Team Work

There’s a lot here at the farm that can be done by one person. Feeding animals. Moving cows. Bagging chickens. Mowing grass. In fact, most of our work can be done solo, but I must say it is a lot more enjoyable when you have help. This is something of a novel concept for me. I’ve always hated group projects and team activities yet since moving to the farm I’ve found I really do prefer company for most tasks.Like bagging chickens. Ryan was busy relocating steers down to Lundale so Steve and I were in charge of bagging chickens today. We slaughtered a lot yesterday. One hundred and forty-four to be exact. Lexi needed twenty to break down for the butcher case and Mike needed sixty for tonight’s dinner which left us with sixty-four to bag. That is a lot of chickens.

We use a turkey fryer to bag the chickens. We fill it up with water and heat the water to just under boiling. The chickens go in plastic bags that shrink up when dunked in the hot water. It’s actually a pretty cool method. The turkey fryer hooks up to a propane tank. Today the safety valve on the propane tank stopped working so we spent a good chunk of time trying to take it off without any success. There is a button you have to push down every fifteen minutes or so to keep the propane flowing. For some reason the button now cuts off the propane as soon as you release it.  When we realized we weren’t going to get it off I sent Steve to find some duct tape and taped the button down. My dad always says you can fix anything with duct tape and caulk!

The propane was now flowing, but we still needed the water to get hot. Knowing it would take a while, Steve headed off to collect the eggs while I kept an eye on the fryer and got everything else ready. Things were ready before he got back so I went ahead and started. I am glad I don’t normally have to bag chickens on my own! (And that we don’t normally bag 60+ a week.) It would have taken me forever to get through those birds. I was so glad when he came back to help.

One activity that requires a team is working cattle. Today we had to move 40 new steers down to Lundale. Ryan had been stressing about this all week which of course stressed out Steve and me. No one was looking forward to this task, but it had to be done. Maybe things just seemed to go well because we were all bracing for the worst, but it really wasn’t that bad. We thought it would take all day, but were done by lunch.  The only hiccup was when we had the steers down in the chute system and they bolted before we could close the gate. The only went back into the holding pen which wasn’t too bad. One stepped on my foot as it ran out which wasn’t fun, but nothing is broken or even bruised. Thank you, L.L. Bean for making quality boots!

After lunch I cleaned and packaged 24 dozen eggs. That’s 288 eggs for you non-math folks. Two hundred and eighty-eight eggs. In one day. Just think of all the omelets! Then I fed the goats. They are really growing on me. I think we just might end up friends after all. I finished up the day with chores and then Steve and I filled the layer house with feed for the weekend. We went through the same drill with the skid steer and once again I managed to not fall off. I think I may be tempting fate at this point…

I need good dessert ideas/recipes for garden night. Any suggestions?

3 thoughts on “Team Work

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