"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Knocked down, stood up, knocked down, bloody and bawling

Hey friends, I haven't had any time to blog and miss you all ~ especially today. 
Life on a farm is always full of hard work and often emotional but I'm usually able to take a few sobs followed by deep breathes and continue on. 
Most mornings, no matter what's happened the day before,  I try to start with a fresh outlook. 
I pour my coffee and go let out my hens so that we can do chores and enjoy the gardens together.

One of my favorite views. 

In fact, I've been meaning to do a special post about the circle of life and the comings n goings on our farm.  
We've lost some extra special horses and goats. And been joined by cute new ones.
They will have to work hard to challenge past titles of extra special tho!

My most favorite pony will soon get his own post. RIP Neil Diamond.

Bert died shortly before the  new kids were born.
Meet Max n Ruby. Our New Kids on the Bale.

My mother lost her beloved old German Shepard and my brother got an adorable Boxer.
Ike was a Katrina rescue and so appreciative to have a family.

I've had an occasional hen plucked by a fox and bought or hatched new ones...
This (now dead) pullet hatched guinea keets after a fox took their mama from the nest.

But senseless carnage and massacre is hard to swallow.
You guessed it. A demon raccoon.
It's been a personal thing for this monster.
First the cat food on the porch.
I locked it up.
Then it DESTROYED my porch and dumped n dug all my flowers
leaving poop on my grill in case I didn't get the message.
Two nights ago it broke into my coop.
A nightmare of carnage so bad I could not even believe my eyes.
I was in shock.
Clearly this was just a sport to the creature.
Hens without heads or guts but their eggs still there.
I can handle a fox feeding cubs.
I toughed it out (it was after a grueling day before on the farm)

Romeo was driven down by my BFF in MI
I mourned and cleaned the coop and doctored the dear sweet Romeo Rooster who had fought hard and lost but not quite died.
I celebrated the hens who'd been nesting elsewhere.
And my beautiful young pullets just bought last weekend and isolated. 
I acted tough n told clients n family that it's just an ugly part of nature.
I reinforced the coop (which was pretty darn secure already!) and set a trap with marshmallows.
I sweet talked poor Romeo and tucked him and the others in with a promise they need not worry.

I lied.

The *&%$#! beast broke in and killed them ALL, even the pullets somehow!!!!
Poor Romeo is not quite dead. But nearly. And no one but me is here to deal with it.
The marshmallows are gone and trap was sprung.
The Farmer thinks its a huge raccoon.
I can not cope. 
The Farmer is gone getting tractor parts.
Kids are at the beach with his mom.

I am alone with my blog to grieve and condemn. 
And whine that farm life in this economy of no help and no vacations is just too much for me somedays.

My poor poor birds.
I let them down.
I am devastated.
Ironically sweet Henny Penny is alive because she lives in a rabbit hutch and free ranges due to constant attacks from the other hens.
She is four years old.
She still lays eggs.
Been found near dead too many times.
Eaten yogurt, blueberries n scrambled eggs, been filled with triple antibiotic and recovered.

Yes, she and my floor both look gross. That's part of farm life too.
I might just have to become the crazy chicken lady and let her live in the house.
The thought of her head being ripped off after all she's been through will sign my note for the mental ward.
I've had one foot in the door there lately anyway.
My fight feels gone.
I wanna live in a condo and work at Walmart.
But since I can't I stole this from the always inspirational Coop Keeper.
(As I searched her early blog I fell in love with her all over again. The blue chair, the blue pool, the chicken whispering and garden tour lust... We must be kin. Too bad she got the looks and the talent!)
Thank the Lord I can still laugh while I cry.
I pray that soon I can sing a similar song and show a dead coon.
Jayme sings like she does everything ~ bravely! Go watch here.
Lock up your girls and get your guns.
This is war. 

Loved you ladies. Don't worry, I 'll get 'im!


Cajunrose said...

Oh my gosh...I'm SO sorry for all of your losses lately..especially your chickens. :( How does one recover from that? I'm so sorry you had to deal with the carnage on your own. That's a special kind of sad. I hope things improve for you and not so much for that darn racoon.

sista said...

I would be devastated. I would also be sitting with a gun waiting for that SOB all night if I had to. Nothing touches my girls or it will find my hands around its throat. Believe me. I have physically chased down coyotes and predatory birds. Didn't catch them but they didn't get what they came for either. I'm so sorry. I know how you feel.

Alison said...

I totally understand that feeling of letting the poor dears down. Are you sure it's a racoon and not something more vicious? I've never heard of such vindictiveness from a 'coon! Normally I'm more live-and-let-nature-live, but I sure hope you get the pleasure of taking out that b*****d yourself.

Vintage Country Girl said...

That's terrible! I'm so sorry. I wonder about ours all the time. We have a dog who is loose all the time, and knock on wood, we've never even seen a coon in the years we've lived here. Hope you get him! For the girl's sake...and yours!

bizzymomma said...

