Winter storms are never fun on the farm, and when you are surrounded by trees and foliage, and the winds pick up, debris is bound to be blown down on to your roof, or even worse, through a window in your home.
We recently had a tree fall on our property and take out part of the roof on the farmhouse. This wasn’t an issue since we had insurance coverage to pay for the damage, it wasn’t until after the repair that we experienced a leak in the front living space. We called the roofing company since they guaranteed their work, yet, they claimed that the leak was caused by something other than the original image they repaired.
Well, that wasn’t the answer we were looking for! This leak happened after they repaired the shingles, and it was apparent there was a mistake made by them when they were fixing it. We contacted a Tulsa lawyer to dispute the claim and found that this wasn’t the first time a complaint had been filed against this roofing company.
We were hoping it would be a quick and painless process, but it actually ended up dragging out in court and costing us a ton of time. We had to hire a construction expert witness to inspect and document the complaint against the roofing company. It didn’t take long after that before the roofing company decided to settle out of court. There was proof that when they replace the roofing material, they didn’t secure the solar panels properly to the roof. The mounting brackets weren’t secured to the roof, and this allowed water to seep in through the mounting holes. Since the removal and reinstallation of our solar panels were part of the agreement, they agreed to cover the costs of repair.
Going to court is never fun, and it’s always expensive. Having a dependable lawyer in our corner to battle for us was helpful. Still, the person that really made this happen for us was the expert witness that found the flaw in the repair and was able to identify the mistake, and that is what won us our case in court.
My husband came in this morning from doing some work on one of our Oklahoma properties, he was grouchy as a gremlin in the water! The screen door swung open, and he hollered out, “babe, I locked the keys in the Ford pickup truck. I was making breakfast and didn’t care much about what he was saying, but as he continued blabbering about his keys, I realized we didn’t have another way to get around the property without our F-150.
He settled, and we ate some bacon and farm fresh eggs, some comfort food to ease the tension always seems to work with him. We wrapped up eating, then had a cup of coffee, and by that time, he was ready to defeat this nagging inconvenience that had arisen. We walked about a half-mile down to where he was setting up some fencing, and sure enough, there were the keys inside the truck. Now, this old bucket of bolts doesn’t have any fancy auto-locking system, so not sure how the doors locked unless he manually pushed the driver side door one down. He refused to admit he did that and insisted that it somehow auto-locked, which wasn’t even a feature in that old bucket of bolts.
Time to Call a Locksmith
We tinkered for about an hour with a bent hanger and a slim Jim and couldn’t get the lock to pop. We walked back to the house and opened up the Yellowpages to look for a lock smith. That old book had been collecting dust for the past few years. I scrolled back to the “L” section like it was 1980 again, and I was searching for local service providers. I found a locksmith in Oklahoma City that was very responsive and polite on the phone. He said it was only going to take him forty-five minutes to be there and that he would have the door unlocked in a matter of minutes. Sure enough, he arrived and opened our door without any issues. Those older model Ford trucks don’t have fancy locking mechanisms, so the old school tools still work on them. Not sure why my husband couldn’t get it done, seems easy enough to me.
Making Spare Keys
Well, the truck was unlocked, and we are back in business. Trucking hay bales around the farm property is an absolute must if you want to keep the grazing horses and free-roaming animals like deer fed. Farm maintenance is a busy job, and having your keys locked in your truck or tractor can be a significant setback. Our solution for preventing this in the future is simple; we had the locksmith create a spare set of keys for the tuck and the tractor. This is something that should have been done a long time ago.
I wanted to get this written up shared with our community. It’s an easy lesson learned. If you have farm vehicles that you use regularly, make sure you keep a spare set of keys, or you will be calling a locksmith to your property too!
When your animals get sick, the symptoms they show will usually tell the story of their illness. We know because we’re farm-folk that have been doing this farm-living thing for many years. After dealing with a sick horse, cow, and other large farm animals, we decided to write up this quick post for our farm-family out there dealing with sick animals. Identifying and understanding what these symptoms indicate can save the lives of your farm animals and get them back to being healthy quickly. In the case of one of our horses, we were unable to identify the health issues ourselves, so we hired a large animal vet in Arizona near our Gilbert farm. They were able to bring her back to her old self, but we know that mobile equine vets aren’t always available when you need them. So here are some things to look out for when you find one of your farm animals sick.
