The Very Bad Farmgirl (and does anyone want goats?)

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I research everything that I do, I just don’t always fully prepare.  While reading about what happens to meat chickens when you let them live past their designated eight weeks, I learned that they can just drop dead, have heart attacks, and their own legs can break under their immense weight.  “Oh, that sounds terrible,” I said.

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I think Bob broke his leg.  Maybe it’s his toes.  Either way, his giant body is hobbling slow and painfully.  He looks like an old pirate with a peg leg.  He waits for me in the coop so that I will carry him to the water.

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This is a very docile, sweet breed, so it is hard not to get attached.  I know I am not being very humane right now.  I could splint his leg (I once made a neck brace for a very injured chicken and I have healed broken legs in my work as an herbalist in the past.) but I am unsure as to what is actually broken.  Vets aren’t really trained in chicken care and I don’t have hundreds of dollars to see one anyway.  I could load them all up and take them to be slaughtered, which would honestly be the sensitive and sensible thing to do.  But I just can’t.  Nor can I wield an ax and do it myself.

This makes me a very poor farmgirl.  Or maybe a very bad rancher.  Either way, I lack that certain spirit of nonchalance and steel that would make Bob’s pain be swiftly dealt with.

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Does anyone want goats?

I was asked yesterday via text if I knew anyone who wanted the goats.  I am in the city, so I know I can’t.  I actually am not sure if I do know anyone that is at a place to take four (maybe more) goats.  “Why?” I responded.  Because they are going to grow hemp and they don’t want the goats eating it.  Profit.  Farm finance.  The trend.  Goats are out.

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“We will just process them if we can’t sell them.”

Besides the fact that I doubt five year old goat tastes very good, this really zinged me because I hand raised those goats.  Bottle fed them every two hours.  Ran a veritable goat nursery while they had their house built.  Those were my goats.

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This makes me a very bad farmgirl.  A fact that makes my living in the city seem reasonable even though we want to get back on a farm.  We are not good at trimming hooves, or dealing with death, or causing the death.  We are also not good at being 100% vegan, which then makes us hypocritical and yet, I somehow do not have that filter to be a proper farmgirl.  Maybe because I was raised in the city.  Maybe because I was never around the in’s and out’s of a farm growing up.

But I will need to make a decision regarding Bob.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Nadean says:

    It’s a tough thing to do either way. I can definitely relate.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      We always ask our friends to deal with our decisions for us but this time I just need to be responsible!

  2. Oh,, I feel for you. I could never make that decision, either. I once had a co-worker who kept rabbits as pets–in the house, gave them names, loved on them, and everything. And then she killed and ate them whenever the notion struck. On the other hand, my farming great-grandfather doted on his farm animals and no matter how old or decrepit they got, he couldn’t put them down. His wife would call in a neighbor to slaughter and bury an animal sometime when my gt-grandfather was away from the farm for a few hours. (I think he sounds pretty cool. I could never cozy up to the co-worker.)

  3. Catherine says:

    I understand the conflict — I KNOW being vegan is the best thing for the environment, and I feel so hypocritical for not doing it. I comfort myself with “every little bit helps,” but it’s ringing hollow these days.

  4. I too struggle with the vegan thing…

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Once I start looking at all the lab created ingredients in the substitutes, I start to wonder if I am being ridiculous. That can not be healthier. And as Americans, we certainly weren’t raised to subsist on lentils or other delicious pulses. It has been a struggle for me since I was six years old.

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