Do you ever stay at home and avoid going out on cold days? I still do this but I was much more successful at it before we moved to our farm.
Currently our farm isn’t much. We have about 30 chickens and 2 pigs and 3 dogs. But every morning and evening I have to go out no matter the weather and feed and check on our animals. If you have paid attention to the weather here in the south we are getting some nasty cold weather. Here in Oklahoma we have avoided that ice that Texas is getting but it’s still been close to zero degrees when I’ve had to be outside.
For my farm it only takes me about 10 minutes to quickly feed and water the animals as long as they don’t need any special attention. But this week we happen to be ‘farm sitting’. So after I take care of our animals I have to drive to our friends farm and take care of their livestock. They have many more animals and many more chores.
Yesterday I dressed warm even though it was below zero when you factored in the windchill. I wore heavy sock in my muck boots. I wore jeans. I had a long sleeved shirt with a hoodie and another coat on top. I had on my crochet ear warmers and the hoodie pulled up AND tied around my head. Also in hand were my fingerless gloves. My favorite because my hands stay pretty warm but I still have access to my fingers.
Within just about 10 minutes, long enough to get food to the 4 chicken pens, my fingers were so cold that they hurt! I could hardly bend them and this was my first chore! I hadn’t even started doing water which would be worse with cold fingers. Lucky for me my farming neighbors are more prepared than I am and had insulated work gloves and I borrowed them to keep my fingers from falling off. They did slow me down a bit as it was harder to open cages and feed buckets but it was worth it!
Between our two farms we have lost 9 chickens in the last 48 hours of this brutal cold we are experiencing. These poor little ‘teen’ chickens are just suffering through this cold and can’t seem to make it through without some not surviving. Mine are supposed to be laying eggs for me to not only feed my family but to sell to neighbors and friends as well. This is loss of income and food for our families.
From this experience of starting our own farm, that’s very much just starting to grow, and farm sitting for the neighbor my eyes have been opened to the hard work and sacrifices that everyday farmers go through big and small. Lucky for me I haven’t had to be outside all day long doing my farm chores like some of the bigger farms around here. But even the little bit I did do gave me a perspective that I need to pass along.
When you reach into your fridge tonight to cook dinner or while you are at the grocery store buying food remember that food came from somewhere. Many people spend every day outside in the cold trying to grow and raise food for our family. Be thankful for those people working hard for you! Trust me…I’ve worked hard and I’ve come from a family of hard workers but I will tell you there is nothing that I have done that has compared to life I’m now living. And if I think that these small farms are full of hard work I can’t even imagine what it would be life to run a large farm.
So if you have a farmer in your life make sure to tell them thank you! If you go to the farmers market to buy food remember to thank the farmer and their family for the hard work they do. It means a lot to hear thank you from someone!