Birthday Project…


Yes, little Basil is smaller than a rooster.  He is doing great!  Just a few days old now… waiting on siblings!  Even though he looks solid black, he’s really a sort of dark brown, I think…

We let everyone out in the back weed pasture and of course, all the mommas rushed out and left the wee one behind.  Basil was a little confused!   Where did everyone go?


We were getting ready to do a quick little fix up project and so Jessy was ready to keep a watch on the gate and wait for him to figure out the right way to go!


After a few minutes of him bawling and wandering about, Emma finally called and rushed over to find her little baby.  I swear you could hear her tell him, “Stay by my side when I run, little dear…”  And he got very good at sticking close to her flank.   However, he did spend a little of his first day out in the pasture by jumping around and running as fast as he could back and forth between momma and Auntie Bonnie.  Bonnie is a very very good nurse mom.   Can’t wait for her to have her own baby!!


Well, even though it was Maggie’s birthday, we decided to take apart this old feeder that we had built several years ago.   It was just really falling apart and we had tried and tried to patch and wire it up but it was really becoming dangerous.  Basil got stuck in part of it and Emma was near frantic to get to him.   He wasn’t hurt, but with more lambs coming, it was time to get this beast out of there.


The hardest part was just getting it all unwired and untangled from the paddock fence! We used bolt culters and a knife and just a lot of pulling and tugging.   A crowbar helped as well!  We used some very cheap wood on this build and have learned our lesson on that.  Anything that needs to stand up to the weather as well as livestock really needs to be made from pressure treated lumber.   It costs a bit more but it’s worth it in the long run.  We are learning.

It’s rather amazing what a couple years of hay and feed and animals can do to something.   There was a piece of fence inside the feeder to help slow them down while they were eating.  However, they pushed and stomped and shoved it around until it was half buried in the hay pack!  It was really tough to yank out of the ground!   DSC_0612 DSC_0613

Once the old feeder was gone, we dug out a bit of the old spent hay and then attached a nice sturdy piece of cattle panel in it’s place.   It’s higher, stronger and  looks nice and tidy.   No more wire and weird bits of fence and board!   We’d like to replace a lot of the paddock fence with cattle panel, but it might be just one of those projects that we do as we can afford to.   I really want to get rid of the old pallet fence in the back of the paddock because it’s just falling apart.  Pallets just do not weather nicely.  We will not use pallets again for any sort of fencing!  Just a waste of time!


Dammartin, one of our roosters, was quite happy to dig and patrol the hay pack as we moved it around some.  Maggie has been shoveling away the old hay for our garden and I think we should have a marvelous bountiful haul this year!   All this love dark and rich composted hay will do wonders!   Just takes a while to drag it all out there!   We need one of those little front loaders!!!  Wouldn’t that be nice?


Buttercup inspects the new fence panel.   I think she approves.  I think it looks better.  Nicer to see all the animals inside the paddock and it’s nice and tall.   And best of all, no more babies getting stuck or even sneaking out through openings!  That is a good thing.  We need about ten panels to make the whole paddock nice and new, but at $20 a panel…  that is going to have to wait a bit for the budget to give up that kind of cash over some other priorities!   But hey, we couldn’t really fit 10 panels on the van, so we might just try and do a couple at a time!   Every step forward is a good thing!  DSC_0619

Maggie is going to be building them a new hay feeder…  something free standing that we can move around the paddock to avoid building up so much spent hay.  We are trying to build a no-waste feeder but that might take a little longer and some experimenting!   I can’t believe how messy livestock can be with their lovely hay!  Some reports are up to 50% loss from a single bale of hay!   Seeing all this waste hay makes me believe that is the truth!  Since a bale of hay is around $4 to $5 each…   that’s $2 waste per bale!   And we go through about 20-25 bales a month.  $40 waste a month can sure add up!   It’s worth it to try and design a better feeder.

A good project for the day and it only took us about an hour.   Maybe a little less!   Hardest part was just getting that old feeder removed and dragged over to the burn pile.  It will make a nice bonfire some evening!  And the new panel looks so much nicer in it’s place!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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