Spring and time on the farm


By Stephanie Strothmann

So here in the next few hours, we will need to “spring” forward for daylight saving time.

I’m not sure who came up with that cutesy description for losing an hour of sleep, but I do know the days following the time change, I feel absolutely exhausted. I’m not advocating for changing DST, but I know when I’m used to rising at 5:30 a.m. with about an hour to go before sunrise so I can sit quietly and drink a cup of coffee before needing to go outside to do morning chores is something I relish.

I’m a convenience farmer that I don’t need to take care of my birds until the sun is just peeking over the horizon. Oh sure, when my schedule necessitates it that I need to leave earlier in the day, I’ll open the coop doors in the dark only to be greeted by the sound of what I would imagine is a “Hey, I’m trying to sleep in here” by the chickens.

Other than that, I’ve picked an animal that pretty much enjoys the same sleep schedule as myself. Go to bed with the sunset (now I could learn to do that better) and then rise with first morning light. If I followed the same example as the chickens, maybe I’d feel more like crowing in the morning instead of grumbling.

After we “spring” forward, morning will be plunged back into darkness again, and schedules will be off for several days with feedings, waterings, etc. It’s actually not a bad deal for the animals on the farm. It means they will be fed an hour earlier each day than what they were used to.

I will say also that evenings in the spring are nice that I can seemingly have an extra hour outside to get chores finished as the sun doesn’t set until an hour later. When you’re trying to work a full-time job in addition to farming, you enjoy all of the daytime hours you can get so you won’t have to collect eggs in the dark.

Trust me on that one, you don’t want to have to go into the coop after dark to collect eggs from beneath perches where fluffy bottoms are just aiming for your head as a target.

Spring and time go hand in hand, and I know I’ll recover from the time change just like we all will. It still doesn’t mean, however, that I’ll enjoy dragging myself out of bed and doing morning chores in the dark for the next few weeks. Don’t ask me to crow about it.

Until next time…

Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Read her blog at whattheclucker.blogspot.com. Send comments to [email protected].

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