Larsen Poultry Ranch - homesteading journey

Baymule

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Our property is approximately 1200' long, on one side, 6 places of about 2 acres each, back up to our place. Since the corners have to be marked, there were pink tags at each corner. Easy! The other side is an 8 acre tract like ours and was marked front and back corner with a solid wall of trees, briars and brush in between. I had the surveyors back out to mark the line for fencing, it cost $400. They came back to the house, scratched up and bleeding in places, LOL. Then later I carried T-posts and the driver through the growth and drove them in as a permanent marker until we could hack, chainsaw and chop our way through to run the fence.

We bought the 2"x4"x200' rolls of wire too. Start a fencing thread and chronicle your adventures.
 

messybun

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With the time change right now, I'm getting home as it's getting dark, it will get worse as winter progresses. It's hard to do yard work in the dark after work.

It's not that I don't want to bring a change of clothes, it's just annoying to have remember to grab everything I need. I ordered some overalls, hopefully they will arrive this week.

Took a few crafting boxes out to the storage shipping container and saw a box that had kitchen stuff. Brought it in and husband was very happy, it had lots of different spices he hasn't been able to use in a while. He's a really good cook and has been moping without a proper kitchen and cooking devices.
I might be a bit late for this, but scrubs are really great for working in and don’t take up that much room. You could keep a small bag with your boots and stuff in the car or by the door, scrubs might be easier to stuff.
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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Hubby said we should look at the equipment auction near us (Sacramento) to see if we can find stuff for the property a little less pricey. Started looking at their site and they have a stump grinder, sawmill (new in box!), Atv, and a few Kubota tractors. I sent him the link for the tractor and his response was "that's a cute size". I guess that means it's not big enough?

Trying to decide if we should seriously look at the stump grinder, we cut a bunch of trees so far and not likely to quit soon. Might make us the most popular neighbors. I guess I should create a spreadsheet to compare renting vs owning.

Any thoughts on what order to start acquiring equipment?
 

Baymule

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How many acres, I forget. Will you be handling round bales of hay? We have a Kubota 2320, it is 23 horsepower and won’t pick up round bales. I think you need a much minimum of 60 HP. A stump grinder would be a good investment. Grind your stumps and use it for a side job. We had 3 stumps ground for $150. He was here about an hour. He had several jobs that day.
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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10 acres, with some slope to most of it. I don't think we'd be playing with round bales anytime soon, there's only a handful of goats we will be sharing part time to start with. I'm hoping to add sheep later.
 

Bruce

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I guess that means it's not big enough?
I don't know what "cute size" is but with 10 acres I think you need something bigger. Think about what you want to do with it, and about what you COULD do with it if you had a tractor.

For instance, I don't have a logging winch (big bucks) but I do pull logs out then carry them on the pallet forks down to the barn for cutting and splitting. A grapple would be nice but again big $$ since you need not only the attachment but also a diverter or 3rd function to get hydraulics to the grapple (there are small electric ones, still expensive). Once split the wood goes into racks I made for drying and storage. Loaded the racks weigh probably 700-1,000 pounds. I put the racks on the porch landing for easy access from the house in all weather conditions so I don't have to hand carry (or garden tractor and poly dump cart loads like I used to) the wood. A rack is about 1/3 cord and lasts a couple of weeks.
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When efficiently done (meaning there are 3 people), each piece of wood coming off the splitter is put directly in a rack and not touched again until I take it out of the rack from inside the enclosed porch. When we first bought here the dry wood was delivered in front of the little barn. We then carried it inside and stacked it so one pick up, one put down. Then when it was needed to fill racks in the enclosed porch it had to be picked up from the barn, put in the poly cart hauled to the front of the house then picked up, carried up onto the porch, put back down. Two more pick ups and put downs. It worked but boy was it not fun getting the loaded cart up to the house mid winter. Last year I moved the racks up on the front lawn before heating season. This year I built the level stone pad shown in the prior picture. Shown here is a rack on the porch landing, the top and back are moved to each full rack in turn.

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The point being: make sure you get a tractor with enough lift capacity for what you need to do. I've saved money by having things delivered on trucks without liftgates because I could take them off myself. My 35 HP Mahindra tractor's lift capacity is supposedly 1,650 pounds to full height at the pin. Of course one is never lifting at the pin and the capacity drops the farther out the load is from the loader arms. A Kubota L3901 has a 37.5 HP engine but only lifts 1,131 pounds.

And then there is PTO horsepower. My tractor has only 26 PTO HP which means when I got the flail mower I had to go with a 5' rather than a 6'. There are other tractor brands that have higher PTO HP on the same engine HP size machines. Of course, being a tractor newbie I didn't know such things. Back to comparisons, the Kubota L3901 has 30+ HP at the PTO. Point being, there are a lot of tractors out there and they ALL have different specs and capabilities. Try to figure out your needs BEFORE you buy a tractor, new or used. The TractorData website can give you the specs for thousands of tractors.

Any thoughts on what order to start acquiring equipment?
Yeah, in the order you need the attachments ;)

If step 1 is grinding stumps before you can do anything else like mowing fields and you figure to be doing a lot of that over time, buying a stump grinder might be a good first choice. Tractor Time With Tim has shown a couple of stump grinders on their YouTube channel.

I got the tractor with a backhoe, pallet forks, 6' rake and a post hole digger. Still have plans to use the auger but haven't yet and have only used the rake a few times.

The first thing I did was dig out the dried up (but still really mucky) pond with the backhoe and bucket. I was doing the initial 50 hour service a week from when it was delivered.

I use the pallet forks a lot, more than the bucket actually. I moved this old deck piece with the forks. I wasn't sure about it but I put the forks under the deck on the end shown here, ratchet strapped it to the fork frame, no issue at all to pick it up and move it. The deck piece is 10' long and 5' wide. I have no idea how much it weighs.
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Last week I moved a big rock, probably 500#, the guys dug up putting in the support screws for the new solar array. They could have moved it with their excavator and put it by the pond (their idea) but I prefered to have it in the big rock pile north of the barn. No problem to do it myself. I've also dug rocks out of the field with the forks.
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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Tractor stuff is going to be all hubby, I refuse to learn the mechanical stuff, saving my brain power for animal knowledge. He'll probably drag me kicking and screaming to learn some of it anyway. I think he wants a bigger tractor than what my brother has, and the one I was looking at in the auction site was smaller. I think we are going to price out the stump grinder and see if we can get one.

I don't know if we'll get a proper pasture going, we are very heavily treed. We need to take out a lot of trees to make that happen. And we'll need irrigation, which means approximately 900' of pipe just to bring the water from the irrigation canal to the edge of the property, and then probably 1300' of pipe to bring it to the top of the parcel so it can gravity feed down.

I'm hoping we can get a greenhouse going this weekend, start some winter veggies (it's a bit late for it), and start some fruit tree cuttings. Hopefully we can get a lot done this weekend.
 

Baymule

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We have lots of trees also, my husband refuses to cut any more. So I have small patches of grass that I treasure. LOL When he gripes about the feed bill, I ask him if I can cut more trees and he shuts up. LOL

It may be cheaper and easier in the long run for y'all to hire a bull dozer.
 

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