Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Farmer Girl Rises to the Occasion
While Herb was in Dallas with his siblings and his sister in the hospital, we had the horses and calves in the barnyard. The hay was going down fast, and I realized it wasn't going to last till Herb got home. Seeing the tricky location he had chosen to put the feeder, I was pretty sure I'd never be able to get a bale in there. So the solution was to put some hay in the Home Pasture for the calves who wouldn't mind eating hay that had gotten rained on.
Usually Herb plays with the tractor, but this time I was going to have to rise to the occasion.
First step, remove the loader with the quick release--a piece of cake!
Second step, get the hay spear onto the tractor. That was a little trickier, but thanks to Kara's help guiding me and a few times hopping down to look, I finally remembered how to put it on.
Third step, also pretty easy, pick up a hay bale from the barn . . .
and take it out to the pallet I had set up in the field. With some more guidance from Kara, I plopped the hay bale down on the target.
Kara went in to do some homework, but I wasn't quite finished. I retrieved a cattle panel from the side of the barn and dragged it over to the hay bale. Using rubber bungie cords to pull the ends together, I added a couple small pieces left over from a panel we cut up, and tied everything off tightly with more rubber bungies. I shoved a couple of concrete blocks in under the low side of the hay bale to keep it from tipping, and voila! I had a custom hay bale feeder!
The final step was (after shutting the horses in their stalls) to open the double gates to the barnyard and the Home Pasture and chain them together, making a wide passage for the calves to go through into the Home Pasture. We purposely designed the gates to work this way, and I'm so glad we did! While I could have led Siobhan, I could never have gotten T-Bone through single-handedly without our nice chute arrangement.
All that was left to do was to sit back and enjoy watching the calves enjoy their personal bale of hay while I enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction that comes from rising to a challenge!