Most of us assume that when individuals such as farmers and homemakers work at home; they have a very simple and easy life. Well, that is not the case. Working at home doesn’t mean that challenges and deadlines aren’t a part of their lives just like everyone else. They face them everyday and it could be as simple as being interrupted by excessive phone calls, upset and crying or sick children, nothing going as planned, the overwhelming feeling lack of social contact, and too many projects that need their attention. Working at home can be very economic for some and it works out well, but it can also be frustrating when there are other distractions at home that we do not have to deal with when we work away from home.
On the farm, there is always something to do. Livestock needs to be fed grain and hay on a schedule, morning and evening, a ample supply of water must be available to them at all times, if one is under the weather, so to speak, it needs the necessary attention to get it back to good health so it can return to the herd. Having a vet on speed dial is pretty important when an animal goes down, depending on the illness or injury, it may need immediate attention and professional help. Animals go through stress, as well, when they become sick or injured, so it is imperative that we remain calm while tending to them. The barns and shelters must be kept in good shape and dry for the livestock to have a place they can go out of the weather so hauling manure is a job that must be done on a regular schedule and the fences must be strong enough to turn cattle and horses so that they stay contained within their boundaries. If you have close neighbors, it is not a pleasant experience when you have a few stubborn head of cattle that like to test you and push the fence. People don’t like unwanted animals in their gardens and yards.
When the time comes for breeding your herds, keeping a record of the day the bull or stud went in with the cows or mares, is extremely important. This goes for goats, sheep and other breeds as well. By knowing when you put them together, you will have an idea of when to expect the birthing season to begin and can prepare your barns or make the necessary arrangements for the events to come. Records are also important in keeping track of vaccinations, days bought and sold, births, and injuries and illnesses. I keep track of when I de-worm my goats, when their hooves get trimmed, when I change feed and minerals and etc.
It is a wonderful life, living and working a farm. It has its stresses and challenges on a daily basis but, on the flip side, it can be a peaceful and calming life. Every job has a place for schedules and time management and that includes those jobs at home, it really doesn’t matter what you do, we all have them. Life does feel a little simpler on the farm when out working with Mother Nature and God’ creations but it is LIFE, and with that there is never a dull moment.
There is always stress on your animals when you wean the little ones from their mamas. It does not matter the type or breed, there will be crying from both the mamas and babies. Besides all the noise the animals will want to get back together and they will look for any opening to do just that.
For at least three to four days they will walk the fences, try to jump the fences and try to climb through or crawl under any opening just to get back together. We always wean in the sign of the moon and have mostly good results but, there are always those few that just cannot get with the program.
So, what do you do when they get back together and you have to begin the process all over again? Really, I do not know what the best plan is. I take it one day at a time and go with the flow. Try as I might, I fill and close any openings that I find, where I think they are getting through and try again. Does it work? Sometimes but, not always.
I weaned my kids, baby goats, 2 weeks ago and have only had them all get out one day but Jillie has gotten out 12 out of the 14 days they have been weaned. It never fails, I go out to feed and she is back with Miss Dolly, her mama. She is such a pet, I spoil them awful, that it is nothing to get her back in with the others but keeping her in is a problem. It is hard not to think it is funny or cute but, she needs to stay in her pen.
Reinforcing the fencing is the best plan to keep them contained and having fencing supplies on hand is helpful. There are those moments, and I have a lot of them, that you just have to rig something up until you have the time when you can complete the job. Fencing wire, wire cutters, tools and the rest of fencing supplies are necessary livestock equipment to have on the farm and handy at a moments notice.
Well, we have done it, we have made it through our goat birthing season. I am now at ease. It began on Christmas Day with our first birth. Barbie went into labor during the coldest weather, 0 degrees, and lost both of her twins. It was so cold that she didn’t have time to clean them up before they froze. Two days later, Noel gave birth to triplets and she lost hers as well. By the time we got the rags and some warm water she had delivered all three and they were all still born. Not a good start to my idea of increasing my herd. Five days later, Polly delivered one baby, still born. It was difficult to deal with. I had been looking forward to the new kids and was losing them all.