Many illnesses can affect farm animals. Here are some of the most common illnesses for large farm animals that you will likely encounter at some point if you find yourself get’n dirty on some farm turf.
Another name for milk fever is hypocalcemia. This is a condition that results in there being a low level of calcium in the blood. You will usually notice milk fever in recently calved cows. It is also, albeit less frequently, possible at any stage of lactation. Some of the common symptoms of milk fever include:
Increased heart rate
Irregularities in the heartbeat
Low body temperature
Also known as acetonemia, ketosis is a common condition affecting dairy cattle. This illness occurs when the amount of energy a cow is receiving is less than the amount of energy they are exerting. A cow producing a large amount of milk will potentially fall into ketosis. Fat from tissue stores gets sent to the liver to be converted into usable energy. The liver can fail if a cow is in ketosis for too long. Some of the symptoms of ketosis are:
Drop in milk production
Yellow mucous membranes
Manually licking everywhere
Any farm animal can catch pneumonia. This lung infection is also called shipping fever. It can occur at any point in an animal’s life, although it is usually seen in younger animals, particularly after a stressful event. Pneumonia usually begins with a bacterial infection, which weakens the immune system, opening the body up to a second infection. The common symptoms of pneumonia are:
Increased respiratory rate
Discharge from nasal passages
Decrease in appetite
Also known as traumatic reticulopericarditis, this is an illness affecting farm animals when they ingest a material such as metal. Nails, barbed wire, and electrical cables are all common. When a metal object gets to the reticulum, near the heart, bacteria can spread into the area surrounding the heart. This results in an infection that can negatively affect the heart. Some of the common symptoms of hardware disease are:
Common illnesses in farm animals have tell-tale symptoms that can help you take action before it is too late. Now that you are aware of what the common diseases are, you can take preventative steps as well to ensure farm animals stay healthy. It is always better to prevent than to treat, so do what you can to ensure your farm animals avoid succumbing to these common illnesses.
Last month we decided to stain the concrete floors in the barns garage, and we loved the results. Because of the amount of dirt and debris that makes it’s way into the house, we went ahead and took out the carpeting and had the foundation of the home stained. This was a learning experience, as is everything on the farm. We decided to put this together so other farmers looking to stain concrete on their properties can gain a better understanding of what we went through and and the pros and cons associated with having this done.
For businesses especially, concrete is something that has gained attention in recent years. As a durable and strong material, it’s perfect for those expecting lots of foot traffic. Also, the appearance of concrete has improved dramatically. Rather than the concrete we might find on the street, concrete floors now look so appealing that they’re utilized in some homes too.
If you’re currently weighing up the pros and cons of stained concrete, allow us to help. Here’s why you should and shouldn’t choose stained!
Beautiful Appearance – These days, there’s a wide selection of shades when it comes to concrete staining. With the very best contractors, they will delve into all sorts of shades, deep tones, neutrals, pastels, and more. In fact, some are even able to add waves, swirls, stenciled designs, and marbling. In a home or business, this adds character and can make a building seem more welcoming (perfect for all customers who enter!).
Flexibility – Often, people think they have to forgo a polished finish when they choose concrete, but this isn’t the case at all. Depending on what you need, you might apply a stain before polishing so you have a fantastic appearance but with a glossy finish. Alternatively, you can use a clear urethane coating and the flooring is suddenly protected from abrasions and spillages.
Cost Effective – Let’s clear up another misconception because concrete staining can be a good investment. Yes, there are cheaper options with carpet and perhaps even laminate. However, it’s more of an investment and the durability of the concrete should protect this investment.
Natural – Finally, why cover up the natural flooring of the home or building with laminate or carpet when you can let it shine instead? Make the most of the underlying concrete flooring and choose to have it stained with a design that suits you.
