I finally realized why I am so tired this month. I had been thinking it was from my “day” job, the weather, the lack of daylight, or chronic pain. But today I looked around the barnyard and realized that because of the breeding groups, we are feeding 9 separate outdoor pens/pastures as well as 5 indoor pens and 4 rabbit hutches. Plus watering them too which is more of a chore when the faucet or the hoses are frozen, which they have been lately. Thankfully, hopefully Saturday I can break down most of the breeding groups and get chores to a more reasonable level.
In case you are curious about the smoke in the upper right hand corner of the photo, they decide to burn the slash on the clear cut/future mudslide today. Above is the daytime photo and below is tonight’s photo.
The other source of exhaustion is the upcoming repairs that are needed thanks to the rams. Above is a broken fence post, and below is the damage they did to the fence itself. Jocko’s skull bone is actually exposed. I can hardly wait to put them together in a pen so they can really go at it.
I did take a moment today to admire some of the critters we live with. I usually do not take the time to appreciate them. Above is our ringneck pheasant rooster. Below are the ducks discussing whether to go over to where I threw the feed even though there are (gasp!) chickens over there.
We did finish pressing the last of the apples on Monday and have 88 gallons of cider fermenting (in our dining room). So at least that chore is done. Next will be bottling.
Boy do I hear you, Donna! There are times when I really wonder about myself, and I only have 1/4 of the critters that you do! Some nights though, when I come home from work and immediately change clothes to go out to check on everyone, feed and water (thawing as necessary), and get some prep work done for the morning (so my morning routine is quick, before I leave for work), I think about how other people I work with just go home and hang out (well, not those with young children, but still). Weekends are more of same, cleaning out dirty bedding (a.k.a. wasted hay) and scrubbing water buckets clean, mucking out the chicken coop (overdue), or raking two acres of maple leaves so my pasture grass isn’t smothered to death, or putting up more (fill in the blank) so the crop doesn’t go to waste. Who has time to do anything with the fleeces I’m growing?
That said, I DO love my home work compared to my office/day job (which isn’t a bad job, just not something that satisfies much beyond a paycheck to keep a roof over our heads here.
I covet your lovely hog panels, and had a giggle at the love shack – I’m not breeding this year, but Pebbles and Cinnamon and Jocko sure produced some nice babies last year! 🙂
Thanks Maureen! I also do love my home work but just get tired sometimes. There is something very natural about doing it, and it is good exercise. Just wish there was not so much at times. Glad you got a giggle at the love shack (more work).
I’m am dealing with ram problems this year as well, and my husband is ready to shoot them all. I’m not breeding any ewes this year, but I do want to hang on to my lovely boys for future lambs. Hope they survive!
Tom was ready to shoot them all too. I had to remind him then there is more work burying them. I hope they make it another year too. Especially old Jocko.
I feel your pain, and winter is just starting. Sigh. I do have it easier as I’m not breeding any sheep this year and have no rams on the place. I will have a couple pens set up though as I plan to separate some of the oldies from the main flock. The worst part is getting up before the crack of dawn and doing chores in the dark, then returning home after my (paying) job and doing the chores…in the dark. Gets old. Anyway. Hope you can get things more manageable this weekend. (and the slash/clear cut/future mudslide on the hill just shows how stupid people are anymore….)
Thanks Tammy! It sounds like I hit a chord. It is getting old but hopefully, for me anyway, should improve soon. There are now 4 fires thanks to the wind and sparks, but they are only a little closer to our house from yesterday. And the wind has died down.
Frozen faucets and hauling water from the inside bath tub is horrible! The rams here are crazy too, I’m not sure if the ewes are even getting to eat. I can’t wait for the breeding groups to be broken up! You have way more than we do so I don’t envy the hauling and feeding!
It sounds like we are all ready for breeding season to be done!
Hi, A note from Algae.Thanks for reminding me how nice it is not to have animals.I do have a feral cat that seems to call my porch home. Already getting excited about gardening.Just going with seeds from Fred Meyers when they are 40% off.Seems the exotic varieties are more of a wish than a promise. Looking for some input from you folks on what apple trees to plant.
My best to you.
Some days I wish we did not have animals. Not excited about gardening yet. Seems like a long ways away. I will let Tom reply about apple trees.
Tom says it depends on what you want to use the apples for.
this mucky weather is so much harder to maintain a clean pen! half wondering if i should just start piling fresh straw down and clean a bigger job later on, or just keep cleaning it more regular straight off the ground, thoughts? how often do you find you need to clean up the manure, it was easier when temps were a bit colder, but it’s warmed up a bit, and things are muckier and the girls are getting dirtier. This is our first year with sheep (or any farm animal for that matter)
We just layer straw down through the winter and clean the barn out with a tractor in the summer. It is not ideal and I think it is hard on the animals feet. But the ground is so soft here in the winter that we have no good way to move the bedding out this time of year.