Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"If you're going to have livestock, you are going to have deadstock."

While many elements on the farm are working together seamlessly, so seamlessly that we don't even notice them or call them to mind, there are a few exceptions. For one, this chicken is mysteriously crippled. One evening she didn't put herself into the egg mobile with the rest of the flock and was walking in a daze with her wings dragging on the ground. The next evening we found her lying on her back with her feet in the air. I thought she was dead until I noticed her breathing and saw that her eyes were still alert. Edmund righted her and she got up and walked away from us. I expected to find her dead the following day, but instead found her as you see her above - with her right wing hanging limp and the left one not far behind. I've opened a few books and mentioned it to a neighbor, but there are at this point no firm leads as to what could be going on with her. If you've seen it happen to one of your hens, tell us about it.

The other unfortunate event was that we had two calves born on the same day, to two different cows, but one of them was born dead. No one witnessed the event, but Ed found Juno standing over her dead calf very shortly afterwards. It was a bull calf and he was quite large - larger than the calves that were born weeks ago. That's the only thing that stands out as a possible cause for complications. It's very sad to have a year of energy and effort go into something that is not to be. Thankfully the other calf is a heifer. It would have been extra sad if it had been the other way around. But we are sad nonetheless.

Aside from that, the geese are growing well, the grass is as tall as the weeds, and the days are still getting longer.


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