I have had it on my mind for several days that I needed to get back in here and put out something new on the hobby farm life blog to make sure we all stay in contact. Well why haven’t I? I suppose because life here is just like it is anywhere else. We are all busy and summer is no doubt the busiest time of all. There are so many things to do and that we can do in the summer that we don’t have the chance or need to do other times of the year. Mow the lawn, work in the garden, whether it be flower or vegetable. Put up or produce. Vacations and so forth.
But that is not a good enough excuse. Neither are the things I have been doing which of course include these as well a few others just like yourself. My biggest and most time consuming recently has been the barn addition that is actually happening now. I have a ongoing record of that which I will share with you when complete but that may be a few days yet. I know it is taking a long time but that happens when projects this large are taken on by one person.
I did however finish up one project for the year. I returned the borrowed bull home. One concern off my mind not to mention a lessening of the demands on our pastures and hay supply. I had passed along a little information of some of the challenges that can come from having a bull in an earlier post, http://hobbyfarmlife.com/what-is-life-on-a-hobby-farm-like-let-me-tell-you/ , that you may enjoy as well. Hopefully he attended to everything he was here for before he became so interested in the neighbors heifers.
Note the hay beside it? This is just an addition to the covered hay rack
Perhaps now you can better understand his interest. Not a bad looking bunch of heifers
This was not a difficult or even lengthy job mainly because of the loading chute we built last year for just such purposes. His renewed interest in the neighbor’s heifers was what prompted my taking him home this weekend and was also the biggest problem to the process of penning him up and getting him loaded. It was hot humid and uncomfortable out on Sunday. About 93 for a high, no breeze, and the cows had all fed early and were laying up it the shade during the heat waiting for it to cool off which put them right next to our property and had the bull’s interest all day and I knew I was not going to be able to get him anywhere near the holding area and loading chute until they were gone. Which was not going to happen until it cooled off and they went back out to feed again. It gets to be closing in on the time of day I like to be finished and just sit and relax and they are still there so I decided to help them move on. That part wasn’t difficult either. A few thrown sticks and little arm waving and yelling at them and off they went. The bull had almost gone in the holding area once already when I was still getting it ready but had turned and went back out when he noticed the changes in gate positions and before I could close the gate on him. Yes they are smart enough to notice changes around them. I didn’t think it would be too hard to get him back in and for once I was right! A little hay a little corn scattered in the chute and in he went. It must be hard work trying to impress the ladies all day like that. Not that I know from any past personal experience though.
Another advantage of Dexters here. If you spend time around them as we do they are gentle animals not prone to nerves or sudden movements that can cause either them or you injury. Also they are not really large animals which would make me nervous in close confines with them and maybe make me hurt myself. LOL Anyway in he went. I closed the gate behind him and he immediately became aware of being confined. Wouldn’t we all?
It’s not fancy and it is not pretty but neither did it cost us several thousand dollars and it meets our needs
Not really planning on a lot or long term use of the holding area a couple of the gates are just stock panel sections, which are just ⅜”, at the most, welded wire. He immediately began testing them and no he is not large as cattle go, about 800 pounds, but it was obvious right off that if he decided to come out overnight he would be out when I got up the next morning. So I back the stock trailer up to the chute bait him in with more corn close him in and we are ready to go the next morning. I did not like confining him this close but it seemed to bother me more than him. Some feed. A bucket of water in a shady spot and he spent a peaceful night in the backyard and we were ready to pull out on schedule the next morning.
See things do go just as you want them sometimes. Even at hobbyfarmife.com.. Time for me to get up and go work on that barn project before it get hot again. If you are already on or just thinking about a place such as this and are not sure what you want for cattle check out Dexters. There is a lot of sites with information about them and not all of them trying to sell you something. They are worth the effort. Or if you have questions and would like to pose them to me feel free, either by comment or email. You can do both right here on this site.