We have made some really big changes over the past week with the bulldozer. I used google maps to calculate that we have cleared 10 acres of land in 8 ½ days. Not too shabby. I’m working on the last bit of stump pulling and brush clearing today and then its on to pond building. It is really strange how different the farm feels now. Far more open and so much easier to imagine what will happen over the next few years. Moving slow these first few years has given us a real appreciation for all the work the dozer can do so fast. The slowness let us explore our options and get a good feel for the land. With our gained experience and understanding we will be able to execute our ideas far better now then we could have even last year.
I lost my day time dozer operator yesterday to the hay crew. The window looked to good to not go out cutting like there was no tomorrow or at least no rain tomorrow. Unfortunately after cutting two of the big fields the weather outlook turned ugly. Potentially ugly would be more accurate. 40% chance of rain the day after cutting the grass is a bit scary. The grass wasn’t very stemmy so it was going to take a bit longer to dry. So instead of waiting to chance square baling they had neighbors come round bale and wrap the bales to ferment. Good for our cows, goats and pigs not so good for the horses. The fermenting process wants a slightly wetter grass so the bacteria can start the process of converting the grass into a higher protein feed. It hasn’t rained yet today so hopefully they will be able to put up some square bales this afternoon. If not the window for haying looks closed and nailed for the next week.
With Marshall in grass world I spent most of the day on the dozer. We had been trading off with him doing most of the day shift and then I would take over and go until dark. On monday I flipped on the lights and just kept going. The 12-15 hour work days don’t seem as long because I do two pretty different things. During the day we are moving animals, weeding, or seeding. Then it’s sitting and moving joysticks back and forth and keeping myself in the seat no matter how steep the pitch is. That being said I will be glad when the dozer leaves and I can go back to the normal 10 to 12 hour days.
The crows are going to be happy when the dozer leaves. With us in the back fields and generally around the chickens more we have had a huge bounce back in egg production. We see them circling up in the air waiting for us to leave but for the most part one of us is back there. Meadow also goes out and collects the eggs 4 or 5 times a day to make sure if they do get a chance to strike there isn’t much for them to take. Now instead of getting 20ish eggs a day we are up at 70+. It is crazy how many eggs we were losing. Maybe we were feeding the whole flock completely on eggs. I’m not even sure how its possible for them to get away with 50 eggs a day. They must have been breaking some for sure. But when the chickens break the eggs it usually leaves a big mess. We weren’t really seeing that at all. I boggles my mind how crafty they must be. In our dream world they will have moved on to a new food source by the time the dozer goes away. Maybe some other poor sucker with laying hens can take the hit for a little while. But in reality they won’t have forgotten and will learn a new trick. Maybe they will get a chicken costume to blend in. I’m sure they can figure out how to order one on Amazon. They are a clever bunch.