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Saturday, May 8, 2010

So, I Had This Pile Of Scrap Metal Laying There...

...and I was wondering what to do with it.

It all started a couple of months ago, when we brought Daisy home. It wasn't spring yet, so the two Jersey cows were living in with the Blind Angus and the Hereford heifer. We knew right off that the grass in that pen wouldn't be enough to support all of them, so I made plans to start building fence as soon as the ground was soft enough.

As it turned out - the fence was the easiest (and quickest) part of the project. The pasture is ready but the shed and stanchion I need are still not quite done enough for the "big move". For now, the two yearlings are in with the pesky goats who like to try and steal food from a Blind Guy, and the Jerseys are allowed to roam free in the yard during the day.

All I have left on the shed is putting tin on, but that will need to wait until the winds die down. The last few days have been brutal where the wind is concerned.
Ah well, this has given me the opportunity to delve into the building of the stanchion.

I wanted something that I could move around from pasture to pasture, so I didn't have to bring the cows back to the barn twice a day. This mean it had to be on wheels. It also needed to be a "raised platform" that got the cow's feet about 10" off of the ground. This also meant that it had to be extra sturdy in order to support the weight of a 1000 pound cow.

Well, I dug into my scrap pile(s), and came up with some things I didn't even know I had!

It's amazing what you can accumulate if you try...

Anyway - Deb's dad had given me the head lock for a stanchion that his dad had used when they had a cow. It turned out to be just the thing to build the rest of the stanchion around.

One of my other requirements for this project, was that it be able to fold so it wasn't "awkward" to move.

I had an old axle from a corn elevator, and a couple of those little fake spare tires that all the cars come with, so I got lucky that way - a little fabrication and they work just fine - it's not like the thing is supposed to go 60 mph down the highway...

I rolled it out of the barn this morning to take a couple photos. This is what it looks like folded down:

What Is It?

I haven't got any braces for the headlock on yet, but it still manages to stand up pretty well - for a photo, anyway:

Flipped Up

I have a few cross-braces for the floor ready to go in, but haven't managed it yet. Once I get to that point, I can put a tongue brace underneath to sturdy things up.

Cross Braces

When I get it all done, I'll weld a lot of it together. For now, though, I have most of it just bolted down. I'd LIKE to have some expanded metal for the floor but, I don't have any, so I'll use 2x boards.

All in all - it's turning out pretty well! I plan on attaching some "stake holes" so I can make sure it stays in the same spot, a railing along the sides, and - of course - a feed pan. It's getting there, slowly, but surely.

I'm sure the cows will be scared to death of it for awhile....

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