As "The Pocket Farmer" I try to show the ups and downs of raising food and livestock, sharing our triumphs and tragedies as they happen. Not everything goes right. Not everything goes wrong. Sometimes it will start out well and end up poorly. Or vice-versa. Always, when there is an improvement to be made, I am hitting up my resources to gain the knowledge as quickly as I can, to prevent any additional losses, if possible. And sometimes, despite our best efforts and good intentions, we fail.
This year has been bumpy, lots of heartache. We lost our baby goose and a couple chickens to raccoon invaders. We lost our dear Sammy to old age. We had a couple sick chicks with vitamin deficiencies that they didn't recover from. I had baby ducks that didn't hatch. We had a brutally hot summer that fried the garden. We had a really mean rooster.
Did we quit? No! We learned.
We learned how to build a better chicken coop, to protect our flock. I learned what vitamins to give the chicks to make them strong and healthy and was able to save Bob. I learned how to assist a hatchling that couldn't make it on their own, saving our baby duck. I learned how to vary plantings so that taller plants can provide shade for those too delicate to take the sun. We learned it's better to cull the rooster than to take chances he would harm someone or something.
This last lesson came yesterday. The same baby duck that I helped hatch this Spring, was attacked by the rooster we had spared from the chopping block. A tragedy that could have been prevented had we been down this road before. Well, now we know. Another lesson learned.
Sometimes, to help illustrate a crisis, I post a photo of the situation. As my daughter pointed out to me yesterday, these pictures are graphic. I agree, and I struggle with crossing the line between informative and exploitation. We have witnessed some pretty gruesome scenes and for the most part, a general description will suffice to explain the situation. However, in a few instances, I have posted a disturbing photo. Back in the Spring I posted a photo of a baby duckling that died before hatch. I was concerned that maybe I could have done something to help save it. I posted the photo in the hope that someone who might have experienced the same thing, could offer advice. Well, it worked. I received a lot of great tips and was able to recognize distress in our next duck hatch and not only saved our baby duck, but was also successful in helping hatch a wild baby goose.
Stop by www.facebook.com/thepocketfarmer to share your successes or questions about farming and gardening. I hope to see you there! :)