Our sheep, knee deep in grass on our front yard/pasture.
Farming is a delicate balance of hard work, joy, and occasional tragedy. We've had both this week.
First the good stuff:
Our 4 week old ducklings enjoying roomier quarters and their first taste of the great outdoors.
Our 3 week old turkeys checking out their new digs.
And there are 41 fertile duck eggs cooking away in the incubator. They'll be hatching in about 2 weeks.
And now the bad stuff.
Thursday afternoon, while we were out having a grand time weaving at co-op and watching J enjoy a drop-in Modern Dance class at the school he wants to dance at next fall, something (probably a fox) staged a mass slaughter at our place. We came home to find that our entire adult duck flock had been wiped out, along with half of our chickens. Our remaining chickens are furious at having to be kept locked in for a couple of weeks to make sure they stay safe -- they are trying to escape every time the coop door is opened, and they are smashing the eggs they lay in protest to the confinement.
Here's Joy, one of our collies, on patrol in the pasture. She's spending her days down there for awhile, to intimidate any predators from coming back in.
We're all sad at the animal loss (especially a really special pet duck we lovingly referred to as "Blind Duck," because she was), but this unfortunately is the price that is occasionally paid for caring for and loving animals. I guess the joy we experience on a daily basis from being surrounded by these little living, breathing marvels is worth having to deal with the occasional heartache.
I'm off to buy a few more adult ducks, who will be kept locked in like the chickens to keep them safe while that fox is still raising it's young. Honestly, I don't mind donating the occassional bird in order for baby foxes to grow, but it really stinks to have them kill more than they can possibly use.
5-7 year mission preview, realized
6 years ago