the farm life... is hard
There are many perqs to living the farm life. There is a certain amount of true freedom- living for yourself and no one else. We are wanting to end up a bit off the radar and being more self-reliant. We have always wanted animals, some for milking, some for eating, some for protection and so forth. Though it is a lot of work, and money, we have enjoyed the benefits that animals can bring. We have our dog Sunny Two-tox for protection and she is REALLY good at barking and chasing people, thus, the need for the fence. We don't have sheep yet but in the next few weeks I am hoping to be part of the birthing of new lambs, very exciting! We also inherited 8 chickens which I have to drive and feed each morning and carry 100lb. bags of chicken feed (heaviest thing I have ever carried). Though it was a rough beginning, (8 eggs over the past 5 months) we started to see the fruits of our labors. Just 2 weeks ago we started collecting 5 eggs one day, 3 eggs another and even up to 7 eggs in one day! It was so fun, kind of like opening Christmas presents or finding Easter eggs- just a fun part of the farm life. But, as I mentioned, the farm life can be hard physically and emotionally because you get quite attached to your animals so when the dog is in pain we are in pain or when I go to feed the chickens and find the rooster and a hen outside the pen I get concerned. Well, Monday morning, still trying to recover from our fence building weekend, I had to go feed the chickens and there they were, a hen and the rooster... out of the pen. As I looked into the garden I saw a black chicken on the ground, not moving, which made me concerned. "Is she sleeping?" Then, I looked further down the garden, two more chickens laying on the ground. I started to panic and then I looked by the gate and saw two more dead and then another! "What happened!" I yelled to no one. I couldn't believe my eyes, didn't know how to react. I am not used to this! I just had to leave and talk to Joel or anyone who could explain what was happening. Well, I called my friend Beth who has Icelandic sheep and chickens. She let me know this happens and it was probably a dog who got in there because he just killed them and didn't eat them. Man! Am I cut out for this? She came over with me and we had to shovel them into the trash, we took the two who made it out alive and she took them home to add to her bunch. I am sure it was amusing to watch us trying to "clean up." There was a lot of girly screaming and trying to talk ourselves into being brave. It was not fun. I didn't know if I should be crying out of sadness or what. It has left an impression on me and I have gained a new respect for the farm life, it isn't all happy times. The reality is that we have to treat these animals like family members and love them for what they do for us. I have a new found respect for life and not just the human ones.