Little improvements can make a big difference, especially when it comes to farm work. We made a few small changes around here in the past month that improved our efficiency and made our work easier.
• Following a suggestion from one of my co-workers at the Dairy Star, I put a tank heater in the stock tank used by the heifers in the overflow housing. Now, instead of having to deal with ice in the tank on a daily basis, all I have to do is carry water out.
• We finally found some chains for the tires on our mixing tractor. Glen really wanted chains last winter, but we didn't have any (and we weren't about to buy them new). As it turned out, our neighbor had some that fit; so we bought his. The difference between chains and no chains when mixing and unloading feed is night and day.
• We're now bedding the cows with shavings and straw (before we used just straw). We found that if we sprinkle the aisle with shavings before we let the cows out and bring them in, they walk right into their stalls. When we use just lime on the aisle, the cows can still see the wet spots, so they try to jump over the spots.
• Another bit of advice we got from a friend works really well, too. He suggested wearing sweat pants under jeans during the winter, instead of long underwear, because long underwear will make your legs tired faster. I didn't believe him until I tried it. It seems like I have twice as much energy outside and I don't have to put my insulated bibs on until it gets really cold.
With all of the time and effort we've saved by making just a few small changes, I've decided that my resolution for the new year is to find more small changes that make life and work easier and more enjoyable.
Have you made a small change recently that made your life easier?