Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday farming

One thing about farming is that the work doesn't stop for long weekends, even on special weekends like this one. I did take most of the day off to spend with the family (on the establishment of an incredible vegetable garden to be precise), the sheep still need to be looked after and today was feeding day.
You may have noticed that I had taken the feeder off the back of the ute to move the bulka bag of durham wheat yesterday, well first job today was to put it back in again. No problem... until I dropped a couple of nuts and a washer(that holds the bin on) into an irretrievable position in the bottom of the bin. No worries. I did manage to get 1 nut back and found another 1 in my tool box as well a washer.
Ok all good to go... Not quite. The ute wouldn't start. The battery gets a fair old hiding this time of year, driving the motor on the feeder when I'm feeding out the grain. I should really be running a deep cycle battery that would handle it better rather than the standard battery. The feeder draws it right down. The alternator cant keep up while it's running, but with a bit of road use, claws back a bit of lost ground. It's generally ok as long as I keep it running. Well I moved the ute to go over and get the feeder and turned it off to put the feeder on. Hence I was off to the shed to get the jumper leads and another battery so I could jump start it.
There it is, the old battery. Gee the terminals don't look to flash either... no wonder it's givin me trouble. Next problem was the lack of fuel. So had to fill her up.
Then off we go sheep feeding. I had the girls with me which was nice. The love seeing the new lambs. Now I neglected to mention that we moved 1 of the ewe mobs to greener pastures yesterday. Well not actually greener, there's not a blade of green grass anywhere around here, except where we've got water pipes that are leaking. So not really greener pastures, but fresher stubble's. Dad moved the mob of ewes and lambs that was on paddock 15 & 16 on Bob's to paddock 4 on Bob's. (All Bob's paddocks are numbered - I should include a farm plan here... but I'm not sure if I've got 1 on this computer). We've got water problems up on number 4 (like the sheep trough is empty - we'll sort that out sometime) so we've also given them access to paddock 8 next door which had a good trough near the gate. That also gives them access to 9 and 10 as there is no fences between these three paddocks. They should spend most of their time on 4 though as 8, 9 and 10 are all eaten out.
The biggest mistake I made today was to take the jumper leads and spare battery off the back of the ute when I left with the sheep feed. This is because my driver (which is 1 of my daughters but I cant say that because she would be horrified if the whole world new she slammed on the brake instead of the clutch and stalled the ute) stalled the ute immediately after feeding out half a feeder full of grain. This is when the battery would be at its lowest, and you guessed it, there was no way it was going to start again. The mobile phone is a very useful tool in situations like this, and after calling 4 numbers with no answer, someone actually answered the 5th one and my wonderful wife came to our rescue with the very same jumper leads and battery that I had taken off the back of the ute a mere 15 or so minutes earlier. Thanks Babe!
Other that that an uneventful round of sheep feeding where I did the 3 mobs of ewes that hadn't been moved, and just checked the mob that had been. And they were all fine.

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