I find that title....The Bounty of My Hands....odd to write....because nothing I did here was ever done apart from the Gracious Hands of God....truly It is The Bounty of His Hands.
My farm days came to an end yesterday when our last resident Muscovy duck left for a new home. He survived 2 fox attacks in 2 years. The only reason he survived this last attack was because his flight feathers had regrown and I hadn't trimmed them again. By the time he was about to be re-homed, he was touring the town of Glenwood every night making my 1 little job of locking his door rather challenging!!!
Having the privilege of husbanding animals has been one of my greatest honors in this life....right up there with parenting 2 great kids that are now adults.
It taught me so much. I learned about the joys and sorrows very quickly. I buried more then my share of critters who died from sickness and had great loss from fox attacks which had decimated my chicken flocks on more then 3-4 occasions. Baby lambs born dead. Baby goats who gave it their best fight, but didn't have the strength to make it. Nights in the barn nursing the ill.
Nearly every animal who resided here had a name. Naming animals has been shown scientifically to affect the quality of life for an animal, even if is intended for the dinner table. We had several bull calves either born or bought as day olds that I raised for the freezer.
And to every single one.....I said thank you and good bye with tears in my eyes.....the very first time, doubled over wrenching with tears and vomiting. The last of our lambs were the hardest. I gave each of them the best life they could have and in the end, my heart was torn to shreds that some were to go to slaughter.
I make no apologies that we are meat eaters. God gave us dominion over the earth, over the animals. He gave them for food.
It was part of my job. Although the hardest.
As I write this, tears swell up in my eyes, not for the days of slaughter, but the joy and memories of husbanding. I wouldn't have traded it for ANYTHING!
All I could say to The Hired Hand who finally caved to my desire 8 years ago....is THANK YOU! Thank you for letting me live my dream. I just wished I'd been younger and had more time to tend to them.
In this shot my sweet friend, Kelly is saying good bye to Hershey, her nurse cow. Hershey suffered an injury and would never walk again. She was about to be euthanized. Those good byes are so hard in every circumstance. I just stood there and tears rolled down my face as we watched her pass. Kelly has hauled all my animals and made the job a little easier for me. I will ever be grateful for her. xoxo
These 2 clowns are over at my friend Janet's farm doing what they do best.....growing wool! Basil and Patchouli were twin brothers I bought as lambs and they had the sweetest personalities....rather....I dare say for fear of pride.....they do take on the personality of their farmher!!! They do.
However, there are SOME no matter how hard you try, they are runners. They fear you from sun-up to sun-down! No matter how many days you've fed them, sheltered them and tried to extend the olive branch they just don't want to trust you. I remember Mia, who laid her head in my lap as she took her last breath and finally trusted me. She spoke it in her eyes. The windows to the soul.
For most farmhers, the runners, the difficult, the poor genetic pool...are the ones who don't make the cut. They are the ones who go to slaughter. It's just the truth.
All I can say, for those who did go to slaughter is....THANK YOU!
We give thanks with grateful hearts for the bounty of our hands.
This is some of the best lamb I've ever raised....I wonder why.
Love. Just simple and pure love of being an animal husband.