (and with) me!
The hen coop is well underway. We didn't finish today because we ran out of wire and I thought we'd wait and ask Mama a few questions before we continued. Anyway, here are the pictures from today's adventure.
What we started with...
My tape measure doesn't have a lock swtich on it, so I have to improvise. :)
We cut four strips of wire that were roughly 12.5 or 13 feet long...
Then we laid them out like this over the 'ridge' pipe...
And wired them down...
This was probably the trickiest part. Katie gamely undertook to hold the 12' 2" PVC ridge poll up while I wired it to the top of the triangle. She managed to get this really good shot of herself after I had the first end wired.
Wiring the opposite end.
For me, this was the most uncomfortable part...I'm fine up a ladder so long as it has NO wiggle. Here it was a tad jiggly, so I had Katherine steady it for me. She's terrible cute with her glasses on the top of her head!
"Don't lean over TOO far, Racheal..." I was wiring to the middle sections of the triangle.
This isn't a very good shot of what we finished with, but it'll have to do. As you can see, the ends are open--we still have to rig that up somehow; more wire of course. I have some plastic stuff, but I'm not sure that won't get used in the horse trailer...
And in closing, how about a picture of a lovely old oak?
Well, we pretty much got the rooster coop done today! I have pictures to prove it...
This is what we started with this morning...wire on three sides and the top wire hanging down inside.
We added a few more support bars and then started putting the wire back on. We had to patch it some, but it worked fine!
So....I was goofing off with the PVC pipe cutters. (Great tool, by the way!!)
Cutting pipe...I was sitting on a feed sack because the grass was still wet from the dew!
Drilling holes in the ends of support pipes.
Inside the coop...I was talking to Katherine.
Ah, there she is!
Cutting a piece of chicken wire to patch the side.
Katherine 'sewing' the sides where the different peices of chicken wire came together. (That is my uncle's boat in the back-ground...)
The finished project!! (Minus however I'm going to practically close the 'door'--the end facing you.)
The state of our hands...mine are a tad more scratched up than Katherine's.
So this one really has nothing to do with chicken coops... :P
It is just the author...having fun!
No pictures tonight...but more words. :)
After lunch, Katherine and I headed out to work on the rooster coop. I was hoping we would be all done with it tonight, but it didn't work out that way. We started by putting wire around the whole thing, length-ways, starting at one end and wraping it around back to that same end, leaving the end open. (That's my 'door' end!) We put about six inches down on the ground as an extra deterrent for critters and wired the thing on. Katherine spent a good deal of time 'sewing' the wire to the bottom pipe with the thin, very supple wire that came wrapped around the chicken-wire itself. Meanwhile, I was going around wiring it to the corners. Mama dropped by as she and Savannah were head to town and suggested support bars in the middle of my ten-foot sections. Okay...so out came the drill, the pipe cutters, the nails, and the hammer. I didn't need to cut another peice of pipe since I had two four foot sections laying around already. I drilled holes in either end of the four foot sections and roughly in the middle of my ten foot top and bottom pipes. Katherine poked the nails through and I hammered them down.
Then we went back to wiring...now, if you've ever worked with wire, you know the state one's hands get. Soon we both had blood on our hands. Somehow, Katherine actually managed to get scratched more than I did...but I have some doozy's alright. Katie went in to get a band-aid for her arm at one point and came back with another poked in her pocket. That was providential because a few minutes later I really got a walloping cut on my right index finger. With that bandaged up I went right back to work.
We were almost done with all the wiring when Mama got home and came and looked at our progress and made some more suggestions. If you know me at all, you know that when I'm hungry and getting tired, suggestions aren't always the best received. Well, I bit down on that growing, "aww....just leave me alone!" feeling, and actually looked at what she was pointing out and laughed instead of growled. Yep...it really did need cross bars to keep it from sagging like that. I cut some more pipe (oh, by now my hands were so tired from cutting electric wire--what we are using to tie the chicken wire on with--that I had to use the ground to help me cut the pipe)...mind you, sitting inside the three foot (plus a few inches) high area. Then I drilled some more holes, Katherine poked the nails through, and I pounded them.
We didn't finish...it was time for dinner and we were hungry (we never did stop and have that suggested apple break...go figure.) Anyway, it shouldn't take too much longer to finish--though I'm not sure we'll get it done tomorrow because we have to go someplace tomorrow afternoon.
I will post pictures when it is done! (Would have had pictures today only Katie left her camera across the creek!)
Greetings again...it's been a while, hasn't it? Anyway, I got around to the next step on the coops today. The "roo" (rooster) coop's frame was assembled and I later went to town and got the wire (it's green!)...but instead of putting the wire on, I rode Snip.
Rooster coop frame
I was going to write further, but since I'm Skyping with Daddy, I'll save that for later... :)
That's right...I got my little chickens this morning!
While cooking either Savannah or Granddaddy's breakfast this morning, I meandered out to my desk (where I keep my cellphone) and flipped it open. Sure enough, I had missed calls and a voicemail telling me that my chicks were in at the post office. I went ahead and ate breakfast myself, loaded some stuff (i.e. chick feed, chick grit, cow feed, and a hearty cardboard box) into the back of the truck, and roared off.
As of yesterday afternoon, we were going to put the chicks in the horse trailer as a brooder...by the time we went to bed last night, the plan had changed. Or rather, reverted to my original plan with a few minor detail differences.
Upon reaching the other house, I first fed the cows, then hauled the box out and hurried out to the barn were Mama said Daddy had told her he had another one. I found it without any problem and didn't even see any spiders. Then I rushed back to the garage with it, and started getting set up. Mama told me to go on and get the chicks and she would finish setting up. She also warned me not to have a wreak because I was in such a hurry...
