Monday, December 9, 2013

Black Gold

And just like that, the weeks have passed without a blog post again. What a slacker I am. There's been some movement at the station, and all parts between of late, and even a little bit of most marvellous precipitation! But we'll start where I left off - dry dry dry.

Was summonsed to bring molasses towing vehicle to the prickle farm; cows had hit the wall and The Husband decided he needed to start feeding M8U (molasses + 8% urea) ASAP. So I did as I was told  (I always do!) and with trailer attached to ute, off we went.

IMG_6055The molasses mixer is mounted onto a home made gooseneck trailer; at the back there is mounted an engine which drives paddles inside the mixer tank to keep the contents mixed up (so the urea and any other additive doesn't just settle at the bottom, we want the mix to be even). When stationary and the engine running, the trailer vibrates around, quite like a boat rocking on waves.

IMG_6068IMG_6071  Hi tech tube getting the molasses from the mixer into the trough (a bit of poly belting rolled up and wired!).

IMG_6080First mob of old dears pulled up to have a lick and slurp en route to water (we place the troughs away from the main waters so they don't just sit in the water square gutsing themselves). The skinnier cows are the wet ones, ie have a calf.

All was going well until we arrived at the next drop point. Filled the trough, discovered the water trough was empty (much swearing and scratching of head on husbands part). Drove off to continue our delivery - and found WHY no water was getting to the trough. Busted water pipe - being in sandy country and buried underground (and after recent showers) it was not visible. But the 8 tonne mixer found the wet spot.

IMG_6083Again, insert much cursing and grumbling. Unhook the trailer, and go back to the shed...

IMG_6094   IMG_6096

Where the collection of vehicles (yes COLLECTION) revealed some issues. The main farm ute, flat tyres and no spares, as they were all in at the tyre shop getting new tyres put on the rims, and the old girl (retired to fencing duties only) had a cracked head and leaking radiator that required top ups at every trough.

IMG_6110Chain was applied, and the old girl stepped up to the plate and successfully managed to get the trailer pulled out. (husband had visions of another shower of rain and the whole thing toppling over).

We continued on our merry way.

IMG_6122I had a wander through the cows at the main water, checking out who was who and what babies where there.

IMG_6127Found this teeny tiny black baby and his mama (her condition a bit light, but I am happy to report that in the few weeks since, with rain and molasses, she has picked up).

IMG_6152 Love walking through the mob; with the exception of one cow who had just calved (and is a snot head at any time) no cows were terribly bothered by my aimless wander. I had one old quiet dear follow me around three steps behind me (why? I cannot tell you!) and calves come skipping up to check me out. They are funny creatures.

And that ended my day out, delivering molasses. The day started the molasses delivery regime for The Husband - remixing and refilling every 3-4 days. And ordering of replacement for the bulk tanks. (and open slather on the cheque book).

I am pleased to report, that since these photos were taken, a good 2" of rain fell pretty much all over the property, with other isolated showers in spots before and after. Sadly, this rain wasn't widespread over the region, although on a different night we got the same here at home. My garden is thankful, the kids were over excited and rolling around in the mud (first proper mud in the back yard since early 2012!). Its not drought breaking rain, but takes the pressure off, and gives the country its first good drink in a while. Amazing how quickly things respond!

I'll be back soon with more adventures, I promise. Its a bit like riding a bike, one doesn't ever forget but I feel a bit wobbly on the wheels. Perhaps that bit of rain has done more than just given the ground a drink....


  1. That second shot makes the day look so hot; I suppose it was!

  2. So good to see you got some rain, even if it wasn't drought breaking, I bet those mamas were thankful for it with those wee life-sucking calves on them! Your molasses trailer is quite the contraption, I'll show Matt. We're not looking forward to feeding hungry cattle as it starts to dry off here :( Fingers crossed we can hold off as long as possible, feeding always leads to time consumption and frustration!

  3. My molasses man and I are starting to forge quite a relationship. I ring Fred daily to enquire as to the release of the reported 6000 tonne as promised by Warren Truss. As at today's phone call no mill is still any the wiser as to when said molasses will be available. By end of week we will need to decide whether to go to M8U, almost double the price. Though I'm told rain for us Thursday. Another day closer.

  4. I certainly take my hat off to land owners that's for sure......Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  5. Oh Sharon, as a fellow grazier I can read all the words unsaid on your day out ;)
    Praying for the follow up rain to keep that grass growing.

  6. Glad you got a bit anyway. There's a fair chance things will improve from here. Hope Santa gets bogged on your track.

    1. "i hope Santa gets bogged on your track", love it. So do I xxx

  7. so pleased you have got some rain...............I do hope you get some more...........2 inchs is a good start..............the poor cows sure do gets the life sucked out of them with calves..........goodluck...........


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