I knew I was missing work, but I didn’t realize how much until I went back. My job has changed (grown) a little since last year, which is really exciting. This year, there are two days a week that I’m learning the Twenty Paces methods of fencing, baby (both lambs and kids) care, barn maintenance, and other animal care.
Tuesday was my first day and it was mostly just little jobs that needed to be done so that the other people at work could do their jobs. It sounds like Tuesdays will be spent doing pasture inventory (I haven’t learned about that yet), moving fences (they use Electronet for pretty much everything), and finishing up barn work (mucking or whatever) from the weekend.
Saturdays are going to be barn days, where I spend the day helping keep the barn straight and making sure the babies get the things they need. This past weekend, we stomach tubed some new lambs (to make sure they got the colostrum they needed), gave boosters for vaccinations, and weighed babies (new and updated weights for growth tracking and planning for weaning). To be honest, I think I’m most excited for Saturdays.
The rest of my work days are milking shifts and things are going much more quickly and smoothly this year. My first milking shift this year was a disaster mentally (it wasn’t too bad in reality). I spent too much mental energy trying to be quick and efficient, rather than focusing on trying to remember the routine. By the time I figured out that that wasn’t going to work, my brain was too frazzled to regroup and try a new focus. Nothing went horribly wrong, I just felt really out of sync with myself. I was careful for the rest of the week to focus on getting back into the routine instead. Not only was it more comfortable mentally, it wasn’t super slow. As a matter of fact, I feel like I’m doing better this year to get things done efficiently.
One of the most fun things about this year has been going out to the field where the second lambing group is pastured and finding surprise babies. I’ve been sent out a couple of times to move fences or check water and I’ve found twins every time. The first time was a pair of lambs, but Saturday’s surprise was a pair of kids. I admit that I prefer the goats, especially as babies (not that the lambs aren’t cute too).