High Initial Cost – It will prove to be a good investment…but investments take some time to pay back. If you have the time to reap these rewards, this is great news. If you can’t afford the initial cost, or you’re planning to move office building in the near future, a cheaper solution might suit your situation better.
Imperfections – Unfortunately, another issue with concrete staining is that discolored areas and cracks can still show. In fact, some experts will tell you that concrete staining actually draws attention to these problem areas. While some cracks and imperfections will tell a story and add character, others may ruin the appearance of the flooring.
Requires an Experienced Hand – With something like carpet, we can actually do this ourselves. Although some choose professionals for installation, there’s no reason why we can’t put in a carpet with little help. On the other hand, concrete staining requires a talented hand with experience. Once the stain layer is down, there’s very little time to play around with special tools before it sets. Once it has set, there’s nothing we can do to change the appearance.
We believe that concrete staining is definitely something to explore. With the high level of customization, it’s possible to truly find a design that meets our needs. Whether in your home or a business building, the acids are versatile, and it allows for a level of personalization simply not possible with carpets, hardwood flooring, and laminates. What’s more, it’s also more durable than a coat of paint. Even if there’s a large number of people walking over the flooring on a daily basis, the fantastic look should last!
Getting into the farming business is no easy task! Depending on the type of farm you are wanting to buy, there are many expenses that will need to be taken into consideration before diving in. What type of farm are you looking for? A horse farm? Pig farm? Crops? Each and everyone of those options requires specific items to operate, all of that will need to be included in the investment of the farm property if you are getting after this for the first time. I’m writing this because a friend of our sons came to us and asked what it took to set up a farm. I didn’t have an answer for him because it’s such a broad answer that I didn’t even know where to begin. The first thing I asked him is what are you wanting to farm? We talked a bit about his passions and concluded that he wanted to be a horse and cattle rancher, have some chickens, and other livestock but didn’t have a vision for monetizing the farm. We talked further and we gave him some ideas on how to earn a living as a farmer, and then came the big questions that we all ask ourselves at some point. How in the heck do I pay for that? As we discussed lending options, he inquired about the difference between a bank and a credit union, and while I’m no expert, I came up with some notes that might help some other young folks out there searching for an answer to a similar question. So here we go!
Banks have started charging their members an unnecessary amount of fees from too many monthly transfers to not having a direct deposit in your account. Due to these increasing fees, many consumers are turning to the credit unions. When deciding between a bank and a credit union, it’s important to view the pros and cons before making a decision. Both banks and credit unions operate under similar laws and agencies such as loans, mortgages and safety, therefore the customer experience you get can be different. The overall difference is that banks are for profit institutions, while credit unions are nonprofit.
Credit unions tend to have better customer service and lower fees, but higher interest rates. Credit provided average financial benefits equivalent to $85 per member and $178 per household in 12 months ending March of 2018. Banks generally have lower interest rates with higher fees. Both banks and credit unions provide similar services such as checking and savings accounts, loans and business accounts. Since credit unions are non-profits this means that they are owned by the customers. You must qualify for a membership. There are horse farm mortgage lenders that offer competitive rates on small, medium, and large property loans. You are going to want to inquire with your local credit union about the available financing options they have for you.
In fact, a 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Report shows that customers rate credit unions with higher satisfaction than banks, scoring 82 out of 100. Additionally, banks generally have more branches, easier access, and better technological developments. This has become increasingly important for users who often depend on mobile banking services.
Credit unions have the potential to have better percentages and more members who are driven to save their money with a good interest percentage. A big concern when choosing between a bank and a credit union is safety. Credit unions are federally insured and credited by the U.S. government. It is insured that your money will be safe. Research your options and check out quotes from banks, credit unions or online lenders to ensure you get your financial needs met.
Overall, credit unions are owned by the government, meaning they are more reliable and the safer way to save your money. The customer care is more of a family environment and the interest rates are more ideal. Banks have great customer care too and good savings and checking plans for your account. Credit unions and banks have their pros and cons and it all boils down to your financial situation and what bank or credit union prefer. Many people use both as well for credit and or debit cards. Also, some may use a credit union for a business and a bank for personal finances. It all depends on your financial lifestyle.
