The Swing of the Season

Writing for farming is kind of funny. The “off season” is the time I have the least to write about. At least, I don’t have much to write about that seems worth making the effort. Yes, I burned another pile of weird sized logs. No, I didn’t get any splitting done this week. Oh, we’re up to a bag of feed per week for the chickens this month. There’s not much about that that’s exciting.

Then, the production season starts and just in the last week, I have pictures for at least two stories and I could probably come up with a third if I thought about it long enough.

Last week, there was a sort of open house thing at work. The farm they partner with sent some of their customers up for a tour. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing because I had other obligations, but the sheep were cooperative and a few of them had lambs the night before/morning of, so there were plenty of brand new babies to ogle, plus all the older babies that might not be quite as cute, but are much more active.

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Which one is the mother? I don’t actually know anymore. One of the guys said that this wasn’t the first lamb she’d tried to help with. And the bawling when the mother and baby were moved to a different pen was as if she’d been separated from her own baby. I’d never seen cooperative mothering before and from the way they were talking, it’s not exactly common. My schedule this year has let me be at the barn for more births than last year. It’s been really interesting to see the whole process (mostly in pieces because I’m not just there to watch mothers have their babies, obviously).

The other exciting news is that we have a black snake. The dogs found it last week and weren’t quite sure what to make of it. I called them off, but they had to make absolutely sure it wasn’t going to get us. I think it lives in the base of the tree that you can barely see in the picture. I’m hoping that it’s going to help take care of the rodent problem in the basement.

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