Leslie~ I am so sorry for your loss. I've had one batch of 25 chickens killed by a guys pit bulls. That also was senseless murder....killed them all and left them all lay. Ronnie walked in on the middle of the attack, but it was too late. Then the next batch (raised from chicks again), killed by raccoon and fox. We woke in the night and saw a coon dragging a duck by the foot across the pen. I guess chickens and ducks sleep pretty sound. Also, so sorry to hear about Bert :( I know you are busy, but I'm hear if you want to talk or visit. I don't want to have to go to Walmart and visit you at your new job ;) Hang in there....it can only get better, right? Hugs to you. Elizabeth

mountain mama said...

oh leslie, i'm so sorry. living on a farm certainly toughens one up! wish i could come over and help in some way :)

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

My heart just aches with you...senseless, absolutely senseless. I am pretty passive, but finally made sure a shotgun was at the ready when a neighbor's dog kept harassing our goats...warned them that the first shot would aim to scare, but not the second. I worry so when I tuck in our animals at the end of a day...there is so much that is out of our control. My thoughts are sent across the miles.

Phyllis said...

I would be sick too. I have a small flock of chickens and they are sweet creatures...and so submissive and defensless.

I'm so sorry they were killed, and not even eaten. How in the world did it get in??

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

It is hard isn't it? And I so understand...Farm life can be hard in many ways. Facing death of beloved creatures is the hardest of all.

I have never written yet about my summer at the Arabian breeding farm when I dealt with SCIDS in our foals. Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (only happens in Arabs!) affected several of our foals who were sired by a stallion that was a carrier. (long story about that!) Having to euthanize 3 month old foals has stayed with me to this day....It was a horror I still feel sick over to this day.
The one thing I always try to remember is how grateful I am for these wonderful creatures I have been given to care for in my life. I am a better person for having the unconditional love that comes from every animal I have had the grace of loving! This helps ease the pain of loss for me.

Thank you for coming by my blog!
We do have so much in common! Sometimes I miss my days at the breeding farm, but then I remember the sleepless nights, the worries, the clients....nah. I am very happy where I am! But still, great experiences I wouldn't trade for the world!
Glad you like the video. I cried too..all those smiles on people just going about their day! So wonderful!
Hope your summer is going well. I cannot wait until Fall to get out of this nasty heat. What a hot 2012 it has been!
Take care!
xo, misha

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

You have shared the balance of farm life, a lot of work and yes, loss...oh so so sorry!

I am sharing the pictures with Benjamin

I hope your week is better..and yes, smile in the midst of tears, that is the best way to handle any war!

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

You have had some serious carnage going on! law! Get your gun. Death to coons and other chicken killing varmits.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Leslie, I am so sorry! I feel your pain on the raccoons. The monsters killed my beloved gander last year :( Jayme's awesome video/song is how I found her :) I have Opal Hen in the house right now. Feeling somewhat like Yancy Tucker (the Waltons) - maybe she'll get her own chest of drawers and pull-out nest soon! Hope things are better. I mourn also for all of your losses ;( It hurts! Hugs, Tammy

Janie Fox said...

WT heck? I can't even imagine how awful that all was!! I missed this post.Girl, you need a vacation. I have a couple of guest rooms. You pick the one you want.I will entertain you with grand kids and junking.

Sue said...

Sorry to hear about this Leslie, I am so relating to this, both the happenings and the feelings. I once found a red hawk in my chicken coop rounded him up and found myself staring straight into his eyes all the while choking him, I finally came to myself felt sorry for him, locked him in a cage only for him to escaped, came back later and ate some more of my guineas and hens.. LOL
We Farm girls really have a lot of stories to tell, don't we! especially about wanting to run away, personally I think we need some medals for bravery! lol
Thanks for sharing

Lisa said...

So sorry how awful.

Set the trap with peanut butter and tuna fish. That is how we got ours. The tuna draws them in and the peanut butter slows them down so the trap will get them.


Jerusalem Greer said...

I know all too well what it is like to loose livestock (chickens) in a senseless, meaningless way. Carnage everywhere. I am so so sorry friend. Hope things are going better. Keep blogging!

Mandy said...

okay. i will galdly move into your place. gorgeous! sorry for all the murders. tough neighboorhood.

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

It is so very hard at times. The very nature of what we love..pets and wildlife..can sometimes be against one another. My heart goes out to you. Soon I am going to write about my summer where I lost 4 Arabian foals to SCID. Plus a stallion to cancer and a mare who was in foal to colic. ugh...All within 3 months. I was a wreck that summer!
I will keep you and your beautiful animals in my prayers.
Now go get 'em!
xo, misha

brooke said...

Oh friend I wish I was closer to take you to coffee and mourn good creatures lost and rant about rotten raccoons. I'm sorry. We lost five chickens to a fox that had quads in our back pasture. I didn't blame her. But those rotten raccoons. Grrr. It is part of farm life but it still stings.