The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.

Colder weather has been a break'n its way into our lives lately from way up north. Somehow the cold got blown off course from Canada and the Arctic down to us.

Does anyone recall in previous yesteryears fight'n livestock chores in this kind of weather?

Thaw'n out water for cattle, hogs, and poultry took extra time and effort.

Extra feed was necessary for animals and mankind alike. If'n when I was a young'n I had this extra layer of blubber I now have, I could have shucked off a layer of clothes and remained quite warm regardless of what the thermometer might have dropped to.

Cowboy tank heaters with cobs, coal, and wood did a fine job of thaw'n ice in livestock tanks once you got them fired-up properly, banked and fed them twice a day.

Kerosene and diesel tank heaters were convenient but vulnerable to lose'n their fire in strong winds.

Lit too soon before cool'n down and they would blow up in your face. Ideal propane tank heaters were welcomed with their reliability as long as you had enough income to cover the extra costs of higher purchase price and supply'n "em with propane. Eventually reliability and convenience took precedent over cost and they and ones like them become dominant in use.

Now-a-days the waterers called Mira-founts are insulated adequately with ground tunnels under them to require little if any auxiliary heat.

With enough livestock drink'n from them they'll remain thawed out in quite cold weather. If not, then a 60 watt light bulb in the insulated compartment is more than adequate.

I do miss use'n the ole concrete horse tank with underground hog drink at its side. We sure thought we were on top of the situation when we were use'n them.

For winter we would place a previously constructed roof over the entire tank to hold out the cold and help in keep'n the water a bit warmer. Now it is mostly only used in warm weather and to drown varmints caught in live traps.

Many a time our fingers and toes were frozen to numbness work'n on make'n water available for the animals. Milk'n time brought a feller particularly close to the job of extract'n the twice daily milk from cows that offered some warmth for hands and head when all else was cold. It worked well until the ole milk provide'n girl brightened you up in general attitude with a swish of the manure laden tail along side the head.

You didn't have flies to contend with in winter months but snow and cold more than made up the difference.

Who could forget warm memories of barn activities in the winter time.

As young'ns and later as adults we spent an inordinate amount of time in the barn. It hurts to see them slip into decay now-a-days but their utility for the most part is long gone.

I expect everyone knows by now of China file'n an anti-dumping action against United States distillers dried grain co-product of the ethanol industry.

Chinese folk come over here into the U.S. bargain'n hard for feed for their livestock as cheap as they could possibly purchase it.

This then is called dumping by other concerns overseas, more particularly four ethanol plants within China.

In reality it is all politics. China has captured 90% of the windmill business in the U.S. and much of our steel business. Businesses within the U.S. file actions against China demand'n tariffs on their products. China in retribution files action against U.S. distillers dried grains that are sold in China. All in all its the little guy and the American farmer that stands to lose if'n China wins.

Similar actions happen between Canada and the U.S. as well as between Mexico and the U.S. In the end result there is major collateral damage to innocent third parties which frequently are the producer of some food product.

Well, I had best sign off and check the heat'n oil tanks to make sure they are full enough to make it thru this colder spell for keep'n the ole homestead warm.

Don't forget to feed the birds and outdoor pets fer they can use your extra help dure'n this cold weather.

And by all means carry extra clothing with you when travel'n in case of vehicle problems. The unfortunate lady over in eastern Illinois is an example of cold weather freeze'n to death a person who makes the mistake of leave'n the shelter of a car when problems arise.

Fess McGee was caught speed'n the other day. With the new laws and higher fines go'n into affect January 1, 2011, the ticket she received warmed her up fairly quickly.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later

Barnyard Bruke