I got to the post office and had to wait while a couple other people went through the line ahead of me. By the time it was my turn, there were a couple people behind me. I stepped up to the counter and said, "I'm here to pick up a shipment of chickens." After getting my name, the man behind the counter headed to the back to find them. I heard the peeping before he showed up again and it made me grin. In the meantime, I had a short exchange with the three people behind me. One was a older black lady who has such a pretty smile. She said she used to 'do that' [chickens] and that she used to get Rhode Island Reds. When I told her mine (half of them) are Rhode Island Reds, she seemed so pleased! She then proceeded to remark that she would have to do this again once she retired. The other people, probably a couple from up north someplace (they didn't exactly look or feel like locals) asked me a few questions too...when I was going out, the gentleman went and opened the door for me. It was unexpected, but appreciated.
I had to stop by over here to pick up some apple cider vinegar and garlic to make a home-made version of an electrolyte solution. I got across the creek and Mom mixed up the solution (I was getting the lights set up). Once done with that, I started unpacking the chicks, dipping each one's beak into the electrolyte solution water until I determined they'd gotten a drink, then I set them down into their boxes.
My roosters are Rhode Island Reds and my hens New Hampshire Reds...I got muddled in my thinking and thought I had gotten half Rhode Island Red hens and half Rhode Island Red roosters (the same with the New Hampshire Reds)...so I split them up that way. And then I got to looking at the label on the inside of the box. Phooey...so Katherine and I got them straightened out. I think I still have at least one rooster in the with the hens, but since the top of his beak was a little bloody, I'm fine with leaving him in there. The hens don't seem as vicious, but they sure were more stubborn about starting to drink! :P
McMurry Hatchery always includes a free 'exotic' chick in their orders...I think the one I got is a Brahman. We had a couple of those two years ago...the one hen was dumb as a box of rocks. I rather liked the roosters, they weren't so bad. After we butchered them (at about 5 lbs or so) we found out that it isn't unusual for them to get up to 10 pounds!
New Hampshire Red...they'll change colors. :)
The one I suspect is a Brahman...
Take a drink, little chicky...
Rhode Island Red
And just because...here's my two week old calf!
There you have it! Now, I'm off to go run feed store errands...
Well, actually this is Part 2, since I started on the coops two weeks ago. Anyway, with Katherine's help, the frame of the first one is finished. Problem is...it didn't work like it was supposed to!
For starters, it was supposed to be shaped something like this:
My cute as a button assistant...
You know, I can be rather goofy sometimes...
We had all but one hoop (there were supposed to be 5) together, when they started snapping! 1 inch 40 SD PVC pipe popping is rather startling. This was the result...
Sooo...we brain-stormed...I called Daddy...and this is what we ended up doing: We made a triangle out of the pipe (instead of arches). I drilled holes through the ends, stuck a nail through, and pounded it down.
I started by sawing off the one unbroken pipe.
Then I drilled holes in the top of the pipes...
(How'd you like those orange ear-plugs? )
Pounding away...(I had to have another pair of gloves held against the head of the nail to keep from hurting myself.)
It wasn't that hot...I just thought this one was a cool picture! (I was still up the ladder when Katherine took it.)
Well, there you have it...we still have to finish...but that'll come in Part 2.
Whew! Mama and I had an interesting morning this morning...we got a 'new' antenna hooked up to Granddaddy's TV. It happened like this...
I got over to our place around 9:15 to feed the cows and afterwards eat my breakfast. While chomping down on my eggs, cheese, and sauerkraut, Mama told me that we were going to take the antenna that Daddy had rigged up for the RV over to Granddaddy's and hook that up to his TV.
First we had to pull the thing out of the RV tent. Next we had to take it apart at approximently the middle; and I still had pipe stuck about six feet over the the cab of the pick-up. I drove rather slowly on the way home (I have three, you know, so this is an interesting statement!) and had fun maneuvering the oaks in the driveway. (Cowboy-hatted head hanging out the drivers window...)
Anyway, Mama arrived in the red car shortly after I got there and we put the antenna back together. I made a couple trips to the barn for the right sized wrenches; I also ended up going back for post hole diggers, electricians tape, zip-ties (which didn't get used), and a ladder. I've determined that I have developed a rather strange gait when walking fast in boots--I'm not sure it's bow-legged (I haven't ridden enough to be bow-legged!), but it's similar. I move much faster when swaggering like that. However, I wasn't planning on analyzing my walking...
After trying a couple different things and talking to Daddy on the phone at least twice, we decided to strap this long antenna to the old dead oak out there. There went three of my very nice ratchet straps. I will have to get some more now; not a problem since I am headed for Wal-Mart and Bryan's after I get off here for a battery for the Kubota, Round-up, gas, and hay for my cows.
Anyway, I found out at the bottom of the other antenna what the problem was. (I had checked this connection before, but I hadn't totally taken it apart, therefore I missed this.) The connector and the coax cable from that disk-shaped antenna were burnt. In other words, it got hit by lightening sometime early this fall (when we started having TV problems.) However, Mama wasn't going to climb that tower out back and I wasn't too keen on the idea either, so we just went with putting this other one up. If I had thought I could reach the connections up top, I would have given the climb a try (even though I'm not so fond of heights), but when Mama told me that Daddy had to stand on tip-toe to reach that connection, I knew I might as well not waste the effort. I'm shorter than he is and I certainly don't make up for that with the length of my arms.
The long and the short of it is that Granddaddy now has more channels than he knows what to do with--and I'm going to have to put up with cartoons again! (I am going to stay on top of changing channels and volume control while he's asleep--never fear! :D)
Well, I ought to get to town so I can get to mowing...see ya'll later!