Natures Way?

Nature is cruel and most of all it is cruel to animals or birds that are not perfect.  After watching the pea-chicks roll around their little box, both with one leg out at a right angle, wings spread, miserable, unable even to stand to eat, I decided that there was no way these birds were going to make it in the big playground I call my barn yard.  They could not scratch at the ground nor launch themselves onto a roost.  They would be cleaned up by predators if not the others of their species.  If I had caught this problem within 48 hours of their hatching it is possible I could have fixed it but I didn’t so it was kindest to the birds to put them down. It was sad but the right choice. sunflowers

Sometimes it is best to step in before nature has its way.  Nature is not always kind. I called a man who breeds peacocks and he said it was best not to let them drag on, it never ends well, he said. Now we are left with one little healthy pea-chick who almost immediately decided that my knee or my neck were good places to be.  She (or he) is now living out beside the turkeys for company when she is not snuggling into our pockets.  This will be interesting.

I know I did the right thing but it still feels rotten.


More storms blew in yesterday, more rain.  I took this shot of Sheila in her paddock to show you the water everywhere then looked up and saw this coming straight at us.


Then in the afternoon the sun came out and with it the most shocking humidity. I almost never sweat (preferring to Glow like all well brought up ladies) but yesterday as I was milking the cow I could taste the salt of my sweat as it ran down my face.


I am going to have to get higher gumboots. When I go out through this gate to bring Lady Aster in for the milking I am sinking dangerously close to the tops of my boots. I need fishing waders!

The forecast looks like the storms might be tailing off.   After today that is.

Yesterday the clouds were so low Amanda and I stood out in the field watching them in awe. They kept dropping towards us. I imagined I could drag out the ladder and standing on it reach up into the cloud, watching my hand disappear. It was getting dark and was very still. Then a small cloud broke away from the others and dipped even lower. Right above our heads.  It rolled gently like a wave coming into shore.  It was a significant intentional movement and just for that second it began to lift leaves and small sticks off the ground, playfully twirling them right in front of our faces into a perfect miniature whisper of a  whirlwind. Glancing small puffs of wind off our skin.  It was just for a moment. But a powerful moment. Before the little cloud stopped its playing and rolled on.

Soon after these playful clouds were replaced with the dense black menacing ones and we raced the animals in and trotted quickly back to the house as the wind rose and the rains started again.

After the sun came out I took Tima and Tane into the field with Sheila to begin my plan to combine these two groups for the winter (Sheila is a group of her own). I don’t think Tane was able to breed Tima this time either so these three pigs being pets, it makes sense that they might keep each other warm over the winter.  Poppy might be busy elsewhere.  Sheila gave a small start upon seeing Tima steam past then turned her attention back to her puddle. I think they might get on. Sheila is such a good girl. Poppy too. I am so impressed with Poppy’s maturity and gentleness, often sleeping across the door of the babies snug so they can pop out for a feed then go straight back to bed in the night.

I hope you have a lovely day. I am so sorry about the peachicks but I am fairly sure the fault was the incubator being too low. I will not make that mistake again.

Love your friend on the farm






49 Comments on “Natures Way?

  1. On the bright side, Sheila looks like the happiest pig in the world. That really is an amazing brooding sky 😉

  2. I am so sorry about the peachicks and know how you must be feeling. My worst experience was having to put down Baby Turkey about a year ago; she was injured. You are a wonderful heroic woman – my hero!

  3. That was a tough call about the peachicks, but way better than letting them linger, like we do with human suffering. Each disaster has a lesson and the fact you have one healthy peachick shows you did something right. Nexct time it will be better.

