Our primary sponsor, my employer, needs my attention during the best 8 hours of the day. That means we get up early and stay up late. Let’s run down Monday evening and Tuesday this week. I got off work around 4 Monday, knowing I had more work to do in the evening. I began building a compost pile. To build that pile I had to haul the goat manure from the winter goat pasture to the new pile; wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow, manure fork after manure fork. While I was busy with that, the oldest two children were cleaning out my daughter’s chicken house. That required one wheelbarrow plus four 5-gallon buckets then they refilled it with fresh material. The bedding from the primary layer house and a nice, rich haul from the brooder completed the pile.
When the compost pile was finished, my oldest son and I loaded up the tractor with portable fencing and some wiring to complete the circuit to the newly repaired fence. With the broilers safely surrounded we walked to the barn to get hay for the cows who are currently rotating around the pond, then reconfirmed that the fence was working and the chickens looked comfortable.
Once home again I fed the goats, ate a quick dinner (baked rabbit wrapped in bacon with green beans, salad with guacamole, and honeydew), tucked in the kids and went out to grind feed for the broilers. We finished up around 10:00 and came in to watch a bit of Dr. Who (Third Doctor) before falling asleep.
We were up again at 6:00, before it was foggy, and I went out to the pasture to check the broilers. Everybody came through the night (I was a little nervous). I walked back to the house and began loading up the remaining 150 broilers. As the sun came up fog started rolling off of the pond South of the house. The wind drove the fog North so as I drove the tractor full of chicks out to pasture I passed through a dense fog. Chicks were all happy to settle in and started eating immediately. I showered, packed up eggs, hopped in the car and headed off to my real job while the kids had an adventure.
Home again and the chores were waiting for me.
It’s a busy time of year and we’re often sore and short on sleep. The work is enjoyable, the weather is unseasonably fantastic and we are making a positive impact in our family, our community and the local ecology without shorting my employer. It’s time to sprint!