Everything “opens up” in the fall.
Trees lose their leaves and let through more light, wind, and weather.
Crops are harvested, empty fields are plowed, and everything starts to look naked as it waits for the cover of snow.
Our summer heifer pasture is bare of cattle, as they are moved to more sheltered areas in preparation for the change in season.
It’s a good feeling to know our work will also lessen some, but it doesn’t stop things from looking bare.
Our little poultry barn also has a strange emptiness to it.
On Friday I took the last of our chickens and turkeys to a poultry processor. (They’ll be ready in time for Thanksgiving, so if you are close by we will even have a few for purchase. )
I’m glad we did butcher some ourselves to appreciate the effort behind it, but I just knew it would be nearly impossible to find time to do the rest before the deep freeze of winter sets in.
Because yes, I’ll admit I’ve definitely complained about chicken chores on the few mornings I had to deal with frozen water and my own frozen fingers this fall.
I’m sad to have no more eggs and no more exuberant hens clucking around the yard, but I’m proud of the food we raised. Every farmer is, no matter how big or small the result.
The difference in scale between our dairy and our few birds is almost absurd, but we definitely learned from the undertaking.
We still have our ducks and geese, so that keeps the barn from being eerily quiet. We’re not sure if we’ll butcher them or just get a heated waterer and keep them over winter. They have plenty of feathers and weight to stay fat and happy, so they’ll be manageable to keep if we do. 🙂
At the dairy we’ve had less calves then normal these past few weeks, but the ones that are born are dried off in a heated warmer right after birth and then bundled in a jacket before they go to a hutch.
I’m convinced nobody can resist the charms of a baby calf in a coat!
May you all be able to relax and even enjoy the relative space and emptiness that late fall may bring to you.