*Warning, some sensitive material in this post*
Farming is not always easy. Some days just plain suck. Like those days when you spend hours out in the rain trying to keep animals dry and fed. Like those days when its -40C and you have to trudge through snow banks to get out to the barn. Like those days when no matter what, those cows are not going through that gate. Like those days when you find the lamb you nursed back to health just a few days ago, dead because it got its head stuck in the fence. Like those days when it seems like every time you turn around there is a new problem that needs attention. Like those days when the wheel falls off as you’re driving down the road. Or days like yesterday, when you go out to the pasture and find 6 ewes dead from pasture bloat.
Bloated animals are very disheartening. It is caused by pasture that is essentially so digestible that they eat more than the stomach can handle and it fills with gas and causes them to suffocate. So they are basically dying from feed that is too good. It feels like killing animals with kindness.
Anytime an animal dies, it is accompanied with a mixture of emotions and a multitude of questions. Was there more I could have done to save it? Did I made the right treatment choices or should I have done something else? Should I have watched it closer? Is there something I should change so that I don’t lose other animals the same way? Did I miss the early signs of a problem?
Losing one animal is never easy, let alone 6 in one morning. I spend more hours with these animals than anyone else and form connections with them. They are my livelihood and way of life, and, while I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it isn’t all lollipops and roses.