Wednesday, May 2, 2012

a guide for a new farm girl

So my hard drive crashed last week... things are backed up, no worries, but I will be using my husband's computer for a few weeks which means no pictures.  Instead, I've decided to write some lists.  First up:  things you should know about if you suddenly find yourself living on a farm.  Useful!

1.  Close the gates.  ALWAYS close the gates.

2. Both male AND female cattle can have huge horns.  Use other....signs... to tell them apart.  Or your brothers-in-law will never let you forget it.

3. To catch a chicken:  wait till they are roosting somewhere at night.  Grab them by the feet and hold them with their heads hanging upside down.  For some reason this calms them and they hang there quietly.  My theory is the blood rushing to their tiny little brains allows them to become suddenly philosophical.

4.  Never learn how to do the following: drive a tractor, use a lawn mower, milk a cow.  If you don't know how to do these things, no one can make it your job.  This theory was confirmed when I found my poor nine-months-pregnant sister in law milking the cow one morning.

5. Rubber boots are essential.  They may not look super cute, but I am always thankful when I am wearing them.  This has been a hard lesson to learn.  It goes something like this: "walking in my cute new shoes, la la la... SQUISH!  #*%& COW!"

6. To herd cows/ goats/ chickens/ horses in the direction you want:  stand in the place you want them to walk away from, wave your arms around in the air and make SHH SHH SHH sounds.  You only feel like an idiot the first 50 or so times you do this. 

7. To hold a baby cow while it's mom is getting milked:  Grab it's head between your legs and hold on for dear life.  Be warned: it is very hard to hold a calf once it is older then 4 days or so.... and if you don't know this, someone will try to get you to hold an older calf and then fall down laughing when you get tossed by a tiny little cow.

8. Learn the differences between these: cow, bull, steer, ox, mare, gelding, stud, foal, colt.  Lesson-- a cow is not always a cow.

9. Close that gate.

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