Feeding and the Hurdles

Last week, I asked the question, “Is this winter ever going to end?” This past week I was sent a post from social media reminding me that last February (2020), I asked, “Is this February ever going to end?” Well, it did in fact, end, but it set up another horrible February. The wind and snow just will not quit.

Elaine and I bought two thousand pounds of hay to feed the livestock through the winter. We have used one thousand pounds in the month of February alone. Our pastures have been partially covered with snow since the first of the year requiring daily supplemental feeding for the livestock. To real ranchers, one thousand pounds of hay doesn’t seem like a lot as they can feed one thousand pounds a day; however, Elaine and I have just two animals (pets). I am guessing at least one-quarter of our hay has blown out of the feeders and is lodged against a fence somewhere in eastern Colorado, where a rancher I don’t know, is not thanking me for his windfall. (Hey, that’s an unintended pun; windfall.)

Feeding livestock in the wind combined with bitter cold is a lot more fun for the livestock than it is for the person feeding. With animals that are genetically predisposed to enjoy cold windy weather, I think they enjoy watching us struggle.

Luckily, we have children to help feed. If they were ever at home. Country kids are smart. They are born with instincts that allow them to drive up exactly as I throw the last fork of hay over the fence. I can’t say they sit at the end of the driveway and watch, but I’m never sure.

I say that I throw the hay over the fence, Elaine has fed the animals, also. Until the phone call! Yep, I’m at work on my construction job an hour from home and I get that phone call,

Elaine: Monner, can you come home? Me: Why? Elaine: I went out to water the chickens, I slipped on the ice. I can’t bend my knee. Me: (Construction language) Is that all? Is it just your knee? (construction language) Elaine: Yeah, it’s just my knee. It really hurts, I need to get to a doctor. Me: (Construction language, more construction language)