About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

OUR BULL IS A BIG BULLY.

One fine day a  few weeks ago, I entered the calf barn as usual and I was greeted angrily by Mr. Bull with an attitude... He came straight to the gate and flared his nostrils and shook his head back and forth and let me know I wasn't welcome and he didn't like me one bit.

I said "Oh yeah,  you're in my part of the barn Big Boy" I grabbed my hay fork and approached him and he backed up. In the past when he was mean to me, I hit him oh the top of the head with the back of the fork tines and he backs up. He knows enough to avoid being hit now.  He still wouldn't go and was still in his menacing mode. I certainly wouldn't turn my back to him.

The gate separating him and I near the sink, has been damaged and the cement that hold the gate secured is cracked. Someone ran into it with the skidsteer a while back. If he knew this he could probably knock it down. I certainly won't point that out to him.

Since I couldn't reach him with the fork, I grabbed the cold water hose and let him have a blast in his face and held the pressure for as long as I could reach him. He  bucked out of there on full gallop and went back to the other end of the cow barn.

He  has avoided my end of the barn since which is very unusual as he would come down every day. He doesn't like me and the feeling is mutual. Vaughan thought he could smell one of my older heifer calf that was in heat. He's not allowed near my little girls anyway  and that's that.
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With the winter coming on, things has been busy around the farm. Windows have been
 covered and and the huge door at the top of the old barn was repaired and bolted shut. That was a big job. It was brought down from it's cables by the last hurricane and just dangled in the wind. It will make a big difference with keeping the old barn warmer this winter during the colder months...

The manure lagoon was emptied and spread on the field but since we use sand as bedding it ends up accumulating  at the bottom of the lagoon over the years.  My husband has avoided removing the excess accumulated sand as it's a huge job and because it's very dangerous and he wasn't quite sure how to go about it...

 Manure gases can be so concentrated that they can suffocate you instantly.  There are Hydrogen sulfide,  carbon monoxide, ammonia and methane. Hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide are both heavier than air and settles at the bottom of the lagoon. Making it deadly even at low emission. There's no oxygen in the bottom to keep anyone alive down there. Kind like walking on the moon without oxygen maybe. Having a manure lagoon means that we no longer smell the strong odour of manure when the wind blows in certain direction. I'm sure the neighbours like that a lot better.

A lot of preparation and study about safety precaution was done by George prior to doing this job. All the safety people were contacted including the fire department. The workers were briefed and the air was blown into the pit to remove the gases. George wore a special gas detector like the firemen wear.  The  skid-steer was lowered in the lagoon with the excavator and George gingerly descended into the lagoon on a ladder. He got into the skid-steer and moved the sand around and the excavator scooped big buckets in the waiting truck. A the bottom there was manure and sand all mixed up.

I fed the 5 workers a hot beef stew with dumplings and blueberry pie. I was busy at home cooking and baking so didn't took pictures at the beginning of the job, but managed to get these pictures after lunch.


This is the back of the old barn where the liquid manure lagoon is. It doesn't look big from this view but it measures 90 feet by 60 feet and is 13 feet deep. Cows poops a lot.




George is driving the skid-steer and scooping up some of the slushy sand and liquid for the big scoop.



Truck load after truck load the manure and sand mixture is carried away. It didn't smell as most is composted. It had been raining the night before so everything is muddy.


It show about 3 feet of sand and muck at the bottom of the lagoon,  This was carried by truck and wagon to a spot in the field to be dealt with at a later date,


The operator of the big excavator is doing his job.




George salvaged the dumping mechanism of an old farm truck and made use of an old abandoned wooden wagon to help carry off the soupy muck.




This is the liquid manure tank that my husband uses to spread liquid manure in the field.

Sorry if this post isn't your cup of tea but farmers will go to great length to keep dairy products on your table without smelling the neighbourhood.
Thanks for your visit and please be kind and leave a comment just to let me know you came for a visit. A one line will do.
Stay safe and happy.
JB






39 comments:

  1. your bull sounds scary! and the lagoon tank clean-out sounds scary and dangerous, too! glad it went well! be safe up there!

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  2. Hi Dear Julia,
    A great post!
    My dad has some stories about bulls. My parents went to artificial insemination when I was little and still do that now. So I did not grow up with bulls. So happy you are okay!
    THANK YOU for providing food for the world. Cow poop, hard work and farmers are what do that. :-))
    Thank You!
    Have a blessed weekend.
    Carla

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  3. I never liked being around the bulls. You were brave to fend him off. Farming is a 24/7 job and not all of it smells like roses. A big thank you to all farmers!!!

