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Meconium Happens

June 2, 2013

When I see how dirty I get in a day, I totally understand why more folks don’t farm.  Buying your food from the store certainly shields you from the gritty life of farming.  Gritty is probably an understatement though.  Yesterday I got smeared with meconium from a newborn calf, so new I had to help him walk to the next paddock.  Sounds gross to most I’m sure, but a joy to me.  A nice healthy bull calf and a sane mama not wanting to clean my clock as I manhandled her newborn.  He can shit on me any day.

calf skid mark?

calf skid mark?

copilot and confidant

copilot and confidant

Pet dander, cow minerals, battery acid and gasoline added to the calf crap and that was all before it was time to work in the garden.  Just another day on the farm.

farm truck

farm truck

Blueberries in progress

Blueberries in progress

On the other side of the coin though, is being able to see the fruits of our labor, blueberry plants are so stunning they should be in every landscape, edible or not.   Baby calves so new their white faces sparkle.  Being able to grab some turnips and kohlrabi from the garden for the next day’s breakfast greens.

Hakurei & Kolibri

Hakurei & Kolibri

Yes, meconium does happen, but it’s not really all that bad.  I wouldn’t trade my job for any other.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2013 10:09 am

    Ha ha! Hubs sat down to dinner yesterday and said “look, no goat poop on my pants!” We were both so proud. 🙂 I look out the window and I can see exactly where the manure is in the pasture – an island of lush green in the midst of browns and short, wimpy green. So poop is good. Camelid poop is especially good.

    I do envy your shiny new babies. Ours have all lost that new baby smell. Now they smell like a barn in the morning, like sunshine in the afternoon. Nice thing about dairy goat babies, you can pick them up, hug them, and sniff deeply for a couple of months.

  2. June 2, 2013 12:08 pm

    I’m a big fan of the coverall, lol. Too hot for those ’till fall though.

    Any laundry product endorsements? I find manure and grass especially challenging, lol

    • June 4, 2013 9:02 pm

      Jackie, the best trick I have found is dishwashing liquid with washing soda or borax. Sometimes I need to pre-soak but this gets out everything including hydraulic fluid, oil, grease, you name it.

  3. A.A. permalink
    June 2, 2013 12:25 pm

    Don’t know about the battery acid and gasoline, but poop’s just fine. What gets me is the smell of plastics and such in town, especially pvc, and car exhaust, and yeah, the “sweet” smell of roundup.

    Love your picture of your confidant. We all need one, don’t we 🙂

  4. Kristin permalink
    June 2, 2013 2:08 pm

    I Sooo love reading your posts. They always make my day, but today’s post, “Meconium Happens” really made my day! Thank you for your brilliant and informative posts and beautiful photography. I live vicariously through you!

  5. Bev permalink
    June 2, 2013 4:08 pm

    Had to laugh. Our laundry looks that way, too. Part of being country. Our valley has had it’s first cutting of Alfalfa and it is curing. Smells so good. Stacked hay, the smell of manure in the horse barn, it is a part of our daily life. You have said it all. Manure is Gold! I feel that sometimes the world moves too fast, but thank goodness for the washer and dryer. I can’t imagine how hard farm life was back then without the things we use today that we take for granted. Our garden is in and it smells like summer. Hope your weekend was great!

  6. June 2, 2013 8:10 pm

    Being a midwife, that’s one of my favourite sayings!

  7. Fid permalink
    June 2, 2013 10:11 pm

    Why was I thinking the other side of the coin was going to be you cleaned up?! 🙂


  8. June 3, 2013 12:46 am

    Ha ha! Yes, there is not a day that goes by that meconium doesn’t happen around our place 🙂 I wouldn’t trade it for anything either.

  9. Mich permalink
    June 3, 2013 1:36 am

    Lol…oh yeah I agree and thank gawd for washing machines!

  10. June 3, 2013 4:55 am

    This post really speaks to my heart. It amuses me sometimes as I’m telling a story of our worry that a first-time heifer isn’t going to be able to deliver her calf by herself. As she labors, we stand close by and watch. When we think it’s gone on as long as it should, I grab the chains and help the beautiful calf into this world. My eyes beam as I tell of the joyous conclusion, but my sister cringes over the mental image. It’s a different world, for sure!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

  11. June 3, 2013 7:53 am

    During my year long break from farm life (a year in Mexico with family) I missed a lot of things… but one thing I enjoyed was being able to go out in public without showering and changing clothes and STILL people wrinkle up their noses as I get near!

  12. June 3, 2013 1:15 pm

    Amen to that.

  13. Racquel permalink
    June 3, 2013 2:16 pm

    since I already have temps in the 80’s here in Virginia I have a habbit of getting my daily shower after lunch so I can get my Red-headed carcus out of the sun at the hottest part of the day. some days I don’t keep track of the time very well and I had an appointment for 2:30 show up to my dirty,smelly, barn yard/gardening mess. I think it made him glad he does a job that does not require laboring in dirt and poo. I go through a couple sets of clothes a day by taking a mid day break because AINT NO WAY I’m putting those dirty clothes back on in the evening to go out for round two.

  14. Bee permalink
    June 3, 2013 4:36 pm

    Yep, you ranch, you have laundry. Really special laundry, like: the red grease from the backhoe; the dirt the youngest rolls in and pours in her hair; the poop from horses, cows, sheep, pigs and chickens; the spots where you wipe your pants legs when you butcher; the pitch from the firewood; the algae from the water trough and the gunk from the calf’s abscess. Not to mention the grass stains, the pig slop and the spilled milk. I find, however, that a cup of Chlorox II plus a cup of dishwasher detergent, stirred into a gallon of hot water until completely dissolved, will take out almost all that stuff. Soak whatever your dirty item is in the stain remover solution over night, then wash as usual. Warning – bloody items should be soaked in cold water first, and it won’t work on pitch unless you first rub the pitch spots with butter to dissolve the pitch. Wipe with a paper towel, then soak.

    • Elizabeth permalink
      June 4, 2013 3:12 am

      Wow! That part about butter on pitch is a gem! Thank you!!!!!

  15. Janet permalink
    June 4, 2013 9:59 pm

    Yes, the laundry… oh dear. I have separate clothes for “town” and farm and the farm clothes can’t be washed with town clothes… 😉

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