I have to say, I am amazed at how much just one extra pair of hands to help around the farm makes a difference. Typically, it’s just me for morning chores. But this week I have some very special helpers! All the way from Texas.
Mr. Farmer’s youngest sister and her family are here visiting for a couple of weeks. This visit, her two girls are working at “Farm Camp”. This is a whole new and not so welcome camp for them. The oldest is very much a city girl and is afraid of the cow, that the calves are going to bite her and is scared of the chickens pecking her when she gathers eggs. The youngest is doing better but, I think that’s because she loves animals.
Day one involved a long pasture walk in wet grass that came up to nearly their waist and it was so foggy, it was hard to see the cows 50 feet in front of you. Needless to say, wet pants and socks are not the most comfortable thing in the world. Then I demonstrated milking the cow and the feeding routine for the calves. Daughter #1, the oldest, was extremely fearful of the calves biting her fingers. We carefully explained that they only had bottom teeth and they were really interested in suckling on her fingers just like they would a mother cow.
On the evening of day one, they watched Mr. Farmer as he milked the cow, they gathered eggs and yes, got pecked by a broody hen or two while attempted to get the eggs from underneath a sitting hen.
On the morning of day two, Daughter #1 did a great job putting the milking machine onto the cow. It only took one reset of the small vacuum pump we use. She even managed to share a smile or two at her accomplishment! Getting up early is not something either of these girls really enjoy.
Morning two, I headed out to the barn at normal time….to find that most of the animals were already fed. The scratch grain for the chickens was already out, the cow’s grain was ready and waiting, and the smallest calves were nibbling on their grain. After getting the cow from the pasture, in the rain (again) and helper #1 doing such a great job….literally, the only thing I did was a little instruction and dispense milk into buckets for the calves! The girls even fed the calves their milk. It almost seems to easy!!
Day number three started the same way with all of the grain out and fed. I even left eggs last night for the girls to gather up this morning…which went without a hitch and helper #1 is an old pro with the chickens now! Helper #2 did milking this morning. After a bit of an issue with getting the milking machine hooked up…she managed to milk her first cow! Smiley face and all!!!
Three days, four times assisting with chores and I see a HUGE difference in them already! Helper #1 was allowing one of the calves to suck on her fingers this morning and she gathered eggs without too much fuss. Helper #2 stated that farming was harder than it looks but still enjoyed learning.
Mr. Farmer and I discussed last night about getting them some shirts that say “I survived Farm Camp” with a picture of a cow and a chicken that says Barrows Farm under that for the back and then on the front put their names…Farmer Ashley and Farmer Autumn.
I do have photos to share, that I will tag into this post in a revised addition tomorrow morning…but I had to share this. It means so much to me to experience first time farming with the next generation! It means the world to me to know that even if they don’t become farmers, at least they know what goes into different agricultural production.
I am off for another busy and hectic day! Take care and God Bless!