Quick Weekend Recap

This weekend was filled with all sorts of activities for all of our family members.  Here are some highlights.

Oreo is still enclosed within the now electrified fence.  She definitely respects the fence.  I picked up a fence tester at Tractor Supply and it reads 7,000+ volts so it definitely has enough power that it should keep her in.  I still plan to add another strand a little bit lower.  She also has started coming over and taking grain out of a bucket.  She’ll even let me per her head while she’s eating so I think there is hope for halter training her.

Last week I got the lumber to build the base for the new chicken coop.  I cut the 8′ pieces so that the overall foot print would be 8’x12′.  On Saturday my dad put the base together using joist hangers.  I was going to use 15/32″ treated plywood for the decking but it became apparent quickly that it wouldn’t be sturdy enough.  We picked up some 3/4″ and that should do the trick.  We picked a place to put the coop and cleared the area.  With any luck I can have the sides built so that the chickens can move to their new home soon.

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Opening day of deer gun season is always the 15th of November in Michigan.  I haven’t been able to get out at all during bow season, but I was able to sit in a tree both morning and evening of opening day.  While I didn’t see any deer, sitting in a tree in the woods is always a good thing.

I also was able to get 5 more bare root trees planted.  This was the second shipment from Stark Bros.  All told, in under two years we have planted over 30 fruit and nut trees on the property.  In a couple years, I hope to see the fruit of that labor, pun intended.

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On Saturday I bought a gallon of red wigglers because I needed one more thing to do.  My vermicomposting has officially begun.  Hopefully this is a successful endeavor that not only provides me with great worm castings for fertilizer, but also a side business in selling the castings and extra worms.  Time will tell.

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There were lots of other activities from kids sports, to a retreat at church, to a baby shower, but it’s late and I hit the highlights.  Until next time.

7 thoughts on “Quick Weekend Recap”

  1. Pick up a cow halter and take it with you when you feed her out of the grain bucket. She’ll become familiar with the sight of it. Cows like things to be the same – they don’t like to be surprised. Example – our cows are familiar with our vet – on a visit one day she’d had to change out her jacket and arrived in an orange and yellow hi vis. Both cows spooked and charged straight into a fence in a panic. My husband returned from a week long trip – the Jersey took a look at him and ran back into the field. He wasn’t wearing his usual plaid. Took us an hour to get her back in for a routine milking. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tip. I was going to get her used to me bringing her grain in a bucket first, but it makes more sense to bring the halter along now and get her used to it. Same thing with the kids, she isn’t used to small children, the farm before didn’t have any little kids. She seems to be getting used to ours and even letting them pet her now. I’ll keep working at it and hopefully get there eventually. Thanks again for the advice.

      1. I suppose I wouldn’t hurt, but honestly – it’s not one I would use. The problem with those things on a cow that’s not familiar with them from an early age, is that if it creates any discomfort – she’ll likely fight it hard. There are probably people out there who would have the opposite opinion of mine – but ultimately you want her to associate you with comfort, food etc. It’s definitely more work to be starting off with a full grown cow. When you do get a halter on her, take it back off. Have her associate it with the treats. You should never leave it on permanently. If you’re intending to lead her, take the lead rope out with you as well. When you’re ready to lead her, take the lead and the grain and start out by walking a few steps. Have somebody else quietly approach her ‘comfort zone’ and she’ll move. (Picture two large ‘triangles’ of space coming from each of her eyes – that is her personal space) You can quite effectively move a cow simply by approaching and retreating from that space. They are prey – we are predators. Ultimately the halter helps should you need to tie her for the vet, help with birthing the calf, etc. when the calf is born, pop a halter on it within the first couple of days. We use alpaca halters- they’re small. 🙂

  2. For our cows we just use a nylon horse halter. When they are calves we use an adjustable rope halter.

    The best thing we ever did was leave the floor in our chicken coop dirt. We use a deep composting/litter method with leaves and woodchips. We sprinkle whole oats on the floor so that they pick and scratch, working to break down the woodchips and leaves. Keeps the smell down and generates heat in the winter.

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