The Circle of Life – My most and least enjoyable moments on the farm

Throughout the year, more often than not, the farm is a place of birth and/or death. Sometimes even on the same day are we increasing numbers, by receiving day old chicks and decreasing by harvesting chickens.
I truly believe we as human beings are omnivores and I very much enjoy the products which are harvested as a result. This does not mean that I like to make that decision in which I am ending a life (sometimes I get very attached and actually dread setting up the details), but it does mean that I know each animal that is lucky enough to be a farm animal in my care, has the happiest and healthiest life possible and is producing the healthiest, most delicious meat available.
On the other hand I get especially excited when we grow in the number of animals which are producing animals for us, my mamas. My cows and sows are hands down my favorites. A good mama is worth more than gold in my eyes. It often amazes me how instinctual each species is. The moment a calf is dropped (yes, sometimes they birth standing up) mama is right there, turning around nuzzling and licking her calf as if to say, ” come on, get on up”. And I am utterly amazed when each of our sows farrow (the act of having piglets) that each of them almost seems to be in a coma throughout the first night, allowing the little ones time to fill their bellies and practice using their feet. Throughout the following weeks they carefully nudge each piglet out of their way before lying down (keep in mind this is 400lb sow vs. 2-3lb newborn piglet). I love having an active part in the parturition of each species, even if it is simply being a bystander, enjoying those first few miraculous moments.

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