In todays economy we have to make use of all the things that we already have on hand. We just cannot afford to go out and buy new stuff and put it on our credit cards anymore so we must improvise. It is amazing what you can find around the barn, house or yard that you can make use of.
On of the things that we have started getting a lot of use out of is a drop sided wagon. (Look in the background of the above picture in the doorway of the barn, and you will see our wagon.) If and when we need to haul several buckets of feed at once but really don’t need the truck or tractor, it comes in very handy. A bale of straw or hay fits in it just perfect and you can pull it with you right into the barn. This little wagon can go places that other equipment cannot even fit into. It has rubber tires and maneuvers well. Having a bad back, it has became one of the farm supplies that I cannot do without. It saves me from having to carry feed out to the cattle because I can just load the buckets and pull them out to the feeders in the wagon, unload and dump. The stress and strain is no longer a problem.
Another item I have made use of is a hard rubber water trough. I placed it up next to the house under a downspout and now collect rain water in it. I have discovered that by using rain water on my seedlings and plants in my green house is better for them than city water with all the chlorine. I bottle it in milk jugs and plastic bottles and store it to use for my house plants all year round. It really works great. Even in the winter, I’ll fill the jugs and keep my supply stocked. I only have a problem if it freezes.
Look around, see what you can use out of all the things you already have. You may be surprised.
I consider myself a lover of animals. I enjoy my animals a lot. My horse, Blaze, is a beauty but due to health issues, I don’t get to spend as much time with him as I would like. My goat heard gets more of my attention since I have seven nanny’s getting ready to kid and my dog, Bella, gets her daily time with me. I really consider myself a dog person over cats but do have a couple of favorites.
On our farm we have had an over abundance of kittens this fall. Nine litters have arrived and made themselves at home. Every few months we began to notice a new Tom hanging around and then disappear, then another would show up. Of course, it wasn’t long before the Mamas started showing and we knew then that we were headed for a lot of kittens. Now we can officially count 20 plus 0ut around the barn at feeding time. Out of all of them, I have two that I call mine, a Calico named Fluffy and Black kitten with a white diamond on her neck called Raja.
So, my question is are they considered a farm animal or just pets? Well, we know a lot of people have cats as pets in their homes, sometimes several. But on the farm we have more than several, we have twice that many. And yes, we consider them as farm animals, they keep the rodent population under control. That is good on a farm. I once had a rat run up my pant leg and let me tell you that was not a happy moment. I jumped a fence and ran until it fell out of my pant leg. I was 16 at the time but have never forgotten it. It was just one of those feelings that you don’t forget.
So in light of all of this talk about farm animals or pets, I consider them both. Just as we have working dogs, we have them as pets also. We take care of our Cats and Kittens just like we do our other animals. We feed them the best cat food we can and have found that Proud Paws Cat and Kitten food is terrific for our feline herd. They enjoy the taste and eat it up. Some can be and have been picky about other cat food but this feed they really like. They need to have good nutrition to grow and keep healthy just like the horse feed we feed our horses to keep healthy and the rest of the animals. We love them all the same.
Here we are almost a year on our blog. We have posted over 70 blogs and would appreciate comments from our readers. We would like to know your opinions and ideas about our blog. If there is an article that caught your eye, let me know your thoughts on the subject. We look forward to hearing from you.
If there is a subject that you would like to know about, we can do our best to find an answer to your question.
We are a farm family and enjoy our animals and farm life. So talking about the farm and all that it requires is a passion of ours. From equine supplements to chicken coupes, we will discuss just about anything. Comments welcome.
Merry Christmas everyone. It is the holiday season and we are all getting ready for the parties, family get togethers and presents. Now, who doesn’t get excited over receiving a gift?
Well, can you believe that your animals like to receive gifts also? Now I am not necessarily talking large animals but if they are a pet, they will let you know in their own way that they are happy. Larger animals, like cattle appreciate a new bale of hay set out for them or an extra bucket of feed, even an extra bale of straw for bedding and to show their appreciation, they jump right in like it is a new toy.
If they are pets they are more loving and affectionate. Our horses enjoy an extra and unexpected brushing and even that unexpected walk just because they spend time with their master. Our calves get an extra bale of straw for bedding and my pet, Buster, gets to be led around and pampered a little, he is my Little Holestine bull calf. Our dogs, Jessie and Bella may get a new tennis ball and treats for a day or two and my goat herd will get new bedding and a little treat, animal crackers. Even livestock vitamins are a treat for your animal. My horse enjoys peppermint and if I give him a piece of peppermint candy after a good ride or just because. I can tell he loves it.
They really do appreciate the extras that we can give them just like we appreciate the gifts we receive. So do something special for your animals this season and show them your love.
