RicelandMeadows


Cattle Hay Feeder
October 11, 2017, 7:31 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

fedlot1

October 11, 2017

The rain fell the whole time we worked, but the feedlot addition for the new hay feeder is complete. All that remains to do is add some height to the east fence, taking the top rail up even with the gates. The material is ready. I will be repurposing some old pipe. I just need a day to finish that part of the project.

fedlot2

The new gates on the end of the feeder will allow for easy access with the skid loader. I will fill it full of round bales. Once the cattle have eaten all that they want of the bales, I can push the debris out the other end to be used as bedding before composting it.

fedlot3

Here you can see where the fence needs to be extended just a bit taller. This photo also shows the wide aisle where the cattle will feed and move about. I will have plenty of room for manure removal too. The bolts sticking out in the foreground, have been cut off and smoothed over. This will make a safe comfortable place for the bovines to eat.

fedlot4

The place where my dog is watching a couple of fattening pigs, is where the cows will sleep on cold winter nights. They will have access to this feeder, a large cement lot and the dry bedding area under the barn’s overhang. This place is where they will spend the bad days of winter. On better days, when the sunshine and daylight make for a nice day, the cows will be allowed out to a large field. The 4 acre field will be put into crops next spring, but will be an exercise lot for all the farms animals this coming winter.

I also built into this area the “headlocks” pictured above. They will allow for a humane way to catch a cow or steer when needed for ear tagging, vet checks or sorting for freezer camp. A large water trough will sit on the outside of the headlocks and catch rainwater off the roof. I will of course supplement as needed, but on rainy days I can save some. Even the dew will be collected as it runs off the barn roof.

Lastly, I can put the cows in this section of the feedlot when I am working the horses in winter. The cows have the protection of the feeder as they eat. I can leave the barn door and gates open as I wish to get the horses in and out. I won’t have to fuss with the cattle when coming and going to the woods or fields. It will prove to be a very efficient way to save time and stress levels for every single one of us!



Homemade, Handcrafted, Shop Made
May 24, 2017, 9:20 pm
Filed under: May 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

spreaderfert

May 24, 2017

Yesterday, I spread my fertilizer on the corn ground with my rig pictured above. The spreader is affixed to the axle out of an old Jeep and some small I-beam. My uncle did all the welding. My late friend in Pennsylvania figured the gear ratio. He took the distance in one revolution of the tires and told me what size gear was needed to weld on the shaft coming out of the axle rear end “pumpkin”.

My uncle welded the frame and centered the gear on the rear end shaft. A stub shaft made from pillow block bearings and fitted with stub ends from an old PTO shaft, completed the build. The spreader is just a category one, three point hitch model that I already had. Once the whole rig had been assembled, I tried it out. The horses walk about four miles per hour. My old friend Jonathan had it figured so the speed of the walking horses, turned the power take off at 540 rpm…exactly what the old spreader needed to work at its optimum.

My uncle’s welding days are behind him. My old friend has designed his last piece of homemade equipment. I think of the two of them every time I use this spreader. It gets used often during the growing season. We even spread grass seed on a football field for a community project, to help make a place for some young football players. Because of my uncle and my friend, I was able to “pay it forward” using inexpensive shop built equipment.

Many times in my life I have benefited from someone’s hand made or hand crafted object. The very first leather harnesses that I owned were a gift from my two grandfathers. They each contributed parts to get me a set that would work on two small ponies that I owned. One day, I should compile a list of all the folks who have shown me the greatest love by giving of themselves.

I have slept under homemade quilts all of my life. I still have the last one that my mother and great grandmother made for me. It is well worn and faded, but still held together by the love that made it. My wife quilts for me, our family and others. She works steady and almost tirelessly creating designs in cloth. The love she puts into them will be seen for decades.

I try to always meet people on the level and treat them square. I try to lead with a smile and follow with a good deed. One of the gifts I have, is that of managing the written word. I hope that I can impart a series of words that will touch a heart and stir a fond memory. I hope that long after I am gone, I will still be able to make folks remember a loved one, a favorite event or an old object made by hand with help from the heart.



