Winter is coming. They days are getting shorter and slower. The sun used to be up well before our days began. Now we are up before the sun. I am not looking forward to the lessened daylight. Or the colder temperatures. But that’s life on the farm.
Working at Wyebrook has tuned me in to the seasons. Summer was our busiest time and that’s when the days were longest giving us a few extra hours to get everything done. Colder weather means less to do which is good because we don’t have as much time in our days. It’s nice how that works and isn’t something you think about when you work in an office. Winter is naturally designed to be a season of rest, not just for nature, but humans, too. And it is much needed rest if you work in agriculture.
With winter lurking around the corner, we’ve started tackling projects to get the farm ready for its arrival. One of those tasks was repairing and breaking down the broiler houses. Chickens are a seasonal food. You can raise them indoors in the winter, but their flavor isn’t great and it isn’t healthy for the chickens. Raising them on pasture is pointless because there isn’t any grass and they put all of their energy into staying warm which means they really don’t grow.
We are down to 3 broiler houses with chickens in them. After tomorrow’s slaughter, we will be down to two. This morning I emptied the feeders and waterers in the 3 empty houses and drained all the piping to prevent it from freezing and cracking when the temperatures drop. Then Ryan and I set about fixing the holes in all of the houses. The ones created by Baab, the steers and the other sheep, all of whom were jealous of the chickens’ grain and tried to get inside to nab some for themselves.
How do you repair a hole in stretched plastic? With duct tape, of course! You can fix anything with duct tape and caulk. Ryan even got white duct tape so it would match the rest of the house. We fixed up one side and moved around to the other end of the house when we hear a noise that sounded an awful lot like duct tape tearing. We wandered back to where we’d been working and found Baab happily munching away on wad of duct tape. She’s a smart one, no? We chased her away and finished up the repairs, but she kept trying to come back for more. We needed to get her into a different pasture.
Baab isn’t sure about Ryan, but loves me. Ryan stayed back a bit while I got her to come to me. Then we grabbed her and carried her over to the fence where we forced her underneath (no one got shocked!) into the adjacent pasture. For good measure, we chased the rest of the sheep down with her so she’d have some company.
Around 3:30 I went up to feed the broilers their dinner and poor Baab was standing there at the fence, bleating forlornly at her chicken friends. It was really very pathetic.
Would you like to help make Baab feel better? I entered a photo of her in a pet photo contest and need you to go vote for her! I just found out about the contest which opened October 1st so we are a bit late and very far behind on votes. You can vote once a day between now and October 31st. Please vote and ask your friends to do the same! I know she’d feel better if she won 🙂 Go to this website to vote. The easiest way to find her picture is to arrange the photos alphabetically using the drop down menu in the upper right corner. This is the photo you are looking for (though I’m fairly certain she’s the only sheep):
Well, what are you waiting for? Go vote!