One thing I’ve learned in the last couple years with this farming thing is that you never ever have time to do everything you would like to do or even should do. There is always more that one could do on a farm especially when you are in your start up years and the sky is the limit!

Well, I suppose the most exciting event this past week has been learning about one more thing that needs to be done on a regular basis: tightening the automatic chicken waterers.  Now, it’s something that I certainly know needs to be done but this summer has been quite hectic with the weather conditions, new business and learning curve. Anyway, I haven’t really been tightening the waterers.

Last Wednesday evening, my mom headed out to tuck the laying hens into bed and she heard some “water running” in my broiler chicken barn. I would say that in general the sound of running water on a farm is more than often a bad sound – especially in a what is supposed to be dry and cozy chicken barn. I was already in my pajamas and about to do one final check on the birds before bed…. when we really discovered that the barn had flooded. Luckily I had last checked the barn 2 hours previous so we knew the water had not been running long but still… at 10pm, in the dark, shoveling liquid chicken sh*t in my pajamas is not high on my bucket list!!

Well it became a family event – dad with the shovel, mom collecting dry shavings from the mill, me taking loads of the manure to the pile… it was a classic flooded barn clean out. Dad recounted many stories of when our dairy barn flooded. I had my own recollections of coming home from school on a rainy day and heading straight out the barn to bail liquid cow sh*t out of the gutter for a few hours. Try getting that smell off you before school the next day. Good times!

Within 45 minutes we had the barn emptied and re-bedded with fresh dry shavings, the waterer – which had come loose from the hose – was reattached and safely providing water again while the chickens settled in.

So like I said, one more thing for my routine – check and tighten waterers every couple weeks!