Hairdryers and Riding in Barns

These past 10 days have been jam-packed with spring farming activities. This has been a spring like no other, and I'm sure any farmer in the area can attest to that.  Since we had such a wet/cold start to the spring, no one was able to get in the fields when they would have liked. For us, this meant that everything was ready to be worked up and planted at the same time. It has been a week of long days and short nights.  We are almost done with planting and will hopefully find out what sleep is like again.  :)

Have you ever used a hairdryer to dry a chicken?  Well, now I can say that I have. Last Friday, our new batch of broilers arrived.  Since the chicks have been shipped from out of state, they are generally very thirsty and hungry (they have been in a box for 2 days at this point). Like normal, I remove the chicks from the box one at a time, dip their beaks in the sugar water, and make sure they are eating. Thinking all is well and they are all set for a little while, I come back up to the house to resume other daily duties.  On this particular day I have planned a trip to town for groceries and other errands. Before I get ready to go I decide to check on the chicks.  Imagine my dismay when I open the lid to the box and discover 10-12 SOAKING WET and half dead baby chicks! It became apparent that these chicks were SO thirsty that they were drowning each other to get to the water. Just putting these sodden chicks under the heat lamp to dry was not going to cut it.  Not wanting to lose any chicks I do some fast thinking and decide that I will try the hairdryer to dry out these poor little babies. So I come up to the house, get the blow dryer, tell the kids "hey - there's some really wet chicks - I'm going to try to save them and dry them with the hairdryer." (How many Moms can say they have told their kids that?!)  It takes about a half hour, but I get all the chicks dried off, re-fluffed, and re-situated.  I am feeling better at this point, because the chicks are walking around again and eating/drinking.  Now I finish getting ready to go to town and finally make it there, do errands, and come home.  Only one of those baby chicks that got blow-dried didn't make it. I felt pretty good about my farm-wife-hero act of the day.  :)

And now, for riding in barns...
On Saturday, it was time to move Rue and her piglets to new pasture ground. This involved pulling the barn from its old location to its new location. Kevin made a really nice barn for the pigs and made it mobile so that we can do rotational grazing with our animals. Once we got all the pigs into the barn we hooked up behind the tractor and started moving. I rode in the barn with the animals to make sure everyone (by everyone I mean the pigs) would be okay. It was a very smooth ride - probably smoother than riding in a trailer. Everyone stood really still and rode quite well. It's not every day you get to ride in a barn!  :)

Here are some pictures of the happy pigs in their new pasture.