As you may know, we’ve been on the hunt for a second cow.
As you also may know (if you’ve spent any time reading this blog at all) that I have a tendency to leap before I look.
Somehow, I’m only just NOW realizing all the things we’re going to need in place for winter – especially if we’re going to bring a second cow to our home!!!
See, up till now we’ve been getting by pretty well with our tarp shelters and our lack of proper tools (ever tried to weed-eat with a scythe?), but the thought of winter coming which will bring not only cold and wet, but will also (hopefully) bring the arrival of a second cow and a newborn calf makes me realize that what we’ve been getting by with so far is NOT going to work when we have two new cows to feed and shelter (not to mention the goats and sheep) and cold weather to protect them from!
So for the past few days Jon and I have been looking a huge list of things that we need to have in place before winter, and to be honest, we’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed. And then I was praying about it today and I realized… this is the perfect time to ask for help. Maybe there are people who have some of the things we need just laying around, getting in their way. Maybe they’ve been thinking of dropping some stuff off at goodwill, or posting it on freecycle for a while now and just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe they’ll be just as blessed knowing that those things have a place where they’ll be much appreciated and much used as we will be to have them.
So if you’re reading this, I want to thank you in advance for checking out our list and I’d like to ask anyone who feels led to join us in prayer over these things. You may not have any extra chicken tractors or milk stanchions laying around your house, but prayer is even more helpful! If you DO have any of these things and you don’t need them and are willing to part with them, we would be very, very grateful.
1.) Polywire for electric fencing
3.) Step in posts and pigtails for electric fencing (I should mention that we actually have over 1,000 feet of cattle panel fencing and T-posts available to us, but it’s in Indiana and as of yet we’ve had no way to get it to us. Anyone own a U-haul truck? ;))
3.) Wood/roofing material to build a shelter for the cows and calf… Pallet wood or scrap wood would be great.
4.) Paint (for the shelter. Any color… lets stick with our theme and use lots of different colors to make it as ugly as possible!) ;)
5.) 2×4’s to build a larger barley fodder system (you can see our current set up here)
6.) A chicken tractor (or supplies to build one) so that we can set chickens up to follow the cows, which will improve the health of our pasture, and keep down flies and parasites. It has to be lightweight, because we’ll be moving it every day up and down a large hill. We’d like to build something like this (ugly, but functional! Thank God we live out in the country and have great neighbors, because I don’t think we could get away with the eyesore our field/yard is becoming, otherwise!)
7.) Large water trough for the cows (right now we’re using large plastic buckets, which is fine, but if someone has a large trough they’re not using it would be wonderful!)
8.) Wood to build a milk stanchion (doesn’t have to be elaborate, something like this would work great. Something like this would be good, too, because then we could move it to places outside and not worry about rain.)
9.) A shelter of some sort to store hay in. A tarped 10×10 dog pen, a shed built from scrap wood, just anything that will stay dry (this doesn’t fall into the necessary category, it just falls into the would-make-my-life-so-much-easier category!)
10.) Seed for pasture (alfalfa, barley and oats are some of the seeds we’d like to sow into our fields)
11.) A weed eater
12.) A wheel barrow
13.) A halter for the second cow, and the calf
14.) Dog collars and leashes for the goats (it would be SO nice if every goat had a collar!)
15.) A chain saw (and thank you to my friend Jamie for arranging a way for us to borrow one in the meantime! We are so very thankful for that!)
16.) A milk machine (this is a longshot, I know, but I thought I’d put it out there!)
Whew, I think that’s everything!
This has not been easy, asking for help this way. I keep coming back to my list thinking “Oh! You shouldn’t write that!” and “Well, that’s not COMPLETELY necessary, so don’t list that!” and “that’s too much to ask for!” But the reality is we DO need these things. Some more than others, and we can certainly get by without a lot of it, but everything here is going to make our lives easier in some way, make our farm more efficient, and benefit the animals (and the friends who benefit from the animals!) in the long run.
So thank you.