From Pipi’s Pasture: A new sled
For about the past twenty winters there have been cows to feed here at Pipi’s Pasture. Husband Lyle has always loaded the hay, whether it was big round bales on a trailer or small bales on little trailer pulled by the 4-wheeler or piled in the pickup truck. Lyle usually did the driving, and I did the feeding. However, this winter is a little different as Lye is ill and cannot help me.
Our grandchildren and I cut down the herd this year. When they are here we feed as usual; if not I have come up with a way to feed the animals by myself—a way that does not involve a tractor or other vehicle. I decided to feed over the corral fence; that way the hay is close by, and I can shovel a path through drifted snow to get there if needed.
So I feed two pens of animals. My old cow Sarah is in one corral with another cow and calf. I feed them a bale of hay first. Next, I roll bales to the bigger side of the corral. The cows come in from the pasture to eat. I cut the bales and throw hay over the fence. It’s handy, but even though there’s room for all of the cows (and two calves) to eat, they all fight, and the cows on the lower end of the “cow hierarchy” get pushed off.
So to ensure that all of the animals get to eat I have resorted to rolling two bales of hay to the gate leading into the pasture. It’s a little way from the haystack—in fact, up here by the house. I put out the hay, the “pushed off” animals have caught on, and they come up and eat. Everyone gets enough hay.
So just before Christmas my sisters Darlene and Charlotte and their husbands Miner and John came over to exchange presents and visit overnight. They caught me at the corral where I was rolling bales. What a flurry of activity ensued. John and Miner hit the haystack and started pushing top bales off the stack. (I appreciated this since the hay was way up there and the bales were covered with snow, making them heavy.) Charlotte and Darlene found the two bales I was rolling to the gate and they moved them for me. (I appreciated that, too.)
Then on Christmas Eve, my brother Duane came down from the ranch to exchange Christmas presents. He, Charlotte, and Darlene had gone together and bought me a sled for Christmas. Perhaps you gave seen the big sleds that hunters use to haul in game? This one is smaller—not as heavy to pull. It’s about the right size to haul one bale of hay at a time. My thoughtful siblings decided the sled would be easier to use than having to roll bales, and they’re right. I found that I can even push the sled when it’s loaded.
Besides that, I can use the sled to haul groceries and cat food from the car and to pull mineral blocks out into the pasture. I appreciate my sled!
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Just like you, I live with the fear of wildfire. My southern Oregon town of Ashland nestles against the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains, whose forests become tinder in our hot, dry summers.