Head Farmer Once Again

What happened to winter? Not only was there no snow, but it went too fast. Melissa started back to work full time on Wednesday, so that means I’m in charge of the farm again. I must admit that I took a break over the winter—Melissa did all the chores—so it’s going to take a day or two (or twenty-seven!) to get myself back into ‘chore’ shape.

Life in the barn is tricky this week. Because we’re shearing this Sunday, and the weather was predicted to be rainy (and it has been), we locked the sheep in the barn to keep them dry. This means that instead of the sheep serving themselves from the hay feeders outside, I must bring their hay to them. We are SO not set up for this. 

Basically I must pitch hay from the steers’ bale, the closest to the barn, into a wagon, then drag the wagon into the barn. I’d rather the steers not be around when I do this, since they like to chew on my sweatshirt and nuzzle me in places I’d prefer not to be nuzzled by a 500-pound steer.

So I trick the steers into their pen in the barn and lock them there. Here they are, wondering what sort of game I’m playing…

The sheep are milling about, telling me in no uncertain terms that being locked in the barn just isn’t funny any more. 

Tucker the llama hums angrily at me the entire time.

I begin pitching hay—hot, sweaty work. I tell myself it’s all exercise! (Although in the Weight Watchers’ list of exercise, I doubt I will find ‘pitching hay.’) Finally get the sheep fed so they quiet down.

Tucker the llama keeps humming at me.

I get the cattle fed so they quiet down.
Tucker keeps humming, but I fill the water troughs and head back to the house. Only when I get inside do I realize why Tucker was so upset—I’d forgotten to feed him his treat. Too exhausted to make the trek back up there, I resolve to do better the next day.
And I do. 
Even though the thought of doing chores nearly every day for the next eight months makes me want to crawl back into bed, I must confess that I do enjoy doing them. It gives me ‘animal time,’ which is one reason we’re living this crazy life.
What’s ahead? Once shearing is over, then I must wean the steers off their corn, and get them out into the nearest pasture eating grass. (They’re already nibbling, but it’s too short for them to get much.) I want to get both the steers and sheep out on pasture as soon as possible so I can keep the fastest-growing pastures eaten down.  It’s going to be a challenge, but one I relish. 

8 thoughts on “Head Farmer Once Again

  1. Do I dare say you’re starting to sound like a farmer? (However, I will say that it just doesn’t seem fair that Melissa is the one who is supposed to be the farmer and you’re supposed to be the writer, so why are you wearing “Head Farmer” hat for 8 months of the year?) You don’t need to answer that. I very well know the reason . . . and it starts with the letters “$$$.” That’s what partnerships/good relationships are all about. We do what we gotta do when we gotta do it. :o) We readers benefit because you have more fodder (and pictures) for more frequent posts. Right?

  2. Sounds like your farmer skills aren’t to rusty. Although W.W. doesn’t specifically list hay pitching the do have “farming, barn cleaning”, I utilize that one a lot. 🙂

    Happy Farming!

  3. Mama Pea…when it came right down to it, I wasn’t ready to let the farm go!

    Tombstone—I didn’t do a very good job. The first day I was trying to pitch over a panel that was above my chest. As a result I dumped a HUGE forkload on one sheep. She was stunned. The world suddenly went dark. She backed up, moving her head, wondering who turned out the lights. She finally shook the mess off.

    Fire Horse—Okay, barn cleaning it is!

  4. It’s good to enjoy a challenge! 🙂 And maybe you could write to Weight Watchers and ask them to add farm duties to their list of appropriate exercises? 😉

  5. Ah, the eternal love/hate relationship we farmers have with chores. I am getting a lot of animal time right now, since the only ewe to have twins so far didn’t know what to make of the 2nd lamb (1st time having twins), so he is mine. There is nothing quite like having a bottle lamb come tearing across the pen when he sees you coming. Almost makes up for getting so little sleep!

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