I visit the barnyard at least four times each day, and never without a pair of gloves on. This habit is so ingrained I feel quite strange without them.
I find light duty gloves to be indispensable in the barnyard. They warm my hands, have saved me from many cuts and slivers, and keep the poop just that little bit further away from my actual skin.
They also cost money, get dirty fast, and it’s hard to find comfortable ones. After trying many styles and materials over the years, I have developed a clear favourite; light printed cotton ladies gardening gloves with stretchy cuffs. They are easy to slip on and off and thin enough that my fingers stay nimble. You can’t beat the price, and they sail through the laundry beautifully.
Lots of people like the stretchy nylon gloves with rubberized fingers and yes, those are comfy, I used to buy Costco packs of the Gardena ones before chickens. But chickens means poop, and poop means more frequent laundering. The rubbery gloves don’t do well in the dryer. After I got chickens, I grew tired of ending up on my knees every laundry day with my head inside the dryer, peeling half melted gloves off the drum walls. So I went all in on the cotton ones.
As all gloves do with such frequent use, mine develop holes from time to time. Curiously, to me anyway, it’s always the right hand that gets the holes, very few on the left, and I’m left handed! You would think it would be the other way round. The holes are often at the fingertips, also a prime danger zone for poop-to-skin contact. But rather than chuck them and pull out a new pair, I like to repair my gloves.
When I have collected a few pairs that need fixing, and they are fresh from the wash, I will sit down with a needle and thread, slide a holey glove on my right hand, and sew up the holes with my left. As noted above, since most holey gloves are right handers, and I am left handed, this works well.
When I have to fix a left hander, I use the same strategy. I have learned it is better to force a glove onto the wrong hand than to wield a sharp needle with one.
It takes only a few minutes to stitch up each glove, and my effort gains me months more use out of each pair. This makes me happy. There is a great deal of joy to be found in mending, if you look for it.