When you sign up for this kind of life, you know it's going to be hard. There are huge rewards, to be sure, but they are always balanced by difficulty, tragedy. It's been an especially rough week here. We've lost about twenty-five animals in the past seven days. I wish I was kidding. Due to a postal service screw-up, we lost well over half of the broiler chicks we ordered last week. The replacements that the hatchery was kind enough to send me are now at large too. They've been in transit since Wednesday and no sign of them so far. I fear the worst. We also discovered a hen dead in the nest earlier in the week - a fairly young one at that. My guess is that the poor thing must have been egg-bound. Our broody hen keeps moving around to different egg piles, so I'm pretty sure the eggs I gave her are no longer viable. One of our new rabbits kindled yesterday but failed to make a nest, so all eight of the babies were completely exposed and died in the cold.*
It's times like these that really make me feel discouraged. I know this is part and parcel of the life I've chosen, and I know it won't always be this bad, but right now we really, desperately need for something to go right around here. (Mama duck - I'm looking at YOU. Fix this! Give me babies!) These kinds of weeks weigh heavily on my heart.
*This is actually fairly common for first-time rabbit mothers, and we sort of expected it, but it's heart-wrenching just the same.