Grit Blogs > Great Escape

Farminsanity: Fundamental Questions, Crazy Answers

Rosalind head shotSometimes at a later point I will question the sanity of certain decisions and actions of mine.  Here are some examples:

1) We had received our first lot of chickens in the mail.  It was a new experience for all of us.  Everything was going quite well until one chick got sick.  The invalid was Fluffy, one of the buff silkies (the other was Buffy).  She had crookneck (neck goes all twisted and strange), water on the brain (a little kooky), and constipation (not going poop without assistance-don’t ask).  So we took care of her.  Somehow we must have gone a little kooky ourselves, because we had assumed that if she not only came inside but slept on my bed, Fluffy would have a faster and more wholesome recovery.  For a few nights she slept on my bed (something I’m not proud of), with my dog, Crumpet.  In the end, she got so sick I had to cull her (using my mother’s best kitchen knife).  Reflecting on this past experience, I think there might have been some better solutions.

2) When we first got the goats, they escaped.  No real big surprise here, but it was in the night so it was very dark.  With no clear idea of where they might be, our search began a little off course.  Pretty soon we heard the neighbor’s dog bark.  We rushed over to investigate, where we found our two newly acquired goats cornered nearby a barn, with the farm guard dog keeping them paralyzed with fear.  There was nothing else to do but to make friends with this huge barking dog (as the owner wasn’t home), so I talked in my best puppy dog voice and inched over to my goats.  I grabbed Maybelle, and my mom grabbed Kitty, and we dragged, carried, pulled and pushed them all the way home.  Lesson learned: guard dogs are good for cornering goats and like being talked to as though they are still a puppy.

3) Some of you may not know this, but we own a heifer (not a cow).  One day she will have the noble job of milk production for our family, but for the moment she is just really big, mobile, yard art.  Although she doesn’t do much more than eat all day, she is quite happy to play games every once in a while.  One of her favorites is tag.  You run, she chases.  Sometimes I wonder if people driving by think I am being chased by a wild bovine.  

4) “Breeding like rabbits.”  We used to rely on that saying.  Not anymore.  For a long time we wanted baby bunnies.  Anything with lop ears.  Cute, sweet, grass-eating, fluffy, huge eyes that stare deep into your soul, multiple colors, that will soon have cute miniature versions of itself.  This is not our experience.  Our bunnies were biting, clawing, peeing-on-everything, spaced out little monsters.  Most of them are now dead.  First rabbit’s demise was caused by a wild dog.  Second rabbit’s cessation was all thanks to an infected ear infection and my brother’s .243 rifle.  Third rabbits termination was by some predator that we are not sure of yet, suffice to say, it has never returned.  Fourth rabbit’s annihilation can be attributed to stupidity, both of the car driver and the bunny that stepped foot in the highway.  Not one of them ever had any offspring.  We are currently left with a miniature, male, Holland lop that we rescued from the stew-pot off of someone who posted something on Craigslist.  Another piece of mobile yard art for our collection.

5) This is another Uffie story.  Our crazed little girl, who was raised in a closet for most of her childhood, and who also needs therapy sessions every week decided to go broody.  In all her infinite wisdom, she perceived that Christmas Day would be a great time to start sitting on eggs.  Brilliant for us.  So she hatched some babies in January.  One froze to the water trough.  This was the only one we cared about.  So sad.  Overcome with despair Uffie just about gave up on her attempt to raise the chicks.  Thankfully, Cookie stepped in.  She mothered the lot as though she had hatched them herself.  If not they probably would have died.  And now there are four chickens showing up at the therapy sessions.

6) Here is a short story about the oinkers.  We look at them.  We go home.  We make them a home to sleep in.  We go buy them.  We go buy milk replacer (their mother had died).  We drive home.  We have our ear drums blasted out by their squealing.  We take some headache relief medicine.  We wait for months in gleeful anticipation for bacon.

Our duck Drip is in the bathtub 7) Yesterday, we saw one of the ducks limping.  Just to make sure nothing was wrong (we can always hope), we ran it down and immediately noticed that its leg was wounded. Our poor little Drip comes inside.  Using a white rag, we wipe off her leg and foot, simultaneously making the presumption that she had been attacked by a predator (they are the cause of most of my troubles).  So we brought her in the house and gave her spa treatment (i.e. splash around in our bathtub), gave her luxury food (dandelions, grass, leaves), put her in her own suite (the stock tank/brooder), and she has access to an all you can eat buffet of her favorite food. Despite all this care and attention (and potentially saving her life) she hates me.  Alas, I was hoping this inconvenience of mine would strengthen our relationship and bring us closer together.

8) Pancakes and raw meat have something in common.  Can you guess what it is?  No.  Didn’t think so.  Both of these are foods that Bonnie (our puppy) will jump on the table or countertop to snatch.  What about goat poop and feathers?  No, you couldn’t figure that one out either?  These are things that Bonnie will always chew no matter how many times we tell her otherwise.  Dreadlocks and ticks?  Of course you didn’t get that one.  Bonnie gives both of these things to our three other dogs.  Last one.  What about bunnies and ducks?  I’ll just tell you.  These are the animals that Bonnie has the most fun ‘herding’.  Summary is that Bonnie is capable of making connections between anything. 

These are only a few of the Farminsanity moments.  More have happened, more to come. 

nebraska dave
4/24/2012 9:59:16 PM

Rosalind, I do enjoy your take on living the farm life. Your posts are always so true and in an entertaining way. I'm looking forward to the next post. Have a great day on the homestead.