Saturday, August 2, 2008

Conserving Energy

I've gone back to using straw. Gerald baled it and the farmer sold it by the ton. His John Deere chops it up to pieces about 6" long. That makes it easy to spread and clean up. Wood shavings are between $4 to $6 a bag. The straw cost less then a dollar. I use 1 bale of straw in place of 2 bags of shavings. It absorbs as well if not better and cleans up just as easy. I have plenty of steel forks to use, some older then me. I'm lucky to get 2 years out of a plastic fork. They eventually start stress cracking and breaking off.

I close of the driveway and let the horses out in different parts of the yard. They do a pretty good job replacing the lawnmower and trimmer. If I have to use the machines it runs about $20 every time I cut grass. It also burns up about 2 hours of time.

We hang out clothes as much as possible to save on using the dryer. I save the propane and it doesn't heat up the house.
I have almost all energy efficient bulbs, including flood lights. They are brighter then the conventional ones. In the winter my house is kept at 60 degrees. I sleep better when it is cool. I rather wear a sweatshirt then pay the extra for fuel. On the weekends my car usually does not move. I try to do my errands during the week on my way home from work. Anything horse related we have to use Gerald's truck.
What do you do to save money?


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Since you brought it up, I have some questions about straw bedding. As far as clean up goes, I imagine the straw getting stuck between the tines of the fork, making it difficult to shake off and fall through. Does that happen? Do you not bother to shake the straw off if it comes up with the manure?

Also, I know some people who stopped using straw because their horses ate it. Does it upset a horse's stomach if they eat it?

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

Nuzzling muzzles, I started using it just during foaling season because it is safer for the babies. The shavings can get up the nose. If the straw comes up it goes in the wheelbarrow. I don't like the straw that is long and hard to shake out. I will have to ask my boyfriend which john deere cuts the wheat so that the straw is short. When I cut the strings all I do is kick it and it spreads out. As far as the horses eating it, it is a good roughage. People will use it if hay is hard to come by. They feed the grain that is a full feed that does not require that hay be fed. It gives the horse something to chew on. It's low in nutrients and works for obese horses too. Last winter every time I spread it out the weanling's ran in and started eating it. It was something different.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I just talked to a guy the other day about getting some straw bales. I do prefer it for bedding in the winter. And of course use it for foaling time. I couldn't get any this year and had to use hay over the shavings. That made me cringe-wasting hay like that, but didn't want to take the chance of shavings up the baby's nose. Of course after all that the mare foaled in the pasture-LOL.

Chris bought me a $500 Bronco, with a V6 engine. I have been tootling around in that. It is amazing how many miles I have put on it and the gas gauge has hardly moved. And it is still 4-wheel drive for the winter time.

Other than that-not much else to cut out around here except the cable and internet. I think NOT!!

When the grass was growing, we took horses out every evening to graze in the yard. It helped.

Thankfully there is an abundance of hay this year. Considering the price of grains-I am going to have to carefully consider who I am going to feed extra too. I have 3 that absolutely must be fed beet pulp and oats but the rest are going to have to eat a little extra roughage.

Grey Horse Matters said...

We turn out all day and sometimes at night. It saves on shavings and hay. Most extras have been cut out and I try to leave my truck at home and take the small car as much as possible. There is only so much you can do, the cost of living and the price of running a house and a farm are what they are. I do hope the economy levels out sooner than later, but I'm not an optimist.

kdwhorses said...

Good job on cutting back!

I can say we don't have cable and I try and do errands all in one day and take the car. We don't hardly ever eat out, I haven't been using the oven, trying to do everything on the stove top, grill, gridle. We did put a small window unit in our bedroom and turn it down at night and that has helped the other window unit. It has cut back on the electricity cost a bunch!

We don't use shavings, ours are turned out 24/7. We bought enough round bales to last through this coming winter! WOO HOO~very excited about that.

Hoping that we some relief real soon, but don't think we will.

Esther Garvi said...

I cook food in our solar oven and haven't changed our gas bottle for nearly a year! But then again, I live in Niger which has lots of sunshine, which makes solar cooking way easier. I also try to eat as much local produce as possible - including delicious "famine foods" as most Westerners would know it (mainly edible leaves of different kinds that taste like spinach).
Oh yes, and in the months that aren't either dusty or rainy, we often sleep outside on the veranda rather than inside with a fan or an AC. The horses are right by, and I love to wake up to the sound of them snorting!

Callie said...

Esther, I eat it if it's like spinach! Wow, a solar or hot, LOL. Thanks for stoppin' by!