Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lovely day for making hay - raking

Cut the hay on tuesday, tedded it on wednesday and this morning, and then raked it this afternoon.  It looks great.
Love the look of raked hay.  Photo doesn't do it justice!
 I do love the look of raked hay.  This is orchard grass hay; it dries into a blue-green color that is part of the reason that it's so popular.  Everyone is convinced that greener hay is better hay, and this stuff is very green dried.   The seed for this grass spiked this year because of last years drought in the area - orchard grass seed is usually about 50% of the cost of alfalfa, but this year it was the same, so I didn't buy any for my reseeding - I just planted alfalfa   Same price, more calories and food value per acre.  Why not?
The speed rake (red thing behind the tractor) is very efficient
 In my area powered rakes, or rake-tedder combos, are pretty popular.  I've found that this 8 week speed rake works very well for picking up virtually all of the grass, and my only complaint with it is that sometimes it's hard to get a smooth windrow out of it.  if the grass is particularly thick in an area it can get kinda bunched up, but care in operating gives you that consistent row that you want so your baler can be run at the same speed down.
After I rousted the calf - mom in distance
 I spotted a calf in the long grass at the side of the field, and when I was driving back I wanted to make sure that it was with momma, so I rousted it, and at that point noticed I was on a cows radar screen.  She was maybe 500' away, but you could see her perk up when i got close to the calf, and she trotted over to make sure that I wasn't bothering her baby.  I wasn't, and they turned and joined the rest of the herd, who tends to migrate to the far end of their pasture every evening.
The cow in question is a herford cow, and she's been very good about calving every year, and has been a good mother.  No problems with her calves, no good weight.  this one is a little bull, so I made a note that I'd have to round it up and band it pretty soon here.  My cow herd has grown by 9 steers and 6 heifers this year.

the hay that I'm cutting here will be used primarily to feed the cows and their calves over the winter.  My first cutting put 1800 bales in the barn.  this second cutting should be a little less - perhaps 1200 bales, and then the third cutting, sometime in august, should put me over the top for my goal of 4200 bales in the barn.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Making hay, crown of thorns, pup

Weather looking good for hay; doing my 2nd cutting today.  Takes me about 7 hours of tractor time to cut the hay, about 3 hours per pass for tedding.  

Found some fence wire where it shouldn't be; not sure how it got there, but the mower found it, and made what looks like a crown of thorns
the wire

the part of the mower it wrapped around
the pup, enjoying the farm dog life
When I get a new pup I try to spend as much time as I can with it in the first six months.  For me, that's most of my waking moments.  So this pup got to ride in the cab of the tractor, and then swim in the river when I soaked my shirt, and the back into the cab.  I've never owned a border collie before, so it's interesting to see the differences between this pup and the airedale pup that I'm raising it with.
It's a pretty intelligent dog, and "soft" - tone of voice is pretty effective for correction.  Very different than an airedale, where you sometimes have to physically intervene to get them to stop doing something - like killing a littermate, or dragging the cat off with puppy enthusiasm.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Puppy update

The taken pup is t he one on the left.  

Update 7-23-2016:  The toppenish police department retrieved the pup and I picked it up last night.  The pup is happy to be back with its little friend after a week-long adventure.
  The man who took the dog "thought that it was a stray" and intended to keep it.  He didn't contact anyone about the dog or ask about it at the auction.  The police department said that since there's no footage of him opening the trailer that they're be a problem at trial, and honestly I'm just glad to have the dog back, so I think this will end it.
  And I'm going to get a tag for the pup and have him microchipped.

This is a followup to a previous post

A helpful person on the internet was able to figure out that the last 3 digits in the license plate; 23N  the 2 and 3 are pretty clear, the N is probable.

Turns out that someone at the auction knows who the owner of the truck is and provided the deputy investigating this with the name, address and phone number of that person.  I don't know that the owner of the truck is the person who was driving it that day, but it's a great lead.

The deputy is on her way over to the auction yard now, and I suspect that there will be some movement in the case in the next day or two.

Fingers crossed.