Today on the farm, a new employee and three escapes

Our newest employee, Emily
Our newest employee, Emily

This weekend our newest employee started. Emily comes to us from NC State where she is a pre-vet student. Emily is the youngest of six kids who grew up on a much larger farm than ours. She knows pigs, cows, chickens, and hard work so she’s right at home on our farm. Emily worked with Miguel yesterday mostly and except for when I almost crashed all of us into some fool who ran a red light, things were pretty calm. Today Emily and I worked while Miguel had the day off. We fed all the critters, unloaded the truck and the trailer, and did a bit of general clean up and small chores.

Pigs having breakfast
Pigs having breakfast

I’d love to say it was a quiet day but as we were feeding the pigs, I was taking a short cut through the shop. I opened the entry door and pig #36 was standing there, inside the shop, looking at me. I shooed him out of the shop and he jogged to the barn where the sick pigs have been. Saturday Miguel put #36 and another pig back in the paddock with their friends. Apparently #36 liked being in the barn better and had broken out and was trying to find his way back into the hospital. I closed him in the barn and Emily and I caught him and put him back in the hospital stall in the barn with the other pigs. I guess our treatment is just too good in the barn, shots and all.

No sooner was that adventure over than I noticed that the meat chickens were spread out in the pasture having a large time. We keep them behind electric netting to keep predators from eating them. One of the posts had fallen over and the netting was laying on the ground. Not to worry, I hadn’t fed them yet so off to take them some bananas I went. Once the bananas were delivered, I went back and got some chicken food. By the time I got back, all the chickens were back inside eating bananas so it was a simple matter of filling up the grain bucket and putting the down pole back upright. All the chickens were back home and safe.

Emily and I then worked some more  on getting the food all unloaded, sorted out, etc. We were almost done when Emily asked if the cows were supposed to be spread out like that. I looked up and saw that the cows were not in their paddock but were instead spread over the entire pasture having a large time. Sigh. I went to check the paddock wire and it was down. I also noted that the cows were oblivious to the hot wire which probably meant it was off. Sure enough it was. Emily went and got some more food for the cows while I wound up the down wire and walked most of the cows back into the paddock. I say most of them, because of course three young calves decided to stay on the other side of the pasture causing another entire trip around the pasture and some quick work by Emily.

Cows in a pasture
Cows on the loose

Everybody ended up back where they were supposed to be. Emily and I unpacked the rest of the truck and burned all the boxes to finish cleaning up. We also fixed the fencing and turned the hot box on to keep the cows honest.

Hot wire, back in business again
Hot wire, back in business again. It’s hard to see but that’s 14.8k volts

You’d think this was a full day on the farm. This was just part of what happened before lunch. I’m hoping the afternoon is a bit slower than the morning. I have a tour and then I think I’ll go see an old friend to deliver some meat. Maybe everyone can stay where they belong till Miguel gets back. As he’s said before, “I take one day off and everything goes bad!” That’s what happens when you leave the gringos in charge.


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