Hi I’m Mike, no matter how cold it is outside, how much its snowing and blowing there are
things that always need done.
Today we hit a few projects that we could put off, but waiting to do them will just
allow more to pile up.
Put on your warm coat, your best pair of socks and some good gloves, because we are working
in some below zero weather as we continue whittling away at the project list on our
Before we get going on the project list, I want to invite you personally to a very special
livestream happening this Thursday at 7pm right here on YouTube.
Blake from Guy in Wyoming will be going us on the couch and together all three of us,
myself, Erin and Blake will be answering your questions, and telling you more about why
we do this, how the journey has gone to this point and what we have learned.
It will be a dual live stream, you will be able to watch it on both our channel and his,
so if you haven’t checked him out so far, head over to guy in WY and check it out, subscribe
to him for even more from the great state of Wyoming.
Also, if this is your first time here, thanks for joining us, make you subscribe for more
from the ranch, Erin’s got a bunch of cooking and gardening tips coming up and of course
the cows need you.
I’m going to be completely honest with you, we when we first came to the ranch, and not
knowing how things worked around here.
That first winter, I fed and checked waters and made sure animals were ok but that was
I didn’t do much maintenance, I didn’t fix any fence and I’ll tell you why, at
least my logic at the time.
There’s always tomorrow, tomorrow will be warmer, the wind might be blowing less, Maybe.
And either way, working today is not going to be fun…its going to be cold, my nose
is going to run, my fingers will freeze.
Whatever the excuse was.
I figured that in the spring, when the weather was better, then I could start doing more
and get caught up.
Needless to say, I watched a lot of TV that first winter here, I sat on my butt a lot
and I didn’t get much done.
And when spring did roll around, and we were calving and had projects piling up every day.
I soon realized that I was so far behind that I didn’t feel like I would ever catch up.
Lesson learned though.
Everyday is a day to work around here, unless you can’t see 5 feet in front of your face,
there’s always something that you can get done.
And if you can’t work out side, then you bring projects inside.
By doing what you can, when you can, the hope is that you aren’t completely overwhelmed
We are still a couple of months away from the beginning of calving season, If I didn’t
want to do much today, I really wouldn’t have to.
But, that’s not how it works.
Right now, it’s -5 degrees, the wind isn’t blowing too bad, the wind chill is down to
about -10 this morning and we are going to fix fence in the corral.
That a mean old cow took out during preg checking, we are also going to take a viewer suggestion
and insulate our problem hydrant, the one that we had to unfreeze a few weeks ago, in
a rather ingenious way.
Then, we get rid of some net wrap, the mesh material that is wrapped around the bales
of hay, that we cut off before we feed.
In case you can’t tell, I don’t really want to go out there, its going to be cold
but again if we put it off, no one else is going to do for us and they say that the more
you work, the warmer you are.
These are the corrals, we use them when working with cattle, for sorting, branding, or checking
to see who is pregnant or not.
We also use them if we have a sick cow or a cow that we need to get a look at and right
now they are sort of out of commission.
Back when we preg checked the cows, seeing who was pregnant and who wasn’t, we had
a cow that wanted no part of it, and she decided to go right through some fence, leaving a
hole that needs fixed.
Until its fixed we can’t use this portion of the corrals and because we could need them
tomorrow, we never know, now is as good as time as any to get the fence fixed back up.
First, we toss out the old broken boards and see what we are dealing with, none of the
posts are broken, so that’s a good thing and it looks like we can just replace the
After removing the old screws that held the old boards in.
We can head over and grab some new 2x6’s to replace these ones.
A quick and easy project and a good thing too, because its cold out here and its quickly
taking its toll on me.
Back over at the corrals, we can test fit the boards that we grabbed.
These posts are 8 feet on center and these boards are 8-foot 2x6s, or at least I thought
These are too short, they aren’t going to work and now we have to find boards that will.
We could run to town, that’s an easy solution, but that would take a couple of hours out
of our day and this is a ranch after all.
There is junk laying everywhere, we only need 24 feet of boards to get this fence done.
Back in to the gator and we drive around looking to see what we can find.
There’s an old 2x6 laying in this shed, it looks long enough, but after a closer inspection
its not going to do, its old and rotten.
