Baby Watch

There have been some tasks around the farm that I’ve had to, well, psyche myself up for. For example, the first batch of baby chicks we got freaked me out. I don’t even know why. It was just something about how little and chicken-y they were, with their beady eyes, pointy beaks, and little chicken feet. Matt unpacked that entire box of chicks and I didn’t touch a one of them. But once I finally got up the guts to pick one up, I was hooked and I’ve done every so-called nasty chicken job since without flinching. From cleaning little chick butts when they paste up, to pulling twenty-some chicken corpses out of an overheated shed, to gutting the freshly-butchered.

Well another one of those tasks came up this week. On Monday at lunch Matt informed me that I was going to check our sow, Sara, for milk. We’re expecting her to farrow any day now. And a visual check was not going to cut it. He wanted me to squeeze her nipple. Uh-huh.

Matt’s advice? “You can’t just go up to her and squeeze her nipple. Girls don’t like that. You’ve got to talk pretty to her first.”

You’re telling me?

So I requested a demonstration. And then refused to try it.

Which later led to one of those husband-and-wife discussions, lasting until well after midnight, over whether we’re going to keep at this or throw in the towel.

But today I did it. I got in the pen. I called Sara outside. She was talking to me in that woofy way sows have. I talked woman-to-woman with her, and I squeezed her nipple. But she started walking away just as I did it, so I couldn’t tell if any milk came out. I really thought I saw a drop, but Matt checked her again after work and didn’t get anything. Bummer.

Matt scolded me for not taking my mitten off before I groped her headlights. My feeling, having had a yearly exam for the last 20 years, was it doesn’t much matter what the groper is wearing on his or her hand.

And the outcome of the discussion? Yeah, we’re still here. Farm on.

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3 Responses to Baby Watch

  1. Patti says:

    You go Girl!!!!!! Blessings …Patti

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank Goodness! I don’t think I could eat another store bought pork chop again!:`) -Larry Miller

  3. Joe Greene says:

    Hilarious post! Isn’t it amazing the sorts of things we’ll do to live this lifestyle?

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