Big Steamy Forkfull
Having a front end loader on a tractor makes a lot of jobs a lot easier. But cleaning the manure pack out of the cow sheds was still pretty difficult if it wasn't composted first. The main problem is that since they get bedded every day with junk hay I end up with a matted together pack which acts just like a stack of carpets when I try to dig into it with the loaders shovel like bucket. So I started to think about the old manure fork buckets that most of the early front end loaders used.
As it would happen, a few days later one of my favorite customers stopped by to get some chickens. Frank deals in used farm equipment. He claims that he "buys junk and sells farm machinery". He's also the kind of guy thats going to tell you a pretty good story while you are with him. The last one I heard was about back when he was a bachelor farmer. He had a big German Shepherd that got a face full of porcupine quills one night. Frank said the only way he was able to get them out was to back the dog into a corner of the barn, hold onto him with both arms and pull the quills out with his teeth. It was going along pretty well. After a while he looked up and the vet was standing there watching him. The vet said "Frank, we got to get you a girlfriend"
Anyway, I asked Frank if he might have any old fork buckets at his place. It turns out he had two identical ones, so I welded them together to make one big fork bucket. I think it is going to work pretty well. Here we are putting a couple forkfulls of manure on the rhubarb.