Friday, April 29, 2011

And A Partridge In A Pear Tree

Evening barn chores are beginning to lean heavily on the side of being pandemonium. It's crazy! I find myself subconciously humming 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', as I go about, trying to get things done. What with 60 chicks a' chirping, 6 goats a' maaa-ing, 2 ducks a' quacking, 1 rooster crowing, 1 cow a' bawling... I can't help but wonder where the partridge in a pear tree is! ;)

Things usually start out with the goat kids crying their heads off, as they hear me come into the barn. That in itself is ear piercing. Next the cow starts bellowing. Not sure why she thinks she has to shake the barn rafters, as she already has food in front of her face; but I guess she feels it necessary to try to harmonize with the kids. The ducks pick up the chorus with their incessant quacking and start following me everywhere. Not to be outdone, Ivy, Heidi, and Capri start shouting out the soprano parts of this crazy symphony. The rooster adds the bass, and the chicks merrily keep time to the melody. Things have suddenly gotten really loud!

Wait a minute! This ain't no 'Twelve days o' Christmas'! This is old McCaity had a farm! With a moo, moo here, and a quack, quack there! Here a chirp, there a crow, everwhere a Maa! Maa! E-I-E-I-O!

The goats all make a dash for the gate, which has just been untied, and I feel like I've just been hit by a tidal wave. There's a mad scramble to grab their collars, but one orney goat still manages to slip past. Fine, have it your way, goat.

Feeling rather harried, as my two milkers are complaining that they need to be milked, I scramble around filling water buckets, throwing hay into the manger, feeding the dry does their evening ration, attempting to bottle feed the kids, closing up the chicken coop, re-filling the chickies feeders and waterers, feeding the ducks, closing up the barn doors, cleaning off the milk stand, preparing for milking, filling the ducks water bowl, as I realize that while I cleaned it out five minutes ago, I forgot to actually put water in there.

And then!

Everything goes silent.

Utterly silent...

The goat kids have milk in their tummies, and their little heads start nodding like wildflowers in a breeze. Their tiny snores are heard in a few more minutes. The cow decides that the hay in the manger is more appealing than voicing her opinion on things. Nothing more is heard from her, except methodical munching. Capri and Penny settle down for the night, content that they got their rations before the milkers did. The ducks lay down next to the milk stand, waiting for me to start milking. The broiler chicks are all asleep, the rooster finally stopped crowing, and Heidi and Ivy expectantly watch me as I finish up getting ready to milk.

The pandemonium probably only lasts ten to fifteen minutes, but it seems like eternity sometimes. I am extremely grateful that they are usually quiet when I milk. It makes the noise more bearable. I milk Ivy first, and then Heidi. all you hear is the streaming of the milk into the stainless steel pail. One squirt, and then the next. The ducks watch me, sitting one foot away. No barn cats here, to bother me when milking; instead I get inquisitive ducks.

Maybe it's a good thing that I don't have a partridge in a pear tree; that might be too much noise... ;)

No comments: