Restless Minds

There are just too many things to worry about tonight. It’s now 1:37 am on Christmas Eve.

I have done ZERO shopping, just had one of the worst days of my life and lost one of my girls. Not even Xanax has a cure for what ails me tonight.

I keep thinking and seriously second guessing myself every step of the way. My Scarlett girl has made me triple guess myself. I am slowly dying on the inside, swirling around inside my over stuffed brain, trying to figure out what to do.

As a small farmer, I took a huge hit today. Not just in a vet bill or emotionally either. I have been hit in planning. These three young heifers were suppose to be the next additions to my milking herd. And now I am down one of them….one that was going to be an important part of that plan.

Farming is always a huge risk. I try to reduce as many risks as possible. I keep barns clean, feed good food, make sure there is always lots of fresh water….but most people don’t realize what kinds of investments we small farmers put into time and energy to ensure our stock stays healthy and happy.

Some people say that livestock are not pets, that we shouldn’t befriend them…well critics be damned! I know all of the cows, calves, bulls and steers names. I know their personalities. I know what foods they like and don’t. I can almost map their days out on timeline sheets better than I can my own. I know when they are tense, scared, nervous or not feeling well. I know my cows better than I know myself!

After yesterdays incident, I keep asking over and over, and over some more…how could I have gone so wrong? I need this answer. I need to know this for future reference…Her death will not be in vain!

Farming is about always learning. Learning the hows, the ways and the whens. Everyday presents itself with new challenges (which sometimes do not turn out for the better, no matter how hard we work and pray for a good outcome), new ideas and sometimes even new practices. To me, all of these questions and concerns have GOT to have the cows interest, welfare and happiness as the main priority.

The Holidays don’t change the day to day operations, the wandering minds or the worry. Yes, we may sit down to a large meal with more family than usual and escape some of our harsh realities, but for the most part…it is just another day around the farm.

I really need some sleep…still need to do my shopping for Mr. Farmer and I still have no idea what to get. Later is a trip to the local feed store, time to move a couple more bales and somewhere in in time to go to “town” to pick him up something.  Life never seems to slow down!

2 thoughts on “Restless Minds”

  1. Aww…We so know what you are feeling. Without our MinnieCow we are out of the milking business for now. Not only is she gone, but there will be no daughters with her lovely breeding to move into the herd. The money we had set aside to improve our little milking parlor will have to go to buy a new cow. With the loss of her bull calf,we will have 1/3 less beef to sell to our customers. The remaining calves have to be fed with purchased milk replacer. Farming, on whatever scale, can be risky and tough.
    We hope you find answers to you questions to ease your mind. Sometimes, though, it seems there is no answer. There are things that happen that leave even the experts scratching their heads. That is the way it is in this imperfect world.
    So, what do we do? We pick ourselves up the best we can and move on. We learn what we can from our experiences and keep on giving the best care to our animals that we know how to do. Some things we just have to let go and not beat ourselves up over.
    As far as the “pet” deal goes-that moniker really annoys me. It rankles me the same as “hobby farmer”. The number of animals on a place does not matter. There are some folks who raise livestock, many or few, who really don’t deserve to be called “Dairy People” or “Beef People” or whatever kind of “People”. My DH calls them “Sh*t Farmers”.
    On the other hand there are those who raise lots or just a couple of critters, but with much care and attention to detail. Those are the ones who deserve the term “Dairyman/Dairywoman” or fill in the blank with your favorite species.Just because animals are carefully attended to does not make them “pets” and their caregivers “hobby farmers”.
    We send our sympathy, love, and hugs. We hope you can enjoy the Christmas festivities and look forward to a bright New Year.

    1. I think that us smaller farmers spend more “work” hours with our animals than the big farms do. I love spending time with mine.
      Thanks for the sympathy. Her loss has created lots of wet tissues around here. Even Mr. Farmer broke down and shed a few tears. She will be missed but I am thankful that she isn’t suffering.

      Thank you for your friendship and support. Your words feel like a warm hug and a chat at the kitchen table…and greatly appreciated!

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