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The old saying, they don’t make things like we use to is so true when it comes to farm hand tools.  The one I will be covering in this rant is the pitchfork.  My great grandfather bought the family farm in 1940 on land contract and the porters have owned it since. We have always placed our cattle in the barn during winter in stanchions to minimize the food they need and keep them warm.


Every day the cattle are let out of the barn to get a drink of water and stretch their feet.  While out we pitch the manure out of the barn. Then we bed them down with straw and place hay/grain in front of their spot.  The tool used for pitching is a pitchfork. Most come in 4 or 5 tines. I like the 4 tines because the manure comes off the end easer while trying to fit it through the window/door on the side of the barn. So, when the old pitchforks were made the handles were slim and made of hickory or oak wood with no knots in them. I can still use my grandfather’s fork and lift 50 pounds with it. The handle may bend but the fork stays together.



The new fork I bought my wife to use has a fat handle and is made out of wood they call hardwood.  In the picture, you can see the difference between the years of manufacturing the forks. One of these forks was my great grandfather, one is my grandfather, and one is my father’s the pink one is the wife.


I have had to fix the head on my wife’s 50 times since I bought it for her. The iron the head is made of is soft and bends easy the handle is so big I have a hard time getting my hands all the way around it do to the spot that is machined smaller.  It is very heavy compared to the old ones.  I think they overthought the new design of the pitchfork. Think they overthought the new design of the pitchfork.