It has been a good week around here, and we’re looking forward to a great weekend. We are going to select our new cabinets for our kitchen remodel (a future topic of many posts) and we’re heading to the local production of “The Sound of Music” (aka the best movie ever).
I was slightly disappointed that I missed try-outs for the play; however, I am not sure an audience would have wanted me to sing my version of “The Lonely Goatherd.”
Anyway . . . this week’s topic . . . the daily routine of the farm . . . some may also call these “chores.”
When J and I started dating it was a long distance affair that involved constant weekend trips. I knew he had responsibilities at home he was abandoning every weekend he visited, but I guess I didn’t fully understand the daily demands until moving here permanently. Being a cattle feeder means that twice a day, EVERY day, rain or shine, you must feed the cattle. For example, on the day of our wedding, the cattle still had to eat . . . they don’t take a break for special occasions, life events, or even holidays. Thankfully on our wedding day and throughout the beginning of our relationship, J’s dad and uncle picked up his slack. When one guy is out just means more work for the others.
The daily routine of feeding the animals twice a day is a prudent practice for the farm as it improves feed efficiency (aka how much weight they can gain and how much steak they will make). The heifers or steers on our farm are fed in the morning around 7AM and again in the afternoon around 3:30PM. By feeding twice a day they are never too full or too hungry. They are just right! This method also helps the feeders gauge how much the cattle are eating and if they need more or less the next time around.
While I understand the science behind the established daily routine, it has been an adjustment to plan everything around chores. It makes weekend trips and errands difficult (or leaves you feeling guilty that you’ve put more work on others). Luckily we work with family, so we’re able to negotiate when we want to get away, and we coordinate our calendars to stick around when someone else makes plans to go out-of-town.
I have certainly figured out that this lifestyle doesn’t always allow for sleeping in until 10:00, spending a day shopping in the city, or making happy hour plans for 5:00. However, the good news is that I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.