This week I got firsthand experience managing the Perry ranch by myself. Mr. and Mrs. Perry went to their annual family reunion on Wednesday; Jeff and Amie left on Thursday. They all returned by Sunday afternoon. I put in some long days between cutting hay, flood irrigating, moving cows, and fixing fence. Everything held together and we had no major wrecks.
On Monday, I collected manure samples from the cows and calves so that the vet could test for worms. The results from these tests will determine what type of vaccine to give when we wean in a few weeks. We also got to do a little cowboy work moving cows on the lease. On Tuesday, we started taking the shoes and skid plates off of the swather and repairing them. All of them were worn thin and cracked at the place where they run over the ground. We welded ¼” plates on over top of the break to help protect the cutter bed and prolong its life. This option was much cheaper than purchasing new skid plates and rock guards from the equipment dealer. We priced that at about $1500.00. We already had the steel and just had to remove the plates and weld them together. Our job will probably protect the swather just as well and won’t wear out as quickly as the new parts would.
While the Perry’s were gone, I managed to get in some more corral repair and built two wings for the cattleguard by the house. It was patched together with some cattle panels and a wagon wheel before, so it looks much better now.
It just happened that all the hay that I cut down got rained on this week. While having an inch of rain is a blessing for the fields, it will delay our baling for a bit. We will probably try to get the field done next week before we start working calves for shipping.