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We had quite the busy weekend around here. It started out on Friday when we had to go out for some errands. While we were gone two loose dogs attacked our chickens. Thank goodness my mom was home and stopped them before they did more damage.
They ran off and one of the dogs had a chicken in its mouth. They had also maimed another chicken so badly that we had to put it out of its misery when we got home. I haven’t seen the dogs since but we are keeping the chickens in their runs for a while just in case.
We also lost our Guinea last weekend, at first we thought it was to a wild animal but now we believe it was these dogs. We have not lost any other livestock to wild animals in the past.
If you have dogs, please secure them on your property and don’t let them run loose and terrorize your neighbors and their animals. I’m sad to have lost my chickens but I’m very grateful it wasn’t my children that were attacked instead of the chickens. Ok, end of PSA.
On to happier things……. We had a busy Saturday preparing the homestead to cut the lumber for Gertie’s barn. We finished the day out on a great note by going over to milk Gertie. I need to work on building up my hand strength and milking speed before she comes home. Poor girl, she is so patient to stand for me while I slowly milk her. I know it won’t take too long and my hands will be strong and I will be fast. It is just the process of getting to that point that isn’t the most fun.
Sunday afternoon was spent sawing logs…… No, not naps all around, literally sawing logs! We are cutting as much of the lumber for Gertie’s barn as we can. My cousin (whose field we are using), has some woods on her property and we are able to cut some nice pine logs to use.
We were ever so thankful that Tonya’s husband, David, offered to bring his tractor over to drag the logs out of the woods. If Derek had to do it with his truck it would have taken us hours to finish. It really pays to have good homesteady friends!
Before going to cut the trees, Derek constructed a stand to set the logs on for sawing out the boards with his Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. In times past he has sawn them while they were laying on the ground. This worked but was hard on his back and knees and took longer because of the awkward position.
This stand will enable him to stand up while cutting which will save him from some aches and pain as well as expedite the process. After he finished this portion of the project, we went out into the woods and selected several trees that were nice and straight and would give us a good amount of boards.
Once we picked our winners, Derek got to work cutting. He is not a professional logger but he has spent many years cutting firewood and using chainsaws. He has even had chainsaw safety courses through his employer over the years.
I do not suggest that just anyone go out into the woods and start sawing trees, it can be very dangerous if you are not experienced. Safety first! Derek used a technique that David (who is a professional logger) taught him called bore cutting or plunge cutting.
He cut a wedge notch in the front of the tree (the direction he wanted it to fall) then drove the saw straight through the center of the tree, cutting the heart out and leaving a tab of sorts at the back. He then came from behind the tree and cut the tab and the tree goes falling to the ground…. TIMBER!
This method keeps the log from splitting up through the tree and ruining the would be boards. Watching someone cut trees is fun but it is also quite nerve racking. All went well and we have most of the lumber we will need for the barn.
We did have to purchase the support posts because we want to be sure they won’t rot since the bottoms of them will be planted in the ground. Derek should be able to cut everything else for the barn.
Getting Gertie is so exciting and is starting to feel real instead of like a dream. Things are happening around here to get ready for her and it is all coming alive. We will get it all done and before I know it, I’ll be the happy little milk maid running my little home dairy to feed my family!
Here they are- Beautiful logs to saw beautiful boards to build a beautiful barn for a beautiful cow.
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