Today, we’re going to focus on the real secret weapon behind a successful farm.
Without this one thing, nothing else matters—feed conversion rates, mortality numbers, growth. All of that is pointless without taking care of this ONE thing.
The most important thing you have to take care of to have a successful farm is YOU!
If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of the birds.
Health Stats & Standards
Many of America’s health issues are caused by inactivity. Everything from video games to the popularity of Netflix, TikTok, live streaming and binge watching.
Nobody could even begin to accuse a poultry farmer of inactivity.
The American Heart Association recommends about 10,000 steps per day. The average house is about 500 feet. Simply walking the length of a 500 foot house one time is about 200 steps. When your birds are bigger, some of you can almost get your 10k steps in first thing in the morning!
There is no doubt, the very nature of your job ensures that you get plenty of cardio exercise and resistance training (weight lifting).
Isn’t it funny how our culture has coined these terms as part of a fitness program? The fact is that these terms have replaced phrases like “a hard day’s work” or “the sweat of your brow.” Cardio and training just sound a lot sexier and less work related. There aren’t as many Americans in the workforce these days who are willing to sweat as part of their day jobs.
Building on Your Health
Even with a very physical lifestyle, there are a few things we can all do to work on our health, because a healthy lifestyle isn’t defined simply by physical activity.
I enjoy working outside in the dirt as well as learning about nutrition and training, so I want to encourage you with a few things you can do to improve your health beyond the daily activity you get as a farmer.
Eating & Nutrition
Not all calories are the same. It’s about choices and moderation.
There are many helpful supplements from multivitamins to apple cider vinegar. Even with a healthy diet, there are nutrients we need to add.
When you get sick, you lose time. Staying on top of a healthy immune system can help you keep doing the things you need to!
A daily routine of manual labor still needs a little variety. Your body will adapt to minimize the effort to perform the task. It is good to add some type of extra exercise a couple of times a week.
Those are ones most of us think of when it comes to health, but let’s dive into the two most imperative areas for good health, rest and family.
“I don’t have the energy to do any of those other suggestions. I am too tired to think about eating right, looking for some type of vitamin to take and then remembering to take it, or adding any type of exercise,” is that what you’ve been thinking? If so, this one’s for you. This is my number one encouragement for taking care of yourself. Rest!
If you do none of the other things on this list, do this one. No amount of conscientious eating or supplements will do for you what good night’s sleep will do.
Here’s an example...A 45hp tractor will run a 12’ batwing mower, but you can get it done a whole lot quicker with an 85hp. It will do a better job and be easier on that tractor.
If you can recharge your batteries every now and then, you will be more effective, get more done in less time, and...LIVE LONGER.
If you’re saying, “I don’t have time to rest,” maybe you have to learn to say NO to some things, or ask for a little more help.
Life will find a way of filling up your calendar, and you have got to make time for rest. Ask yourself, “What are the things that bring the greatest return, the most money and the most joy?” Keep those things, and weed out anything else.
In closing, let’s not forget how family affects your health. We all know having rocky relationships at home affects you mentally, emotionally and physically.
Farming is usually a family effort, but this shouldn’t be considered or replace intentional family time.
One of the main reasons many people became farmers is for the joy of having little ones help them, to be able to watch their kids grow into strong men and women.
The good thing about making sure you have quality family time, apart from the work, is that most of the time it can be restful. Nothing feels better than killing two birds with one stone!
If you don’t take care of you, you won’t be able to take care of anything else. If you don’t take care of that family, nothing else is gonna matter.
Need help with something poultry related? Or want to talk about health? Connect with me, Allen Reynolds, at 800-608-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to subscribe because we are constantly adding great, educational content to help you keep your farm healthy!