Farm Play Date
December 31, 2016, 10:40 am
Filed under: December 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

jakbarn

December 31, 2016

Last night, I stopped to see my youngest son. My grandson asked, “play farm, Pa-pa?” I couldn’t resist. It’s awesome to play with my grandchildren. Over Christmas I got to play suction cup arrows and bullets, as I target shot with John and Rachel. That never gets old!

What I thought was wonderful about last night’s play date, was the way my grandson and his daddy had set up their farmstead. A big old wooden barn stood close to a new plastic one. We played awhile, setting up animals and moving them from pasture to pasture. There was no doubt that my grandson preferred the old barn to the newer one. The little wooden stalls inside were where the horses lived.

The old wooden barn belonged to my son. We bought it for him when he was about three year’s old. It was made by an Amish boy who was afflicted by mental retardation. The young Amish man made toys and wooden eveners for horse drawn equipment. I had gone there to buy a set of eveners, also called double trees, when I spotted the handmade wooden barn.

The old barn has doors on both sides that open and close. Inside there are two tie stalls for a team of draft horses. There is also a short row manger where the cows would stand to be milked. The large haymow has a loose hay trolley system that used eye hooks, string and a metal piece that served as the “harpoon” for the hay. A rod goes from end to end in the haymow. When the string is threaded through the eye hooks and out the opposite end from the large hay door, the “harpoon” can be let down to the wagon and pulled up, then in to the barn as it slides along the rod in the peak of the barn. This worked just as the old Louden hay carriers did.

I brought the old barn out of our basement and gave it to my grandson. He is almost three now too. There was just as much excitement on his face, when he saw they barn, as there was twenty seven years ago when his daddy first got it. The memory was priceless.

As I kneeled on the ground to play farm, my thoughts drifted to “Elmer” the toy maker who worked steadily on his wooden toys. Elmer passed many years ago, but his kindness and the joy from his handmade toys, will last for generations. Elmer had only “ability”, not “disability”, may God bless his soul.

jakbarani



Homemade Ham
January 18, 2016, 5:24 pm
Filed under: January 2016, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

ham 001

January 18, 2016

Winter is whooping our butts right now. The snow is over my boots on the flat and up past my hips where it has drifted. Not bad for a storm that rolled in yesterday afternoon…when the ground was bare! Last week we got a day or two of winter too. I spent that time working in the slaughterhouse. We cut some of our pork for family. This load of smoked meat is from the efforts of that day.

The meat was all smoked with apple wood. It imparts a light smoke with great flavor. I prefer hickory with pork, but one of my family members likes it lighter. I accomplished this with apple wood and everyone has been happy. The bacon and hams taste great. The color was the only thing effected by the lighter smoke.

I cured these hams and bacons with “Morton’s Tender Quick ” and “Morton’s Sugar Cure”. I rub the bacons liberally with the sugar cure. I also de-bone the hams and rub them inside and out. Next I make a liquid, by following the directions on the Tender Quick bag. This liquid I inject into the thick meat on the shoulder ends of the bacons. I also inject the hams in each piece every two or three inches. I use a brine needle also known as a marinate needle and syringe.

Once the meat has been rubbed and injected, I place it in a plastic container and cover it with the remainder of the liquid Tender Quick. I next mix up a little more liquid using Sugar Cure and water, enough to cover the meat. I place a loose lid on the container and leave it cure for seven days.

After the week has passed, I rinse the meat with cold water. I then hang it on my racks and smoke and cook it. The bacon gets smoked and cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. The hams, the beef tongue you see and the lunch meat chunks of ham all get smoked and cooked to an internal temperature of 155 degrees F

Having the ability to do this at home is an awesome thing. I enjoy doing it and many of our farm’s guest enjoy eating the “fruits” of my labor. Home made ham with fresh eggs is a great breakfast. A slice of our bacon on top of a grass fed cheeseburger…yum! I love my country life 🙂