Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Morning in Nebraska

We had a beautiful snow here Sunday, if any snow can be beautiful. We got about 10 inches of light fluffy snow with little wind, so it is laying fairly flat. The wind is now starting to pick up. We will see if it starts to pile up.

My perspective is much different than when we had 2,000 cattle around the place to feed and water every morning, rain, snow or sunshine. The feedlots in this area were busy by 6 this morning blading and scooping the snow out of the feed alleys. Next came the bunk sweepers and scoop shovels to clean all the snow out of the feedbunks. You must clean all the snow and old feed out the feedbunks before you add new feed, or the cattle will waste most of what you feed them. We never had a bunk sweeper, only scoop shovels to clean them by hand. If you think cleaning off a driveway is bad, try scooping 2,000 feet of feedbunks by hand, before you do your normal chores.

Next is to clean the water tanks from ice and snow. Most modern tanks have some sort of heater or continuous flow water to keep them clean, but 10 inches of snow will overwhelm most of them. After feeding then you start to clean the pens of snow. You really need to clean the concrete apron by the feedbunks and the mounds in the pens of snow so the cattle can eat and rest on dry ground. If not done right away the snow becomes ice or mud, depending on the weather. Both are bad!!

Since our livestock today consists only of 40 laying hens (Barb's hobby), one dog and 10 or so cats, chores aren't bad. I did have to get up and clean the driveway  out to the road early this morning so C could get to school. Even 10 inches aren't enough to cancel school since it didn't blow it around. Our dog is a Black Labrador Retriever cross and thinks this is the most wonderful weather. She still wants to play fetch in the deep snow. She can't understand why we keep wanting to go inside to warm up. After all it only 9 degrees and the snow is so much fun to play in.

For me this will be an office day. Moving the 2010 file folders to the last year drawer, making new folders, printing 1099's and paying more bills. What fun.

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