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  4. I always love your posts Julia. I always learn so much. Things you take for granted I imagine and things I didnt have any idea about. Thank you.

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  5. Oh my, please be careful around that bull! We have a Jersey bull for our first calf heifers, and when he gets too big or ornery, he's off to market. And that job in the manure lagoon...it sounds like your hubby has done his homework and was very careful. I'm glad to hear it all went well!

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  6. Oh so glad for your post! I haven't had much experience with bulls but have worked around a cow that didn't like me and would come after me as soon as I entered the corral. I love your posts and hearing about all you are doing. When you don't post for a while, I never know if you are sick, hurt or just busy. I hope your foot is healed well. When will you get to retire from your daily barn chores?

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    1. Hi Ann, hopefully I'll retire in a few years.
      JB

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  7. What a huge eye opener! I am only familiar with a small farm so I really didn't thing about all that poop! So glad no one was hurt and it is a job well done. Stay safe from that bull!
    Cathy

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  8. I was just thinking while reading this how we take for granted all the work that has to be done to raise cattle. You work so hard. I hope you are feeling better and your foot as well. That bad bull. He has met his match. You are a brave one for sure. Love that he isn't allowed near your girls hah. I don't know when you ever rest. I bet those men helping loved a home cooked meal. That poop sounds serious with the chemical issues. You take care of yourself. Hugs

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  9. I had NO idea there was such a massive process to remove and deal with manure!!! But of course there must be!!! My goodness!!! The removal sounds rather scary, poor George!!! I am very grateful for all that dairy farmers do, truly! The current situation with UK farmers not being able to get a living wage from.their milk is despicable.
    The bull sounds rather scary!!!!! You are a,brave lady Julia!!!! Not sure I could approach an angry bull, fork or no fork!!!
    I hope that your ankle is getting better too.
    It was really nice to see you had posted!! More please!!Xx

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  10. This was an interesting post Julia. Farmers don't get paid enough I can tell you that.

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  11. Gives a whole new meaning to the words "pooper scooper"! Bet everyone gets a good night's sleep after that day at work! Hope your foot has healed.
    Robyn

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  12. Wow, JB! I will NOT complain about my cleaning chores today! That's an amazing endeavor!
    I am SO glad you know how to show the bull who is boss. He had better not mess with little YOU!

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  13. Wow Julia, That is so interesting. Where my husband worked a long time ago, they had to deal with their lagoon too, it was always a great concern. I of course would love that spread on my pasture, too bad you are so far away.
    That story about the bull is scary. When I was visiting my parents she had a bull knock her down and I thought she was going to get hurt. We were trying to get him loaded to go to the sale. He was mean like that. Reading about your bull, made me afraid and think about how careful you have to be when they get like that.
    I am so glad you took pictures of the cleaning of the lagoon. What a lot of work. What a nice update.

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  14. Julia, you are so brave to tackle the bull alone by yourself. I wouldn't dare go near the bull. The manure lagoon clean out sounds and looks very dangerous even with the big machinery. That is really a massive job to keep a farm.

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  15. I had no idea this was so deadly of a job.The bull alone isn't my cup of tea.You are one brave girl.How long will it be good for before George needs to do this job again?

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    1. Del, it's an accumulation of 8 years of use so it should be good for a while yet. Now that George knows what to do, he probably won't wait so long but still it's expensive hiring those big machineries and operators to do the job.
      Hugs,
      Julia

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  16. I've never heard of a manure lagoon... but it is a wonderful invention! Sounds like an efficient system you have there!
    I also spied the words "beef stew and dumplings" and "blueberry pie"!!! Oh YUM! Made my tummy growl for some just by reading about it! :-)
    Good to hear your winter prep is done... now you can have some extra time to enjoy Christmas with your family! :-)

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  17. Hi Julia,
    You are one AMAZING WOMAN!!!! I can almost see you with a Bull Fighter suit on!!! You go, girl!!! That bull knows who's boss and it isn't him!!! I'm so happy he doesn't know about the broken gate either!!!
    I have never heard of a Manure Lagoon either and could not believe how dangerous it can be????? Wow, we certainly do take a lot for granted and I want to applaud you for the hard work you do!!
    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!
    Christmas Hugs~
    Julie

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  18. When I was young an naive always wanted to have a farm because of my love for horses and all animals. SO GLAD I didn't become a farmer's wife. And am certain that I'd not like that damn bull.

