This happened when we were moving 400+ meat chickens across the property in our side-by-side. We needed one more container to put the chickens in so I asked Isaac to go find me something as I kept my brain sharp for the counting I was doing. Gabe and Sidge were loading the chickens into the bed. I was in charge of keeping a close count on how many they were loading.
Trust me on this. You don't want to get your count off when you are loading multitudes of chickens. The counter is very important. Focus. Let the loaders load. The counter counts.
Writing that paragraph makes me think of the song: And the haters gonna hate. Perhaps my chicken-loading could be set to the tune of some sort of pop ballad someday.
Keeping my focus, I yelled over my shoulder to Isaac: "Find one more container for the last 20 chickens!"
Had we put the chickens directly into the "bed" of the side-by-side they could have easily jumped out. So we had put three boxes in the back. But we needed one more.
Isaac came back with one of my clean laundry baskets from the house.
I honestly should have told him that was a terrible idea and please find some cruddy, broken down box somewhere. But it was very hot. The chickens that we had already loaded were waiting in that heat to get to their new home. And I just wanted to move 'em out. So I said "okay!" and the laundry basket became holding tank #4.
After it was done moving chickens from one side of the farm to the other, it got chucked to the side of the brooder when the bed needed to be used for something else. This morning, I brought it back into the house and tossed it into the tub to wash when I could get to it.
Later, my husband would say: "Why didn't you bring that outside and wash it with a hose?"
Why didn't I wash it outside with a hose? I honestly have no idea. That's a WAY better idea.
I used to dream of a pristine farm. One where every single thing was where it was supposed to be. There would be no random pieces of wood scattered around the driveway. Everything would be perfectly mowed. No extra feed containers littering walkways. Tools hung up perfectly in their pre-determined spot.
But what I have learned in five years of farming is that a working farm means work is occurring. And that work means scattered messes here and there. You can try to keep it fairly clean. But pristine farms mean one of two things:
1. No work is actually occurring. The farm looks great, but it's all just a facade. It isn't a real working farm.
2. No money is being made. They are spending all their time worrying about how things look and spending tons of money on barns and shelving and not on the things that really matter.
If anyone can find a farm that is pristine and making money and really working, more power to you. I don't believe it's a reality. A reality is laundry baskets in the bathtub.
It's why I laugh when I see pictures of people decorating their house in "farmhouse" style. It's very white. And very clean. Is this the perfect definition of irony. A real farm has mud and boots and dirt and scuff-marks and seed catalogs and buckets.
It's real. Real isn't what my mind imagines. But real is what it is.