Farmers maintain a special relationship with their livestock. We provide for them, care for them, pat them, hold them when they're sick, help them from their shell when they're stuck during hatching, help them birth their calves, foals, be there as needed. It can be our lively hood, hobby, or provide sustainable, healthy food for our friends, family, and neighbors' tables. It's also more than that.
There's a mutual love and respect for God's green Earth and beautiful creatures. It can be hard to explain until you feel that warm earth in your hands with the sun beating on your back as you work your gardens and crops; or when you hear your first "I laid an egg" song from a pullet you've raised from hatch or even conception and your heart swells with pride. You might do a happy dance in the middle of the field or yard, you may call your father or grandmother and give them that smile from their own farmyard memories. Just a warning, my friends, once you've felt it, there's no going back! You're one of us, a farmer, a caregiver, a provider, and there's no going back!
Along with the companionship and nourishment we receive comes a lot of responsibility and strong commitment. The sense of that varies in different degrees from farmer to farmer but to maintain a successful, healthy farm it must be there in good measure. It doesn't matter if your farm is on a 1/4 acre lot in a city or on 100 acres in the country, any farmer worth their salt must have that something that drives them to get up at the crack of dawn or rooster's first crow and get the work done. In terms of livestock, we all know there's feeding, watering, providing medical care, housing, and safety from predators and harm. It's hard work and a lot of it but it's oh so worth it! We're always learning, striving for improvements, talking to each other, and working some more!We're starting a series on The Egg Basket blog about taking care of the poultry on our farm- the chickens. I'll be blogging about some recent events that set us back, made us catch our breath, and realize just how much this farming thing means to us. We've had to work harder than ever to save our little chicken farm and get it running back on track in the healthy, sustainable way we feel God intended and with that learned some things on care and health and a lot more things on what's important and how to protect ourselves and our flock.
I want to share those things with our readers and friends. I want to be real and not hide our challenges. Things go wrong on a farm, things break, you meet less than honorable people, predators test your boundaries. What we've learned is it's important how you handle the challenges and prevent them from happening in the future.
We don't want to hide the hardships or the struggles from our readers. We want to share them, discuss them, and learn from each other. If our difficulties can assist or prevent another farm family then why not share the knowledge we've accumulated?
When I was a little girl it was common to watch as other farmers came by my father's farm to talk about the cattle or the drought or come asking for help to round up a stallion that had jumped the fence. There is a community of folks in farm life, the only difference is now we're not limited to our next door neighbors. Thank God because now it's hard to always have neighbors that have the farm love that I mentioned above.
Not everyone understands the need for small scale and family farms and the sense of joy and accomplishment that comes with them. We do have the Internet and our circle of online friends and co-farmers to share with so that's what we intend to do! Stay tuned to learn what we learned the hard way and I pray it may help you with your own flocks.
Love & Blessings,