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  19. Wow, Julia, you are a wealth of information. I learned a lot here, always read your posts. Don't comment very much. Shame on me! Have a wonderful holiday season.

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  20. Thanks for your comment RunRose. I really appreciate it. Haven't had an update on Carolyn's blog lately. I miss the old girl.
    JB

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  21. The big bully bull would scare the bejebbers out of me! Your one brave woman & one not to be messed with! lol
    Loved reading about the lagoon - who knew the dangers?! Thank you for taking the time to take & explain the photos, I never knew nor thought about the output of so many cows. Your daily living is such one of knowledge to what your doing & visiting you enriches my knowledge through your blogging.
    This city girl gone rural has been a stimulating time in my life that brings me such pleasure. Keep on being & doing & sharing Julia. You are a unique woman & I so enjoy reading your blog. I hope the foot is doing better, the doctor told me it will be another 3 to 6 months before my swelling is gone, just in time for summer! lol
    Stay upright & safe this winter as icy days are ahead!
    Hugs,
    Cynthia

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  22. Sorry I could not give a 'one liner', I hope I didn't overstay my visit. LOl
    Hugs,
    Cynthia

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  23. I love your farm posts! I'm a farm girl through and through, although I don't live the life of a dairy farmer I grew up doing chores, tending to animals and raising crops. You sure showed that ol bull who's boss, yep he won't be messing with you any more!! Your pictures and explanation about the lagoon is very interesting. We have lots of dairy farms in our area and can smell them as we drive by, I think they can learn a thing or two from your handy lagoon.
    We sure appreciate the farm community and all they do. Thanks for your post Julia, I love reading about your adventures! Hope your foot is healing well!

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  24. Oh, my!These are scary stories. Your posts are so well written. I always love coming here. I really wish you would write a book. I would happily read & review it! Please stay safe! HUGS.

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  25. I was chased by a bull when I was a young girl. Soooo scary!

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  26. Julia there is never a dull moment on a farm...I so enjoy your farm stories as both my sons began working at the age of 12 on dairy farms...it takes a huge dedication and work ethic to be a farmer...Farmers are our unsung hero..."No Farms No Food"

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  27. Your bull sounds scary. I learned a lot in this post and enjoyed the pictures to go with the details. Definitely a lot of safety precautions were necessary! Wow! I love farmers. Such hard work and we need them (and you) so much. :)
    ~Jess

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  28. "Cows poop a lot." I think that's an understatement! And who knew farming could be so dangerous! You lead a remarkable life, Julia, and I love hearing about it, even if I am slow at reading your blog and posting sometimes. I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays! And less cow poop in the New Year! Sarah

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  29. So now you can add bullfighter to your already crowded resume! Wow, I'm glad that waterhose works. My dogs get moving too when I bring it in their yard to clean up after them I never bothered to wonder where they cow poop went. Thanks for this very informative post, you can really see what's involved in some of the pictures.

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  30. Farmers rock:)
    I love the way you dealt with the bully:)
    Makes me smile. Glad those "little girls" have
    you to protect them. A bull on the loose is no good.
    Celebrating you and the noble work you guys do.
    Bravo and cheers!
    -jennifer

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  31. Julia, you are so amazing! I love hearing how a dairy farm runs. It is amazing. Such hard work. Hugs cheri

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  32. I love that you showed that old bull who is boss! That is really interesting about the manure lagoon and all the work that goes into it. I never really thought about what you do with all that poop before.

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  33. Oh!! Mr. Bull is really really mean. I love your elaborate description.. very nice description of farm life.. :)
    http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-lazy-weekend-in-holiday-season.html

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  34. Good thing that you stood up to the bull and did not turn your back on him! Your header is gorgeous and captivating.

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  35. Hi JB, I'm enjoying your interesting farm life posting. Thank you for sharing your Mr. Bull story and the other farm chores pictures.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and all at home.
    Warmest regards
    Amelia

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  36. Dearest Julia,
    THANK YOU so much for all your lovely comments- you really are a kind and lovely friend to do that despite all your busyness.I hope you have a break at Christmas (although I guess the calves don't know it is Christmas!) and enjoy a wonderful time with your loved ones!x

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  37. I like how you feed and host work men. It reminds me of years back when my 10 year old daughter (now 27) made brownies for the men who delivered our furniture. They stayed and enjoyed the brownies and milk knowing they had many more deliveries.

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