Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | November 26, 2007

Smelly Farm Work

It appears that I haven’t been posting much about the fact that we live on a farm the past few posts so here is proof that yes indeed a real farm is out my window. 

Hauling manure was on Loren’s list of “to do’s” the past week or so … and haul manure he did!   What a big job, and I didn’t help … at all … well, ok I did go take some pictures and would attempt to chat with him for a bit until it was either too smelly or too cold, but that wasn’t too helpful I don’t think.  Chalk up another point for me under the “bad new farm-wife” section of your tally sheets.  He didn’t mind the work of course … he has a fantastic attitude about work which I admire. 

Loren spent literally MONTHS working on the spreader … he purchased it used and the first time he used it back in April it broke.  So, he fixed it … it has like a million parts (well, probably not a million … but A LOT) and so I was reminded yet again how smart my husband is.  He had some new parts made at a local machine shop and took it all apart and then put it back together again.  We took a picture of the gearbox when he was putting that together in the house one day.  He is very proud of this project as he should be.   Sadly, it means nothing to me, and probably most of you!, but here it is.  There are all sorts of little pieces involved … it was painful to watch the process of putting it all back together “just right” … I was glad that I didn’t have to remember what went where.

gearbox.jpg

After the gearbox was reattached to the spreader it was officially tested with the help of veteran haymaker … and … it worked!  Whoo-hoo!  I don’t have pictures of that actual moment because of course I was watching the process and then thought “oh shoot!, the camera!”.  You will have to trust me that it was a finger-crossing, hold your breath sort of moment.  If the gearbox had to be taken apart again it would have been a big disappointment. 

The first area to be cleaned out was the east side of the barn where the chickens spent lots of the summer as well as the steers.  That job was 6.5 loads.  Then the chicken coop took 7.5 loads.  That is a lot of pitching manure my friends.  Yuck.  But we will have great compost in the future.   Loren uses lots of bedding to keep the animals and eggs clean and so he isn’t pitching just manure, (thankfully, cause that would be really gross) but lots of hay as well. 

Here are some pictures of the process … ok I admit it, there are way more then I need, but they are cool I think.

 cleanup9.jpg

Manure and bedding was loaded onto the spreader … one pitch fork full at a time …

cleanup3.jpg

water was sprayed before it was pitched and after it was on the spreader … the water is helpful in breaking it down so that it compost’s more quickly …

cleanup6.jpg

the tractor is backed up to the compost pile …  and the beaters turned on …

cleanup8.jpg

cleanup4.jpg

cleanup5.jpg

I know that is a lot of pictures of the same thing but seriously, it is really cool to watch that stuff fly out, and I had several more that I could have posted but spared you.

the manure and bedding is pulled out of the bed of the spreader and when it is all out …

cleanup2.jpg

the process is repeated. 

So there you have it folks … real farm life in pictures!  :)  Even if you never had any desire to see pictures of flying manure, now you can say that you have.  Ha.

Maybe next year I will help … I really should … but seriously, it is smelly.

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Responses

  1. As the word Manure starts with a M, so does Man, so I think it is a sign that you should not get into that part of the farm chores! Washing, dishes and clothes, starts with of course W, so Woman, do those chores. I dont think Love requires us to shovel manure, unless I missed something in marriage prep classes. HA

  2. What a novel thought! While Loren is handling the manure Steph can whip up a good meal, whistle while she works, wrap some gifts, whittle away at the list of indoor chores and welcome him back inside (as soon as he takes a shower and gets into some of his wonderfully washed fresh-smelling clothing.)

  3. As the saying goes, “and the shit was flying”, The former city slicker turned farm wife on that farm did not pitch that “stuff” either. By the way a pitch fork is usually three-tined while a manure fork is at least 4 to 6-tined. Something for a new farm wife’s learning process.

    We extra tall people should now be able to get around in those barns without stooping over to the waist. In the chicken barn even the tall roosters had to duck. Oh well, just having fun exagerating.

  4. 14 loads!? That is one big pile of……. um, stuff!

    If I had to fork all that…. um, stuff, I think I would go grab a chain saw, open up the side of the barn and grab the front end loader. :)

    Or better yet – just put the birds in the back of a dump truck.

  5. The chicken bedding could go directly on the garden this time of year and then by spring it would be fine for just digging in. I’ve added it directly to my flower beds in spring with no ill effects. It would save a step…for your husband.


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