But I just remembered, that we have a bunch of perfectly good lumber in the barn across
Keeping track of what you have and where you have it can be a bit of a challenge around
here, but as long as my brain works in spurts occasionally, I’ll be ok.
Over at the barn we pull out the lumber we need, this barn really needs some organizing
and load It onto the gator.
Then back across the road, to the corrals where we can install the boards.
When working by yourself, you often find ways to create a second pair of hands and by screwing
this longer board into the fence I can then cut it to the correct length, then screw it
The 16-foot board on the top is done the same way, screwing the center in place then cutting
it to length and securing it.
This fence will now hold, until another annoyed 1400lb animal decides that she doesn’t like.
Fences are only suggestions to cattle and as you can see, when they don’t want to
listen they don’t have to.
Speaking of suggestions, a few weeks ago we dealt with a frozen hydrant that delivers
water to our heifers.
I used a propane torch to thaw it out, and get the water flowing.
Since then it hasn’t frozen up again, but it has been hard to open a few times, which
is just a few degrees difference from being frozen.
One of our viewers suggested using hay or straw as insulation around the hydrant itself,
and because I love suggestions, especially when they don’t cost me anything, I decided
to give it a try.
Its pretty simple, using a box knife you cut the bottom out of a Rubbermaid garbage can.
Ok maybe a box knife isn’t a good idea, seems like a good way to cut your leg off.
Let’s head to the tool wall and get a reciprocating saw.
It makes short work of taking the bottom of the garbage can.
Flip it back over and make sure you grab the lid.
Then it’s over to our trouble hydrant.
Back across the road.
Once at the hydrant, this is super simple just slip the garbage can over the hydrant.
Then cut a notch out of the lid for the pipe of the hydrant to slip through.
Once its in place, then you fill the garbage can with hay or straw.
Luckily, we don’t have to go far, I fed the heifers this morning and part of the bale
I fed them fell off the bale.
So, we can grab this, toss it in the back of the gator then its back to the hydrant
and garbage can where we can fill the garbage can with the hay and straw.
Keeping it fluffed up a bit to allow air to move through and insulate the pipe.
The lid goes on, and we pop a few screws through it to keep it in place.
Thank you, Krista, for your easy solution to a problem.
Another problem that we have here on the ranch is trash, and one of our biggest sources of
trash during the winter is from net wrap.
Net wrap is used to hold a bale together during haying.
Its wrapped around the bale by the baler and helps not only keep the bale together, but
it sheds moisture while we are waiting to feed it, keeping the hay fresher and less
prone to molding.
When we feed a bale, we cut off the net wrap, and it usually gets thrown in the tractor,
until we get back to the shop after feeding and its tossed out of the tractor and into
Everyone in a while we have to clean out the pile of net wrap and get rid of it.
We can’t put it in the garbage, that we pay for and gets dumped every couple of weeks
because not only would it fill up the dumpster, it also gets wrapped up in the garbage trucks
internal mechanism and causes a huge problem for our trash guy.
We can’t put it in our personal dump because it would blow around and eventually escape
the dump where animals could get tangled in it or even eat it.
So that leaves burning it, about once a week we grab all the net wrap from the shop and
load it into the back of the gator, and I mean cram it in.
It looks like I’m harvesting seaweed.
Then its too the incinerator, where its thrown in and burned.
Making for a little bit of warmth at the end of a cold winter day.
I’m not done of course but I think the rest of the day would be better spent inside the
shop, cleaning or something.
I’ll find something to do.
Today we knocked out more on the list, but of course, like I have said before the list
continues to grow.
While out feeding this morning, I noticed a portion of the roof that is the shelter
for the calves has blown clean away, I don’t even know where it is.
That’s going on the list, but that one might wait, at least until there’s no snow on
that roof, unless you want to see me slip and fall and then we can do the project list
from my hospital bed and the project might be, making it to the bathroom in time.
So that’s it for this one, thanks for hanging out with me.
More on the way of course, and be sure to check out our dual live stream with Blake
from Guy in WY, take a look at his channel subscribe and be sure to be here on Thursday
at 7pm, should be a lot of fun.
Like us on Facebook for content you can’t find anywhere else, including a give away
going on there now.
T-shirts, Erin’s jam and more is up for grabs so head on over and check it out.
I will see you Thursday and until then have a great week and thanks for joining us in
our Wyoming life.