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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Farmy thoughts

So we had a little petting zoo going on here. We have had goats, and lots of baby goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, a horse and a pony. I love animals. I like to have a lot of them around for the kids. It is important for me to foster a compassionate nature to the creatures of the world that have no voice or really can't stand up and prevent many things from happening to them or their world. For me, my love of animals and nature are a big part of who I am, what makes me tick, and what brings me joy.
Though my kids enjoy the animals, and are kind towards them, I don't think that they share the same passion as I do for them.  My husband is a kind soul who loves me very much, so he lets me immerse myself into so many projects relating to the care and keeping of all sorts of critters. He shares a huge load of the work and responsibility that is required to take care of them. And most importantly, he hands over the funds it takes to acquire the proper food and shelter. I can not pay for anything as I do not have a job that pays me monetarily.
I am however very rich in other ways.
We enjoyed the goats for the last three years, breeding them annually, anticipating and reveling in the wonder of each birth. Parting with the new kids and ensuring that they went to a proper caring home, was emotionally draining for me. I know the people who take these goats probably won't keep them for the entire 10+ years that they live. Will they be eaten, go to a scary slaughter house, be auctioned off, or worse yet, neglected?
It's those unpredictibilities ( is this a word?) that made it hard to continue the act of breeding. So we decided to sell Oreo, the breeding buck, and Leyla, our Doe, to a young person in our town that reminds me very much of my younger self. I enjoy helping him with his new project, I can visit Leyla anytime, and also her newborn kids.  I miss them. But I know they are in kind hands.
We have been flip flopping on keeping our lovely horse Carly. She is a beautiful young quarter horse that has a lot of potential to be a great horse. The truth be told, we are not huge horse people. We love her, and I love seeing her, brushing her, and smelling her. I love her noises and her big brown eyes. I do not like to ride her, and I have no true passion to do any kind of horse things with her. I like her  in the same way that I like a very large dog. Except that she is not a doggy but a horse. She needs to be with a girl or guy who dreams about horses day in and out. Someone who will ride her often, who will stimulate her mind with doing new things. I know she is bored here, even though she is well fed, housed, and taken care of, it does not mean it is a good life. Marlin finally decided that she understands this, and is ready for her to move on. This spring we will begin to search for the right home and with a good person.
I will miss her.
Rio, the old pony. He is just right for us. He gets enough rest for an old guy, and enough exercise to keep him from getting too rusty.
So we have had a lot of fun experimenting with what is right for us as a family, farm wise. We have discovered that we truly enjoy the chickens. I like watching them, Ev likes catching them, Kaya likes watching the eggs hatch, and Marlin would like to start up an egg business for some of the neighbors and  
the homeschool friends that we see. I will help over see it all, but they will be heavily involved in all the processes. We plan on adding more chickens this year. When Carly leaves us, I may consider making the coop larger by opening the dividing wall.  It's a different direction, and we are excited about it. I am glad we experienced many of the things we did with the other animals. Life is really just a string of experiences. It is through those events that you gain knowledge and clarity as to what your next step should be. It does not truly matter if the next step is the "right" one, but it certainly is another stepping stone towards a destination. And you know what? Who cares where you arrive, it's the wondrous trip there that matters. Life is merely a scenic drive. Keep looking out the windows. You never know what will pique your interest.

9 comments:

Heart Rockin Mama said...

Oreo?
Leyla?

No more baby goats for me to oh and ahh over?

Maybe Addy will be able to come visit us more now ;-)

Love you!

Andrea said...

I am really happy for you. These are tough decisions, but it sounds like you really have clarity and direction. I really want to come and check out your chicken situation, as I am at such a loss as to how to keep chickens happy! It is great to hear how excited you are to be getting more. I want to love my chicks, but they are making it hard. I know you will find a perfect home for your horse!

Helena said...

Oh, I so love this post! I feel the EXACT SAME way about animals as you do. And like yours, my husband has kindly come along for the ride every time we've decided to go on another animal adventure :) And like you, there's been times an animal adventure has had to end, but it's mostly been because they have passed away. It's always hard. But we keep going on the ride, because it is always interesting, and inspiring. Thank you for this beautiful, thoughtful post; I'm so glad I get to read your words!

marcia said...

Those are hard decisions to make but you know what is right for your family and what is in your heart.

I often get excited about getting goats or sheep and we even thought about a pot-bellied pig...but I had to slow down and think..and realize we have more than enough animals to care for now..and spend time with.

Good for you for doing what is best for you all.

happy day!

Love 2B Homeschoolers said...

Start a CSA. I need beef and pork ;-)

verdemama said...

We are soon to be moving out to the country, and I dream about which animals I want, chickens, sheep, goats, honeybees... My girls want a pony and a horse... the possibilities! I think we'll start with chickens... :)
~nikole

denise said...

so true - it is a wondrous journey. :)

Elemental Handcrafts said...

Kim,
This post made me cry. Happy tears! You are a wonderful friend and an inspiration. I'm so glad to know you.
Steph

julie said...

I am sure that was a tough decision for you guys. I know youloved Layla! I am happy for you guys and know you always do whats best for you and your family!!
wish I was around for some of those eggs - think they can be shipped : )