Wednesday, July 06, 2016

We Bought a Farm: Too Many Close Calls


Here are the facts of my yesterday:

So firstly, we have company in which is wonderful but as we all know, can be a bit chaotic. JB's brother and his wife were packing up to return to Nashville during the morning hours. Mom's sister Betsy is still here. And Ray and Gabbi's two kids are staying for  a few extra days.

In the midst of that, we were saying good bye to our current WWOOFer Eliza (whom we just adored!) Her boyfriend was picking her up. At the same time a new WWOOFer, Deborah, was arriving. She is a local 15 year old high school student so she was being dropped off with her mom and brother. This meant 17 people were in the house at one time for lunch today! 

Deborah is the youngest WWOOFer we have ever had. We are trying out some local and younger people during some small gaps that we have and are excited to share the farm with them!

JB was at work and we didn't have a WWOOFer "on" for the day with the transition which meant a lot more work for me in taking care of animals and breaking in Deborah. We often try to have WWOOFer's overlap a day in order to make the transition smoother, but due to the holiday and limited space here because of guests, we weren't able to do that.

As lunch finished and things quieted down a bit, I would soon come to see the break as only temporary. Just coming off of Abigail cutting open her head last night (and she chipped a tooth too! Did I mention that?) I was hoping for a quiet day. That definitely didn't happen. 

The rest of my evening would be full of close calls: 

1. CLOSE CALL #1: I did the Heimlich on Sidge yesterday. He choked on a piece of cake, was smart enough to point to his throat and come to me totally red with eyes filled with tears and not breathing. I am not sure if what I did saved him as just as I did it, he swallowed this piece of cake, but I still had to do it. Not exactly part of a calm day. I'm still in a bit of shock from this. Not something you ever want to see as a Mom.

2. CLOSE CALL #2 In staying with the "calm" theme .... we finally got rain yesterday, but in the midst of the storm, one of our temporary chicken holding units went flying. We had approximately 40 laying hens in the unit. When Dad stumbled upon the catastrophe during evening feeding, he thought we had lost at least half of them. They were all so wind-whipped, wet, and cold, that we truly thought we would lose dozens. JB was on his way home from work and joined Dad. A decision was made to put down one of the birds who had been injured by the flying cage.

Dad and JB immediately brought the remaining birds over to the garage, and we got to work with towels and blow dryers and heat lamps. Within an hour, we were amazed to see that it only looked like we would lose one additional hen. Our new WWOOFer Deborah decided to make the one weak hen her top priority and somehow through towels and heat and blowing and snuggling, she got her little "Tarzan" as she named the yes-it's-a-girl hen, back up and moving!

3. CLOSE CALL #3 One of our sheep, who has been sick since we purchased her, went down hill again last night. I made the decision to move her up to the yard. JB wasn't completely on board with this decision. He thought she might do better staying with her flock. But I just couldn't bear to have her out there and die overnight. I felt like I wanted to keep a closer eye on her. We gave her some organic medicine in hopes that it might do something, but I turned to Deborah and told her that this sheep was going to die any minute. She looked terrible. Deborah and I had a good talk about animals on the farm and why you can't call the vet all the time and costs and manpower. It's a tough thing.

As JB and I prepared for bed WAY too late we discussed the sheep and whether JB should put her down. We didn't want her to die a long, painful death. We ultimately decided that she didn't appear to be in tremendous pain and that we couldn't rule out the chance that she simply got a bit overwhelmed during the storm and that the medicine and time to relax would help her recover. But we both went to bed thinking we'd find a dead sheep in the morning.

I woke up to find her with her head up, looking around. She is still far from out of the woods, but I gave her some alfalfa and water which she happily began utilizing. 

This morning, I am praying for a CALM day!


1 comment:

blank said...

It's scary when things happen to your children. I was exhausted just reading about and imagining all that happening at once. I hope the rest of your week is more settled.
Pam