If you have animals you will have to have some type of livestock feeders to feed them. Now, I do not mean cats and dogs, I’m talking cattle, horses, goats, sheep, pigs and such. Depending on the animal or animals you have will tell you what size you will need.
Goats, sheep and pigs usually need a low feeder where the trough is low to the ground or sits directly on the ground. This makes it easy for them to reach. Horses and cattle, unless babies, can be higher. High enough so that they do not have to eat off the ground and low enough that they can easily reach without struggling to reach their feed.
Once you have determined the size, how high and how many will be eating from this one feeder, you will need to purchase supplies. That will include lumber, treated or non-treated, some 2×4′s and 2×6′s, strong sturdy posts and some screws. How much of these will depend on the size of the feeder you want to build. Then you get your measuring tape, saw, hammer, if using nails, drill and begin to build. I am certain that if you do not have an idea of how to do this you can find instructions on the internet or contact your local farm bureau. It will take some time but in the end well worth it.
On the other hand, you can purchase livestock feeders at any online or storefront farm supply company. There are several to choose from, all shapes and sizes. If you are not one to build things or work with your hands, then this may be the way to go. Check out our website by clicking on livestock feeders and look around. Click out our affiliate “Barn World” and you will also find some feeders and ideas there.
Today, 11/12/09, we mourn the loss of our Belgian, Duke. He was one of the most gentlest, big horses I have ever known. He had a long life of 20 plus years and had competed in many horse pulls. He was what I would consider a “Big Teddy Bear” of horses.
My 2 yr. old niece, Kalissa, rode for the first time on Duke, as well as others over the years. Allen’s daughter used to ride Duke and I have seen him with 5 young riders on him at one time and not even care. He was that gentle. Allen would just place his hand on the side of his jaw and he would go wherever, most of the time Duke would just follow him without any halter or lead rope at all and the kids just sat on his back without fear.
When I first began being around the horses and livestock after an absence of 15 years, I had some fears to face. I do not mind saying that Duke really intimidated me and it took me a couple of months to realize that he would not ever intentionally hurt me. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t need to be cautious but, I could, at least, ease some of my fears. Here we are 8 yrs. later and having conquered some of the major fears, I can now feed every animal on the farm and feel confident. I do not, by no means, throw caution to the wind but, I do keep focused when choring and working with the animals. Having Duke helped me conquer that fear, mostly because of his personality and his size. I learned to work around him and therefore, it helped me with the rest of the livestock. Now I am out there everyday and loving it, for that reason alone, I’ll remember Duke and his gentle way.
In the past year Duke’s age really began to show. He acquired arthritis in his joints and there were days that he struggled to get around but, he continued on. We supplemented his food with joint supplements and vitamins and I believe that one small part of his diet kept him up and going. We knew the day would come yet, had not expected it to come so quickly. A few days ago he got down and didn’t come to the barn. Allen went out and helped him up and brought him to the barn. His appetite had decreased some but not so much that it concerned me until two days ago. I don’t have the insight that Allen has with animals and I believe he knew the worst was coming. Two days ago it came to the point that he did not have enough strength to get up and even with help, he could not accomplish that one task. It was then that it sank in, it would not be long before he just gave up and he did. He just closed his eyes and slept, peacefully without pain.
So, now he is in Animal Heaven and we will miss him but, we will keep him in our hearts.
You would think that a horse would not shy away from water simply because they are outside animals and it seems natural that a horse would go through water just fine. Most of the time that is the case but, there are some horses that have a difficult time.
I had one such horse, she was a Paint mare named Dallas. She was 8 yrs. old and approximately 15 hands high. She was beautiful and I was so happy when I got her that I never dreamed we would have so many problems. She was my dream horse, always wanted a Paint and now I had Dallas.
When I first started working with her we had some issues. I figured it was me because I had been away from horses for a while and I was tense. So I did a lot of ground work. I, then, rode her in the round pen and we got along well. Oh, we had several instances where she seemed to forget everything we worked on and I would have to start over but, I thought I was making progress. The day came when we needed to check cattle so I went into the tack room and got my saddle off the saddle rack and saddled Dallas and Allen saddled Bubby and we went in search of our herd. She seemed okay with everything until we came to the creek. She stopped then and there and would not budge. I finally was able to get her to walk along side the creek but could not get her feet in the water. I did this for about 20 minutes and finally we touched water. That was all it took, she bolted and threw me, then ran for the barn. I was lucky that day being in a wooded area and trees all around. Too close for comfort when I landed within inches of a tree.
I had read several articles, been to demonstrations and watched horsemanship shows on television telling us how to remedy this problem. The advice was:
- keep calm
- walk the horse along the edge of the water
- go back and forth several times
- each time getting closer to the water
- allow the horse to step in a little at a time
- Do Not Rush!!!!!
