Preparing the pasture for the horses and cows

fencingThe little bottle-feeder cows we picked up a few months ago are really starting to fill out. We have completely weened them from the bottle and have been eating just hay for about a month now. With that being the case, it’s time to get them out to pasture.

A few weeks back our neighbour had rented a post pounder for a long weekend. He had  mentioned that he’d only need it for a day at the most and if we wanted to do any fencing, we were welcome to use it as part of the same rental. Sweet! The entire fence on the front of our property was in really rough shape (missing posts, most of wire gone) and we also wanted to get some cross fencing done so we can use our land to feed some of our animals.

The horses are really loving all the open space they now have
The horses are really loving all the open space they now have

So I helped my neighbour with his fence  posts and he, along with my father-in-law, helped put in the fence posts for all of the fencing that we had wanted to do. That was a few weeks maybe even a month ago.

Fast forward to last week: time to finish off the fence. Part of the process was simply stringing and stretching the wire and part of it was to install two gates that we were given and were trying to re-use. Gates are expensive and when someone is just throwing them out; it seems a shame to just let them get tossed. I’ve had this sitting our land for about a year, and it’s great to actually have them put to use.

Lately we’ve had a whole lot of rain here (5 inches in just over a week) and that made for some boggy conditions for fencing. With the quad it wasn’t too bad, but with the bobcat, that things was getting stuck like crazy. Especially with the post auger installed. I ended up having to get quite creative with how I installed the first gate. Working alone usually leads to some interesting/hill-billy solutions.

Getting creative with machines, slings and come-alongs. The joys of working alone...
Getting creative with machines, slings and come-alongs. The joys of working alone…

But, after a concentrated effort last week (I was shocked it took the better part of a week) it’s great to have the cows and horses running around and grazing in the newly fenced pasture.

Here’s a little video from our YouTube channel about it. Cheers!

DIY Calf bottle holder

With our 4 calves now needing to be bottle-fed 4 times a day, it was high time to make a bottle holder. They are getting stronger and much more rambunctious during their feeding times. With all their head-butts and jerks on the nipples, it is getting harder and harder to keep the bottle under control and in hand while they slurp away. So, I decided it was time do a little homestead “automation”. Basically, a wooded frame that I cobbled together that will hold the bottles even when the calves are getting a little excited during their feeding. So far it’s working really well and has made feeding these little calves so much easier. I didn’t use any plans but just kind of slapped it together with material I had lying around. We are still getting in with them when they feed (the trust and reliance that they develop with us when they are young will make them much easier to handle when they out-weigh us by X-number of times) but it’s nice not to have to wrestle a bottle every time they need to eat.

Spring Bee Hive Maintenance

One item on our spring time to do list was check on the health of our bee hive. We had let proper care and concern for it slip away a little bit in the fall (we never took the honey super off, tapped it late) and were a little concerned as to what we might find now that spring is here. To our relief, the bees have done well over the winter in spite of our lack of proper care. A few days ago we headed out and did some required maintenance (clean the dead bees out, scrape out the mites etc…) and also tried to start another hive. We’ll see how that goes, but at least the one we have did well over the winter and the bees seem quite happy and content.

Twins!

Yesterday morning we woke up to the awesome surprise of two freshly born baby goats. Twins! Both boys and both really healthy and really cute. I never realized how tiny goats are when they are born. And, working with our baby cows so much lately makes these little goats seam almost miniature.

They look different but are indeed twins.
They look different but are indeed twins.
A brown kid with super tiny ears.
A brown kid with super tiny ears.
A white/blonde kid with super floppy ears.
A white/blonde kid with super floppy ears.

Now I think it’s time to go get some baby pyjamas. Cause that’s a thing you do with baby goats:)

Whatever it takes

We have 4 little calves running around on the homestead now, and these are just little guys. Bottle feeders that we picked up from a local feedlot. Originally we started with 5, but 3 days ago we lost one. Kind stinks but I guess that how it goes with these types of situations. Sometimes you can do everything in your power, and it just doesn’t work out.

We are at the same point again with Coby’s little calf, Sadie. She was taking the bottle really well, but has now been weakened by Scours, or diarrhea. We are now having to stomach tube her to make sure she gets her nutrients. Both the milk replacer and an electrolyte solution. It’s a pain, but, sometimes that what’s involved when you want to raise your own meat. I could only imagine what it would be like to have 40 or 50 or more calves at one time.

 

Cows and Computers

After the last two days of technical difficulty, I’ve had enough. I picked up a new computer and, we bought 5 little calves! Yesterday was a super busy day and super exciting! Now with bottle feeding these little guys, we’re going to be even busier for the next while.

Two and a half hours of video footage…gone.

This happened today. What a total flop, and so, so frustrating.

And this is a little video from last week for the boys school presentation.

It’s a 30 Day YouTube Challenge!

30 Day Challenge titile

It’s a personal challenge. In an effort to do more of what I really enjoy doing, but somehow don’t seem to prioritize and never seem to get around to. Isn’t it a shame that so many of the things we love to do in life are often things we rarely do? Fishing, hiking, a day at the spa for those who are into such things? Well, in effort to do more of what I love doing, I’m going to shoot, edit and upload one video a day to YouTube. I love making videos. I have heaps of ideas of videos I want to shoot, but somehow, just don’t get around to making the videos as much as I would like to.

Enough is enough, personal challenge accepted. It won’t be easy, and I can’t guarantee it will happen flawlessly or that I’ll even end up getting more than 75% of the 30 videos made. But, I’m pretty sure that by at least trying to take this challenge, I will have made more videos that if I don’t. And that’s kinda the whole point.

Stay Tuned.

Our First Giveaway!

win this handmade knifeWell, to get things moving further over on the youtube channel, I have decided to give away a handmade knife. We haven’t really shared much on the knife-making front here the blog, but it does happen and it happens fairly often. What started as a hobby and a way for me to have all the knives I wanted without having to drain the bank (knife collecting can be an expensive habit) has turned into a fun little side hustle that is starting to gain some momentum. It was about 3 years ago that I tried making my first knife, and since then they have steadily been getting better.

I’ve started to sell a few here and there and I am now getting orders for one-off custom knives from collectors in the United States. It feels nice to have people want and appreciate things that you make by hand. Anyway, I did a video on making a bushcraft knife and showed all the steps involved. That video is here:

Part of the reason for making that blade was so that I could have that exact knife to use as a giveaway once the SLL youtube channel reaches 2000 subscribers. We’re at just over 430 now so it’s a bit of a ways to go, but I think that it’s a fairly attainable goal. Especially if we can keep putting up half decent content for people to watch. There are tons of channels on YouTube that have multi-thousands of subscribers, and some in the millions, so really, 2000 is not by any means a big YouTube channel, but I think it’s a pretty decent start. Anyway, here’s the announcement video of the contest. Make sure to subscribe, and comment on the video that I will put up once we reach 2000 subscribers and you could win this knife!