"While I was driving back home from Foodland-Balaklava, I noticed the charm of the railway crossing at Bowmans... at dusk it was boasting of its silhouette against the elegance of the early evening sky!"
|Adelaide-Port Augusta railway line, Bowmans, South Australia.|
We’ve been very busy in the farm for the past seven days... It’s harvest time and we’re short of one worker after a workmate didn’t turn up one day without notice and decided to forever ignore my calls.
It was not a joke to run this half a million-capacity broiler farm 24/7- physically and mentally with only three people especially during the final third of the cycle when there were five times a week night catches, daily bird sample weighing, heavier dead bird to collect, with the main water pump motor playing up. I simply don’t want to see these chickens to gradually die of thirst or heat stroke because of inadequate evaporative cooling during warmer days.
It was a great relief to find a replacement for the worker we’ve lost, but it was equally frustrating that after working with us for a day and a half (a third to be exact) this 20-year old recently-employed worker decided to quit simply because he cannot handle the burden and the smell of daily mortality collection.
|This photo was taken after the chicken harvest; 12 April 2011 at 11:56PM...|
I had to work day and night especially if it’s my turn to act as a watchdog during harvest; forgetting about my day off until this 16-year old local joined us yesterday. I can only wish (though I am, honestly, fervently praying) that this guy will work with us for the next twenty years (as what my employer would usually say); while hoping that at the soonest possible time the immigration department will finally grant the visa to our much-awaited Filipino worker.
Thank God it’s Friday! No harvest, no bird weighing, no grain stocktaking, no feed ordering, no phone calls from the integrator’s broiler serviceperson, no emails, no fax messages... just dead bird collection and minor repair, plus rodent baiting- which is very important these days to get rid of mice that love to nibble our chook feed at night—in my estimate, they are close to or even more than a million!
This afternoon I decided to do my supermarket shopping in the nearby town- Balaklava. But I needed to do it quickly so I could get back to the farm before it gets dark and cool (especially during these days that the autumnal equinox has already taken place) to shut the blinds at the cooling end of the sheds.
...and while I was driving back home from Foodland-Balaklava, I noticed the charm of the railway crossing at Bowmans—it looks absolutely ordinary under the bright, blue sky, but earlier at dusk it was boasting of its silhouette against the elegance of the early evening sky!