Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chapter 53...Baby Calves And Culverts

Off Grid...Chapter 53

Monday 3-16
Well today is another not so nice day. Mike and I have been looking at new and used trucks for months. We wanted to get a 4 door 4x4 but the costs are insane. We've decided to keep the jeep and just fix it up. We ordered a hard top for the Jeep in hopes that our ride will be quieter. We also made an appointment to take the jeep to the dealer to fix the Park. We haven't had park for months.

Later we went over to Jimmy's to pay him for a gravel delivery about a month ago. On our way out of the property we noticed that one of the cows just gave birth. This is our first baby of the year.

He/she was just born

Mama cleaning him

Isn't he/she adorable? This little guy is only about an hour old. We were so close to seeing the birth. I hope we can catch one of the other cows giving birth. That would be cool.

Back on the road. After Jimmy's we went to town and got the oil changed on the jeep and that was our big outing, lol.

Tuesday 3-17
It's a little cool out so we went into the bigger town and got 2 new front tires for the Jeep. While we were there Mike asked if they had an extra tire to use for cleaning out our culvert. The young man gave Mike a small tire.

Wednesday 3-18
We are off to work on the front gate and the culvert. First we went down to the entrance gate. The cement is dry so Mike starts to tighten the barbed wire, but not so tight that it moves the pole.

All the wires are snug.

Our entrance gate is done. All we need now is a sign. No Trespassing.

Next we go up to the barn to pick up some rebar for clearing the culvert. We have one 20 ft piece and one 10 ft piece. Since it is too long for the car I walk the rebar up to the culvert.

This our plan of attack and hopefully it all works.
First we will connect the 2 pieces of rebar together to make a 30 ft section. Then we will connect a string to one end of the rebar and push all 30 ft of rebar and string through the culvert. After we get that through we will attach a chain to the string and pull the rebar back out. Then we can attach one end of the chain to the tire and hopefully pull the tire through the culvert using the tractor. Sounds easy right?

Mike attaching string to one end of the rebar.

Next we start to push the first 20 feet of rebar through the culvert and all the muck. While I bang the rebar Mike twists it at the same time.

I am using a rock to bang the rebar because we forgot the hammer.

We get the first piece of rebar in. Yeah. Now we have to attach the second rebar to the first. Mike is clamping them together.

We start banging and twisting again but the clamps keep slipping off. We have to pull the rebar back out of the culvert and go up to the building to find something that will work better.

We come back down and wrap some rubber tape around the rebar and then Mike re clamps the bars together and duct tapes it. Hopefully this will keep it from slipping. We try again and this time I am using a real hammer, lol.

It starts slipping again. This is not going to work. We drive to David's to pick up some U-bolts. These should work better than the clamps.

We get back and pull the rebar back out of the muck. Mike connects the U bolts.

They are both on.

Finally we get the rebar through to the other side. Woo hoo. Now we have to get longer chain. That will have to be for tomorrow.

On our way back to the house we see the cows. We walk up to look for the baby. Here is Mike trying to get the calf used to us.

Today was a long and frustrating day but we got it done.

Thursday 3-19
It is too cold out to work on the culvert.

Friday 3-20
Happy Spring. Yeah it is finally here. It's sunny out but still cold so we went to town to pick up the chain and some rope.

Saturday 3-21
Time to work again. Back down to the culvert this time with the tractor. Now we have 30 feet of rebar inside the culvert. We are going to attach the rope to the rebar, pull it back through the pipe, and take out the rebar.

Here is Mike in the ditch attaching the rope.

After we get the rebar out we attach the chain to the rope and pull that through. Trying to get the rebar out.

We still have rope that we need to pull out before we get to the chain. We keep trying but the rope isn't strong enough. We keep snapping the rope so we add another piece.

Finally we get the rebar out. We go to the other side and hook the chain to the tire.

Now we are where we need to be. The tire is hooked up. All we have to do is use the tractor to pull the chain and the tire through the culvert. If we do this a few time we should be able to clear the culvert. Unfortunately the tractor doesn't have enough power. Now we have the tire stuck inside the culvert along with a 30 foot chain.

Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and call someone for help. We will have to have Jimmy come with his backhoe and see if he can get the tire through. If not we will have to dig up the whole culvert. Mike and I really tried to get this job done and it just really stinks that we couldn't finish it.

Lets just hope it doesn't rain before we can clear the culvert.

On the brighter side the wild Turkeys have Spring Fever, lol. We watch the show every evening with the males fanning out their feathers. I guess it is part of their mating ritual.

Sunday 3-22
It is beautiful out. Mike spent the day cleaning the building. It is a disaster again becasue it just becomes the store all for everything when we work. While Mike was doing that I aired out the house and cleaned.

After dinner the cows came out in front of the house. Mike, Niki(on a leash this time), and I walked out to get the baby used to us. We try to spend a little time each day just getting close to the calf.

That was our exciting week, lol. The best part for me was the baby calf.


1 comment:

  1. Obviously I'm missing something. Isn't this the culvert that your cow man uses to cross the ditch to get to the fields where the cows are?? Would it not have been easier to just dig it up and haul the culvert right out, clean it and then reinstall. Yeah ... I know easy for me to sit here and Monday morning quarterback your situation. LOL :)