3rd Function Hack

3rd Function Hack

As much as we would love to have a 3rd function valve on our tractor we do not. Rather then spending the money we figure we could just add lines from the front to the rear remotes. Now we have a 3rd function hack. Now we can use grapples and other equipment that requires hydraulic fluid up front.

This was really simple to do. At the time of writing this we only spent approximately $170. This included the hydraulic lines which measured forty four feet and all the quick couplers. Most new 3rd function valves start at $400 and at times can be over a $1,000. In most cases after you buy the valve you still have to buy the hydraulic lines and fittings.

This is why we decided to do what we call a 3rd function hack. Relatively simple. In our situation we had the lines done at a Jet Hose and Packing. Rather then spending money on labor or guessing where to mount a third function valve all we did was just run two lines. Since the hoses was built in a couple of hours it was possible for us to install and have the hydraulic lines ready for use the same day.

Now in the future we may very well give up our 3rd function hack. Then we can actually install an auxiliary 3rd function valve and/or other remotes of some sort to be more productive. Until that time comes this is all we need to be satisfied and provide one more option for our customers when it comes to what we can do for them.

Finally it is up to you rather to just choose function over looks with a 3rd function hack or spend a lot more money for the real deal.

How Much Tractor Do I Need?

How Much Tractor Do I Need?

How much tractor do I need? That is a good question. There is a lot of things that can make this decision or break it. Lot of times more is better, but not always. If you have 5 to 100 acres something with 35 to 50 horse power is usually plenty. Of course this does depend on the use of the unit as well. I think as long as you can manage 5 – 6 foot implements you will be fine.

One thing to keep in mind is weight. One deciding factor in us buying a tractor was we wanted the ability to stack round bales if necessary or to be able to off load round bales from a trailer. So lifting height and capacity of the front end loader did play a factor in our decision. If not for that we could have picked a smaller unit for our farm. At the time of this article we have a 4 wheel drive 4025 Mahindra. Believe me it is plenty for a small farm. Now that we have customers a little more under the hood would be nice.

Always keep in mind when it comes to tractors more power doesn’t mean you can go faster when doing a job. It means that you can run bigger implements, attachments or not bog down as much running smaller ones. You may gain a little speed, but odds are your travel speed will remain the same.

Here you can see in the video below that with 41 engine horsepower and 31 pto (power take off) we can run a 6 foot rotary cutter through some serious stuff. So bigger is better, but not necessary if you have the time to go slower. The canopy on the tractor is approximately eight feet off the ground to give you an idea of what is being tackled on the jobs we do.

Side shot of the berm.

Organic Livestock? Is there a such thing?

Organic Livestock

Wanted to share a video feeding our livestock produce. We give this to cows, chickens, pigs, etc. This is almost 100% all natural organic.

Does this mean we have almost all natural organic livestock?

I’m not sure if we do or not, but we are probably as close as possible. We have an agreement with a store that we will pick up what they believe cannot be sold or the consumer won’t buy. We have been doing this for years!!! I highly recommend finding yourself a place of this nature. As you can see from the video below the animals just love it. We believe in trying to make our animals be the closest they can to organic livestock. Their nutrition value has sky rocketed. It’s really amazing seeing how shiny their coats, fur, etc is. If this stuff was considered garbage I really couldn’t tell you what is the bigger garbage disposal. The cow or the pig. Although each species seem to have slightly different preferences they both will still eat everything put in front of them. I’m talking from pineapples to bananas to cabbage to carrots. It is truly awesome. We are also helping our contact stay green by them not throwing this precious organic livestock feed in the trash.

Also we need to keep in mind what people feed their produce as much as what they feed their animals. If their feeding all kinds of pesticides, fertilizer, etc. to the produce then it’s in you and anything else that consumes it. These are some things we all need to consider when buying at the local grocery store and in our experience the best is what you grow or buy from a small farmer.

When doing this it is a enter at your own risk type deal.

Watching the cows come home.

Here comes most of the herd. Some slow pokes didnt make the video. We enjoy watching the cows as much as the rest of the animals we have here on the farm. Our herd is grass fed and gets left over produce just like the rest of the animals.  We try to make sure all of our animals live a peaceful life. Our herd is a mix of hereford, brahman, brindle or tiger stripe, pinch of longhorn (we are in TEXAS you gotta have at least a pinch of longhorn), jersey, holstein, but most of all black brangus and black angus.

Compost pile 2015

Our compost pile consist of hay and produce we feed to the cows plus their manure, cardboard boxes the produce come in and the chicken dropping from when they stir it all up. This was pushed up into a pile 2 days before the video and with almost 4 inches of rain and about 62 degrees its a steaming active pile of wonderful goodness. This is gonna be great stuff. Below you can see some pictures of our compost pile and a video describing our compost pile.

 

Here is where we fed the cows all winter.

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Boxes from the produce we haul for the animals.

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Also got wood chips from the county to mix into the compost.

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This is the wood chips, boxes, manure, and hay being pushed up.

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These two pictures will give you a size comparison of our compost pile versus the tractor and cows.

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This video has a bit of a description of our compost pile.

 

 

Spending time with our AGH boar

Ernie is just a big baby. He is so spoiled and loves to be scratched. We enjoy spending time with our animals. They need to have a happy life and we do what we can. If you are at all interested in buying any American Guinea Hogs we are registered breeders with registered stock and almost always have some for sale.