Although the spring equinox occured on March 20 at 7:02 A.M. EDT, snow and cold remained on our bit of land. Lengthening days, nights in the high twenties and day temperatures above freezing have brought a softening to the barnyard this week. With the warmer temperatures the Belties take longer to eat a round bale of hay and the Katahdins can eat their day-ration of hay in the mostly sunny barnyard. Yesterday I rolled up the extension cord and packed away the trough heater when I scrubbed out the Beltie's trough. The heated bucket in the barn was cleaned and stored away until next winter's frigid temps. Dividing the barn pasture with a polytwine fence to limit the heavy hooved cows to a smaller sacrifice paddock will preserve the lower barn pasture.The electrified barrier will also retrain the beef to respect the pulsing fence, a key component of our rotational grazing routine in the growing seasons.The water fowl pens were remulched with the dry hay leavings from around the sheep feeder to keep mislaid eggs and feathers clean.I also reset the temorary posts supporting the fence that keep the four-leggeds separate from the two-leggeds in the barn pasture. Spent corn cobs are effective fencepost wedges,handy after a winter of avian snacking. The miserable kinked hose was retired, hose menders and bronze ends salvaged and a newer hose placed on the rack.
During all these tasks, traipsing back and forth across the yard and pasture I noticed more chores to be tackled. The multiflora rose is reddening and already pushing new growth; my mattock should be brought out of the toolshed for grubbing the tenacious roots. Checking and repairing portable chicken coops is the first step to getting the free ranging , landscape scratching hens out of the yard. Garden cart and wagon tires need to be be retubed and reinflated, orchard trimmings need to be cleared and late spring pruning needs to be completed. Before the sheep are turned out to pasture, I will teach the lambs to avoid the electric fence, trim hooves and worm when necessary.
Even when I get overwhemed by the length of my ever expanding to do list,my routine is never boring.