"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hog (Fuel) Heaven





As I think I have mentioned, the rains have started. With a vengeance. I have no idea how much rain in inches we have received in the last couple of weeks, but I can tell you it's been enough to turn the barnyard into poo soup.

I really don't like wading through the poo soup every morning. It's not good for the animal's hooves, either. I have been remiss about trimming the goat's hooves, and that particular icky task is long overdue. If I let their hooves get overgrown, they will start to rot, and that - if left unchecked - will lead to lameness and infection and even, possibly, death. So yeah, I really need to get on that.

As an aside, why can't anybody manufacture a set of hoof trimmers that lasts more than three months? Has the science of steel really not advanced that far since 500 B.C.? Your basic hoof trimmers (which look like rose pruners, for those of you more familiar with roses than goats) cost twenty bucks and in this wet climate last only a very short time before they are rusted shut. I trim the goat's hooves once or maybe twice and then buy new ones. It's a small but significant drain on the finances.

So anyway. The mud was getting out of hand, as it does just about this time every year. Last year, I spent a lot of money on drain rock, and hurt my back pretty seriously trying to spread it. This year, I decided to spend a lot less money on hog fuel (a mix of chipped wood and dirt, basically) and spare my aching lumbar spine.

I ordered fifteen yards, which is a lot, and they actually brought me something closer to twenty, which is a hell of a lot. Forty minutes with a rake made no appreciable dent in the pile. The animals, however, loved to climb in it and paw it and generally help gravity do it's work, so maybe they will help me out a bit over the next few days. Poppy especially was adorable climbing the pile: her long legs kept sinking in nearly to the shoulder or hip, and she plunged and reared to get herself extricated.

I am looking forward to keeping me feet more or less dry when I do morning chores. I do, of course, have gumboots, but believe it or not, they often get stuck in the awful sucking muck. More than once I have lost a boot to the hideous slurping stew, and I'd much rather rise above it all on a carpet of hogfuel (not that it's particularly aromatic - whew!)


Here is a gratuitous shot of the sky this afternoon. I couldn't help myself, it was so beautiful.

12 comments:

~Tonia said...

Its not quit raining here... I need something for the wet sloppy yards.. Love the pics... Especially the one of Poppy!

AnyEdge said...

I couldn't find any pure stainless steel goat hoof trimmers, but there are stainless steel sheep hoof trimmers, and high carbon rust resistan goat hoof trimmers here.

Aimee said...

Thanks, bro!

Aimee said...

bro, these are the kind I buy.

Penelope said...

you have to wipe them with a dry cloth, or better yet olive oil, after trimming and keep them inside. I learned the hard way

Gail V said...

Aimee, you are such a good writer! Did your teachers tell you that? I always enjoy your jaunty tales, and it doesn't matter what the subject is.

Gail V said...

Oh yeah, I wanted to ask: why do they call it hog fuel? Looks to me just like what results when a stump is dug out by machine. Dirt and wood chips.

Aimee said...

Dear Gail,

Thank you so much! You just made my day. Yes, I have always loved writing and my teachers did tell me I was good at it. Thanks, teachers!

And I have NO idea why they call it hog fuel. Fuel for hogs? Fuel made from hogs? No and no. Nothing to do with hogs or fuel? Yes.

WeekendFarmer said...

I know what you mean by bad trimmers....I dont get it either. I want to talk about gumboots : ). I had to buy 3 pairs in the last 2 years!

Jerry said...

Stump removers are called stump hogs. That is likely where the term hog fuel comes from.

Dan said...

Get yourself a pair of Felco hoof shears (about $50), keep them oiled, and your great-grandchildren will still be using them one day.

Anonymous said...

Do you happen to know where in Oregon you can order it from?