Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wetter Than a Mad Hen (or Rooster)

We're WET here!  No, we're soaked . . . sodden . . . wringing wet . . . wetter than a mad hen!  By Saturday morning, Jan. 12, we'd had a total of 1.21" of rain for the month.  The barnyard still hadn't dried out from its soggy state on Jan. 1, and the Saturday rain continued steadily all weekend.

I told Herb that I was worried about the horses and cows standing around pastern-deep in the mud, concerned they would get thrush in their hooves.  By Sunday night, Herb said that although he hates to have the animals on the pasture when it's so wet, it had become a case of having to sacrifice the pasture--or the animals.  This is one of those times when farming isn't about a Plan at all, but a Contingency Plan, dealing with the curve balls as they come.

We discussed putting the animals in the Back Pasture since it's bigger, but I figured they would go crazy when we turned them loose and their wild galloping, slipping and sliding on the hill, would do serious damage to the pasture.  Also, there's nowhere dry to put a hay bale in the Back Pasture, and we had no idea how long we might have to leave the animals out there, eating the grass that should be resting.

So on Monday morning, still in the rain, Herb took a round bale down to the run-in shed in the Lower Pasture.

It was really cold, and it took quite a while to get the hay down there and set up in a hay feeder, a one-man job.  At least I could help move the animals, I said.
As we got to the barnyard, I was so glad we'd made this decision.

No animal deserved to be in these conditions!

The cattle always follow the horses, so Herb took Angel and Julie.  Once the cattle followed them into the Home Pasture, I shut the gate behind them and opted to lead Brandy down by the road and avoid the steep, slippery hill.

It was an easy move from the Home Pasture across a driveway into the Lower Pasture; the animals know the routine.

The horses were dancing with impatience, but we made them wait until the cattle had followed and I had shut the electric gate to keep them in the far end of the pasture.  It was interesting taking these photos in the driving rain with Brandy itching to be free!

And they were OFF!  We cringed a bit thinking of those hooves pounding into the soggy earth!

But everyone was having so much fun, how could we begrudge them?

Julie was definitely the ringleader as they circled around again.

Fortunately after one circuit of the field, Sara and Siobhan remembered their dignity . . .

as sedate pregnant ladies, ignoring Julie's bucking show in the background.

"Where's the food?" they wanted to know.  It didn't take them long to find some green grass and the hay in the shed.

The rain continued all day Monday, the 14th, and by Tuesday morning, we'd had a total of 3.97" (2.76" over the past three days).  The usually dry creek had overflowed its banks and created a new second channel cutting across the Lower Pasture.

At least we knew that even with the run-off from the woods, there was plenty of high ground to keep the animals safe--and no need to check on their water tank!

Back in the barnyard, Shemar was complaining loud and long. If roosters are supposed to crow at sunrise, he was doing his best to make the sun appear!

But the rain kept on.  By this morning, Thursday Jan. 17, we've had an accumulation of 7.12" for the month so far.

That's 5.91" in 5 days!

There was a brief break in the rain this morning and a cold, wild wind set the horses running like crazy.  It's a good thing they got it out of their systems, though, because the rain came pouring back.

Yep, we're wetter than a mad hen!


  1. Being in a drought in the midwest, we'd certainly welcome that much rain, though I realize it creates some issues when it all comes down at once. That looks like some really soggy pastureland, ugh. Your horses look so beautiful and happy running thru the pastures!

    1. Hi, Laura, thanks for commenting! I so wish we could send some of our rain to you--maybe keep half for ourselves and send the rest to you! My husband has relatives who are ranchers in far West Texas, and we often wish we could share some rain with them. Believe me, we know enough from vacationing out there that we totally sympathize with you. I'm in dry Dallas for a visit with my sister, and my husband told me on Monday that he was able to finally move the animals back into the barnyard and that they were glad to go. I guess the novelty of being able to run wore off in the face of there being no grass to eat! :D When I signed in to the internet to answer your comment, I saw there's a winter storm advisory for our area at home, so I'll have to look into that and see what that means: more rain? hail? Maybe snow!


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