Although far from true spring here in the northland, temperatures in the forties sure feel wonderful. This weekend, I canned up almost all of the year-old hamburger in our basement freezer. I saved up three pounds and soaked some red beans and will be canning up quarts of chili this afternoon.

I found a reasonably priced, bumper pull 16-foot stock trailer on Craigslist. It was new and nice, but it was also nearly 100 miles west of Minneapolis, which is 200 miles south of us. And our pickup was scheduled into the shop for a bad miss and worse exhaust, which needs replacing. Yes, Will could do it. But lying in the mushy, wet snow, with little clearance is not his favorite thing to do. I called Bill and he agreed to take his big diesel Ford pickup down with me to get the trailer on Monday, which he had off from work

We don’t replace equipment unless it really needs it. Check out our old stock trailer!
This is the sidewall of the trailer; the frame is as bad.

Yesterday morning I drove down to Bill’s, 110 miles and we hopped in his truck and headed down. We got there and saw a kind of rusted burgundy 15-foot stock trailer in the yard and thought Oh, Oh, did we make a trip for that? Luckily, after a quick look-around, I spotted “our” trailer way back in the barnyard. Whew! While I did the paperwork, Bill hooked up the trailer. Then came his phone call; something was wrong with the lights. Two hours later, they discovered the ground was not hooked up right and got the problem fixed. We started to leave, and Bill’s electric brake controller started beeping. So back in the shop we went. The brake battery box was hooked up wrong. They fixed that and we headed home. What a trip! All’s well that ends well. The trailer’s home and Bill and I are tired as he drove it all the way home for me as he was going to buy a snowmobile in the nearby town of Virginia, which he didn’t end up buying. We’re happy to now have a safe, solid trailer which, we hope will last a lifetime.

Here’s the new trailer, paid for with Will’s sale of beef this week and a little out of savings.

As the weather’s been so warm, the stock hasn’t been eating nearly as much hay as when it was cold. So we’ve got plenty to last until good pasture is up — and then some. That’s always a good thing!

Today was Nuevo, the baby goat’s, first time outside. He needs some sun and room to play hard. At 43° F, it’s plenty warm and he’s grown very stocky. He thinks somehow he can fit through the stock panels but he’s too big; only part of him can get out! Pretty funny watching him try with one front leg, then pulling it back in and repeating with the other front leg. He thinks somehow he can fit.

Nuevo is enjoying the sunshine during his first trip outside with the “big” goats.

— Jackie


  1. With a gift for being mechanical and persistent and your knowledge of animal husbandry, you both have got it made!
    I was raised in LA and lived there for 47 years before moving to a semi-rural area (Spokane, WA) but was lucky enough to spend summers on my grandparents farm in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. And my dad was raised on a dairy farm (he is 93!), my mom on 1000 acre dry wheat farm in Oklahoma. I think your lifestyle is in my blood! However, I married a scientist type guy who is not mechanical much and only muses about a lifestyle that has animal responsibilities and upkeep of gardens/acreage. Thank heavens I can live vicariously through you!

  2. Stock trailer looks almost pristine, good buy. I will have to explore Craig’s list more for future goods as well. Spring is here for us-we have tapped our maples (2) and our box elder (1) last Tuesday and have 15 gal of sap already to process. Heard the cranes overhead 4 days ago-so nicer weather is on the way and playing in the dirt not to far behind!! Take Care all.

    • Oooh, CRANES!!! I love them. We have a pair that raises babies along our creek every year so we hear plenty of crane song. (Well, WE think it’s nice even though others say “What’s that God-awful noise???)

  3. Glad you home safe. I use my freezer to store my berries in the summer when I am overloaded with canning other things. Sometimes I have time to make jam; but if not, I wait until winter and then make my jam. Keeps the kitchen warm on cold days, too. Love your time management and gives me ideas too.

    • I do a lot of canning in the winter when things are (usually!) calmer around here. This year I still try to fit some in as the opportunity arises. Full pantry shelves are a thing of beauty!

    • He sure would like to. All I have to do is call “Nuevo, little goat, little goat!” and he comes running out of the barn and tries to get through the fence. But, as you see, he can only fit part of him out at a time.

  4. Wow! What a day! Thank goodness you were able to fix things. The stock trailer is really great! And paid for!!! Great exercise for Nuevo…thanks for sharing. Smiling here. Blessings.

    • We love our stock trailer. We’ve hauled a ton of things in them, besides livestock, including ATVs, solar panels, building material, stock panels, water tanks and a whole lot more. In fact, when we moved in the past, we used the stock trailer to haul our pantry and a little furniture while friends hauled our horses.
      Nuevo loves it outside. We have an old bath tub in the pen, upside down for winter, that we use for a watering trough. He’s discovered he can hop up on it and plays king of the mountain on it. What fun!

    • We do too. We’ve found wonderful stuff on Craigslist, from our solar panels to tractors and, of course, the new trailer.

Comments are closed.