Art of Proprietation

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Field Milkhouse

That's our field milk house.

For a while in the spring I was walking the does up and down from the backfield to the barn for milkings. It was a pain, and invited disaster. It was a time consuming, we had to go by plants the goats liked but we didn't want them to eat and there was opportunity for mishap at every turn. There is a better way.

So I brought the milking stanchion up to the backfield and put it under a tarp covered stock panel arch. It gave me a place to hang the scale, store milking supplies and keep everything dry.

To improve on that, I built the field milk house. It's a hemlock deck (locally sawn, hemlocks the best choice available from my rough sawn guy). It has uprights for attaching the arch and is built on skids so I can pick up the whole thing on my loader forks, carry it to a new location and set it down. The skids also keep the rest of it out of the dirt so it will last longer.

It is certainly nice bringing the house to the animals instead of the other way around. Much faster and more productive. And it gives me a dry place to store nik nacs in the field. I moved it this afternoon for the first time. As advertised, slid under it with the forks, lift and carry.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

in the whirlwind

The wood is down at the house, split and piled, waiting to stack. At least it's now under cover.

The Rice Paddy has it's stock panel cover to keep it warm into the early fall for a little more growing and maturing. We probably won't eat any rice out of it this year, but we will harvest enough seed to start our One Hundred plants for next year. One hundred plants will fill the rice Paddy and that should give us some eating rice for next falls Harvest Festival dinner.

The mill across the way was doing whatever it is they do to produce the premier bedding shavings. Most of the time we get the rough chips from the de-barker, three inch and longer wood fragments. They are usable, but the shavings I got this weekend are a much more palatable option.

Our hay came in this weekend, also. We have a fair amount left from last year still. Good thing, as we can't get any alfalfa this year. And we weren't sure to get any grass hay either. It's been so wet, there's been no cutting going on until the last two weeks. The square bales are in the barn and we are trying out some dry unwrapped round bale this fall. The round bales are new to us and it took a couple of tries. The first two I got were plastic wrapped and too wet for goats. The hay ferments in the wrapped bale and there is too much risk of lysteriosis. The other thing about round bales is we don't have a barn to store them in. They are too big for me to get into the loft like we do the square bales. So we will station them in the back field and put an Arch over them to feed them through the fall. When real winter comes, we'll be bringing the goats closer to the house.

Today was chicken butchering day. We have been saying we wanted to get to it for at least two weeks now. Sometimes the que is that long.

It's been a busy end of summer, making up for lost time while trying get the usual stuff done.

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