  4. when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Its part of an old song and for the life of me cannot recall who sang it…but this applies to you and the Farmy. You are one tough chickie (not on the inside though) you have to make decisions that many of out would shy away from and you always make the right decisions, believe it or not! . Its a good thing that I am not you..I don’t think I could do it. I prayed last night for God to stop the rain in Colorado because you had had enough…He saidOk….I did alsoask that He send it to California, so we shall have to wait and see….
    Chin up Miss C…it will all turn out ok
    In the meantime have a bucket of love and cuddles

  5. Sheila is loving this wall-to-wall wallow that (she thinks) you laid on for her this summer 🙂 Ha, ha also wonder if she thinks all this rain caused Poppy to shrink? Where are those hot, 80 k/ph winds of 2012 hiding I wonder? Laura

  6. A sad day, truly, but think of the small miraculous moments, like that little cloud and its twirling breath, and Tima surprising Sheila, and your friendship with Amanda. The day continues on despite our decisions, indecisions, mistakes, and weather — we’re just pulled along with it. xx

  7. A tough day without a doubt but you looked for the silver lining in that ominous cloud and know that it was the only thing to do. Please send a bit of your rain my way—we are getting dry again. All the storms are going around us Our move is next week and I want the grass to look nice for the new owners. 🙂 But no rain on Wednesday when they load the truck, please. You can keep it that day. 🙂 Hugs.

  8. May I ask what method you used to cull the chicks? I sometimes find myself in a similar situation.

  9. So sorry about the peachicks. Your heart must be heavy. ❤

  10. I can feel the clouds and humidity by reading your words. Sorry about the necessary task of ending the pea chicks suffering.

  11. I’m so sorry my friend. I can feel your pain as you typed that above. Hogs and snout kisses. XOXO – Bacon

  12. A hard but right decision. Yes Sheila looks like she is in piggy heaven! You do look very wet. I saw a Kune Kune pig Saturday who looked just like Tima. He or she was at our local fete in a pen with ducks, chickens, pigmy goats, two sheep, a dog and a small donkey. All the kids loved them. My husband was very surprised that I knew the breed of the pig. I said very authoritatively that pig over there is a Kune Kune and they come from New Zealand! Hope you get some dry days soon x

  13. I’m with Debra – I don’t think I could be a farmer either. But on a lighter side, your photos are incredible today (not that they aren’t every day 😉 ). I love the sunflower shots, and that sky shot looks like a scene straight from the Wizard of Oz!

  14. I agree you did the right thing. I’m glad that little whirl wind didn’t decide to become a big one right there. I know what those are and what they can do. Have a wonderful day.

  15. Oh my God…because if there is one It is IN those storm clouds. What fearsome power right over your head. I would have been in complete awe of that.

  16. Awe C. I always say, when an animal or bird has to be put down…you are providing he or she with the last show of compassion and love but like you say, it makes you feel horrible when it shouldn’t but if one didn’t feel bad about it, then there is no heart. You most certainly did the right thing for them. I’m so sorry.
    And that is amazing (I think we are overusing that term) but in this case truly amazing experiencing that weird cloud, windy, phenonmena. To be standing right in it. Wow!

  17. sometimes it’s just so sad- but you did the right thing- they would not have had an easy time and would have suffered more.

  18. Chris has said it best. So much anguish you have endured and continue to. And the unrelenting dismal weather does not help. And yet another disappointment in TIma, poor little tyke.
    Fishermans waders! Wow!
    Sunny here now but clouding up. Hope the sun is headed in your direction.

  19. wow! It’s like you’re blogging from New Zealand! So wet!

  20. It feels like this summer is a heavy one on the farmy. Blessings on you as you slog on through the muck. May you be buoyed with moments of loveliness.

  21. hmmm… everyone has said it all, so I won’t belabour the point except to add my two cents in to say it couldn’t have been helped and to end the suffering of poor animals is the kindest thing you can do. *hugggggggs*
    Those are scary clouds for sure and with a moment of awe thrown in. Humidity seems to have hit us today also, for the first time this summer… which in itself is somewhat unusual. Sitting as we do in the lee of the Great Lakes, it is normally humid here summer and winter. So we have got off lightly this year.
    Hope it brightens up for you and brings a better day ahead. ~ Mame 🙂

  22. I’m sorry, miss c. You are more tender than nature would be. I heard there might be tornadoes yesterday in your area, and kept you in my thoughts. Humid out here in CO again today, but not as muggy as yesterday.

