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On the Edge of Common Sense: Christmas chores

Baxter Black for Progressive Cattle Published on 25 November 2020

Christmas is just another day to a cow. Be it a Holstein, Hereford or Maine Anjou, Red Angus, Black Bally or Belgian Blue from Tabor, Texas – or Timbuktu.

Sheep, hogs, horses and even chickens, livestock of all kinds wake up Christmas morning and expect to be looked after just like it was any other winter day.

And we, the caretakers of God’s herd, stomp out in the cold to tend the stock. Usually before gifts are opened and cinnamon rolls are made.

At the feedlot, the cattle are fed and checked. Admittedly, a little quicker Christmas morning so we can get back to our family. Farmers slip out to feed the hogs and chickens. We have a look around before headin’ back in.

Cowmen load the wagon and scatter blocks or hay. Dairymen (though they probably wouldn’t admit it) get the mornin’ milkin’ done a little sooner than usual.

Kids put their coats on over their pajamas and race outside to feed the horses, rabbits, dogs and cats, and hurry back.

And we do it with a smile. There’s an anticipation that’s not there most mornings. Doin’ the chores Christmas morning gives us a good feelin’. A small accomplishment before we join the family for a satisfying day.

Gatherin’ at the horse barn, firin’ up the pickup, kickin’ a bale off the back of the wagon. Breathin’ the cold air. Maybe even a moment to reflect on the good things that have come our way.

Christmas is a low-pressure kinda day. The only phone calls you get are gonna be friends and family wishin’ you a happy holiday (unless you’re the local vet who’s lucky enough to be on call). The bank, brand inspection office, BLM, extension service, school board, sale barn and co-op are all closed for business.

And you’re not gonna be able to work on the broken pipe, fix the roof or shoe the horses, even if you felt the need to. Your family will shame you into takin’ the day off.

So relax. Do your chores and then kick back. Christmas is a gift … enjoy it. end mark

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