We are ending 2013 with a bang around our farm! I don’t know about you, but sometimes it seems like work just piles up and the environment just doesn’t cooperate. This week has sort of been like that. First, there were torrential rains (however, I am very thankful it was not snow~). This led to some interesting educational moments on our property, which is about half in a flood plain. Yes, you heard me, we live at the edge of a flood plain. Flood plains are strange creatures. They seem so docile most of the time, but if there is enough rain over the area and “up-stream” your world changes in the blink of an eye. Suddenly the somewhat hospitable “swamp” or “low area” is transformed into a fast-moving river that looks like a lake and you see things like your kids basketball, wood you forgot to pick up, a chicken feeder, etc. floating by. In addition to this, the little shack you built for your ducks that was supposed to be above the flood line is up to the floor in water and the brooder you set up off the ground is thinking about floating away, but its too full of water to go anywhere. The saving grace is that flooding drains off fairly quickly, leaving you to pick up the pieces and re-think some of your plans.
Besides the recent flooding, we had far too many roosters for the number of hens in our flock. Now, I have had a lot of roosters before, but for some reason these roosters were terrorizing the hens. There were six roos and around 12 hens all in a huge pen/garden area. My hens kept flying out and trying to find new lodging even with clipping their wings. So, while observing the water flowing quickly past the garden (almost IN the garden) I watched as a rooster grabbed a hen to do his roosterly duty. In jumped four more roosters, all pecking the poor hen as she screamed and squawked. Other hens scattered for the fences and then and there I decided it was time for a decrease in roosters. They were eating us out of house and home anyway, the greedy buggers! Today four of the danged birds entered our refrigerator, and they may not look the best (my kids really don’t care for plucking and must like eating feathers) but they will taste wonderful, and suddenly my hens stay in the garden where they are supposed to.
Another task in preparation for the new year was to move the pigs to a new pasture location to turn the soil so it will be already to receive forage seed in a couple of months. Now, had we been here longer this would not be a big deal, but at this point in time we don’t have good dividers through the pasture for rotating livestock. Thus, I had to take down the electric netting fence and move it, create a new pig hut, and escort said pigs to their new location, all while the dog growled and barked at the dumb pigs because without the electric they were trying to get into his kennel to eat his food. However, it was oddly satisfying to find out the electric fence was operating in its new location as first a goat then the dog just had to test it. The pigs, however, were smart enough to never touch it 🙂 I guess they really aren’t so dumb, at least when food isn’t involved!
So, there you have it. A day on the farm. Makes you want to live the life, right? 😉 I will say, for all the hard work, it sure is gratifying to go out and watch your animals, healthy and happy, and see all you have done and to know, for this year at least, your family will be fed. Happy New Years, my friends!