Winter can be a difficult season on a farm. I haven’t decided who has it worse, the animals or the chore girl. The calves usually seem a lot less bothered by the cold than I am. I dislike days when my fingers and toes are froze before I even start chores.
Besides the cold of winter, the snow is a problem most of the time. It’s snowing right now as a matter of fact. This winter it seems like we’ve had a crazy amount of snow. There’s nowhere else to pile it! The snow makes everything more time-consuming. If we get enough snow, I’ll have to shovel the snow out of the bunks of the smaller calves before I start feeding them. It’s back-breaking, arm-tiring work. When those bunks are cleaned and the calves fed, I have to push the snow away from the silage before I can push up feed for the older heifers. It makes pushing feed take twice as long, since I’m driving past everything twice instead of once.
The snow makes it harder to get to the feed bunks, too. On my side of the bunk the snow gets packed down and slippery. When you’re dumping 5-gallon buckets of grain it’s hard to stop yourself from slipping. On the calves’ side of the bunk the snow builds up and makes it harder for them to reach the feed. Sometimes you even see them get on their knees to eat. This winter has been almost impossible to keep the snow cleaned out of everywhere.
So this afternoon while I’m trudging through the fresh snow to do chores, I’ll be dreaming of spring!