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Monday, July 23, 2012

It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks

Last week started with so much promise.  We were waiting on the birth of our baby goats, for one.

Monday morning I went out to check the flerd and found this: 

Suzanne is his mother.  Isn't he precious?  There is very little cuter than baby goats.  Even puppies aren't as cute as baby goats.

Of course, everyone had to come out just as soon as they woke up to see the new arrival.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, things started to go south.  We lost a ewe, most likely to the oppressive heat.  I hate losing animals, HATE IT!  

But on Tuesday our other doe (Rosie) gave birth to twin boys that are really too cute for words.

Wednesday afternoon, we found Suzanne's baby dead.  We don't know if it was the heat or he got stepped on by some other member of the flerd.

A crushing blow to both this mama and Kiddo1...

This meant that rather than milking once a day and raising the kids on their mothers, I would be milking Suzanne twice a day.  Hubby doesn't really like milking but he will do it.  He did NOT like milking Scarlett!  I need to be spending some time at THE FARM this summer and I have to travel once a month or so for my job and it's enough for him to care for our children and the farm solo...milking twice a day might just be too much.

So, I was ready to sell the goats.  I know when I've reached my limit and it was then.   As much as we love their milk, something has to go and it would be the goats.  

I got ready to milk Wednesday evening.  Muttering to myself that this is a second milking goat (meaning:  she isn't well trained, who knows HOW she'll milk), we'd butchered chickens all day and I was tired, I wouldn't be doing this at all except her kid died, etc.  A full blown pity party, to be sure!

But then, God always has a surprise...

Suzanne is the best milker I have ever milked!  I thought my goat, Beatrice, when I was growing up was great.  HA!  Nothing compared to the wonder that is Suzanne.  Why is she so great?

She comes to the fence when I call.
She walks beside me the 1/4 mile to the milk stand with a slack lead.
With some encouragement, she jumps on the milk stand (we do need to work on this, I'd like her to just leap up there).
She stands beautiful and rarely moves her back legs.
She milks quickly and easily.  Which means lots of milk that comes with less effort on my part.
And, she's milking over a quart per milking in just the first week!

Just when I was getting ready to liquidate the goat herd, along comes a wonderful blessing.

But, I wish I could say the week ended there.  But no, it did not.

On Friday we found a dead turkey, also from the heat.  We have NEVER lost a turkey, they're pretty much indestructible as far as we're concerned.  {insert huge sigh here}

But each day dawns with new promise.

There are times in every farmers life when he or she cries out in frustration that a desk job with paid time off and benefits would sure be nice and maybe I'll just throw in the pitchfork and move to town like everyone else.

But then we look at view from our "office".  We look at the animals we love and cherish.  We eat the food we have grown with our own sweat and toil.  We share that food with others.

As we delivered chickens to our customers this week, more than half of them gave us more money than what was listed on the invoice, with comments like: "I really appreciate all the work you do."  "Thank you for this wonderful chicken."  "Take it.  You deserve it."

You have no idea what that meant to this farmer who had been through a very difficult week on the farm...


  1. I'm sorry about the difficult week. As one of your chicken customers I want to let you know again how much I appreciate the good healthy chickens you raised, butchered, and delivered. We had one on Saturday. It was so delicious. I made it in my crock pot set on high with some of my home grown baby potatoes, onions, and celery...a meal good enough for a king.

    As a girl at home chicken butchering was my most hated job. I thought I wouldn't do it after I left home, but did. I'm glad we have someone to buy them from now.

    Blessings on your week, may it be better.

    1. Thanks Kimberly! Meeting and visiting with your family was such a blessing to us! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chicken!!

  2. Farming isn't easy - ask any old farmer. There are lots of ups and downs! My dad would probably say "some days just plain suck." Hang in there - don't move to town for a desk job with benefits and paid time off! It's not that great...believe me. Sure, sure there are good things about it that make life easier, but there are many days that I envy your work - and I religiously read your blog so I can live vicariously through you! Anna

  3. Tough week...blessings on your customers for sure. Good thing it's not always like this. I really hope you guys get a break from that weather soon.

  4. I'm SO glad that you're enjoying milking Suzanne! She's a dream, isn't she? Hope things go better. How are the other kids?

    1. Tamera--She is wonderful! Such a sweetheart and a very easy milker. Rosie's two boys are doing great! I refer to them as the babysitters because Kiddo1 will spend 45 minutes with them morning and night. I'll post pictures soon, I keep forgetting to bring my camera out to the flerd. They are both black, one with white splashes on his sides like Rosie.

  5. It is a roller coaster ride for sure! One we just got on last year. Wow.


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