We had a maintenance member quit one of our Farms in August, and we were without landscape and barn maintenance. It’s a real wake up call when someone leaves, and all of a sudden, you realize how much they do for your business.
We don’t live in Oklahoma City on a full-time basis, so when one of our farms loses a valuable asset like an employee, we don’t immediately notice the impact of the loss. However, when we paid a visit after three weeks, it became evident that we were short a team member. The grass had grown to lengths that were not acceptable for a commercial property. We have clients that come and go all week, our grounds need to be kept and tidy.
We all jumped in and tag-teamed the property until we could hire someone. The interview process took longer than anticipated, and we ended up contracting a lawn service company in OKC that was able to manage the lawn and garden care for a few months.
After two months of paying for the maintenance, we concluded that hiring a lawn care company to keep the property maintained was the better option. I’m curious how other horse properties deal with this dilemma. Landscaping services are expensive, but so is hiring an employee and keeping them happy. There are other things to take into consideration like insurance, time off, and end of year bonuses.
Some other benefits came along with contracting this work. For instance, we had wanted to lay irrigation pipes for the past few years, but our maintenance guy didn’t have the knowledge to accomplish that. Hiring a professional landscape service has allowed us to exercise new ideas on gardening and irrigation that we weren’t able to before. We have since installed the irrigation, made updates to the fencing, planted new shrubs, and gave the entry area a cosmetic overhaul.
Oklahoma City is an area where plant-life grows really well, so having a lawn and garden caretaker is a necessary must if you have a commercial property that receives foot traffic. Our clients come and go all month long and the landscaping needs to be maintained, our recommendation for our sister farms is that you hire a lawn and garden maintenance team to care for your property.
Working for years on the farm can leave you with lower back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Tossing bales of hay all my life has also left me with some shoulder pain. Recently, a good friend was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and sought out chiropractic care to ease some of the pain. The chiropractic adjustments he received from Dr. Mark Taylor really helped him recover. So on behalf of him and every other rancher, farmer, and laborer out there, here is an in-depth perspective on chiropractic care for Fibromyalgia.
How Can Chiropractic Help With Fibromyalgia?
Also known as FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome), fibromyalgia is a condition that comes with a number of different symptoms. Generally speaking, the condition causes pain in different areas of the body. However, fibromyalgia sufferers will tell you that the following are also common;
Even after this, sufferers may have difficulty getting off to sleep in the evenings. With poor-quality sleep, we wake up fatigued and with a lack of energy; this creates a nasty spiral of negative events. Since there’s no real treatment for the health concern, some people feel as though they need to live with the pain and many side effects…but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Care
In years gone by, people would laugh and look elsewhere when chiropractic care was mentioned. Today, we’re starting to see the true value of the practice in several fields. For example, most NFL franchises now employ a chiropractor as part of the medical team. As more and more studies consider the effectiveness of chiropractic care, doctors are starting to suggest the practice as a complementary treatment to relieve pain and stress in the body.
The Art of Chiropractic
If you haven’t learned about this field previously, chiropractors essentially believe that everything is connected in some way inside the body. With a particular focus on the musculoskeletal system, the treatments target joints, muscles, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissue. If something is wrong with any of these, it can affect the whole body.
With this in mind, the goal for chiropractors is to restore some form of balance. With a strong skeletal structure, the body remains stable and ready to take on the world. For example, one of the most common treatments is called an ‘adjustment’. Through a series of manipulations and movements, the spine is aligned, and pain is removed.
Helping with Fibromyalgia
If you suffer with fibromyalgia, you’ve probably done all sorts of research as to treatments that may or may not help (perhaps this is how you found our short guide!). Although this isn’t the magical cure that we all need, it is quickly gaining attention from this particular community. Why? Because it can alleviate the pain that comes with fibromyalgia.
More and more, people are starting to see a difference in back, neck, and leg pain after chiropractic appointments. By adjusting the neck and spine, you’re encouraging a healthier structure in the body and this reduces the risk of chronic pain.
