If I Ran the Farm: Day 5 is Easy, Except for the Salt

DAY FIVE

Wednesday. Not a lot to do today. Tomorrow will be the big day for refilling the hay rings and hopefully the fields will be a little dryer because it hasn’t rained since Monday. And judging from the level of hay in the rings, the ladies and their children are going to rush me. After all my planning to avoid it.

At the spring, I turn the valve back off. Sure enough, the tank is full and the goldfish pond has refilled. Check.

I am now considering it a little miracle that the sheep have stayed in the center pasture this entire time, almost a week. Just a gift God gave me to remove that particular stress of having to worry about wayward sheep. That particular pasture is for the cows, so they can easily walk through its fencing. And in fact, they do. They leave to drink from a nearby creek, then crawl back through the fence, back into the pasture. I just have to laugh and thank God.

I did enlist Lauren to help me get the salt into its feeder. Her job is to wave her arms and buy me some time to empty the salt. We drive out with two 50 pound bags, again in bright blue. I wonder if any feed marketer thinks about the effect of those bright bags on a field of cattle, or the peril it puts me in? We get to the feeder before they do and I cut open the first bag. Lauren is standing guard. As I hoist the bag into position with one arm and try to lift the flap, I can’t believe how heavy the stupid flap is! I know it’s weight makes it lay flat when a cow isn’t nosing under it, but how am I supposed to pour and hold it open at the same time?

“They’re coming, Mama.”

Fear is what makes it work. I poured, slashed another bag open, and poured, telling Lauren to jump up on the four wheeler if she needs to. Right now it’s the only thing between me and seventy-five cows.

As we secure the bag and drive away, the cows converge on the feeder just like they did yesterday, only now the lucky first few discover something in it. That news visibly ripples through to the edges of the crowd and they surge forward. The late coming little calves sense the excitement and start snorting and kicking their hind legs in the air with no idea what it’s all about except that their mamas are happy.

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If one of them sees something new, they ALL have to get in on it!

Jerlene CannonIf I Ran the Farm: Day 5 is Easy, Except for the Salt