Friday, January 21, 2011

Not a good day at all

One thing about farming, things happen and you lose animals due to a sickness or an accident or maybe just aggression between animals.
I sat yesterday holding the bird in the photograph to the left due to other animals agression. They beat her up so badly, she ended up passing on us about 5 last evening. I shed so many tears for the poor girl yesterday. But, I have to remind myself that she is some place where no one can hurt her now. She is out playing in fields and will never know anymore pain...but God, please don't forget how much she enjoyed the four wheeler.
I handle everything else on the farm with a good spirit. I do feeding, hauling hay, mucking barns, handling bedding and yes, even slaughter time. I know it doesn't make sense. But it does. I love caring for my animals. I don't really enjoy seeing them die, but I do understand they are put here for a reason. We all need to eat. What really bothers me is when an animal dies for no good reason and they suffer in between. It doesn't matter what animal it is...if they suffer, it knocks me right to my knees and makes me cry.
We don't deal with this an issue of death unexplained or from agression very often. Our animals are extremely well cared for. Winter is tough on the animals though. No green fields to go run in. Lately it has been so cold, none of the animals have even shown an interest in coming outside. It adds more to the daily chores because all the barns need to get cleaned every day. I will not sit and have my animals laying in wet feces. So, I muck the barns and everyone gets new straw to keep them warm. Fresh water is given to all the animals every day. The cows get two jugs, one morning and then again just before dark. The chickens and turkeys get fresh water three times day, as the old saying goes morning, noon and night. The cows are given free choice hay and hayledge. The chickens and turkeys all have free choice grains; corn, wheat, oats, barley, dry distilled grains and sometimes sorgum. The dogs always have fresh water and they get feed twice a day. We have to limit those two on food because otherwise they just eat and eat, then they get extremely overweight. The cat get free choice feed.
In the years we have had the farm here, we have only lost three adult birds. #1: a very old bird this summer that passed in her sleep; #2: a chicken who escaped the barn when no one was paying attention, stayed outside this past week, and caught cold so bad she couldn't be saved; #3: the turkey yesterday. Out of 62 birds, that is less than one percent. Most farms carry a morbidity rate of 5 to 10%. I should be very thankful, but I hate losing animals.
If you go back through some of my older posts, you will read about how much I will work, go without sleep and do my best to save an animal. I do it because they don't need to go through pain and suffering.
Well, enough about this subject. I have to put a shield around my heart and move on. I have a big meeting coming up today that I need to get prepared for still. Time to move past yesterday. Time to put one foot in front of the other and keep trudging forward.
God Bless.

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