A little upkeep on the farm

Working in a winter wonderland….that’s what the guys remodeling a few buildings on our farm are doing. Our granary was falling apart shingle by shingle, board by board. We’ve talked about redoing it for a long time and decided this summer we HAD to have it done, or it would soon be unusable.  Our garage sits very near to the granary, so if we were putting siding on one, it really made sense to do them both.

Here's the before photo -- taken last April.

Here’s the before photo — taken last April.


Our view from the house a few months ago, with the garage in the forefront completely done, and the granary with just a few boards ripped off.


Here you can see all the boards pulled off, and new boards on to attach the steel siding to.

We ripped a few boards off ourselves.  Call me crazy….but we are keeping  them for the time being.  Someday, I may do something creative with them!

Granaries used to be used for well, storing grain.  We have re-purposed ours to store our fuel barrels, skidloader and all of it’s attachments.


Gas on top, diesel in the red barrel beneath….don’t want to mix them up!


The skidloader actually fits in quite nicely, with room to turn to pick up attachments stored on each side.

Clair Van Grouw Construction (like them on facebook, they have a ton of great photos!)  has been out working on this project off and on throughout this winter.  I snapped a few quick photos today while they were in town for lunch as well as a chance to warm up, no doubt!


Doesn’t it look nice already? Still needs half of the roof, and a white corner trim piece. We really wanted to keep the cupola on top…although it was a ton of work for them. It is basically like siding and roofing a tiny building on top of a building.


It will be so nice to have windows. If you look closely, you can see our neighbor’s barn through it in this photo.


Here’s the view looking from the other way. Granary nearly finished, detached garage finished, and snow, snow, snow.

While I was out taking photos, I got to thinking about the number of heifers we have cared for here at our place.  We now have only pregnant heifers, but in previous years we raised both open and pregnant heifers for our dairy here.  The first group of heifers nearly 10 years ago included 492 (I remember her as a very white heifer).  This photo has 4493 looking at you….so neat to think we have raised 4000 heifers here!


Hello from 4493!! They are just waiting for the feed truck.

Stay warm!


From Ocheda Dairy to Northern Ireland

***update 4/01/2016.  We have no transponders left for sale. 

I have recently become famous at our local post office; I’m known as the crazy lady from that dairy farm bringing all those boxes.  I walk in and they ask me how many custom forms I need.

Going back to a post from months ago, we switched from using transponders (to identify cows as they enter the milking parlor) to RFID.  As with any technology, what was once very expensive considerably drops in value.  In this case, in our region, from about $60 down to $3.  However, they are still valuable in other areas.  So, I’ve acquired a new part-time position as transponder saleslady.  One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.


Just sitting in a snowbank…

After posting them for sale, I received many emails that resulted in sales.  Some to Pennsylvania to a guy with a handle of drdelaval (kinda clever), some to a dairy an hour away from here that my sister-in-law actually stops in on for  her job, and lastly, to somebody in Florida who wanted them to use on his dairy in Ecuador.  I have received many emails that I have been unable to decipher as they are written in another language, and the only word I can make out is DeLaval.


My packing department: heated shop!

About 2 months ago, I received an email written in English from Albert in Ireland.  He wanted transponders ASAP.  A thousand of them.  I checked into the logistics with the post office and discovered it would be $5 each to mail them.  I didn’t have 1000 left to sell, but I told him I’d send 2 boxes with 30 each if he was willing to pay that much postage.  When I received payment via PayPal, I’d send more.



This is part of the customs form that has to be filled out with each box, and then affixed to the side. A box of 30 transponders, weighing about 1 pound each, costs about $150 to send.

Well, he paid immediately so I sent 166 more.  Paid again.  Today, I shipped out 123.  Each box is wrapped with half a roll of shipping tape, and I’ve been reusing boxes from my in-law’s clothing store.  Each of the 11 boxes has required a customs form, and I laugh to think of someone in a nice office opening these smelly boxes to discover a cow strap with a weird blue computer ID on it.  How disappointing.

I think I have about 100 left and that will end this post office craziness.  I just realized today that if you do a google search for “DeLaval Transponder” that my blog is the first hit.  Who knew of the popularity that could come from recycling farm stuff?