Some days Homesteading is nothing but sheer joy! Chores are not work, they are fun! I get to watch baby goats and lambs jump and hop and run around and around in circles. I get to laugh at the chickens scratching in the dirt for the perfect morsel, at the guinea’s chasing a bug and at the Tom Turkey’s struttin’ their stuff. I get to take perfectly clean warm eggs out of clean, straw-filled nests. Ahhhh! Life on a farm! Who wouldn’t want to live in such bliss?
Other days, like today, not so much. Today the animals still need fed, even when their lot looks like this:
After four inches of cold rain the past three days, it was a challenge to stay upright walking through this slippery mud to feed this morning. After feeding, it was absolutely imperative that we get everyone someplace nice, dry and clean to lay down on. The poor sheep’s shelter was hideous. The straw we had lain down several days ago was stomped into the mud and it looked like this:
Uggg! I couldn’t stand to even look at it. Mark dug a path for the soupy stuff to drain, then it was off to the straw bale bin for new straw.
He has found putting a bale on a two-wheel cart to pull it to where it needs to go, is about the easiest way there is. I know big strapping dude’s can carry a straw or alfalfa bale several hundred feet, but when you get older and knees, backs and hearts start to wear out, you work smarter, not harder!
The sheep immediately went to check out the new dry place to lay down. It isn’t perfect, but it is much better than it was, poor things.
Goats, especially Nubian and Alpine, which is what we have, hate even one sprinkle of rain. They will refuse to come out if just one drop is falling! So, not only did we get them new straw for their shelters, but we also fed them inside in the feeder Mark had built for them just for days like this because he knew their extreme fear of rain.
Even though it wasn’t fun, it is extremely satisfying when you see them all dry and cozy in their shelters ready to face another day of predicted rain.
On to the next yucky job. The rain came with lots of wind, which blew the rain into our lamb creep feeder. Luckily, Mark only fills it a few 5-gallon buckets at a time so our feed loss wasn’t horrible. He tipped it over and I washed all the wet stuff out with a hose.
We moved it to a better, less muddy spot and Mark carried a couple buckets of feed to pour back in it and Voila! Clean, dry feed for the hungry feeder lambs!
It wasn’t easy to head out to feed in the cold rain and wind, but it was rewarding. Seeing all the animals happy and content is worth it all. And yes, we have a lot of mess and extra work to put up with in this kind of weather, but it makes the garden, grass, and alfalfa grow. As annoying as it can be, I always know once it shuts off, we will be praying for the rain to come back. So thank you for mud Lord! Without it, we really would have a mess on our hands!