Friday, December 08, 2006

Redhen's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Good morning.

It's 16 degrees F. here this morning, with strong wind and snow flurries. It will be a bit trying to do the farm chores this morning. Yesterday, I did anticipate the cold and did some last minute fix-ups in the barns to minimize the drafts. I'm hoping it will be a sedate day despite the extreme cold.

Normally, I just block out the negative things that happen, but the day before yesterday is worth mentioning, if only to "exorcise" it from my consciousness.

On Wednesday morning, the first thing I noticed when walking to the goose house, was that the cattle ball waterer was leaking a LOT from the base, creating a small river. Next, I became aware that there was no water in the hydrants in the greenhouse and chicken house. No water in the old farmhouse -- so no easy way to deliver water to the chickens.

I drove around and checked waterers and hydrants in the outbuildings on other parts of the farm. The water problem was only in one area. I called my husband at work and let him know that something was wrong. He suggested that I turn off the well pump at that area.

I then drove down the hill in my Mule to do that, and saw the entire goat herd walking down the driveway. They had chosen that moment to discover a breach in the electric fencing and were checking out other areas to browse! The Mule's motor just made them panic and I could see that the farm gate, open to the road, was where they were headed!

Anticipating tragedy, I jumped off the Mule and proceeded on foot. The goats turned toward me and I was able to lead them uphill. Just as my breathing became labored from the uphill climb, one of the ringleaders noticed an open gate to one of the large pastures. The goats, followers that they are, all went through that gate and I shut it and hoped for the best.

I went down and shut the main farm gate and then turned off the well pump. I took buckets in the bed of the Mule and went to one of the big barns to haul some water to the chicken house. Mostly, it sloshed out, so that by the time I got there I had only about a gallon of water.

Things just continued to go from bad to worse as the day wore on. I won't bore you with the details. As it turned out, the original water problem was caused not by freezing pipes, but by a worn out float valve. We managed to lure and drive the goats through three pasture gates toward their domain and all was back to normal by the end of the day.

'Just so those of you who crave the rural life know: we get our share of excitement, too.

1 comment:

Leslie Shelor said...

Why does this kind of thing all HAVE to happen on the coldest (or the busiest) day of the year!