No One Ever Said Farming is Easy

I’m sad to report that we’ve had unfortunate experience this week with the harsh realities of life – the food chain in particular. Our lot of six lively chickens is down to a much lonelier four…

Monday morning we were shaken from our groggy morning states with the realization that Remadios was nowhere to be found. All that remained of her were a few feathers. We debated in our heads… Was she left out on Friday? Did she escape the coop? Did some other animal get in? It was all a mystery with no clues left for us.

But this morning things became a little clearer…Alice had now fallen victim to our mystery predator (we think a weasel). We gave Alice a lovely burial ceremony, and paid respects to both her and Remadios, and then got to work moving and sealing up the chicken coop. Some major renovations and improvements have been made, and *fingers crossed* our four remaining chickens will be safe tonight! I think they’ve been pretty shaken up…Azzazello only called out a few times today, most likely depressed that his partner in crime, Alice, is gone. All-in-all, the group is quieter than normal, and I don’t blame them…

After finding Alice this morning, I occurred to me that this was part of being a farmer…one of the tougher parts. Our chickens are near and dear to our hearts, our pets you could say. They keep us company every morning, and entertain us with their crazy stunts. Each one has a distinct personality that you learn to admire. But on the other hand, our chickens are functional-they lay our eggs (or at least they are supposed to be…we’re stilling waiting on our first egg), and for others they could be meat. I found myself feeling so sad, the same empty feeling you have in your stomach after your dog dies or your cat runs away-that feeling of loss and sadness. But I felt a tug of practicality… the reminder that this is a part of life-animals eat other animals, it’s all a system. Plus, if these chickens were a real source of income for us, it’d also be the reminder that there is work to be done, the rest of the chickens need to be kept alive. As a farmer, they’re safety and life is your source of income, and without them you have nothing. Same goes for crops. It’s your responsibility as a farmer to keep your crops alive, to make sure they stay hydrated and healthy, and if they die….then you just lost money. But yet, when you think about that, is all of that really within your realm of control? No…not all. A farmer’s future isn’t really in his or her hands entirely…mother nature has got one hand on it too. And that for a farmer means that future success is resting on the risk of pure chance. And that I guess is the name of the game…

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