Farming Is About Adapting To The Weather
This morning as we talked about plans for the day and how we were again going to adapt to todays rain it got me thinking that farming is all about adapting to the weather. On a day like today, with rain all last night and the forecast calling for rain for the entire day, we make many adaptations to our daily farming routine in order to allow the animals and the soil to be taken care of properly.
During these rainy times we will give the cattle a larger amount of pasture to graze so they have less impact on the soft ground. We will also move them more often. This disturbs the roots of the grass less and allows the grass to recover quicker once the sun comes out. We will monitor the condition of the pasture very closely in order to ensure that the cattle are not having a negative impact on the health of the grass.
Chickens do not like being wet and do not thrive if their feet and feathers get wet. If it is supposed to rain in the morning but get warm in the afternoon we will wait and move the chicken shelters later in the afternoon in order to move the chickens onto dryer ground. On the days were it rains all day (like today) we will not move the chicken shelters forward. The area under the shelter is nice and dry and we do not want to move the chickens from their nice dry spot onto the cold wet grass. Instead we will add straw and shavings to where they are to keep them clean and give them a warm dry spot to bed down in. We also will bank the edges of the shelters in order to keep the running surface water from flowing into the shelters. Again extra monitoring of the chickens is required in order to prevent water from draining into the shelters and to ensure the birds health and comfort.
The pigs love the wet ground and will turn the sod and make wallows to lay in. The pig shelters have a roof over part of the shelter in order to give them a dry place to go. If their shelter gets too wet we will add straw to their shelter in order to give them a dry place to bed down in.
Since 1997 when we first started raising chickens outside we have experienced all types of weather. Heat and drought, storms, winds, cool and wet, sometimes all in the same summer. We make adjustments continuously to ensure the health of our soil and grass and the happiness of our animals no matter the weather.
- Sunworks Farm