Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yellow Gold and babies.....

We used to call this sawdust. Now it's called "Yellow Gold". We have a big lumber mill about 4 miles from here. When we first moved here 12 years ago, we could get a pickup load of sawdust for $15 and someone at the mill would load it with a bucket loader. About five years ago it went to $20. I didn't mind paying that. It's fairly dry and great stuff. Last year, due to the economic situation and the rising price of fuel oil, many of the mills in Maine decided to invest the money and can now burn the sawdust to heat their mills. I don't blame - fuel oil was over $4.00 gallon 5 months ago. By doing so, we all received notices that sawdust would no longer be available. That hurt small farmers like me. If you can't afford a tractor trailer load, you needed to find a new source to bed your animals. Shavings are $6 a bag! I have 9 box stalls in my barn. Thankfully I don't raise horses anymore and most of my cows stay out in run-ins most of the year. We do use sawdust in the barn for the milk cow and calves. Luckily for me, we have a friend that works at the mill.........we barter milk and eggs for a pick up load of sawdust when he can get it. This past friday was sawdust day......our bin was almost empty and we use it very sparingly. I was sooooooo excited!!! It smells wonderful and this load should last us quite awhile. Will said he will try to bring another load asap. What would all of us do if we didn't have great friends? I'm thankful that's for sure.

"Gus" in the sunshine.

"Squirt McGert"

These two love to get a wheelbarrow load of fresh sawdust in their stall. They lower their heads and push it all around with their nose. It's so much fun to watch them. They really are growing like weeds and enjoy their time outside in the sunshine. I let them outback when we don't have ice. We had bare ground on the weekend but we had snow yesterday so everything is messy again. They don't mind :)

~Hope your enjoying the sunshine where you are ~


Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

My girlfriend in Ohio suggested saw dust but I thought it might make my fleeces messy. The straw is messy enough.

As far as sunshine. I just turned around and came home. White out conditions along our road. I'll try to get to town later if I can.

Blessings from the Ridge

threecollie said...

Your babies look great! We had to stop using sawdust and go to buying straw. The local sawmills all closed down.

Christy said...

Luckily, I have a source for free pine shavings. I never thought of saw dust.

Deb said...

I would suggest you NEVER use sawdust or shavings for fiber animals :) I made this mistake when I bought my first sheep at the suggestion of someone else. Oh my Gosh......you never get it out of your fleece....I picked and picked and cried and picked and cried some more. I bed my sheep/goats with straw only and we are paying $6.50 a bale for that! We recycle hay that they waste in the feeders and use that as well.
A well intentioned bit of advice from someone who learned the hard way :)
Stay safe ~

Thanks :) I remember you said that all your mills were closed. This is just so sad. Is it difficult to bed your cows with Straw? How does the gutter cleaner handle it?

You are one lucky gal! I like either, shavings or sawdust. For horses, it was easier to sift the manure when we used sawdust but both make the barn and stalls smell wonderful :)

An English Shepherd said...

Not sure we use sawdust in the same way over here, interesting blog ! :-)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Deb, We actually get our shavings for free from a hardware store/lumber company. We probably don't need as much as you do. We have to get up in a trailer and bag it ourselves. Yes, we use it for chicken and goat bedding.

Deb said...

An English Shepherd,
Thank you for visiting our blog. My curiousity is getting the best of me - what do you use sawdust for? :)
Your are a beautiful young dog - I also have an ES and love him so much.

That's great that you have access to fresh shavings! We used to bag them at a crutch factory when we were kids - they had a never ending supply and we filled feed bags and brought them home every weekend. They are made of gold here - I also use them for my chickens and non-fleecy animals :)

An English Shepherd said...

Its quite expensive over here Deb so I don't think farms use it so much (of course I could be wrong!) They tend to use straw more for bedding. (I think,!) being an urban dog we don't have lots of nice farm animals to herd :-(

I will have to find out what it is used for now :-)

kristi said...

Yep, $6.50 a bale for shavings my way. I use it for my 2 miniature horses in their stalls and the chickens only...straw for everyone else. The guys at the feedstore said because sawdust is a waste product and since the building industry is basically doing little to no building but the demand for shavings is still there, well up goes the price. Love those cow photos!!

Gayle said...

I was afraid to use the sawdust for the chickens because it was so fine, but it is okay? We have a hardwood sawmill that gives it away and I like the idea of free. They won't "breathe" it in?

DayPhoto said...

We just had a nasty blizzard, stopped our farming cold. But it looks like we are headed toward 68* by this weekend.


Egghead said...

Growing up we used straw. It seems like it might be harder to clean up the sawdust but I have never tried it. Those calves look adorable.