Other problem I had today was that a neighbour of mine rang me and said he'd seen dogs chasing another neighbours sheep. The sheep are in paddocks very close to the back of our house, and our dogs (well one of them) has been out there before. This was very late this afternoon, almost on dark. It turns out that yes 1 of our dogs was out there, I had to drive out there and find her. This has happened 1 too many times now, and we have had this particular neighbour onto us about it before so, unfortunately, I think the dogs days are numbered. It's difficult to talk about this in such a matter-of-fact kind of way, but the level of stress that this problem causes is not worth it. I'm struggling with whether to ring our neighbour and let him know or not. I didn't see any injured sheep while I was out there, and I did have a fair look, but if there are any we will be in big trouble. Last time he threatened us with court action, who knows what will happen this time. I don't know if she's (the dog's) pushed the sheep through any fences. Again I never saw any damage so I'm hoping that it's all ok. But I think the sheep are in a different paddock, so my struggle is whether to contact him or not. If there is no sign of damage etc. then I'd be better off not, and just taking care of the dog. But he's going to want answers If there is damage, or they are in a different paddock, and I would much rather contact him, than he contact me. I'll check it out again in the morning.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Today, being a Saturday, I took it fairly easy with the farm work, just had the sheep feeding to do. So the usual feeding run, but I did have my 10 y/o daughter with me for the run today which was very nice. Only other thing I had to different was to top up the Ford tipper first. I emptied her out on the last feeding run the other day,so I just had to drive it round under the auger which is in a field bin out in the yard and fill it up from there.
There was a lovely little surprise waiting for us in the first mob of ewes we fed. This seasons first fruits. A lovely little pair of twin lambs.
Now a quick anatomy lesson for non sheep experts (and an explanation for those of you who are sheep experts). You'll notice another sheep feeding on the grain I had just fed out there in the foreground. Well the sheep expert will be thinking "now that's a funny looking ewe". The non sheep expert will be thinking "yeah I see it". Well it is, in fact, not a ewe (sheep expert "well obviously"). It's a younger wether. You can tell that because it's quite easy to see it's pizzle (midway along the belly - on the underside). It's actually a lamb that was born last year out of season. We usually only have an autumn lambing, but a ram got in with the ewes last year at the wrong time and so we had a few september lambs as well.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Now what was I talking about... that's right getting the air seeder out. Well the problem with putting things in the shed for most of the year is that other things get put in front of them, and they have to be moved first. Which is fine, but they usually need a battery (and probably oil and water - but luckily not in this case). But unfortunately in this case it had a flat tyre. So before I could move it (it was the old David brown tractor) I had to pump it up. This is the tractor.
And that front right tyre is the one that was flat. So pumping it up. I actually ducked over to the shed earlier with the ute to do this. We did have little compressors in the utes but they, well basically they're stuffed. The next option was Bob's air compressor in his workshop, which is not only also basically stuffed, but also just a little to far away. So I brought over an air hose and connected it to the air lines on the Kenworth... also stored in Bob's shed.
Hey there it is, unloading fertilizer last year, into the very same shed I've been talking about. In fact where the super (fertilizer) is going is where the air seeder bar was. Ok so I had to fire up the Kenworth to build up her air, then I could run the air hose and pump up the tyre.
The Old David Brown is probably the most reliable tractor we have on the farm and no matter how long it is stored it aways fires up with half a crank of the starter motor. Which is more than I can say for the John Deere, but that's another story. So it was no problem to move the old David Brown out of the way once the tyre was sorted. I did this earlier then went back home for the John Deere.
Next problem was that I had to unhook the bar again, because the box goes between. So the reverse procedure of hooking up, and the hydraulics weren't quite as cooperative this time. I didn't get all the oil pressure out of the lines and that gets a bit messy, but mainly when hooking up again. Any way then back in, hook up the air seeder box, connect it all up and drag it out. That's a very simplified description. Then back both the tractor and air seeder box back onto the bar, hook up again which was messy having to release the oil pressure out of the hoses before I could get the couplings together. Then off we go, and bring the whole unit back here to the main farmhouse.
I spent the rest of the afternoon running wires under the air seeder box for my new switch box. So that involved a bit of soldering and heat shrinking too. I also discovered that soldering irons don't work as effectively outside, even when there is hardly any breeze. They just don't seem to get quite hot enough. Either that or I need a new soldering iron. So I got that all wired and connected to the tractor. All I need to do now for my switching box is put in a couple of sensor switches back at the air seeder clutch... and actually finish the wiring inside the box itself.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Couple examples of stone walls there. Top one is where we had a fire on the farm, caused by lightening on a stinkin hot day with a howling north wind. We got a lot of half wall half wire fence things around here, that's one of them. And the second is actually closer to home, near the house here, with Parsnip the pet lamb. That photo's a few years old too. Parsnip looks older now, he's actually turning 10 this year which would make him the oldest sheep on the farm.
Took us most of the day to finish off the rest of the baiting. Well I should say it took us all day, but we did slip in a couple of trips to town while we were at it to pick up supplies of Farmer Union Iced Coffee - well it's thirsty work ya know. We actually finished bait spreading at about 6:30pm and ran out of bait, would you believe, on the very last pass (doing up and back passes in the paddock) in the last few metres of the run. I must have budgeted my bait usage just perfectly.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
No problem at all for the supalux. Sure she was a bit low in the back end, but nothing a few more psi (a bit more air) in the back tyres didn't fix. Then we've got the bait spreader to set up. We've got a nice little spreader that holds 2 bags (50kg) and throws about 20m. There's a wooden floor (or liner if you like) in the back of the supalux and I just tech screw the spreader into it. Works well. I just put 1 rope on then for safety - cause I drive around everywhere with it on, on roads and all.
Well there we are. As you can see I've removed the tail gate (it unbolts easily, just 4 bolts). No I don't usually carry it with me, but this time I wasn't at home when I took it off, so I just threw it up on top. Elly's also helping me there. Pity she couldn't load the spreader for me.
I also had to set up the GPS guidance before I started so I would know where to drive in the paddock. I've got a couple of pictures of the guidance, but they're not real good.
Now I'm sure you cant see this, but somewhere in there is a pellet on the ground just waiting for a snail to feed on it. Green doesn't show up very well does it?