Sadly, upper cervical spinal stenosis is another common problem that comes with fibromyalgia. When this happens, the upper spine coverings (known as meninges) compress. Even while sitting down, this causes pain and it’s incredibly difficult to get comfortable. Fortunately, there are a growing number of chiropractors familiar with the condition and this particular side effect. After adjusting the neck and head, the spine is no longer compressed, and this puts an end to the pain.
Should I Contact a Chiropractor?
As time goes on, more and more studies draw the connection between fibromyalgia relief and chiropractic care. In truth, there’s a double effect. Not only do you reduce pain, you give yourself an opportunity to sleep well. With stronger sleep at night, you aren’t quite so tired the next day and the negative spiral we mentioned earlier is finally broken.
We recommend talking to your doctor about the possibility of chiropractic care. From here, find a reliable and experienced chiropractor who will listen to your concerns and help relieve the fibromyalgia pain!
Whether you want to have the roof on your farm house maintained or the roof on your barn replaced, you need someone you can trust. Just like your own clients and customers trust you with their horses or farming needs, there are certain qualities every good commercial roofing contractor should have when working on a residential or commercial property. Today, we’ve compiled some tips that should help you find the best roofing contractor for your building!
Ask the Community
The internet is a wonderful resource for finding local services like this, but we also believe in choosing a company that has a great reputation within the community. With a local business that has been helping the area for many decades, it’s a nice idea that you’re helping the community to continue to thrive. You’re putting food on the table for local families while also getting great results with your roof. Even if there is a slight problem, you know the company isn’t going to up and leave any moment.
Look for Insurance
Once you have a handful of potential candidates, there are certain requirements these companies need to fulfil. First and foremost, insurance isn’t negotiable. Ideally, the service should have liability insurance and workers’ compensation. This way, they’re liable for any damage they cause. Though it’s not something we like to think about, choosing a company without insurance could just leave you with a hefty bill when something goes wrong.
Always Get Written Quotes
It’s all well and good talking to companies and getting estimates, but nothing is certain until it’s written down. The last thing you want at the end of the project is a bill significantly different to the one suggested. Before any work is completed, ask for a quote that displays the work they’re going to perform and the price. The more detail, the better.
Check the License of Registration
Much like insurance, this is a necessity with commercial roofing contractors. If your background research hasn’t brought anything up, ask the company directly. With reliable and genuine contractors, they should want you to see their license of registration. Therefore, we recommend walking away if they start to get aggressive or are finding reasons not to show this document.
Since all commercial roofers need registration, you can actually get into trouble yourself after hiring an unlicensed roofer, so it’s in your best interest to check.
Request a Warranty
Next, what happens if a commercial roofing contractor comes to fix a problem, they leave, and the problem is still present? Without a roofing warranty, you might end up paying for a service that didn’t actually do what it originally promised. With a warranty, they should come back and fix the issue properly for no extra fee. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why this protection is so important.
Check Online Reviews
Earlier, we said that the internet was a wonderful resource, and this is especially true when looking for reviews of a company. With Facebook and Google, we can see the reviews a company has within seconds. On something like Twitter, we can even see what people are saying about a particular service. If a commercial roofing company has terrible reviews online, you’ll know to steer clear.
Have a Conversation
As our final tip for finding the best commercial roofing contractor, we’re big believers in having conversations with potential companies. If they don’t pick up the phone, are rude, or find ways to avoid your questions, you’ll know to leave them alone. Let’s not forget, you’re the customer here and they should be doing everything they can to accommodate YOU.
With all these tips, you should have a reliable and professional commercial roofing service in no time!
If you live on a farm or a property that has livestock and common farm predators, you need you some firearms that will reach everything from wolves to mountain lion. Cattle, chickens, and other farm animals become easy prey if the property isn’t protected properly. Having farm dogs, motion lights, and audible alarms to startle potential predators from feasting on your farm life is going to be crucial to their survival and yours.
