Tag Archives: Gator

Refuge Ministries

Quick trip to my farm to shift the cows across the road.

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Even though we are inside the Gator, still got my hunter orange so as to be more visible.

Yes, i was just there yesterday, but discovered that I had grossly overestimated the amount of forage the cows would have, so they had to be moved today.

Took Dallas with me just in case my temporary netting decided to take flight in our 33 mph gusting winds.  But all went well;  he wouldn’t have needed to go, but sure gave me extra peace of mind.  Taking out mineral,

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Always keep out mineral for cattle unless it’s just raining everyday.  We use Redmon Natural mineralised salt.  You may know the company as Real Salt.

shutting gates, and draining a water tank took us 55 minutes.  Driving up there and back takes 1 hour 15 minutes.  Obviously, I usually plan to spend more time up there to justify the trip.

Frying lumpia this afternoon in preparation for my monthly trip to Refuge Ministries in Mexico, MO.  






Sick Baby Calf

This continued wet, cool, muddy spring is a bit hard on the calving season.  A few, thankfully very few, calves are showing a bit of milk scouring since the forages are too high in protein this year.  Most are fine.  However, I did have to bring a calf in tonight.  He is small and with his mum milking good and the protein levels higher than normal in the forages, he has been weakened by milk scours, so he’s been lying about too much and now has maggots in his navel around the penis.  He’s pretty droopy, but i still had to throw a rope on him, then heft his squirmy self into the back of the Gator.  Tied him up and headed home.  He rode quietly (probably terrified!), but perked up when i dragged him out back onto the ground.  I gave him an antibiotic and sprayed his navel area really well with screw worm spray – that started the maggots to wrigglying out.  However, I don’t know how deep inside they are, so i’ll have to keep washing it out and spraying the area.  Hopefully, i’m not too late to save him.

Although, I shifted the cows/calves to a new paddock, i had to leave the old one open because the baby calves were not keen on crossing the muddy ditch.  As they get hungry and their mums go back for them, they’ll eventually come across, but I will need to check for stragglers in a day or two.

My temporary paddock divisions using polywire are no longer needed, so I reeled up the one that was in the cows’ fresh paddock tonight.



Sunday Preparation

Tuesday morning is the day for mustering the cattle, so I’m down to the wire to get prepared.  This morning, I’ve hauled up and unrolled four more bales of hay for the cows to chew on while they wait overnight for the muster into the corral.  I walked up through the sheep and found a baby lamb bound up in the electric woven wire fence – dead of course and shorting out my fence.  Plus, there was a dead ewe right at the edge of the pond!  Who knows what the matter was with that – she was not stuck in the mud – just dead.  So both of those animals were pulled away from those areas.

I’m grinding numbers into the Ritchie ear tags for the older and bigger replacement heifer calves while the younger and smaller ones will have smaller Z-tag calf tags.  These will number 400-499.  All replacement heifer numbers start with 400 because the calves were born in 2014.  These tags will hopefully stay in their ears for their lifetimes, this way I know how old they are.

When my corral was expanded, one of the gates was not finished with a hook, so I did that this morning.  Didn’t take long and sometimes it’s those little things that really make a job go more smoothly.tannachton farm misc 008

Once a few electrifiable tapes and netting were in place, the cows and calves are moved forward towards the corral.  Tomorrow, I’ll move them in even closer.

Well, what actually happened was that my Gator jammed between gears and I was stuck!  Thankfully, Allen had time to come up and rescue me.  He rocked the Gator while I tried changing the gears – it finally gave and I was able drop it into neutral so it would start.  It even moved into forward although stiffly.  While I was waiting on Allen, I walked over the hill and opened the gate and called the cows – they’ll just have to find their way at their leisure and I’ll make sure they are moved forward tomorrow.

Once, the small generator is tracked down, fuel changed, and it is running good, then I’ll be back to making ear tags.  Should be ready for Tuesday morning.

But, this afternoon, we’ll be enjoying surprise birthday parties for my uncle and cousin!



Runaway Gator!

As past stories of people breaking their legs trying to do the very thing I plan to do are flashing through my memory banks,  I jump in anyway and although it hurt like the devil with bruising and bumping abounding, (once I stomped the brake and stopped, the pain from those bumps came pouring into my nervous system and I had to stop and let it pass before moving on), I managed not to break anything – praise Yah!

The John Deere Gator has suicide doors and thankfully, when I exited the machine to shut the gate, I had left the driver’s side door open.  This at least gave me the opportunity to jump in as it picked up speed heading down hill towards trees and a deep ditch.  Running as fast as a 52 year old out of shape woman can, I caught up with it and a bit ahead so I could dive in through the open door.  Remember with suicide doors I have to plan to jump be in front of the door, then adjust speed so I end up going the opposite direction to land in the seat of the forward moving Gator.

Needless to say, the lesson from this week is to ALWAYS set the parking brake.  ALWAYS!

Shabbat Shalom!