Life on the Farm: A Spring Surprise

Spring has sprung, and with it, a whole heap of unexpected surprises! You know what they say about farm life – it’s never dull, especially when the hay starts bailing early thanks to all this rain. So, picture this: there I was, knee-deep in hay and crop planting, trying to stay ahead of the game, when it hit me – lambs were due to start arriving at the end of June. Panic mode activated! The barns needed clearing, and there was manure to move. But hey, sometimes, the farm has a way of working things out.

Enter Wyatt, our friends' eager 13-year-old, ready to tackle farm life head-on. Last Saturday, we dove right into barn cleaning and manure moving, Wyatt learning the ropes as we went. We turned our attention to plastic wrapping the hay bales when my phone rang. It was Wyatt, and his voice was a mix of curiosity and urgency: "Hey Rod, I’m in the barn and one of your sheep has gooey stuff coming out her butt." Oh boy.

I hurried back to the barn, bracing myself for the worst. It was way too early for healthy lambs, and I feared Wyatt was about to learn a tough lesson on his first day. We penned up the ewe, and I donned the ominous shoulder-length gloves. Wyatt’s eyes grew wide as I pulled out one tiny hoof, then another, and finally, a healthy lamb!

Expecting twins, I asked Wyatt if he wanted to deliver the second lamb. Keen to impress, he ran for the gloves, but upon further inspection, there was just one. One healthy, perfectly normal lamb – but wait, they weren’t due for weeks!

We wrapped up our tasks for the day, Wyatt headed home with a tale for the ages, and I went to the house for supper, scratching my head at this mystery. Turns out, in all my technical scheduling and sheep management apps, I forgot the simplest thing – counting 147 days from breeding correctly. I had 32 ewes about to deliver!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week. We’ve just passed the halfway mark, with 12 ewes left to lamb. Surprisingly, I’m not as exhausted as usual. We’ve had mostly twins, no triplets or more, which means no middle-of-the-night bottle feeding – great for my sanity, though not as much for profits.

Lesson learned: sometimes, simplicity is key. A good old paper calendar in the barn with a big red X when lambing’s due might just do the trick next time.

Until next time, enjoy the little surprises life throws your way!

Your Farmer Rod
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