15 All Around the Farm Tips
Anyone who has animals, gardens or farms is always looking for better ways to do things. Things one person takes for granted another thinks is a genius idea!
1. If you run cattle and goats or sheep, and have a connecting field or shed you want to allow the small stock but not the cows, securely fix up an unused hay ring. This allows small stock to cross into the area but keeps large animals out. This is also good if you’re feeding a protein tub to goats that you don’t want guardian donkeys to get to.
2. Are you tired of battling hot wire strand gates? The wire curls around and is hard to handle. Replace the wire with lightweight chain such as that used for small dogs.
3. Drive two T posts into the ground and take a pallet – stand upright threading the pallet through the T posts. Put a couple of pallets on the ground then another end of pallet and T posts. This makes an inexpensive but open firewood rack, keeping the wood off the ground but in one area.
4. Have horns on goats so it’s difficult to use feeders that they reach through? Stand a small bale upright and drive T posts around it – this holds the bale upright and eliminates a goat getting horns stuck.
5. Feeding a group of kids? Take a large piece of PVC – 8″X10′ is good. Saw it in half lengthwise and on each end securely fix a cap. On the *outside* of cattle panels along the kid pen attach this securely to the panel. Kids quickly learn to put their heads through and drink their milk, which is poured in the trough. This is a great way to feed 15-20 kids at a time with no bottles to clean. Once the milk is cleaned up give an equal amount of water which serves as a rinse and also to help fill kids up without overloading them on milk.
6. Tired of losing keys on the farm? Use the neck chain tags made for cattle as key tags. A large split key ring threads easily around the key and the tag. With numbers and colors it’s easy to color code and grab keys to the right vehicle on the farm.
7. For added safety if you should break down – if the fuel tank is on the driver’s side flip open the gas tank door. Place a piece of reflector tape or small reflectors securely on the inside of the door. If it should be needed you can open this door in case of emergency and it gives a little more warning to motorists approaching.
8. If you’re hauling lightweight items such as aluminum cans, sheets of insulation, bedding or other materials that blow out easily keep a bed sized piece of plastic snow fencing folded behind the seat of the truck. When needed, unfold it and with bungee cords kept with it attach to the truck.
9. Use colored dots from office supply stores to color code shop, barn or home switches. Going through the breakers put matching dots on the breaker and the wall receptacle it controls. It’s then easy if there’s a problem to narrow it down even for people unfamiliar with breakers.
10. If you do your own vaccinations and medical work on livestock keep a plastic bottle from pancake syrup or vegetable oil in the vet rack. When you’re done with a disposable needle put it in the bottle – keeping accidents down from used needles.
11. Frustrated with steam or fog on the windows of the vehicle? It’s dangerous and difficult to find a clean rag when needed. Get a clean blackboard eraser and keep in the glovebox.
12. Get a five gallon bucket with shovel deep sand in it. The next time you change oil in your vehicle save some oil and mix it in with the sand. Occasionally thrusting hand tools into the sand keeps them oiled and less likely to rust, helping them last longer.
13. Looking for a boot scraper outside barn or shop? Place an old tire rim at a convenient place near the door.
14. Place a small painted cork in your rain gauge – the cork floats on top the water and is easier to see from a distance.
15. Before heading out on a trail ride use a small pack attached to the saddle – enclose your name, address and phone number in a waterproof baggie inside the pack. Keep the same information *on* you along with the cell phone if you carry one. If you and the horse should part ways, whoever finds him has your information – and you have pertinent information and a way to call for help if you need it.
These are just some tips from farms – there’s many more if we learn to look for those better ideas when needed!