  23. C, you are one tough cookie. You are also wise and humane. Sorry about all the rain, we could desperately use some.

  24. The sacredness of life is always so evident even when we must uproot fledgling plants, trees, and mercifully end a creature’s life. Your writing on the cloud was superb. I’m writing next to the rain, and I tell them in my most beguiling voice, “Hey dark clouds. Are you man/men enough to come and see us in California,” don’t think they’ll notice me as I ‘m quite dry over here in our desert. Best to you.

  25. You did the right thing girl! Sometimes I think it is either selfish or guilt that makes people prolong the life of a sick or badly disfigured animal. As hard as it it can be, we have to stop and step back from ourselves and thing solely for the animal/bird in question.
    Big Hugs

  26. We trust your judgment so it’s good to know you do too. And everything else seems to be going along swimmingly (err… literally). Poppy and her brood are reason enough for celebration… the FB clip is wonderful 🙂

  27. What magical clouds. Thank you for painting such a picture that I felt I were watching the dance myself.

  28. Sometimes it’s really really hard not to take it personally, and it’s a hard soul who doesn’t regret having to put a merciful end to a creature. And hindsight is always 20 20 so it sure doesn’t pay to beat yourself up with ‘woulda coulda shouldas’. I finally learned that lesson.

    I know women glow, men perspire and horses sweat but since middle age smacked me upside the head my ‘glow’ tends to run off my nose and drip off my ears!

  29. Also, sometimes mother nature can be a right nasty old b—-h!

  30. Well pooh! You are getting exactly (maybe worse) the kind of weather we had in May. I’m so sorry about the peachicks. It’s tough to make decisions like that, but it is being responsible and kind. We are the stewards of the land and the caretakers of the animals. Those little spirits will come back again… they are here to help us have understanding.

  31. Really sorry, and of course you did what was necessary but I well know that feeling of dull weight that lingers when the necessary thing is also such a hard thing. Sorry.

  32. Strange that I wrote a poem today about having to put our horse down years ago. Grief rears its strange head at the most inopportune moments. Now our rescued 8 year-old hounddog has some neurological issue where her left eye and mouth droop and weep, and the vet told me best and worst case, etc. It’s always touchy domesticating animals, which is what we do when we bring them home to live with us. No matter how they are treated – and ours are always treated spectacularly well, as no doubt are yours – life and death happen. Struggling happens in the animal world as well as the human world, and though it has seemed unfair to me as well, when I really sit still and attend to my question “why must this happen to the pure, the innocent, the …” what I receive back is that it is our collective creation/illusion that the only way to evolve, create and grow on earth is through contrast and adversity. No matter the outpicturing life chooses to assume (vegetable, mineral, animal, human), the experience is the same, only by degrees depending on myriad factors. But oh, what we get in return! Beauty! Abundant miracles at every turn, hidden in the most unlikely places! Appreciation for this tenuous existence in Paradise. Aloha and love, Ms. C.

  33. I’m glad you still have your heads above water – I was worried all day yesterday. I know what you mean about low clouds: the plane I was in descended towards the airport for about twenty minutes through cloud and we only saw the ground at the very last minute before landing. The plane was late and I missed my train. My phone wouldn’t work and only the kindness of a stranger enabled me to phone and warn Sally that I would be an hour and a half late, thus pushing the drive home into the rush hour. Travelling broadens the bum!

    Hope your weather’s improved.

  34. A little cloud chose you. What a treat. Maybe a reassuring pat to remind no matter how much we roll with the waves, sometimes there are things beyond our control. As long as we notice and perform kindnesses when needed, that’s all we can do. HUGs for an Old Soul who really needs some waders.

  35. So many things to learn! You should not feel badly about the peachicks. Your tending to them was an act of mercy, sparing them whatever else would have surely come.

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