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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More on Chores in Winter

Let's see...where was I last? Oh, yes, on cutting ice. Well, let's go on and talk about hubby's chores in winter.

At 4 AM he has to put on his 100 layers of clothes and then head out to do his chores. There is nothing like going out to do chores in the dark in a wind chill factor of 2 degrees that makes you cringe. The first thing he does is split wood to start a fire in the barn. Cows give off heat, but when it is 5 degrees out they just don't give off enough heat. Then he goes and rounds up the herd. One nice thing when it is frozen out is that you don't have to do as much clean up work on the udders because they don't have any mud to lay in.

After milking he has to bundle back up and put out hay. This is a chore of 1-3 hours, depending on who all needs hay. The milking herd gets their alfalfa plus 2-3 bales of grass hay, then the herds up the road get a bale every 2-3 days, depending on how much they eat.

For one chore hubby has to wait until later on in the day when the sun, hopefully, has come out and warmed up the concrete in the holding corral in back of the barn. He always scrapes the manure off of the concrete, but when it's so cold everything freezes to the concrete.

And speaking of frozen cow pies, when I am riding the 4-wheeler in the fields to do graining and chop ice I have to avoid hitting cow pies, because a frozen cow pie doesn't moosh when you hit it; it can potentially tip you over. ha.

At about 4:30 PM after we have had supper, hubby bundles back up and does the evening milking.

This, of course, is a pretty simple version of daily winter chores because you never know what can happen and there are always the calves that come along. Calves that escape, neighbor horses that visit and get too close to the hay supply, cows that become ill, and of course winter means dehorning the younger heifers. A nasty job at best.

But the end of January means that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel as far as seeing the end of winter coming. Just a few more weeks...

We are hanging in there until mid-March!


Anonymous said...

Is dehorning as horrific a process as it sounds?

moe said...

I loved reading these winter chore details from this + previous post. We need a photo of somebody in 100 layers of clothing slipping on a cowpie, though.

Calfkeeper said...

Solomon-yes, dehorning is pretty nasty. I will have to blog about it when the time comes.

moe--heh, glad you enjoyed reading about chores. It's much more fun to write about them than to do them....will have to work on a pic for you!