It didn’t seem to matter what we did, nothing could have saved them as I look back on the situation. I started watching my remaining four nannies on a schedule. Checking them in the morning, at noon, afternoon, evening and before bed. I wanted to have something set up where they could have warmth and a dry place to deliver. So we brought in some fresh straw and with the pitchfork, scattered it around the barn and in the two jugs that we set up with the fencing supplies we had so that we could separate them and their babies would be safe from the rest of the herd.
I have goats as you may have read in my articles. I enjoy my small herd and love caring for them. I am, at this time, awaiting the arrival of new kids any day now. So I get excited when it comes to my goats.
My little herd has a pasture to roam around in, a barn to sleep in, straw for bedding, hay, water and nutritious goat feed and minerals. They are very easy to care for and wonderful pets. Oh, once in a while, I’ll get a Nanny that has to be Queen and cause problems with the others but, that doesn’t last long around here. I don’t have a lot of patience for one that refuses and won’t get along. I, also, won’t tolerate a Buck that has no respect for me. I guess, even though I don’t think I am a perfectionist, I want a easy to care for herd that I can enjoy and not have a lot of hassles.
I am still in the learning process and am still getting all the ins and outs of raising Boer goats down like the dehorning, deworming and vaccinations.
The only real problem I have had is that they, like all goats I suspect, like to take advantage of getting out of their designated area. I have found that high tinsel electrical fencing works great, when it works, but the best I have found is woven wire fencing. When the fencing stretches from ground up they seem to respect the fence and not even try to get over, under or through it. But, as soon as they find or realize that the electric fence is not working, they go right under it and out into the field across the road. It really is pretty simple to get them back in, I just talk to them or holler, sometimes it takes a few loud words, and they go right back in. The hard part is if they get out once, the fence has to repaired and the short has to be found before they can be let out of the barn again. That is especially true if I have to be away from the house and can’t keep an eye on them.
Right now that wouldn’t be a problem, the fence is working, but since there are 5 of them due to kidd any time now, I check on them every 2-3 hours. The weather is in the single digits and pretty dangerous out there for newborns. I work close to home and try my best to be ready at a moments notice to help them bring their babies into the world.
So, as I have mentioned, goats are a lot of fun to have and to be around. They don’t take many farm supplies to care for them and they are an easy animal to tend to. So if you want an easy hobby, goats may be your next adventure. They eat everything, especially my strawberry plants when they get out, but are so much fun. Enjoy!
Here we are almost a year on our blog. We have posted over 70 blogs and would appreciate comments from our readers. We would like to know your opinions and ideas about our blog. If there is an article that caught your eye, let me know your thoughts on the subject. We look forward to hearing from you.
If there is a subject that you would like to know about, we can do our best to find an answer to your question.
We are a farm family and enjoy our animals and farm life. So talking about the farm and all that it requires is a passion of ours. From equine supplements to chicken coupes, we will discuss just about anything. Comments welcome.
If you do not live on a farm or if you have never been on a farm this question is not that silly. I was always told that no question is silly if you do not know the answer. To someone like me, the first time I was asked this, I was surprised. It seemed so funny that y0u wouldn’t know what is around a barn.
I guess the first thing most of us would say is animals. Whether it be horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or whatever livestock we raise. Then, of course, there is the feed, horse feed, cattle feed, salt blocks, minerals and cat and dog food. Also, there is the hay for the animals to eat and straw for their bedding.
Then the next thing would be the equipment, such as, tractors, wagons, combines, disks and maybe plows.
Of course, there would be all the neccessities of farm life such as fencing supplies, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, manure spreaders, buckets, log chains, hammers, wrenches and all other kinds of tools.
It may be surprising what you find out around the barn. You might find lumber, where someone has been building something or horse shoes lying on the ground where they have just finished shoeing a horse, halters and bridles hanging and saddles on saddle racks in a tack room. There will be lead ropes and sorting sticks and sorting paddles used for herding the livestock. You might even find a skull or two of bulls or deer.
There is just no telling what you may find. I do know that a farm is a great place for a treasure hunt.
Any how, these are just a few of the things you will find on a farm, out around the barn.