What improvements are you making?

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Raycountry

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I just got in from giving them hay before I wrote that message. I know all about wet cows. I was born and raised in western Washington. Lived there for 66 years. My home for the last 40 before moving here averaged 60 inches of rain a year. November through March the normal day was 36 degrees and raining.
We need to rain but we needed it a lot more about 2 months ago. How much of this will be around to help with next years grass is questionable. Hopefully California is getting some of this. That would really help our light calf market. After last summer's weather we have plenty of light calves.


Where do you live now?
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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@TCRanch can you put the water intake at the bottom of the tank - like a Jobe waterer? Works kind of like a toilet. I went to that system on all my water tanks. Cattle love to play with anything they can reach on the water tank.
A few years ago, I put in gravel feed pads next to the fence, so we don't drive the tractor into the winter lots any more. Just set the bales over the fence in round feeders.
Was going to purchase a new work chute, but looking at all the "gadgets" that come with them, I decided my plain chute was just perfect. Purchased a new headlock and mounted on old chute. Our chute has palpation gates, and the two main sides completely open for access to the animal. We can put a bar upright to keep cows from swinging. Also, changed from a balance beam scale to a digital. Love it!
Don't have any plans for major improvements - just maintain what we have.
Very little steel on this farm. Only hay equipment I have is two spears on my Case 656. Have an old JD 410 backhoe, and an ancient 15' batwing brushhog.
 

tex452

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You must stay busy with all of your projects, I know parts of that country have lots of rock and I wouldn't begin to know how to trench in a water line through that limestone rock.
In not as busy as I used to be when I was younger. Too many aches and pains.
I was working on a water trough 2 weeks ago and did something to my lower back.
Getting old is aggravating.
 

Bcompton53

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@TCRanch can you put the water intake at the bottom of the tank - like a Jobe waterer? Works kind of like a toilet. I went to that system on all my water tanks. Cattle love to play with anything they can reach on the water tank.
A few years ago, I put in gravel feed pads next to the fence, so we don't drive the tractor into the winter lots any more. Just set the bales over the fence in round feeders.
Was going to purchase a new work chute, but looking at all the "gadgets" that come with them, I decided my plain chute was just perfect. Purchased a new headlock and mounted on old chute. Our chute has palpation gates, and the two main sides completely open for access to the animal. We can put a bar upright to keep cows from swinging. Also, changed from a balance beam scale to a digital. Love it!
Don't have any plans for major improvements - just maintain what we have.
Very little steel on this farm. Only hay equipment I have is two spears on my Case 656. Have an old JD 410 backhoe, and an ancient 15' batwing brushhog.
This was my observation when looking for a new squeeze chute...I looked at all the name brands. None of them are perfect. I ended up breaking our old heifer squeeze chute down, making it wider and taller, and adding useful features, and in reality, I can run it better by myself than any new one I would have bought. And saved many thousands of dollars.
The new ones are geewizz heavy, and not focused on the simple, ultra reliable, user friendly chute we need.
 

Dave

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We bought this place in 2015 and it had only a single division fence and one limited water development, but the pipeline did push water to the top of the ridge. CRP expired 2020 and that became pasture with a 4000' pipeline extension to a tire tank. We have one more pasture division fence and will have 10 pastures all with tank or creek water. We have gotten by with a decent set of portable panels and gates attached to a big pipe pen (at barn we constructed in 2015) or post and pole pen in the middle of the place (constructed in 2016). This last push is the working facilities and windbreaks mentioned in an earlier post. Portable panel based system was ok when we were a.i.ing 25-30 head, but became unmanageable as we got to 50 head and increasing and cows becoming more "rangey" than the old show heifers we started with. We have been able to get through blizzards by tucking them in a couple spots, but as we increased the herd we are running out of room and we need more protected area for calves. Once the windbreaks and working facilities are done this place will be semi-automatic and graze 10 months of the year if numbers are managed right. We have a 50 HP utility tractor with loader, a gooseneck stock trailer and a dually flatbed trailer with a beaver tail. A 4wd loader tractor with a cab would be nice on storm days, but hard to justify the expense. We are a "low iron" outfit and will keep it that way.
Back in the late 90's I was working for a conservation district. They sent me to a grazing workshop. The key note speaker said you have to avoid having a heavy metal build up. I had just finished a soil class so I was thinking heavy metal, lead, cadmium, etc. Then he said especially heavy metal with green paint. I got it.
 

tex452

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I'm building a meat handling trolley inside my cooler. For years I've used my electric winch bolted to the floor w/cable running to snatch pulley on the ceiling from there to an eye bolt to tie off and hang
My dad had a butcher house with a walk in cooler on one side and a smoke house on the other.
We used it for our personal use.
We use to do a lot of butchering.
He sold the place some years before he died.
I miss having it.
 

TexasRancher

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2022: Grow more grass, less weeds (my main project for next year), and finish fencing 30 acres.
2021/22: Reduce cattle cube cake, feed more potatoes, reduce winter hay purchasing needs (all three of these occurring already)

2022: Need to connect well water-pump line into a nearby existing unused-underground water line...so I'll have water at the barn to clean and fill stock tanks during the summer and fall months, instead of relying on rain off the roof.

2021: This year's projects included removing all the old forefather's fencing, dragging magnets to pick up nails-metal and strengthening existing fencing with cedar logs between t-posts, then ran extra stands of barb wire...so everywhere there's 5 strands and in some places 6, 7 strands.
Started fencing another 30.5 acres on another ranch I own...and started building a cattle shed there, frame and roof joists-trusses-supports are done, sheet metal coming soon.
Every year my "cattle and land" work load decreases and things get easier. Spent most of 2020 cutting down nuisance trees and removing cedars. I used to haul water 8 miles during the summer and cut down acres of sunflowers...that isn't any fun. The sunflowers (& seeds) are gone now, and God blessed me with a newly discovered old 1900's-1930's well on my property...it's a gusher, I pumped 13,000. gallons out of it this summer and never checked the level...never ran dry. The pump is still 4 or 5 feet off the bottom. That's unusual for any vintage hand-dug well in Texas where there isn't any rain from July 15 to October 15, 3 months without rain. I have another well, where I can get about 800 gallons from it one-time, goes dry and won't refill anytime fast unless it rains.
 
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Lee VanRoss

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When is the Miraco going in? They can be a game changer in extreme cold. An adequate number of cattle to keep the chamber
charged with warm water is essential. The water may not freeze but the valve might and the trouble comes when they drink enough
to lower the ball and let cold air into the chamber. Mine has a divider over it and I put in a hydrant beside the Miraco.
I can take a short hose and recharge the chamber with warmer water and the valve will free up. At -30 you may want to push the drain
plug back into the chamber and let the water out and then refill the chamber with water.
To me it is easier than jacking with a frozen valve. A lot more economical than a 1000 watt heat element!
Hope it works out for you /
 

greybeard

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Made a vow to Dad (after one of many rodeos) that I had no intentions of
ever having a wire gate on any place of mine
Ain't that the truth!!

The only improvement I'm doing is letting someone else have the headache of it here.
Maybe they'll plant the whole place in ragweed and get rich beyond their wildest dreams with very little investment. ;)
 
OP
J+ Cattle

J+ Cattle

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2021/22: Reduce cattle cube cake, feed more potatoes, reduce winter hay purchasing needs (all three of these occurring already)
I'm curious about the potatoes, is there a local potato processing facility or something that has peelings or something that you can get free or really cheap?
 
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