March 12 2024 08:55 AM

Daylight savings time is a period of adjustment for us as well as our animals.

It’s that favorite time of year where we move the clocks by one hour and pretend we have a longer day. Realistically, no one loves the time change . . . especially when your bovine co-workers are so used to a set routine. There’s no telling the cows that you’ll be an hour earlier or later for a silly time change.

That is one beautiful thing about our robots I really enjoy. We don’t notice the disruption of the time change with our herd. At least with the spring forward change, you are early to work. But I still “fondly” remember waking up the ladies out of their freestalls before we switched to automatic milking to come milk an hour early. An hour change really does make a difference.

I stumbled across a favorite joke again recently about daylight savings time. Only a silly man cuts the top half off a blanket then sews it to the bottom half and thinks he has a longer blanket. In reality, we work in an industry where we work sunup to sundown. Still, that hour difference does throw off the schedule.

It makes this week seem like it flies past as we adjust. The days just seem to go that much faster when you realize you’ve lost an hour from where you expected to be. But on the flip side, it’s also getting dark an hour later, which is a welcome reprieve for those evening chores that seem to never get done with enough daylight in the winter.

I hope you are embracing the longer days this week. I hope you aren’t late for every set appointment and that your cows don’t grumble at you too much about the random change to their routine. Onward to spring and more light.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micromanagers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.