I think I almost prefer chores in the winter to the summer. The cow pies are frozen, making them much easier to pick up and put on the pile and they don’t smell nearly as bad. There is more barn clean up in general, due to hay and straw and the cows spending the majority of their time in there. But that’s ok. I take comfort in knowing they are indoors; the door is open for them to go out, they just find the barn cozy I guess.
Cleaning the chicken coop is a little more challenging in the winter but it’s not that bad when you figure I only have the smaller side to clean. Our rowdy birds don’t care if your shoveling shavings out from under them or not. They are going to stand where they want, when they want and that’s that. Feisty little things.
I will say bringing everyone water is much easier in the summer. For the most part it’s just a matter of turning on the hose. The winter on the other hand, is a little more work. I fill at least three 5-gallon buckets in the kitchen sink, load them into a sled and pull them to the sock tank in the barn for the cows. Every other day the chickens get bucket number four and every couple days it seems like I am making a second trip with another three buckets to the cows. ( I like to make sure everything is topped off.)
I can also stumble my way out to the barn in my pajamas without the neighbors noticing. Coveralls are a wonderful thing and it’s dark in the morning. In the summer (spring and fall too) it’s much more obvious; pink poke-a-dot mud boots and a bathrobe. Yes, it’s true, most day’s I wear my pajamas to the barn. Not because I’m lazy, but I like to do my chores early 5-6 am., but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for the day. Coffee is had after chores, not before. From what I’ve heard, the animals don’t mind if I shower after I see them rather than before either.
I have also discovered I can not use the boot dryer on my barn boots. As much as I would like to head out to the barn in the early morning hours in a extra warm pair of boots, it’s not worth the welcoming scent of cow shit when you take your first few steps in the door.
“Yes, please come for Sunday brunch. Don’t mind the “barn” scent when you come in. Just hang your coats there, above the boots on the dryer.”
Nothing says “welcome” like cow shit. Not that the remnants of chicken poop and bedding are any better. The combination of the two is really something!
I admit I do take a little pride in doing the chores every day. Not only do I just plain enjoy being out in there, I enjoy the work and the satisfaction when it’s done. I think Mike is glad I like to do chores too. He doesn’t seem to get as excited about them as I do.