Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Cold Start Loading Oats
I took advantage of the relatively mild weather yesterday to put a load of oats through the hammer mill for cattle feed. I had enough to last a few more weeks but knowing that it could be 40 below by then I figured this was a good option.
The old Wisconsin auger engine was a little reluctant to start without a little pre-heating, but then it is almost as old as me. I'd forgotten just how low the oats were in the bin. As it turned out I was able to load all that was in the bin onto the hopper wagon. Of course every bushel had to be shoveled but no big deal as the old six inch auger idled down is slow enough even for me to keep up to. A seven inch auger will work two men to death on shovels though. Speed costs.
Later in the afternoon I got to pail all those oats through the hammer mill. The old IH mill won't take it too fast though so I was barely working hard enough to keep warm. Managed to finish up just before dark after 3 hours on the mill. It was a good full throttle workout for the Cockshutt 50 tractor and that is the only exercise it gets these days.
The sound of the tractor and mill must have attracted the cattle to come home from the oat stubble field. So of course I gave them a sample of the new chop which they seemed to appreciate. They have been spending most of their time out in the oat field these past two weeks not even coming home for water. That will help shorten the winter feeding period .