Here is a guest blog post by Marieanne Coursen, one of our farmers at The Farmers' Museum. She wants to share a behind-the-scenes view of a morning on the farm in spring!
I always enjoy starting the day on the farm, especially, of course, if it is a beautiful spring day! The sun is still low in the sky and is streaming into the barns.
The animals still spend their nights inside, so they are pleased to see me since it means time to go out and eat!
We put hay outside for Zeb, our draft horse, the cattle, and the sheep and then they can all head out to their paddocks.
The ducks are laying eggs like crazy this time of year. They always lay their eggs on the floor in the henhouse in the morning. This morning I found a duck hen on the nest of eggs behind the door inside the house. There are about a dozen eggs there already, so I am not sure if she was laying an egg or is thinking about setting. Yesterday, a chicken hen was on this nest of eggs and she really had that "broody" look about her so I thought she might have taken on the task of hatching the eggs. Hopefully, someone will take on this responsibility at some point so we can have some ducklings.
Our turkeys have also begun laying eggs. So far, I have been collecting them and they are used for cooking. One day soon I will set up some nesting areas inside the turkey house and then we will let them keep their eggs and hatch some poults.
I love watching the turkeys come out for the day, the toms strut their stuff while the hens browse for yummy tidbits in the fresh spring grass. Our two tom turkeys are looking quite handsome these days.
Once all the animals have been attended to, we have one more chore. We need to keep the smoke going in our smokehouse at all times. Wayne, Rick and I are always challenging each other to see who can fix the fire just right so that the smoke continues all the way through the day or night. If it is still going when we get to work in the morning someone will have earned some bragging rights!
Once the morning chores are done we take a coffee break and then go back to work. This time of year we are focusing on getting fields and gardens ready for planting.
Would any blog fans like to join me for morning chores? We have a craft class called “Farm Chores,” available at individual and family rates. It is an opportunity to get a closer look at the animals here and to go behind the scenes and see what goes on here at the farm before the ticket office opens. Arrangements can be made by calling Kaaren Wyckoff at (607) 547-1410. Just make sure to wear muck boots and some work gloves. I look forward to some company for morning farm chores!