Get Adobe Flash player

Farm Life & Midwest Winters

Author:  Sandy Blaser

Midwest winters are pretty cruel to the farmer! I can still see my Daddy all bundled up, chopping very thick ice blocks out of the pond for the cattle & horses and then having to carry buckets of water to the hogs & chickens. Farm life was especially was bad on those bitter cold wintry nights when livestock & critters decided to birth their babies. You had to be right there with them to dry the babies off or they would freeze to death. In the winter it wasn’t unusual to have a newborn calf, little piggy’s, or baby chicks in the old farmhouse kitchen to stay warm by the old wood stove!

My job…warming milk to feed the babies every 4 hours!!! Actually that was the fun part!  The baby calf was wrapped in a warm blanket & fed with a bottle.  Dad made the baby pigs a warm bed in the old washtub filled with straw. Baby chicks would have a nest in a cardboard box, with an ld soft piece of cloth covered them.  Only one problem they were not staying newborns very long!!! As soon as the calf would get strength in its legs, it was time to take that lad back to the barn with it’s Mommy.  And after several hours the baby pigs would began to squeal like crazy & try to get out of the tub…time to go home boys!!  But the baby chicks were no problem for quiet a while.  All they did was eat & sleep.

Of course there was one danger when bring babies into the house…my brother & I would fall in love with them, have them all named.  These were our new-found friends that eventually would follow us everywhere on the farm!  So when they grew up it was mighty hard to give into Dad selling them at a action.  And heaven forbid…don’t even mention bacon or hamburger!!!

Oh what fond memories!