Sunday, November 8, 2009

Turning over a new leaf

I haven't been exactly diligent about blogging for several months. So since it's fall I'm going to turn over a new leaf and do better. I am going to blog every day that I'm the chief in charge of farming.

Now that Brian is working 3-4 days a week at the feed mill, I am the chief farmer on his work days. I've been doing all the chores for a couple of weeks now. I have a new found respect for his stamina in getting all the work done around here. And I've lost 10 pounds.

It's really changed my day off. No more sitting around the table drinking tea for hours or sleeping in. My day starts when DH's alarm starts screaming at 7am. He makes the coffee and puts the kettle on for me. We both throw on clothes and I rustle up some breakfast for the 2 of us. At 8 he leaves for work and I head out to do chores.

I tuck Rosy the bottle baby pig's milk under my arm grab the pig treat bucket and head to the garage. Honey and Betty are waiting to be let out of their kennels so they can do their business. I let then run lose while I gather up pails of feed for Rosy and our Large Black hog, Matilda. By now my arms are pretty full.

Out behind the garage, Rosy is grunting and trying to climb our of her brooder and Matilda is running up and down the fence squealing in anticipation of breakfast. Rosy is first. Mix the milk with the feed to make a nice soupy mash and pour in in her dish. Hopefully, without getting too much on her head! Then fill up her water dish.

Next: Matilda. By this time she and my corgi, Honey, have settled into a game of running back and forth along the fence. I sneak her feed into her pan and check to be sure she hasn't dumped her water again. Then I gather up all my feed containers and head back to the garage. Feed containers must be returned to their appropriate place or Brian has a fit when he can't find them on his days. lol

Then it's off to unplug and start the tractor. We keep it on a heater this time of year so that the diesel fuel won't jell. Tractor started. It's time to put Betty in her pen and Honey on her cable. I'd like to take Honey with me while I do chores but I'm afraid she'll get under the tractor.

We have a 55 gallon plastic barrel we put in the bucket of the tractor and secure with cargo straps. I use the garden hose to fill it. It takes a few minutes so I try to use the time tidying up around the yard. There always seems to be something out of place or little messes that need attention. Once the barrel's full, I'm off on the tractor to the yellow garage where we store our feed.

Each pen of pigs needs to be fed. 1 bucket with feed for Samsom and 1 for George. Then a 50 pound bag of feed for Atlas's family and their babies and a 5 gallon bucket of feed for Trailblazer and his girls. Oh and a bucket of chicken feed for the hens and a bucket feed for a cow treat. All of this goes into the tractor bucket with the water barrel.

I always start with Samson and George, because they are bachelors and they get pretty excited when it's time for breakfast! I really don't want them to get out because George is still healing from the last time he got out. He thought it would be a good idea to bother Samson. Samson disagreed.

Feed Atlas's family and then Trailblazer's. The barrel of water will go to the Louisiana hogs in the far paddock. I'll haul another 5 barrels of water during the morning to top off all of the self waterers. In the mean time, I drive on out to the chicken tractor on the far hill and feed the chickens.

I'd like to be able to let the chickens out but we are plagued by hawks right now. They sit and wait in the trees watching to see if they can have a chicken dinner. Not today. I just push the pen forward onto new grass.

Now it's time to tend to the cows and horses. My new skill is being able to fill the barrel with water for the horses and successfully spear a big round bale of hay on the front and one on the back of the tractor. I can even get my whole load out to the field without losing a bale now! I feel so powerful! :)

Drop the bales in the field, give the cows their little grain/beet pulp treat and check on everybody. Water the horses and give them a pat and check their hay. Back to the hose for more water.

When everybody's water is finally full and all the animals have had their breakfast, I sit down for a minute and look at my "TO DO" list. NOW it's time to get some work done!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have sooo much respect for farmers!!!