The not so glorious agrarian life…in the winter

The younger children and I recently had to hold the fort down here at the farm for a few days while our older men were attending a conference. 
The 7 year old and 8 year old took over all the chores for a few days with their younger 5 year old brother and endured a bit of forced growing up.  To add to their induction into responsible farm hands, we have had some very cold weather spells.  The only chore they did not do was milk the cow.  I tried that with the help of the 7 year old and quickly determined that at almost 6 months pregnant (me that is, not the cow) milking a cow just isn’t going to happen.  The 7 year old milked her for a bit so between the two of us, we were able to get just enough milk out to do. 
After that, he showed me how big his chicks were getting while he fed and watered them as they are still located under a heat light in the milk barn.  While we were getting the chicks fixed up, some other chickens wandered in the barn and started drinking out of the milk pan.  That is terribly frustrating on a cold day when you just endured the muck and mud and cold and exertion to milk the cow only to have the milk taken over by inconsiderate cow-patty-scratching bantams.  Ohh, well…we fed the milk to the cats and went inside. 
Evidently, all of the inadequate care of the cow was for not, as she ended up with a good case of mastitis.  Thankfully, the men have taken over her care and are getting her back up and going.   I am especially grateful for these farm guys because they are the ones who endure the cold mornings, the frozen water, the chapped hands, the meddling goats, the thieving chickens and the stubborn cows on a daily basis. 
One thing I do endure, along with everyone else is the highly irritating and annoying farm yard animal called the rooster.  They have their days numbered and after work settles down a bit, the guys are going to take care of them.  That is a good thing you see because one story I forgot to mention was about the early morning when I headed out the back door in my pajamas with the boy’s  gun to try and take care of a flock of roosters that decided that my bedroom window would be a good place to congregate and compete for rooster dominance–waking me and the sleeping baby from some needed sleep.
Did I mention how much I detest roosters? 

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