April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Fresh from the Farm: You just never know

By Shelley [email protected]

At my farm you just never know what to expect when you get into the barn. And those first peaceful minutes, or maybe even an hour, can be ever so deceiving.

I love going to my barn on a bright, sunny morning. The east side of my barn is open, and I can look down into the woods and watch the squirrels playing as they jump from tree to tree. I can see the horses, as they come up from the creek to let me know that they are ready for their breakfast. I can talk to Cassie cow as she stands at the gate waiting her turn to be fed. I always have three does on the milk stands as I milk. This gives them plenty of time to eat as I milk each one and then turn them out into the pasture.

There are often other animals in the barn as I milk. I may have an occasional visit from one of the dogs. There is almost always a cat sitting on a milk stand waiting on a squirt of milk. And then there are the bantam chickens. These, well, were not so such a good idea. Especially when they have babies in tow. A perfectly peaceful morning can make a sudden turn when you least expect it.

On one beautiful, peaceful morning as I was milking, mama hen and her little ones came popping into the barn. I enjoyed watching them scratch the ground looking for morsels of grain. I should have been watching the evil look in that hens eye as she eyeballed the cat sitting on the milk stand who was minding her own business. Here's where things changed quickly.

One minute there was peaceful milking, and the next minute the poor cat was screaming in terror as that little hen took off after the poor cat. That hen chased the cat under the milk stands, back around and over the top of the goat I was milking and across my lap. When things like this happen there are little moments you remember. Mine was, and I swear, the dog laughing. And I had no idea that milk could actually take flight. The goat was spooked by the ruckus and kicked the bucket. The full bucket went straight up into the air emptying most of the contents directly on my head. (Dog still laughing at this point).

I had planned to shower that morning, but a milk bath was not on the list of things to do.

After gaining my composure, and drying myself, as well as the doe off, I resumed my chores. The chicken didn't catch the cat, however the cat was traumatized to say the least. I have yet to forgive the dog.

You just never know what morning chores will bring at my barn.[[In-content Ad]]