28 August 2010

If *this* were my job…

… I tell ya, things would be different.

If my job were keeping the house and farm running, keeping up with everything would be so much easier. The fences could be mended as the problems are noticed, the heavy lifting could be done a little at a time, and the garden could be visited and weeded every day. Of course, the bills would rapidly overwhelm us, which is why keeping the house and farm running is *not* my job … but boy, it would be nice to be able to do the house and farm work every day, instead of all crammed into the weekends or evenings.

What amazes me is that I feel this way even though I have a kid and husband at home during the week who actually do take care of the majority of things! I must be getting old.

Today’s mission was to start on Chickenville. We’ve been lucky enough to free range our chickens for the past several years, and have had no noticeable losses (we lose a few, yes, but nothing substantial). This summer, though, we had about 30 chickens when everyone got let out of the winter coops … and now we have fifteen. There’s been a hawk circling the property and The Reluctant Farmer saw a coyote sneak in by the garden the other day when the dogs were all on the other side of the house … so those two critters might explain our dramatically reduced chicken count.

Thus, Chickenville is in progress: a pen over by the barnyard, within sight and smell of the dogs’ usual sleeping spots, and in the centre of the pastures, so that no matter where the sheep happen to be (which is where the dogs will be), the chickens aren’t far. We’ll still let them out to roam and scritch in the dirt, but we’ll be bringing them in at night for their own safety.

The Boy and I also realized today that we’ve not seen the littlest bottle lamb at all. She was weaned a few months ago, but would still come up to you if you were outside. The Boy and I saw her ‘adopted sister’ (the two usually hung out together) today and realized that the bottle baby was nowhere in sight. We can’t seem to find her – so perhaps whatever took the chickens took her too. She was tiny enough to sneak out of the fences if she wanted to, but she always went back in on her own. I suppose without a mama to keep an eye on her, she wandered off too far. <sigh> Farming has rough spots, that’s for sure.

The bright spot, though, is that the demand for local, grass-fed meat is huge! We could easily have double the flock we’ve got and still sell out every year. Unfortunately, as this is *not* my job, we can’t scale up … not yet, anyway. Maybe someday, though …

Maybe someday, when I finally grow up, I can be a farmer.

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