Every spring I look for ways to simplify the ranch chores before the summer heat arrives. This year I concentrated on the things that are most time consuming, or in other words, the things that keep me outside frying in the sun.
Protecting the hay is always a concern, it’s so darn expensive and I don’t have a hay barn. It’s stacked in a half covered pen at the end of my shedrow, meaning I have to worry it will get wet every time there is a threat of rain. Cover it, uncover it, cover it, uncover it, all through the monsoon season I’m battling huge unruly tarps. Well no more! I hung heavy gauge tarps on all sides of the pen making a nice cozy hay room.
I put splitters on all the water spigots so I can water more than one section at a time. My horses are in a large sand/granite turn-out all summer, the ground reaches well over 120, so founder is a valid concern. I bought a sprinkler system that waters 40 feet at a time, now I don’t have to stand out there in the middle of hell and try to cool the ground.
All the sun shades are hung in both chicken yards, and there’s a brand new fan for the birds too. Even the horse trailer is covered so the tires will still be tires in Sept.
Unfortunately there are ten trees that will need to be maintained all through the summer. I know that sounds odd, but some trees in Arizona grow up to 4 ft. in width just in a month. These are Palo Verde trees, and of course that’s what mine are, all ten! If I don’t keep them at a manageable size, by fall a landscaper will charge me $60+ to trim each tree.
Then there is the lawn to cut, but I do have a tractor, so that job is not horrible – except that it’s growing outdoors. Oh, did I mention the 46 desert cactus? All but two will need to be trimmed at least twice over the next three months. If not, that will be another $150 for the landscaper, on top of the $600 for the trees.
Oh hell, then there’s the compost piles, they will need to be turned and wet down a lot during the summer. Dog, chicken, horse, and donkey poop will all need to be picked up everyday. Feeding, cleaning, doctoring, and, and, and…
Actually, I realize I haven’t done hardly a thing to simplify, this is very disappointing! 😦
amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch