Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Morning Chores

Brr! It's great to get back in the house on this blustery, snowy day. The wind howled all night and I almost expected a school cancellation, but there wasn't enough snow blowing for that to happen.

So I got unbundled from my heavy chore coat, soggy gloves, and boots. The mirror reflects my usual winter after-chore image......flattened hair with a few strands animated by static, face reddened by the wind. The coffeemaker is my next stop, and then here to the computer.

The E-Blogger info site states that some people blog to organize their thoughts, so maybe that is why I am blogging. That must be the reason, for I don't really expect many people to read this blog.

Anyway, here's what morning chores consists of for me......I go out to our barn where Husband is in the middle of milking 80 cows. With the scraper, I clear away whatever manure piles the cows have dropped behind themselves. I push the manure into the gutter behind the cows. Then I go to the milkhouse and fill bottles to take out to the calves. Calves drink milk from a bottle until they are 7 to 8 weeks old, and are in individual pens during that time. Right now there are 16 calves on bottles. A few days ago there were 22 on bottles, but we weaned 6 the other day. That means six calves were old enough to discontinue bottle feedings and be moved into a pen together where they will be fed grain and hay and drink water from the waterer. The newly weaned calves usually are not happy about the loss of their bottle and they beller loudly for days whenever they see me. I also make sure the bottle calves have enough straw in their pens for bedding, and grain to eat.

Husband just came into the house growling because he has to climb up inside our tallest silo to remove the unloader gear box which just quit working. In this very cold weather, working in the silo is no fun. Husband came in to don long underwear, insulated coveralls, a ski mask, and warm gloves. He will then climb up the ladder inside the silo chute, remove the gear box so he can take it to town to be expensively repaired by workers in a warm shop. After it is repaired, Husband will have to return the gear box to its place up in the freezing silo. This is the kind of fun that a dairy farmer has on a regular basis. After all these years of being with Husband, I have learned to tune out most of the resultant grouchiness and negativity. There is nothing else I can do since I have no control over machines breaking down or cows getting sick or low milk prices, etc. More on all of that another time.

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