Friday, October 4, 2013

Feeding in the Rain

For your homesteading pleasure...a step-by-step rundown of how I feed my small livestock on a rainy day.

 To receive the full enjoyment (and let's be honest, if we can't enjoy the task then we need to find another hobby, maybe even one that isn't unprofitable, smelly, and tiring) of raising small livestock, it's important to begin the feeding chores early in the morning. The sun just peeking up over the horizon is sending out an unseen telegraph to all the little critters, "Start screaming your heads off, wake the neighbors and make them think you haven't been fed in weeks."

I always try to rouse myself in time to  swallow at least a tiny bit of caffeine in one form or other.  And never mind that the early morning sunlight hasn't had a chance to reveal the clouds that are gathering overhead or that my half-awake self may not notice the scent of impending rain in the air. I get out there good and early to fill those empty tummies.

 Since I haven't become aware of the downpour that is lurking above, I take my time with the feeding. Yeah, I go ahead, give that goat an extra scratch on her neck. Uh-huh, carry my coffee cup with me and take plenty of time to make sure I don't spill a drop as I walk back to the little feed storage shed. Sure it's fine to go on back to the house and grab a (practically) new cottage cheese container  scoop to replace the raggedy one in the feed sack.

 As I leave that shed with only one scoop of rabbit feed because, after all, making a few extra trips is good exercise and I have all day anyway, I finally look up into the sky and notice the big black cloud that is about to make my feeding experience very, um, interesting!

 At this point in time, a decision has to be made. Do I switch into high gear and feed all the critters as fast as I can, hopefully beating the rain? Or do I go inside, switch into rain gear, and then return to feed at a slower pace with protective clothing? I don't know why but my choice is always to switch into high gear and take my chances with the rain. Today, as my luck would have it, the rain was actually a deluge. And I'm glad you couldn't see me as I did this: (In my mind this is all in slow motion, you should probably read it slowly to get the full effect!)

 I started out in a full slide through the mud to one set of cages, sprinted for the house to grab a hooded jacket, splashed through a puddle to another set of cages, raced for the chicken coop-dodging huge raindrops- pushing the wet hair out of my eyes so I could keep a close watch on the rooster, dropped the stretchy band that holds the gate closed in a clump of mud (I'm going to keep on telling myself it was mud even though it looked suspiciously like something else you find on the ground in a chicken run) and then let the hair hang on my face because I had to grab a stretchy band out of a runny clump of mud and I'm not touching my hair with that hand now, drug the hose to every bucket I could reach and collected every bit of wet grass I could store in my boot treads to track into the house as I shut the water hydrant off! Whew! Fastest feeding time ever, hope the neighbors didn't get woke up!


  1. Whew!!! Omg, lol sorry for laughing, but the visual on this is priceless...Have been there a time or two ;)


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