We tinker with all kinds of things here on the farm but I never thought I would be hot rodding my mineral feeder.
We managed to bend the axle on our second set if tires and break one of the tires to boot. The fix seems like it will be permanent but I wasn’t planning on putting such large tires on this thing. It looks like when you hot rod a car and put big tires under the back end.
The fix involved getting a piece of cast iron pipe and modifying it to accept wheels and tires from Agri supply. These are solid tires so there is no chance of a flat one morning early when we are moving cows. The rigid cast iron carries the weight very well with zero flex. It took a big grinder and a lathe to get everything to fit but now this thing should be good to use for 10 years.
Yesterday we added 25 pounds of phosphorous back to the mineral feeder. A 25 pound bag lasts between 3-4 days normally. This morning it was GONE! The cows definitely know they were missing phosphorous while we were out and are making up for lost time.
We FINALLY received some minerals this week, only 3 weeks after they were supposed to be here. I immediately put some phosphorous out for the cows since they had been out for so long. Today I checked back and they had already been through about 35 pounds of the 50 I had put out. I am a believer in the free choice minerals. I just wish my vendor was more reliable.
Today, I restocked the phosphorus with another 25 pounds plus trace mineral A and C and Vitamin V4.
Spunky took an extra interest in the minerals this morning. The rest of the cows followed suit. The cows were all rambunctious this morning, running up and down the paddocks and kicking and bucking. They were pretty funny.
Yesterday’s paddock on the right, todays on the left.
Today we had another cool start to the day, 54 degrees and sunny. The temps are to climb a bit this week but I am keeping the wood boiler going anyway since SWMBO likes having unlimited hot water. It means when its time to go to church the girls can fill the tub and Spork and I can both get showers and SWMBO can still take her normal scalding hot shower. I think I will have to do a post on the boiler to show how that works. I will put that on the list.
Back to cows. Everybody was up and ready this morning for fresh grass. They continue to graze well and the inmates have the paddocks sized very well for our current conditions. We added another bag of phosphorous to the mineral feeder as the cows continue to chow it down 10 to 1 over all the other minerals. I need to go back and look at my soil test results and see if the results can explain why I am so short on Phosphorous. Something else to add to the list. In case you are wondering, yes the list is long and no it’s never done.
Today SWMBO was feeling under the weather and couldn’t get warm. I offered to share a little body heat and we ended up snuggling in the bed an extra 20 mins so I got a later start than normal. It was totally worth it. Especially when we got to see this effect from the sun rise. A clear line of golden light hitting the trees. I share these pics because they only last a few minutes. The rest of the day is the same day everyone else sees. Its these moments that make me glad I choose to have a farm rather than go to the gym. Can you compare sweating on an exercise machine with ear buds in trapped in a concrete box of a building vs saying hello to my animals and seeing sights like this? Nope.
So the mineral feeder was topped off today with silica and trace mineral TC. I put double the phosphorous in last time and it is GONE! I can’t believe how much phosphorous these cows are eating. Tomorrow I will have to add another 50 pounds, I didn’t even bring any with me this morning because they couldn’t possibly of needed some.
Not everything on the farm is sunrises and flowers, although for a cattle farmer, this is just a beautiful. This is a perfect poop. Not too runny, not too firm. Plenty of dry matter in the pat. This poop means the cows are getting what they need and are returning to the ground the nutrients it needs. The grass is looking good and we are getting good results.