The Adventures of Big Red Rover and Her Shiny Toys
The time has finally arrived to upgrade a few things around the farm. Our old house sold quickly (thank goodness) and we can take a deep breath now that we don’t have two mortgages. I kept a running list all winter of different upgrades I would like around the farm once Spring rolled around. That’s where Big Red comes in the picture to save the day.
I’m all about getting things for a good deal and super allergic to paying full price for anything. Fortunately I had a friend with a major hookup on an older UTV. It has such super low miles on the odometer it’s shocking. I had another friend who was awesome enough to loan us a trailer so we could go pick it up. As soon as I had cash in hand from the home sale, that was the very first thing I bought.
After bringing her home and using her for various light tasks such as speeding full throttle up and down our shared lane a few times, I hunkered down and added some attachments.
This winter I scoured farm implement websites like it was my full-time job to find the best deal for the attachments I wanted to add. I finally came across an amazing deal on EBay for a rake that included a lift and a leveling blade. Not sure when I’ll use the leveler but we do have a gravel driveway, so we’ll see.
It took me an entire business day to assemble the lift for the rake and then mount the rake and attach the tines. In that time I doubted myself about 20 times as I assembled the lift, made a panic trip to Menards to buy socket wrenches that didn’t fit, and broke down and asked DH for a little bit of assistance mounting the thing, and making sense of the instructions for the spring loaded handle assembly on the rake. But boy oh boy was I rewarded for my hard work.
This rake does the Lord’s work. Chancellor is HARD on his dry lot, and then gets sore from trying to maneuver around all the potholes he creates. I spent a fair amount of time being worried about his soundness in this dang lot until the rake rolled in and fixed things. I do have grass pastures for them but I’m resting them now since the ground is thawing and I’d like to over seed them before I open them back up later in May.
I’m super impressed with how nicely the rake not only fills the holes but evens things out and gives the ground a chance to compact. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but after raking it a few times and cleaning up the holes, I feel like the ground is more firm and should be a lot more safer for him going forward.
The plan for now is to rake it daily. I’ve been dumping the stall wheelbarrows in his lot and the rake does a great job of spreading things as well as pulverizing the poop. Which is super convenient since I just ordered a manure spreader (which hasn’t even been delivered yet) and I’m thinking I may not even need it.
I don’t think I’ll be able to rake on a day with rain so here and there things might get dicey in there, but I do have a small limestone pad at the barn adjacent to his run so if I really need to keep him off the lot but not lock him in the barn I have an option. When we have more trees cleared I’m thinking of having them chipped up in his dry lot so it’s like the others. The woodchips hold a lot of water and make things less messy. I’m just not sure if it’s worth it since he likes to dig and roll so much.
The only downside of my new upgrades so far is the fact that I’m no longer filling my exercise rings on my Apple Watch and I’m probably going to have to actually exercise to stay fit.