Homesteading is tricky especially when Mother Nature Strikes. Not only can homesteading and farm life be tricky, it can also be so rewarding. It can be a real challenge!
2017 has been a challenging year so far!
This year in January 2017 we started out New Years Day with over 300 elk showing up for dinner. Luckily the first few days they didn’t find our haystacks. Normally our hay is all trucked out of here before October, this year it didn’t work that way.
For almost 2 months we battled Elk to keep them out of our hay. We raise dairy hay for a living. Finally, the dairy was ready to feed it, so the trucks came to pick it all up.
We were really happy to see the hay go. But the trouble didn’t stop there. The elk found my haystack that I was saving for my animals.
We ended up getting small hay bales for my animals. We locked these into our horse trailer to feed to my furry friends, calf, and my goats. This still didn’t stop them. They jumped in with my goats, calf, and sheep and ate out of their feeders. We stacked the hay that we were saving for my animals onto two semi-trailers pulled side by side. It is amazing what a huge elk can squeeze into. They were still able to eat it. They climbed under the trailers and stuck their heads up between the trailers to eat the bottom of the bales of hay.
When all of the 100 or more elk couldn’t squeeze around and under the semi-trailers they started on our straw bales. I had 2 bales weighing about 1600 lbs by my goats to use for their bedding. The Elk tramped on the bale, tore it apart and scattered it. This happened right where my pens drain after the snow melts. This created a huge frozen mess. Finally, when some of the mountainsides started to thaw and they had eaten everything we had that tasted good, the elk moved on.
The Voles moved in.
When the elk left the pesky little voles moved in. They live in the snow by the thousands. They ate and tunneled and tore up our lawn all through the winter. Finally, the snow started to melt and most of them died.
This is the most snow we have had since we bought our place 9 years ago. My husband added up our total snowfall and we have received 46 inches since October, not counting the rain we had in September and the rain we have had in February. You can imagine we are in a muddy wet mess.
Every year we find things we will do differently the next year to prevent these things from happening again. You never know what to expect and where Mother Nature will strike. Some of it we can prevent like bigger culverts in our driveway so the water will run into canals. Also, a culvert in the canal bank for the water to drain from the fields.
Even with challenges – I love farm life!
Living on a farm and homesteading is a great experience. We learn every year what we need to change and how to do things differently. It is always a learning process when Mother Nature is involved.
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