Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Making our cows happy, isn't that what every farmer strives for?

With the bean harvest wrapped up, Bruce took a couple of days switching heads on the combine and whatever else he has to do so we can do corn. Life was relatively peaceful for me as all that was expected of me was to have dinner at noon everyday.

Since beans yield from 50 - 70 bushels per acre on average, it takes awhile to fill a wagon. Then Bruce would call me and I came to unload or haul to town. In between loads I could do what I wanted.

Not so with corn, it yields from 150 - over 200 bushel per acre on average so a wagon fills rather fast and it keeps me hopping. This corn was wet, about 18% moisture so we filled the drying bin, which we can do in a long afternoon, and then Bruce turns on the dryer and it takes a few days to get it down to a moisture that will keep the rest of the winter. From there he transfers it to one of the four other bins we have for storage. That means I have a few days off until it's time to fill the drying bin and that is nice.

From the field into the combine....

...into the wagon that unloads into the corn screener and from there into the hopper of the auger....

....powered by this big old tractor that has no brakes, makes setting things up kind of tricky, especially on a slope. Not for the faint of heart.
The screener is a rotating drum made of, well, screen, as the corn is rolled around and around, the chips of corn are pushed up and out the bottom of the screener so it's mostly whole kernels of corn that go into the drying bin. The fines, pieces of corn, will impede the drying and they make good feed for the cattle, mixed into the silage. 

From the screener, into the auger hopper, into the drying bin where there is a curly rod that goes around and around, into the center of the bin and back to the outside, mixing and stirring the corn so it all dries evenly.

After the corn is dried down to a level that it will keep the rest of the year, it's moved into one of the other bins that you see.
While the corn is drying, Bruce made corn stalk bales that he uses as both feed and bedding through the winter and spring calving season. Last year he put up 200 and because of the extreme Spring weather, we used every one plus a bunch of straw out of our barn before the cows and calves went to the pasture.
He rakes.....(with the tractor with no brakes, EYE - YI - YI!!)
....he bales.....

...he picks up bales and puts them on the trailer to take up to the house.

Our cows are not stupid, they follow the harvesting, they know when the crops are out and they get to go to the field to clean it up.
I heard Bruce in the field by our house on the 4-wheeler and knew he was closing gates to the road and opening the two from the pasture into this field so grabbed my camera and went out to record it.
The most impatient cows heard him clear down the field and raced to be the first through that gate.

Here comes Bruce on his trusty Honda to open the gate closest to our house.

Louie is very excited!!

Bruce calling the rest of the cattle, "Come Boss, Come Boss!"

And they come.
This is #72, a very gentle cow that I dearly love. The gate is open but she is very suspicious because there is usually an electric, hot, wire across that gate.
She just doesn't know.


"Are you SURE there is no fence there that is going to give me a nasty shock?"

"Hey, will someone come over here and go through this gate first??"

And they did, through the gate and out into the field.

Even the horses were excited, Chantilly and Lady tearing around.

And then there is Mollie, so much herding instinct...... little fortitude.
All she can do is stand behind the gate and wish she had the courage to go out and round everyone up.

1 comment:

  1. love that galloping Louie, and the pix of the horses in stride Julie!! I can almost smell that fall harvesting smell!! great pix and story telling/explaining, thanks.........CG