The Chicken Tractor Completed

The Chicken Tractor Completed

Previously, I’ve discussed reasons for building a chicken tractor and putting the pieces of our own chicken tractor together. Now, here is the grand finale!

After more than a month of building, readjusting, cutting boards to fit wonky angles that resulted from decisions at the very beginning of the project, and thinking about what would make birds happy, the chicken tractor was finished.


It has sliding doors, FlexSeal on the plywood roof for waterproofing, and a sheet of vinyl panel for the floor of the coop and nesting box. I don’t need to duck my head when I walk through the door, and the feed, water, and ramp move along with the chicken tractor on moving day without any extra effort.

It looks just like I envisioned it would before the project began. Continue reading “The Chicken Tractor Completed”

Reasons to Build a Chicken Tractor

Reasons to Build a Chicken Tractor

When thinking about tractors, one usually pictures a metal rectangle and seat on wheels painted green or red or blue. This tractor provides several hundred horsepower units for working out in agricultural fields.

I recently learned about another type of tractor that uses animals rather than metal implements to improve the ground. I was intrigued to hear about its benefits for rotational grazing systems. Continue reading “Reasons to Build a Chicken Tractor”

Calves in the Pasture

Calves in the Pasture

It was finally warm enough to take the doors off of the Ranger.

They’d been on the ATV for six months, having been hung on their hinges as soon as the wind started to bite. Every time in May I considered taking the doors off, the temperatures would drop.

Finally, the 80s showed up, and I swung the doors off the hinges and laid them in the garage for a (hopefully) six-month break.

This is usually a sign of summer.

For a few days after removing the doors, temperatures dropped again, and I wondered if I’d jumped the gun. It’s been wet and rainy and cold this spring, preventing crop producers from entering their fields to plant their corn or soybeans. The five-year average amount of Indiana corn planted at this time is 73%. Right now, we only have 14%. This has made for stressful times for many farmers.

Because we focus on livestock and hay, we have not had these same travails. However, we have been working in a lot of mud and wet conditions while feeding the livestock, and work on a chicken tractor (a movable coop that will allow the chickens to forage while being protected from predators) has been delayed several times. The up-and-down temperatures have been tough, as well. 

As of late, though, there have been good photo opportunities. Calfie has started eating Big Calf feed, along with her milk.

Calf eating grain in feeder.

Continue reading “Calves in the Pasture”

Bottle Calf

Bottle Calf

It was a long winter. The temperatures were up and down, one day in the negative 30s, the next day in the positive 40s. Spring has been cold and wet, and there has been uncertainty as to whether it’s even here at all. Beasts and humans alike are ready for warmer weather.

Every so often, the sun does peek around a cloud and warms the face. While waiting for that moment, the heart is warmed by new calves galloping through the pasture, playing chase as a kindergarten class. Continue reading “Bottle Calf”

I Moved, Christmas Music, and Philosophical Questions

I Moved, Christmas Music, and Philosophical Questions

October sunset.

Blogging, oh blogging. Why have I neglected you for so long? 

Actually, I can answer that pretty easily: I moved.

For a little while, I lived in a town north of here, and it took 15 minutes to get to the farm. That doesn’t sound like much for any other job commute, but for the way I like to work, it was a lot of driving. I’d go to chores, go home, eat breakfast, go work on the farm again, go home. Most days, I’d just pack up everything I needed and worked online at my parents’ house. (I stayed disconnected at my old house.)

But then, a house opened up close to my family and the farm, so I moved back down here.

And I got Internet. Continue reading “I Moved, Christmas Music, and Philosophical Questions”

An Unexpected Snowy Adventure

An Unexpected Snowy Adventure

On Saturday, March 24, more than half a foot of snow fell on our little corner of Indiana. The roads were slick. Every time I looked out the window, the density of the snowfall changed. But it remained steady.

It was beautiful.

I spent most of the day inside, but ventured outside to feed the livestock in the evening.

Snowy Adventure Farm

The snow was piled high on the truck, even after brushing most of it off.

Snowy Adventure Truck

The older heifers were huddled together in the woods. Dad shoveled snow out of their cattle trough.  Continue reading “An Unexpected Snowy Adventure”

A Plug for AgStockPhotos

A Plug for AgStockPhotos

Some exciting news: I am officially a contributor for AgStockPhotos! Stock photo websites have been places to which I’ve been encouraged to contribute in the past, but the behemoth sites didn’t seem like a place where my photos would be found easily.

Then along comes AgStockPhotos. There are over 1,000 photos of livestock, crops, equipment, barns, and more on the site.

A couple of my first photos (the dog and the hay bale) contributed ended up on the homepage for a little while:  Continue reading “A Plug for AgStockPhotos”