Being a farmer who strives to work hand in hand with God's creation has a lot of good and wonderful moments in it. But sometimes, the outcome isn't so good. No matter what you do, or try to do, the "Laws of Nature" are still in control.
I posted about our "Nice surprise" the other week. It was an exciting time here on the farm, as only new life can bring. Since the mother hen was one of our rare heritage breeds and was brooding her clutch on her own, I chose to let her raise her brood where she wanted, so she could teach them and reinforce the heritage traits that she passed on to them.
It's been six days since she started gracing our barnyard with her precious little brood. Every morning when I headed out for my animal chores, the first thing I did was check on Momma and her little ones. They were always out at the barn, scratching around, learning how to be chickens.
This morning was different. As I left the house and headed for the barnyard, I heard Momma's cluck, right where is should be at that time of morning. But when I got out there, I saw only one chick with her, and my heart sank. Where there should have been a dozen little chicks pecking around their mother, there was only one.
When I got over to her nest, my worst thoughts were confirmed. Sometime during the night, probably after the rain had stopped, the nest had a visitor. And the outcome wasn't pretty.
Had I thought about moving her to the broody pen that I have set up? Yes.
Had I worried day and night over her and her clutch? Yes
Did I do anything about it? A resounding no.
Why? It's simple...
I lead a very simple life here on the farm. I watch our little ones hatch or be born. I care for each of the animals that God has blessed us with, not just by making sure they are fed and watered, but by being personally invested in their well-being. The responsibility for the life of an animal God has placed in my hands is one I don't take lightly. I treat them with equal care and respect at death. We care for their lives, and their lives provide for ours. To farm this way, you have to learn to work with nature, not against nature, because nature will always prevail.
Though the loss of these little ones hurts, it is still a part of the circle of life. I can't change it, but I can embrace it, and move on, carrying the memory of all our lost little ones with me.
2 days ago