- if this does not accomplish the task, dismount and walk with the horse
- do the same as mentioned above
- continue this pattern until the horse will venture in and get their feet wet
- you don’t have to be in deep water to accomplish the task at hand
- after getting feet wet, walk out and do it again
- repeat several times before mounting
- once mounted, repeat the steps again before continuing your ride
This should help your horse the next time. You may need to work on this several different times before your horse is comfortable crossing water. Even though it may seem natural, horses have fears just like us and they have to be addressed accordingly.
I did not have the chance to try to get Dallas to cross water again. She was at the barn when I returned and would not even allow me on her. My partner tried to ride her and calm her down but, she did her best to try to dismount him, she did not get her way there. I decided after she had thrown me several more times that she was not the right horse for me, so I decided to find me something with a calm disposition and broke to ride.
You cannot always tell by looking or even riding if a horse will shy away from something or has a fear of something until you are faced with it together. Always be cautious when riding a new horse, you both will learn a great deal from each other.
The question has been asked so I will do my best to answer. I am no expert when it comes to building things. I have tried my hand at tables, benches, cabinets and gates. Those projects turned out okay but far from professional. They did do the job they were built for but, I did learn a few things along the way.
To begin with, you need to know exactly how you want your barn built. Will it be a Pole Barn, all open inside; will it be built with a hay loft as a second upper floor or just on one or both sides; will it have stalls to board horses and cattle or will it store farm equipment? In other words, you will need a floor plan or blueprint. Are you building this yourself or hiring a contractor?
If you are hiring a contractor, he/she can help you determine exactly what you will need in the form of materials like posts, screws, bolts, nails, hammers, drills, saws and etc. The right kind of lumber makes a big difference. It is, of course, your preference on what type you use but do make sure it can withstand the weather and if it is treated or not. They will also be able to help you with the type of roofing materials you will need.
One of the best ways to decide what you want is to look around your neighborhood. Look at your neighbors barns and decide what layout you like. Look through farm magazines and online to see if anything catches your eye. Visit your neighbors and see how functional their barn is and if it will meet your farm needs. Then the next thing is to jot down your thoughts on what you like and dislike. This will help you determine what you will need in order to have a fully functional barn for your farm.
When thinking about the layout; think about how you will use the barn. For example; we have 5 stall on one side of the barn and 4 on the other. The south side with 4 stalls also has a head shoot. That side of the barn is set up for sorting and loading livestock, whether it be cattle or horses and on the outside is a catch pen. The north side with a feed room, where we store our livestock feed, vitamins and supplements and 5 stalls is used for our horses that we put up every evening and if needed we will use these stalls for the bulls in the leasing/breeding season. It, also, has a sorting corral outside. Our stalls in the center of the barn are directly across from the other so we can run the horses straight through the barn to their pasture. It makes it easy to move them if we need to. Above the 5 stalls we have a hay loft and it is easy to feed the horses hay in the winter. The rest of the barn is open to the roof for storing big hay bales, farm equipment and whatever we need to keep out of the weather. In the front center of the barn up by the head shoot is our tack room with saddles, harnesses and all other tack close at hand. For us, it works quite well but, even now we can think of things that we could have done differently.
So, all in all, you really just need to know what you want, talk to your neighbors and ask to see their set ups, check out magazines and online, speak with contractors and carpenters on what they would suggest as to their preferences for the materials and then go from there. Then if you are ready to start your project, grab your wallet and go for it.
Photo is from Tri-County Barns. distributor of Barnmaster Barns, Inc. in Texas.
If you do not live on a farm or if you have never been on a farm this question is not that silly. I was always told that no question is silly if you do not know the answer. To someone like me, the first time I was asked this, I was surprised. It seemed so funny that y0u wouldn’t know what is around a barn.
I guess the first thing most of us would say is animals. Whether it be horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or whatever livestock we raise. Then, of course, there is the feed, horse feed, cattle feed, salt blocks, minerals and cat and dog food. Also, there is the hay for the animals to eat and straw for their bedding.
Then the next thing would be the equipment, such as, tractors, wagons, combines, disks and maybe plows.
Of course, there would be all the neccessities of farm life such as fencing supplies, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, manure spreaders, buckets, log chains, hammers, wrenches and all other kinds of tools.
It may be surprising what you find out around the barn. You might find lumber, where someone has been building something or horse shoes lying on the ground where they have just finished shoeing a horse, halters and bridles hanging and saddles on saddle racks in a tack room. There will be lead ropes and sorting sticks and sorting paddles used for herding the livestock. You might even find a skull or two of bulls or deer.
There is just no telling what you may find. I do know that a farm is a great place for a treasure hunt.
Any how, these are just a few of the things you will find on a farm, out around the barn.