Anyone remember the Blizzard of 78 and where they were ?
When I heard that this storm was predicted to start on 2/7 I thought it was ironic.
Sure enough, last night, the first snowflakes started to fall. It got just a little bit heaver at 5 am and by 7 am it was coming down hard and fast. It was 16 degrees.
School has been canceled and everyone at my off-farm job is working from home today, which is a very smart and efficient move.
I read an interesting statement this morning at Taylor Made Ranch blog and I want to share it with you all:
Did you know:
"The men and women who produced the meat and vegetables that you are buying may very well work right beside you in town, then go home to work on their farm or ranch the other 128 hours each week. They are your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors."
I read that statement and then I drove to the farm to feed and water the herd. The road was very slippery.
The cows had their winter jackets of snow on and were glad to see me when I arrived.
First thing I did was count heads and make sure everyone was accounted for and that the coyotes didn't steal anyone.
After I said hello to everyone and fixed a few fences I went to fill the water tank and it was a solid cube of ice. Apparently the power had shut off in the night OR the electric fence messed up the power to the tank heater. Anyhow it was a mess. I checked the fuses, the reset buttons and then switched plugs. In a few minutes the heater came back on and defrosting was underway.
I unplugged the block heater on the tractor and prayed that the tractor was not affected by the power issue.
I hoped it would start. It did.
I went and dropped the electric fence to the ground and went and speered a nice big hay bale and headed to the hay rack.
With the big bale on the front of the tractor, the big rear tractor tires slipped around and sometimes spinned on the ice under the snow.
Just as i was driving over the electric fence on the ground, the rear tires spinned and ate up the e wire. I stopped immediately as I saw all the fence posts bend.
I jumped off the tractor and tried to get some slack in the wire so I could unwrap it from the big right rear tire.
It was a fight, but I won it and returned the e wire to the ground and fixed the posts and insulators.
I hopped back on the tractor and as I did I noticed a heifer inside the hay rack.
The calves use to be able to go in and out of the rack, but now they are about 200 lbs heavier and sometimes can't get out if they get in.
This heifer would not remove herself from the rack, now tying up the routine and making some cows a bit anxious.
I had to get off the tractor AGAIN and enter the danger zone to get her out.
This is when and where most fatal farm accidents occur.
I was able to extract the heifer from the hayrack and get back on the tractor and drop the bale.
A cow breakfast is a BIG breakfast.
I will return this afternoon and repeat the routine. I am bringing my snowshoes.
This is what I like to see as I walk away; a happy herd eating, fences up and the water tank full.
This is the view from the road.
The herd is almost obscured by the snow as they eat their breakfast.
My toes and fingers were numb from the cold, frozen ice water. tractor metal and being stepped on by 2 cows near the hay rack.. It was time to head home and warm up and have some breakfast myself
I returned home to be greeted by my 2 comical drakes, Rudy & Agnew. They wanted me to re shovel the special path to the coop.
I had already done it twice before I left to feed the herd, and now did it again.
Will probably do it 9 more times today the way this snow is piling up.
The ducks always have a lot to say but I won't listen to a single quack until they start laying eggs.
Egg production has tripled here in the past 3 days. Its thrilling to open a next box and find four eggs in Nestbox #1and another big egg in nest box #2.
When it snows, a few of the hens prefer to nap on the porch rather than go all the way back to the coop.
Big Blonde hen, Marilyn, prefers to sit and sleep in my favorite chair as Mavis and Meverette (the hardest working hen I have ever met in my life) wait at the door for some warm treats.
It is beautiful and peaceful here with the snow. 8-10 inches so far.
I hope you are all staying safe and warm today.
And I hope none of your heifers get stupid inside a hay rack.