The pros and cons to raising numerous animals, vary from the lowest physical/emotional extreme, to the highest.
A few of the highlights include cute little babies, working outdoors, and the rewarding feeling of directly providing for my family.
On the flip side, death loss is inevitable, the outdoors can be harsh, and a farmer's work never seems to be done.
My hardest moment on the farm was at my cousin's ranch in ND. They have a large flock of sheep and I was helping them during the lambing season.
When there are 300 ewes giving birth, you're bound to run into a few problems. Especially since this was mid February with snow on the ground.
One little lamb was born with badly deformed front legs and a lower jaw half of its proper length.
Even with 6-7 people there, we didn't have time to care for this baby. If we did try saving it, this lamb's chances of living much longer were minimal.
We all knew what needed to be done, but no one wanted to do it. I finally steeled myself to the task, grabbed the gun and the little lamb, and headed outside.
I cried hot tears into the frozen snow.
My most memorable moment with their sheep, was at 3 in the morning.
Ivy awakened me with a phone call, saying she needed help with a newly born lamb. I scrambled out of my warm bed, dressed, and trudged through the snow to the barn.
Careful to insert the tube down the correct side of the lamb's throat, I eased it into what I hoped was its little stomach. If you do it wrong, the lamb ends up getting its lungs full of milk and then suffocates.
Ivy poured warm milk down the tube, filling that little lambs belly. Before long, it was trying to stand up and take on the world.
I love the farm and all its challenges, even though they can be both extremes of heart wrenching and heart warming. I can hardly wait to be raising sheep or goats for myself!