Inventions That Make Chores Easier

Every time my husband creates an easier way to do chores I fall in love with him all over again. Feeding our heifers is a TON easier now as a result of my husband’s handiwork with his welder.

Over the years we had talked about coming up with a better, safer way to fill and pack buckets to the heifers’ feed bunk because using the barn steps was somewhat of a safety hazard. The creep feed we give the girls is stored upstairs in our barn and for a long time, it had to be packed downstairs a bucket at a time (for me anyway; otherwise I would for sure break an ankle) in order to get it to the heifers’ feed bunks located just outside a small, side barn door down below.

Filling feed buckets and packing them down the barn steps was my least favorite part of the job because it was a real pain to have to pack buckets down the narrow steps without much for hand railings and it hindered my chore style of working fast. I felt safer having at least one hand free to hang onto ledges along the steps as I went down and to catch my fall if I stumbled on the steps. I could only pack one bucket at a time because the narrow walls at the top of the steps required packing more than one bucket sideways and I’m not tall enough to hold up two buckets high enough to clear the steps, so packing buckets always took me longer because it slowed me down.

Last year, my husband reused some old scrap from our junkyard to rig up a bucket filling system located down below and closer to the feed bunks. It’s not manufacture-pretty, but it works really slick. He made a horizontal sliding door with a handle that runs through some channel iron and when pulled open, will stop when it hits the two bolts welded on each side.

 Feeding is so stinkin’ easy now because all we have to do is pull open the lever,

let the bucket fill,

shut it,

and viola! Pack the buckets a  short distance to the feed bunk. Occasionally we have to go upstairs and pile more creep feed over the hole but that is the extent of the labor now.

My husband has made this part of our chore routine safer, easier, and for me, much faster! When he and I go up to do the heifers’ chores together, I don’t cringe anymore when he asks me to take care of feeding and filling the buckets now (I used to always prefer to push up the hay instead).

You gotta a love a man with welding rod.

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About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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