My day starts and ends with feeding 3 orphaned animals and I watch them and pat them as I do it (as best I can holding two bottles) We currently have Coco, Johnny the merino lambs and Turnbull the Angus bull and they live in our now animal nursery and I watch them for signs of disease, growth and any other conditions that may affect them.I noted this morning Turnbull is without his identifiable red collar, we know who he is and he isn’t likely to get out of the nursery for sometime, he is thriving and doing better since the lambs have arrived.
Coco is still in her coat as she is little and Johnny has taken to finishing his bottle and pushing Coco away to get more milk. This is farming in real life Turnbull will also push his way past both lambs if he finishes drinking first to get more milk, it’s a game of balance and quick sucking by the lambs now, other than this they have become good friends. Even the Golden Retriever makes friends with baby animals, the lambs think he is their mum, I can hear when he heads up to the chicken coup as the lambs run up the fence calling him.
Giving Johnny a lick whilst turnbull and Coco look on.
I know we see the pictures from the Royal Shows where all the animals look clean and are beautifully kept, they are for shows, that is what they are bred for. They are cared for, washed and in some cases blow driers are used to fluff up or down hair, so that you will find them attractive and see the breeder and either buy it or look for the progeny.
They are the show case of that farmers annual work, so you will buy the semen to impregnate your females with or the animal itself. They are also the show case of agriculture teachers who work with students and animals in schools to get them to understand farming, animal husbandry and farming enterprises. They pick the best of the best ways to show these animals and understand how upset students can be when it is taken off to have it’s carcass scored.
Animals in real life though, are always well cared for on most farms are not like that in real life, they live in grass so on some days the sheep can look green in the colour of their wool, they live on red dirt in other districts and throughout Australia so their wool can take on a red look. If it’s muddy they take on the colour of that dirt and mud, that is why wool is a widely sort after textile, as it’s washable, absorbs dyes and is easily cleaned.
I know who knew farmers were not roaming around paddocks making sure that animals were washed, dried and groomed? We are out in the farm (mostly the farmer is) checking on mis-mothering of animals, helping to birth animals and in the worst of cases having to euthanase them. He will sit with binoculars watching the rears of cows checking for size of birthing, to make sure that it happens as well as it should. He can tell the difference between a front or rear foot presentation and knows instinctively whether or not he will be required to pull. He is mostly successful with live births but sometimes stillborns are delivered.
We also have chooks with a rooster, which I don’t like, they become protective of the hens and can fly at you. The one we have currently jumps on a tin as soon as he sees me and I have gone into the pen waving a shovel at it, on one occasion I threw the scrap bucket at it as he flew at me and attacked me. I was lucky I was wearing jeans that day or he would have scratched my legs, stupidly I had to then walk back into the coup and collect the bucket, now I keep the shovel handy, my Melbourne niece and nephew were a bit horrified at this.
This is farming, this is animals and we are all part of the kingdom that needs to share and get along, be it with or without a shovel in my case with the rooster or shoving past 2 little lambs to get more milk. Life is not always about looking the best, thinnest or being the smartest, it is about existing with each other to enjoy the opportunities in front of you with others.