My neighbor has discovered a neat way to make an alleyway for his cattle by recycling some old baler belts he had from years back by weaving them through the bars on his pipe corral chute/alleyway. This helps herd the cows in the direction they need to go without trying to turn around. It works very slick and is a great way to recycle old materials. I thought this was a great idea, and it only cost him some screws and a couple of days work for his boys and himself, and they should last a long time.
Most of my other neighbors have spent money purchasing sheets of tin/steel to make their alleyways.
I read this idea in a farm magazine several years ago, and we’ve had good luck with it so I thought I would share with your readers. My son bought a few sows a couple of years ago and once in a while we have a mama that doesn’t want certain babies, so they become ‘bum piggies’, which I take care of in their own pen until they are weaned.
Mix some quick oatmeal with a couple of beaten eggs and some milk replacer for baby animals (I think they make one for baby pigs, but I’ve always just used the regular calf milk replacer) and enough water to get it to a slurry mix. Put the mix in a flat dish–I used an old cake pan with 1” sides–and just let them taste it. Some of them really get after it quickly, and the rest don’t take long to catch on. After a week or so, we start to feed them some mini-pellets along with the ‘slurry’ and they do just fine.
I have a couple of plastic spatter shields for my microwave and while they work, if you heat up something that spatters a lot and then want to re-use the thing right away, you have to stop and wash off the plastic. I was visiting a friend recently and she heated up some soup for lunch in small bowls covered with a cheap paper plate. She just poked a couple of steam vents in the plate and zapped away. When she was done, she tossed the dirty plates and we sat down for lunch. She said she buys the plates at a discount store for about a penny each and figured it was cheaper to use them than to heat water and use extra soap just to wash a single little microwave cover.
My sister received a birthday gift from a friend and she had the cutest wrapping paper ever! It was one of those blow-up balloons that you see floating on strings at gatherings (you can buy them in gift stores and card shops). I thought it was a neat way to recycle something that probably was a little bit expensive to start with.
On those dreary days when the little ones are kept indoors because of the weather, give them each a couple of paper towels and some crayons. They can ‘make-it-themselves’ placemats for their lunch time! The soup bowl or the sandwich plate can sit on their mat and catch any spills. If they get it messed up, they can always make another one for another meal. It’s a simple craft idea that even a 3 or a 4 year old can do without much help.
Use them as packing material between good dishes when moving. When you get to your destination, you have something to clean the plates with, as well as wiping out the new cupboard space before storing the dishes.
If you are planning on having a yard sale this spring, now is the time to get organized while clearing the clutter out in your own space. As you sort out your excess ‘stuff’, make sure it’s clean, folded and also priced before you put it in the storage tubs or boxes to stack in the garage until sale time. It’s a lot less stress on you and the whole family to have the majority of the ‘stuff’ priced and ready to set out on the appointed day. This applies mostly to clothing items and toys; the bigger items will need to be priced when you set them out.
Remember to put up lots of signs, and make them big enough so people can read them from the street. If you don’t have enough items to host a good sale, ask your neighbors and friends if they have things they want to part with and make your sale bigger. But, also remind them that you expect them to help with set-up, during the sale and the cleanup afterwards. (This is the voice of experience speaking here!)
I’d like to remind people to buy in bulk when possible because it’s a lot cheaper. I buy the bagged cereals like the unsweetened flakes in the big bags and then repackage them into smaller containers when I get home. I can get the same amount of cereal for $4 and have the equal of three of the boxes. This saves me lots of money!