Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lessons learned

Important lessons we have learned this year:

1. Never wait until later to put the sides on your barn. We lost ours to straight line winds because it had no sides so it acted a bit like an umbrella in a windstorm.
2. Chickens should NOT be housed over winter in the high tunnel. It's disgusting to clean out in the spring.
3. Heifers don't always give you any sign that they are about to calf. Rosie never showed any of the classic signs: bagging up, loosening in the rear before she dropped her calf. By the way we named her calf "Surprise".
4. A porcine lesson: If there is a way to escape from the pen at all they will find it, but you won't until too late.
5. Pigs can and will climb stairs.
6. If the cows are out, it is a myth that they will go back into the pasture where they came out. The reality is they will wonder up and down the fence line, gallop across the neighbors alfalfa field and you will eventually give up and cut a hole in the fence to drive them through.
7. Sunrises are beautiful even on mornings when a phone call from the neighbors about your escaped animals is the reason you are up to see the sun rising.
8. No matter how much you plan, things move at their own pace.
9. There's always more that needs to be done than there are hours in the day.
10. Deer and rabbits will eat all of your strawberries if you don't protect them.
11.Learning new things and sharing what you know with others is fun and very gratifying.
Can't wait to see what we learn in the second half of the year! :)

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