To him that will, ways are not wanting.George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1640)
This weekend Rachel and I were discussing how being stuck in a corner brings out resourcefulness. She was noting just how many things she’s been able to repair using the bits and bobs of broken parts that rattle around in the toolbox of the ATV. We all know the truisms about wills finding ways and necessity mothering invention. I’ll admit that I enjoy the challenging time when I am feeling the pressure of the will but before the way is quite apparent. That period of wandering and wondering can be thrilling.
After months of disruptions, I finally installed the auger on the grain bin we use for broiler chicken feed. It was a job that could have been knocked out in a day, but due to competing commitments I could only work on it in little snatches. The motor is currently running off a generator because I haven’t pulled the wires and installed a subpanel out there so I can’t claim to have fully completed the job, but it is running.
I needed to install the auger outlet higher than most farm augers in order to place grain into my tall feed hopper trailer (more on that project in a future post). But that created problems for filling smaller feeders, like our 800 lb range feeders which have about 7 feet of space between the auger outlet and the top of the feeder.
So I did a little thinking, wandering into the shed and garage, inventorying materials on hand. Then I saw a stack of plastic five gallon pails in the corner, and it sparked a memory of an article I read in Fine Homebuilding years ago. Thanks to the internet’s memory, I found the article again.
I built a similar flexible bucket chute that I can hold in place with the tractor forks. The principal modification from the magazine’s sketch was in upgrading the connection between buckets by linking them with light chains instead of wire. Sections of chute can be added or removed using snap links. The whole kit is lightweight and nearly free. Everything in the assembly came from parts I had on hand except a dozen 1/4″ bolts and fender washers, so I think there should be a few extra points awarded for scrounging.
And it works! Quite well actually. With the auger and chute I can line up my range feeders and fill each one in just a couple of minutes. Cumulatively over the summer, this will save hours of shoveling feed. That’s a job I won’t miss.