So what gun is right for your farm? This depends on where you live and what the predator is that’s killing off your livestock. If you have cattle and there are mountain lion killing them off, you should consider a high powered rifle like a POF that can catch these suckers in the act from 100 yards or more. If you have chickens, and you are dealing with birds of prey, then a shotgun is a great choice. Personally, I love the Stoger brand of shotguns, I’ve been shooting them since I was a child and have had nothing but great experiences with them. There are other great shotguns on the market though, Remington, Mossberg, and Benelli are premier shotguns for hunting anything that you need to catch in mid-flight. Find yourself an online gun shop where you can virtually scout inventory and then show up in person to get a feel for the size and weight of the gun. Finding local gun shops that have inventory online that you can touch and feel in person is a great way to find the right gun for you. As dangerous as guns are, make sure you have keep your firearms locked up and away from children and potential criminals.
Everyone on a farm should own a side-arm. Having a long-range rifle for removing predatory animals is a must, a shotgun for catching birds of prey is a must, but what about those moments when you find yourself out in the pasture and suddenly you get approached by a wild pig? If you have never stood face to face with a wild bore you have no idea how big and scary these creatures can be. Having a monster sidearm that will stop on an angry pig is an essential part of your own survival. When you live on a farm with wild animals, other wild animals will be attracted to the property and anything is possible at that point.
All farm dwellers need at least 3 guns. A long-range rifle, shotgun, and a handgun. This is essential for farm living and should be the norm for any of you wanting to secure your property, your farm animals, and your family.
We realize this has been some pretty general advice, so let’s get gun specific here with this next part. Here are the 3 guns I would purchase and own to manage my farm.
Long Range Rifle Bergara HMR chambered in 6.5 Creedmore. This gone has a long reach and will take out just about anything that might be hunting your livestock. If you live deep in the woods of Alaska, the 6.5 Creedmore should be able to handle a Grizzly if you can drop a large round in its chest or thinking spot.
Benelli Shotgun I like Benelli because I have had nothing but great experiences shooting them. A 28-30 inch barrel for an extended reach will make this purchase worth every penny you pay. 12 gauge is definitely the round of choice, it’s gonna get more critters, and provide enough punch to layout anything that needs a good ol’ fashioned ass whoop’n.
Smith & Wesson 44 Mag You may not expect to hunt with a handgun, and usually, it isn’t a planned experience. But when nature shows up to your door looking for something to eat and you’re the best-looking thing on the menu, you need to make sure you are packing enough to back down the meanest mountain lion the hills send your way. A 44 mag is gonna give a mountain lion a dirt nap, but you better make sure your aim is good, if you graze it, your only gonna piss it off, and then you better be accurate with shot number 2.
That’s it, folks. Those are the best 3 guns to own if you live on a farm, or even if you just operate a farm for another property owner. Be safe, keep your guns safe, but be sure to protect yourself, your property, and your livestock.
Some heavy summer rains in Oklahoma blew through our sister farm in Oklahoma and blew out the windows in one of the cottages and some glass that had been installed in one of the horse barns in the back of the property. Windows can be delicate during storm season in Oklahoma, especially if your property is surrounded by trees. With hail and high winds, tree branches become a major concern for property owners all across the red dirt state.
We received a call that a branch had fallen and crashed through the window of the cottage that we also use as an Air BnB property in Oklahoma. So there were multiple issues with this scenario. First, the safety of the tenants renting the property and caring for the horses, and second, the rentability of any of the small cottages we have on the property.
Air BnB has strict regulations on the state of the rental property and broken windows definitely make the property un-rentable. So we had to take care of this issue fast before the cottage got booked, or the onsite tenant became upset. Plus its summer in Oklahoma and a broken window means the A/C unit could be working overtime so we had to get this fixed fast.
We called a glass repair company in OKC to get out to the property and fix the windows. They were damaged beyond repair, so full window replacement was the only option for us. We opted in for an upgrade with some “storm-proof” windows that were better insulated, dual pane, and were made from high quality tempered glass.
Within a day the glass company came out and replace the old window frames with some solid energy-efficient windows that are supposed to be more durable, more energy-efficient, but also had a lifetime guarantee. We have been attempting to convert all of our farms and sister farms into energy-efficient properties that included solar electricity for some of the property. These windows are the next step in the conversion of this property.