You know, sometimes the weather brings certain tasks to the front of the line, and that is what happened in the milking hut. With all that rain and mud and the variations in temperatures, it became very apparent that we needed a new milking stanchion and a protective box to hold the milking machine, alfalfa pellets, and other necessary items for milking. (A stanchion is what the cow willingly walks into and stays in while she is milked. It needs to be efficient, provide a snack, and be comforting, like a weighted blanket.) The new stanchion has a flat floor that the cows don’t have to step up onto and can be cleaned of mud and such. It provides many options to look around, and, even thought it looks very tight, the cow can fit its head into and through to the alfalfa pellets without bobbing, weaving, or batting an eye. These ladies love it and head in eagerly each morning!
The weather really brought the new stanchion to the front of the line, but Noah also got the new Meat Bird house/trailer ready for our first round of meat birds arriving the first week of March. The thought/hope for this is that it will ease the transition of the chicks into early adulthood. I like to think of it as the dorm. We get our meat bird chicks in the mail and raise them all the way through to meat CSA size. This takes 3 separate coops/homes, we realized that these transitions from home to home to home weren’t easy on the birds. Totally not cool. So now we have a situation where the birds can walk themselves to their new home.
After the chicks graduate from their very warm, very comforting chick house, they walk through an alleyway into their new trailer. The trailer has an open pasture area which allows them to explore outside and sleep inside. This is the transition period before they head into the meat bird pasture where there is a ton of space and a more open coop configuration. It will introduce them to walking about and foraging, but in a comfortable way to build their confidence. You know, the dorm if it goes right in college.
When the birds grow up enough, then we will drive the trailer to the meat bird pasture and turn them loose on their own time into the wide world of bugs and pasture and sky for them to run around as they grow big and delicious!
Winter in infrastructure repair land is just like winter in crop planning land: what are the things that can be done now that will make life so much easier when everything gets crazy busy during the main growing season. Winter isn’t done yet (hello -8F last night on the farm), but Noah has already done amazing things. We can’t wait to see what the next few months hold.