Friday, February 26, 2010

losing faith

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.


  1. Nobody ever accused this lifestyle of being easy. It can be worse, much worse.

  2. It's funny. I've had a similarly discouraging week at work, and I find myself wondering how long I can cut it in the corporate world. I dream about farming, about seedlings, livestock, hatching eggs, goat kids... In my mind it's perfect. Everything goes right. But that's not reality, as you have so clearly spelled out.

    I still envy you, because I know that mama duck will give you ducklings. I'm pulling for you from my cubicle.

  3. Oh, I know it could be a lot worse. It's just chickens and rabbits. Coyotes haven't taken out my goat herd, the neighbor hasn't shot my dogs, there aren't bears where I live, etc.'s when it all comes at once like this that it really wears me down.

    taylorgirl - thanks for the vote of confidence. :)

  4. Sounds like a tough, tough week Tara. Good on you, though, for posting it as those of us (like what taylorgirl said) imagine a pristine environment where everything goes right. I know there's going to be struggles in whatever you do, but it must be especially hard to experience the loss of animals when you did everything you could.

    Good luck; things will turn around :)

  5. Nature is not pretty or clean. Even though we have removed much of nature from our farming practices, it still remains.