Take Care of Your Livestock

In light of the recent outrage at a local farm/hardware store…I wanted to say a few things about caring for animals.

I am bending over the chick brooder with a sore back from scraping out the poopy woodchips. It’s 10:20 pm, the boys are in bed, and it’s my job to care for these chicks. I am making sure their brooder is clean, with fresh woodchips. I refill their feeders for the THIRD time today! Even though it’s late and I don’t wanna…it’s a farmer’s job to care for what they’ve got.

Same night, ten minutes later, I take my headlamp and trot down to my goat barn to check on my three new babies and mama Rosemary. I also refill her water bucket, tromping back up the hill to the water spigot. All the while I’m thinking about what it means to take care of what God has given us.

These little chores I’ve just done late at night is nothing compared to what my husband does to care for all our animals.

He works a job all day, then comes home to feed and water everything…usually two little boys following after him. If you aren’t familiar with farm life; the feeding process sometimes takes a while! He has to make sure their barns/pens are clean and the animals are happily munching away at their dinner.

For our hogs, he fills several buckets of water up, and fills their water barrel. He gives them our kitchen scraps and their hog feed. He scrapes their “waste” out of their barn and makes sure they are clean and fed.

On to the guineas and chickens in the coops. Their water is freshened up, and they get a scoop or two of scratch to keep them busy while he and the boys get the eggs. Their feeder is also topped off.

If the nests need to be re-packed with straw or woodchips, that chore also gets done.

Down to the goats and sheep. They need hay and a scoop each of their feed. Their water has to be either carried, or the hose has to be drug down to their barn. Watered. Fed. Cleaned.

After all that, we have to make sure the dog and cats are also taken care of!

I wrote all that to give a glimpse of what it means to take care of livestock every single day. There’s no breaks or vacation from them! Even if it’s dark and we’re tired, we always make sure they are fed.

Then on special occasions, we have to castrate hogs, trim hooves, give wormer, shear the lone sheep, bottle feed babies–and any other number of things that pops up on the farm. We’ve had to bury animals when we didn’t feel like it, too. But some things have to be done when you care for animals.

I mentioned at the start of the post that a local farm store got into some trouble for not taking proper care of the animals they were entrusted with. We have actually bought many chicks from them. It’s not just annoying to think that the employees are not properly caring for them, it’s downright irresponsible on their part. People these days…they should be sent to work on a farm! Am I right?

If you get lazy, things get sick and die. You can’t be lazy! That sounds awful mean, but it’s the truth.

I believe I’ve said my piece. So, as I was putting clean wood chips into my Cornish chicks’ brooder tonight, I thought to myself, “I love taking care of these critters.”

Even though we will be putting them in the freezer in a few months, I will take excellent care of them! The Lord gave them to us for a purpose. Every animal on a farm has a purpose. These chicks’ purpose just happens to be to feed my family eventually. And right now they are dependent on me to take good care of them. So I will.

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