The farming game is a game of life that strives to teach you your most valuable lessons. It's a hurry up and wait situation. Always.
Or you always think you are in a hurry and everything needs to have been done, in your mind, yesterday. When working with livestock though, this "hurry hurry" mentality won't get you far. It will just make you angry and cause more work for yourself. Growing up on the farm and working with livestock you start to get to know your animals. You know what makes them tick and that can both be a blessing and a curse when doing any type of sorting, moving, loading or anything out of the ordinary. However, sometimes people still lose their tempers and get all worked up making things way harder on themselves and the animals. I see this ALL the time at work when trying to move sows around the gestation barn or when trying to load crazy fat hogs. People get hot and the patience goes right out the window.
As a side note~
It always makes me laugh a bit to watch my parents sort cattle... two people with very different upbringings. One of "city" life and one of farmlife. To many people's surprise its my dad that grew up in town and didn't have that livestock background. My mom however is a different story. She is the eldest of nine kids and grew up on a dairy farm in the rural "thumb" of Michigan. She had to know a thing or two about working with the animals even though some thought it wasn't her "place." Between Mom and Dad there are always a difference in opinion in how to get things done... it's sometimes quite something to watch. Ha. To put it simply... Mom and I can usually get the sorting done in half the time it takes the three of us to do it.
Anyway...Patience is not something that I came into naturally as some of you know... but it's been a learning curve. However, I like to think that I have enough patience to move livestock effectively without anyone getting riled up. Like I mentioned earlier, you have to know the stock. Being that livestock are prey animals they have these crazy things called flight zones! Very useful to know about and use to your advantage even though the size and type of the zone can vary between animals. The tamer the animal the smaller the flight zone....which its sometimes more difficult to move them.
Along with the patience for moving/sorting comes the patience to wait for calves and the opportunity to make your farm profitable. Your farm is a business even though most small operations treat the farm more as a hobby. You've got to be able to turn a little profit because no matter how much you love farming, it's expensive. Some say you have to spend money to make money and depending on the situation I tend to agree! Whether that is pouring over pedigrees to really know what genetics you are wanting in your herd, buying some new equipment to make life easier, or taking that leap to expand your current herd.
That's what we are currently trying to do at Shamrock Acres. Our herd had been closed with the exception of new bulls since about 2002 and within the last few months we have decided to bring in some new blood and expand a bit. So far since June, we have added a bred cow, yearling heifer, and another mature cow. This weekend though, we are making another leap. We are picking up a small herd of 8(almost 9 since one cow is bred) to add to the masses that we have. One old cow (she's 13) is of our own breeding and it's going to be great to have that old line back again. Spending money to make money. That's how I have to keep looking at it.
Patience. Good things happen with time. Our time is coming. Exciting things are happening.
~Until Next Time
P.S. Keep a look out for pictures of the new additions soon!