Everything has come back to life. Trees are green. The grass is growing tall. Birds are chirping. We are getting in chicks and calves are being born. It’s just wonderful. Oh yeah there is also flies, oh the flies. Wasps, evil little critters sent here to inflict pain on me. Heat and sweat. I don’t mind showering two plus times per day. Flowers are blooming and Liz is picking wildflower bouquets for the house. As you can tell summer has it’s pluses and minuses, some are worse than others.
As we come out of spring and winter it is the time for new life. We try to calve in April and May because that is what mimics the wild animals around here. We don’t have to worry about losing calves in the snow or ice. Unfortunately in February of 2016 we did lose a calf in the snow. In order to prevent that we are more careful with exposure to the bull.
We also start getting our meat birds in as 1 or 2 day old chicks. These little yellow squeaky puff balls are so cute. They come in the mail and we go pick them up from the post office. They stay in the brooder with a heat lamp for about 2 weeks until they are ready to go outside and experience green grass, fresh air, and sunlight. Then after 8 short weeks they are off to the butcher and into the freezer. We keep meat birds during spring, summer, and fall. These are the seasons with fresh grass and favorable weather for them.
The egg laying chickens are rotating behind the cattle as a part of the integrated pest management system. They also have their new buddy Hank, our Livestock Guard Dog, hanging out with them for protection. Every morning they get let out and every evening shut up. The hens know to put themselves up every night, I just need to shut the door. However with the sun setting so late as we approach the summer solstice this chore gets done late at night.
We are just now getting into the grind of summer and will be through September. We take comfort in knowing that it will let up in the fall and winter will be a time for relaxing. We enjoy the animals, the hard work, the farmers’ markets, the lightning bugs and late sunsets while we have them. It is important to remember to enjoy this season while we have it, because when the wind chill is 0 degrees we will be looking forward these warm summer days.