Making Hay
Week of January 26th, 2003 | The weather was very cold.

The new powerbox.

The new powerbox.

What a cold week! I thought it was supposed to warm up, but instead, we received a little more snow on Saturday. The temperatures were so cold, that the creek froze over.

Monday, Dad went to a sale yard. He found an interesting wagon. It is a wagon that has a heavy-duty axle and wheels, can hold about 300 bushels, three sets of spreaders on the back, and has an apron on the floor (to move material out). Hopefully, the wagon will work well for hauling manure. It sold for about $200 and it is in fine shape. This wagon is called a power box. You can see it in the picture above.

On Monday and Tuesday, Dad built a gate. This gate will be used for the hog floors. We have two sets of hog floors where a feeder was taken out. This left a gap to join two pens together. Dad built this gate to take the place of this gap. He put the gate in after he finished it on Tuesday. It looks really nice and the only cost was some bolts and Dad's labor. The rest of the materials used were what we had on hand. Dad started another gate, just like this one, on Friday.

Also on Tuesday, Dad purchased 23 new gilts. This is breeding stock that replaces the older sows we are selling. Dad also purchased and unloaded 1100 bushels of corn on Tuesday. While I was getting ready for school on Wednesday morning, 4 of our beef cows got out and came in our yard. They were looking for drinking water. Dad found out what the problem was. The cowherd has been drinking water from the creek, but the creek froze over due to cold temperatures. Dad got the cows back with the herd and had to open up the water fountain in the hoop building. This hoop building is where we store all of our hay. It is near the pasture where the cows are.

I have been practicing with other classmates after school this past week for speech contest. Thursday night, Dad attended parent's night for it. I was in the Reader's Theater play with about 6 others. Reader's Theater is a play where you use no props, but may use scripts. I was also in improvisation with another classmate. This is where we pick a topic and make up a short play about it. Our topic was 'a troubled husband goes to a priest'. It was really funny! Parent's Night went well. Mom had to work, but she watched all of the plays at district competition in Decorah on Saturday. I received a 2 for improvisation and a 1 for Reader's Theater (excellent). Reader's Theater will go on to state contest. Our school also received one's for an ensemble, our one act play, and another improvisation. We all did very well.

While Mom and I were at district speech contest, Dad was at Decorah, too. He was at the sale barn. He purchased 6 replacement Angus bred heifers. A reasonable price for one cow can vary between 400 dollars to 800 dollars. It depends if the cow is young or old. Now, our cowherd number is about 70 cows.

Dad and I have been giving baby pigs a medicine that's made from the oregano plant. The pigs like it very much. We are giving it to pigs that look sick. It has been helping out a lot! It has a very strong smell, but I like the smell! It is organically approved.

Farm Fact: We plan to use the new power box for hauling corn stalk bedding or corncobs. We handle about 9000 bushel of corncobs and if the weather is good about 40 loads of chopped corn stalks. This is all used for animal bedding and is returned to the soil as compost.

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