"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Farm To-Do List

There are so many jobs that need doing around here, my hands would cramp up before I could even  type them all. But I'm going to exclude jobs relating to the creaky old farmhouse (plumbing issues, rot issues, roof issues) and restrict the list to strictly farm-related tasks. It'll still be long. 

1) Build an alpaca catch-pen. Not an overwhelming job because I can build it between the two barns; just put up a fence across the back and hang a gate across the front. A one day job for Homero. Maybe $175.

2) Staple chicken wire around bottom of each barn. The chickens have been laying their eggs underneath the barns. I'm feeding 30 chickens and getting 5 eggs a day. Ridiculous. Moneywise this job is free; we already have chicken wire and staples for the staplegun. But timewise a major pain in the ass. Cutting all that chicken wire will take forever. And kneeling in the barnyard crap to staple it all up... yech. Say 4 hours.

3) Fence a new pasture for kids/bucks. Currently I put baby goats in the mama barn at night and leave them on their mothers all day. That means only one milking a day. I could double milk production - almost - by putting babies in their own pasture as soon as they are big enough. This is a big job. The new pasture will be about 150' by 50'. One of the long sides will be the current fence, but that leaves 250 feet of fencing, about 25 six foot stakes, 4 wooden posts, a couple bags of cement, and a gate to hang. My sister just bought fencing materials and said they've gone up again. No surprise. Let's say $300 and a full day for two men. Gotta pay one of them, so make that $400. 

4) Create a more workable storage system for feed and materials. Currently I have feed in snap-top bins on a shelf in the mama barn, and materials like syringes, wormers, and hoof trimmers are just chucked up onto the high shelf. When I want something down I have to drag a ladder in there and search. When I put the baby goats into the barn at night I have to secure the feed bins by stacking them up and putting something heavy on top. And we need hay storage. Right now I only have storage for about a dozen bales, maybe 16. 

5) Speaking of hay... I put all the good hay in the loft of the big barn (big means 12 x 16, people, it's just a tuff-shed from Home Depot.). I have to get all the rained-on hay off the small field and into the mama barn. It'll serve as bedding. But I have to do that soon, or it will kill the grass that it's sitting on.

That's all I can think of for now. Maybe I should get out there and start doing some of it.