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Thread: Heating Season Starts Today

  1. #1

    Heating Season Starts Today

    29 as I type this with a heavy frost on everything...



    The boiler has been running steady to get my concrete slab heated up and my other forced hot air heater has been running as well to heat the old part of the house. At $2.50 per gallon it just makes you cringe having to turn these appliances on in September knowing full well they will be running until May now.

    Oh well, at least the leaves are changing giving new England one more hurah before it settles in for another cold and snowy winter.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,992
    "29 as I type this with a heavy frost on everything..."

    Comments like that are what remind me of why we live in South Georgia!

    The Fall color is great up there, but we get a little of that here too!

    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    3,383
    23c and Sunny today. Tomorrow the forecast is 27c (80F) and Sunny as well, and I'm thinking of taking the kids for one last trip to the beach (Southern Lake Huron) of the season. one last time to play in the waves and sand before fall sets in.

    stay warm!
    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    Travis,
    I hear you. I've been swapping out the 50 year old boiler in my house with something more current, efficient, small, quieter, - you get the drill. Basically, i was scared into action while i was pumping gas into my truck several weeks ago and did a mental fast forward to this coming January's natural gas bill.
    I do like the crisp winter mornings, though. I'm hoping we get some more good canoeing in before the weather really turns down here.
    Hope all's well.
    paulh

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
    Posts
    10,188
    2.50 a gallon? thats some nice price.

    I converted my home a few years back, and just this year converted an investment property.
    I was paying 4.85 a gallon the last time I paid for oil back in march, I just couldnt take it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    2.50 a gallon? thats some nice price.

    I converted my home a few years back, and just this year converted an investment property.
    I was paying 4.85 a gallon the last time I paid for oil back in march, I just couldnt take it.
    This is propane though and not oil. Oil here is about $3.89. Its dropped 70 cents in the last month. My parents unfortunately heat with oil and last year their heating bill was 6 grand. (1600 gallons of oil). Of course its a 5280 square foot house.

    I'm actually in pretty good shape this year. My propane tank is full, my property taxes are paid and I got some sheep now. The latter part is relevant because I've cut a lot of wood this year to pay for the property taxes and heat. I am getting too old to cut that much wood. I am in hopes that in a few years time I can sell lambs instead of cutting wood to help off-set the cost of property taxes and heat my home. There's work in raising sheep, but at least its spread out over a years time instead of intense work over a weekend's time period. Plus lambs grow to full size in 5 months instead of 40 years.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    I'm actually in pretty good shape this year. My propane tank is full, my property taxes are paid and I got some sheep now. The latter part is relevant because I've cut a lot of wood this year to pay for the property taxes and heat. I am getting too old to cut that much wood. I am in hopes that in a few years time I can sell lambs instead of cutting wood to help off-set the cost of property taxes and heat my home. There's work in raising sheep, but at least its spread out over a years time instead of intense work over a weekend's time period. Plus lambs grow to full size in 5 months instead of 40 years.
    Hey, you finally got them! Pic are definitely in order.... What kind did you get? How many?

  8. #8
    Yes I finally got them, and they are just perfect for what I want. They are Montadales, which are a very hardy breed, lamb good (small head) and have a nice fleece. (thick wool). The person I got them from is a retiring USDA person so she had the flock right up to par including having them in the Scrapie Program and being a registered breed. Thankfully buy buying these sheep all from the same flock, I can transfer that Certified Scrapie Sheep to my farm without having to wait 5 years which is required to get to that level. That gives me a good starter flock with good genetics which is the basis for all good animal husbandry.

    Its only four in number, 3 ewes and 1 ram which sounds laughable, but I figure its a start. If all lamb fine this winter, then next Spring I will have 3 Ewes, 6 lambs and a ram. Assuming a 50% gender rate, that will get my flock up to 6 ewes, 1 Ram and 3 Ram Lambs, all within a year. (10 sheep) The following year I will have 12 Ewes, 1 Ram (replaced) and 6 ram lambs to sell. (19 sheep) But in the third year, I will have 24 ewes, 1 Ram and 12 ram lambs to sell (37 sheep). In short, because of the twins and triplets sheep produce, that 200-300% birth rate can really increase your flock in a hurry. Initially I wanted to start with 10 sheep, but after finding these four that were well managed, I reduced my start up flock to 4 sheep.

    Overall things have been coming together. I started in April planning my sheep operation and its taken me until now to get things off the ground. Still I cannot complain, I got a lot of research done, and got a lot of good things started. The USDA came out on-farm and everything looks good there. Basically all my T's are crossed and my I's are dotted, so now its just time for the sheep.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Sounds good.

    How about some pics, for those of use not familiar with your breed. Also some of the place you're going to keep them, and your fence. Is it different than one for other animals? Sounds like you had quite a time building it...

  10. #10
    Yes, we do love pictures don't we. I'll get some later on today and post them.

    Overall the Montadale is a big breed of sheep. Over average sized, but not the biggest there is. Its somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 pounds per mature ewe. The Rams are typically bigger, but mine seems smaller in size and very docile...I assume because he was raised as a show sheep.

    As for the fence, that is the big question mark. The fence I put up is tall at 42 inches, and has 5 strands of smooth wire stapled to the posts every 8-10 feet. Its pretty strong, but so are these sheep. The woman I bought them from had a much smaller fence. Perhaps 2 feet high but electrified. I am hoping to dispense with the electric fence only because as a Foster Parent our home is routinely inspected. An electric fence is not deadly by any means (1 death per year in the world on average) but some of these Social Workers might flip out at an electric fence charged so close to the house.

    Will a non electrified 5 strand fence keep these sheep in? I am not sure. I think so as the grass right now is dying and sheep are pretty docile as long as they are fed and given some room to wonder. (Its the fence companies that really tout up the need for massive fencing.) At the same time, my farm is pretty isolated with nothing around it for homes or heavily traveled roads, so a few loose sheep from time to time is not going to end up at the county courthouse. The key word is from time to time, as I don't want to be herding sheep everyday either. So we'll see. I'll keep them in the sheep shed for a day or so to calm down after the long trip, then see how they do inside the fence when I got some time to keep my eye on them and herd them up if they do get out. If it seems confinement is a problem, I can electrify the fence, but hopefully I won't have too.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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