Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Homemade or Recycled?

Sometimes things accumulate that appear to have useful value and yet they are really just leftover from something else.  Some might call it junk and dispose of it without a second thought.  Others might take things to a recycling station to be melted down and re-combined into something else.  I guess I'm more like my grandparents who went through the Depression.  If it still has utility, I tend to save it until I figure out just how it is that I really need it.

We feed our cows a protein supplement that comes in a plastic tub.  The supplement itself is baked into a hard molasses based product.  We set the tubs out for the cattle to eat as they see fit and when they are empty we pick them up.  They seem to accumulate very quickly.

I have wondered for some time what to do with them.  I use a few for trash around the barn.  I have used them to set feed bags in so the "critters" couldn't get to them.  I have stacked them in the corner.

I decided that I could turn them into extra feed bunk space for my cattle.  They aren't ideal, but they work.

I just built a simple, but sturdy wood frame into which to set the tubs.  It seemed to turn out as I had hoped.  I just needed a couple more sets of them.

This past weekend my daughter and her family came to visit.  I decided the kids might enjoy helping me to build another one of these units and so we did.  Emma (6 years old) was a good help in that she could do lots of "fetching" and "holding" of needed items.  Eli (3 years old) wanted to do everything but wasn't quite big enough.  It turns out though that he is a "whiz" at putting bolts with the proper washers and nuts so that I could use them.  He would take a bolt out of the box, put on 2 flat washers and a lock washer and then start the nut on the end.  I have to admit that it was pretty impressive for his age.

Millie (15 months old) was supposed to be taking a nap but, our banging and hammering and sawing were keeping her awake and she decided to join us.  She found just the thing to keep her busy.  She pushed around a tiny buggy (I think it was a doll baby buggy) and loaded the wood scraps into it.  They made many trips around the garage as we worked. 

My son-in-law, Aaron, of course was in the thick of it.  I basically just said, "I want another one like that," and got out of the way.  It's nice to have good help.

The next day, after all had gone home, we set the troughs up in the pen for the cattle.

The cattle enjoyed the additional space.

Who needs expensive toys to keep the kids happy?  Just give them something useful to do and they are not only happy, they can see value in their accomplishment.

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