Tuesday, March 2, 2010

After the storm comes the clean up

After a hellish week, calm and a sense of normalcy settled over the Hudson Valley Area on Sunday. The snow stopped, roads were cleared, and our power was restored in the afternoon. Yesterday after chores, all man/woman power was spent cleaning up the mile and half road leading to Glynwood. The road was a graveyard of fallen and broken trees and of course, plenty of snow. With three chain saws, a tractor, and two pick-up trucks, we slowly made progress. By the end of the day we could see the 301. Victory was ours!

It didn't take long to get soaked. Snow was going down my boots and my gloves were soaked from stacking wood, but the weather was sunny and a nice 40F.

A pleasant surprise came when we checked on the sows and the Large Black (sow breed) farrowed. Dana (fellow intern) and I walked into the barn and we saw a little piggy running freely in the aisle. Dana went and picked it up and was about to put it in with the sow that farrowed a few weeks ago. I immediately yelled out to her not to do it, as I noticed that the piglet was too tiny to belong to that mama. Then I looked down into the Large Black's pen and saw a bunch of piglets. She had 12 in total and 2 died. Half the litter were black and half were pink. I picked up the dead piglets and after birth with my gloves and put them in a bucket. At this point, I realize that I could probably cultivate a dozen different microbes if I swabbed my gloves. (How did I go from food inspector to picking up placenta?) As I contemplated the need to wash them, that decision was taken care of when they fell into two mud puddles.

As I mentioned in the last post, we ran out of hay on the weekend. We got a few rolls in and they are massive. Nicole (fellow intern) and I tried to push it but to no avail. Sadly, we needed the boys help. The good thing about these bails of hay is that we only need to roll out one a day (instead of two to three) for the 65 cattle and 100 goats. (The cattle also have access to hay outside)

We received a load of silage hay today. And boy oh boy, let me tell you about silage. I smelt it long before I saw it. An odor that is reminiscent of sweaty man feet and stinky cheese. Ken, the farm director, explained that silage is rolled wet in early spring, while the hay is at peak nutrition, instead of cutting it and letting it dry in the fields a few days. As it is typically done at the end of the summer. The wet hay is tightly rolled and wrapped in plastic and bacteria multiplies and consumes the remaining oxygen, thus preserving the hay. Its kind of like a rolled sauerkraut. Fortunately, we don't have to roll silage hay out (we stick it outside in the feeder rings) because I already have a lot of funky smells going on in my car, I don't need to add smelly man-feet-cheese on top of it.

So now the roads are clear, hay has been delivered we are waiting for the snow to melt to deal with the rest of the damage. I threw my dirty work gloves and clothes into the washing machine. As I put them in dryer I noticed dry kernels of corn and hay left in the bottom of the washer. A large clanging noise from the dryer prompted my husband to open it up and search for the cause. He pulled out a 5 inch screw from the dryer and said "I don't even want to know."

No comments:

Post a Comment