Somebody has to clean the barn.
It’s a dirty subject, literally, and few want to even talk about the task. Certainly, no one wants to do the job. Yet, livestock can not be retained in confinement, without nature following its course, and cleanup afterward is required, eventually. We’ve heard of those who let the heap get so high they have to raise the door, the ceiling and finally the roof.
Ours hasn’t ever gotten that deep, yet, but clean stalls aren’t known around our horse barns. Likewise, be it hogs or cattle, even dogs, cats and rabbits in volume, the predicament is the same. All of us with livestock have done the tidying-up-after chores.
It feels like we’ve done more than our share, though we know many who “pick their stalls”twice daily. We do enough to get the gate closed and plan an annual all-around spic-and-span makeover. Easier sometimes than at others, it’s always work.
Hog producers have it figured best: build a pit for wastes to accumulate, for natural
deterioration, along with hauling out remains as fertilizer. We spread the excretion over fields too, and it must be positive for crop growth, considering the amount we dump.
Experiments, and apparent successes, of developing wastes into energy production are most admirable, although recycling efforts don’t seem to be vast, yet.
Our tool of the trade is a five-prong pitchfork, but we’ve had to buy many new ones, due to our lack of technique. Young sprouts often take pride in broken handles on their forks, but they soon figure out it’s poor maneuvering, not muscle, that breaks the wood.
Most helpful tool for the work is a spreader, and we’ve worn out two wheel-powered ones, so we finally gave in and bought a new engine-powered unit. Box stalls built years ago are relieved only by manual labor, but portable pens can be cleared with a machine.
Appropriate or not, we must retell the story about Miss Bo Peep. Decades ago in a story we did, a front page photo was identified as Miss Bo Poop. A co-worker thought it very funny, which offended us at the time, but now we look at it as humorous as well.
With livestock, barn keeping is always going to be essential, even though we’ve tried getting around it. Bad connotation is even given in Malachi 2:3: “I will punish your descendants and splatter your faces with the manure from your festival sacrifices, and I will throw you on the manure pile.”
Inattentiveness receives warning from Jesus in Luke 14:35: “Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and
understand.” Essential is the question in Job 2:10: “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”
Yet, our promise is in Joshua 23:15: “Therefore it shall come to pass, that all good things come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you.”