I'm trying to think of the last time I was in charge of feeding solely by myself! Now don't laugh I am under no illusion that I am actually in charge of anything but I have been following the instruction and do the physical act of all the feeding all by myself!
I love feeding throughout the holidays and in the winter. While the weather is unpredictable it seems more relaxed, slower paced and can take a little more time in the barns.
I feed in my pi's most days! When I know I am not going to spend most of the day in the barns I just throw on my Columbia wash pants, grab my barn jacket, boots and head out! Hog barns smell-so I take care of the feeding and chores and clean up after - I'm smart like that!
I have learned several things the last few weeks while feeding:
- I am terrible at slinging feed buckets. I think I must not be strong enough, I tend to end up just dumping them. I tried really hard to sling it the other day and ended up tossing the entire bucket into the pen of sows and hitting one of them on the head with the bucket!
- Feeding livestock is easier than feeding my kids. Pigs and cows aren't picky, they are excited to see me coming with feed and never turn their nose up or complain.
- Sows in farrowing barn are getting 3 scoops of feed and my instructions said to give them a scoop of soybean meal if they looked too skinny to me. Are my perceptions of a skinny sow different as a woman that that of what the guys consider a skinny sow?
- Picking up deads will never get easier for me. It is heartbreaking every single time.
- I don't like to listen to pigs eat but could sit for hours listening to cattle eat.
And something I learned the hard way: Kids really like to run augers, they will therefore fill the feed cart for farrowing barns to full for me. I will then attempt to move it anyways and will spill it - only making more work for myself!
And lookie what I found Christmas Eve!
After a great family supper at my Mom's with family, Christmas Eve Service at Boggstown, Chris and I went down to make one last round through the barns and found a brand new litter of babies - just one of the many perks of my job!!