Farming has it days, when you are so pleased with everything and then, there are days which you would have been much happier if they would have never happened. This is the same as it is with life as there are good memories and sad memories. Having grown up on a farm, I as a child saw both sides of life. I knew about life and life becoming food for our farm. I, also, had experienced the loss of farm animals and how it was dealt with. When we made the decision to add animals to our farm, I seemed to have forgotten this part of life on the farm. After settling here, we had to put down our faithful friend who had made this journey with us. She had gotten so old, could not lift her weigh any more and was depending on me to carry her outside when needed. After a long talk with the vet and all of us getting our heads straight the decision was made. We loaded her into our van and made one final trip to the vet. They met us in the parking lot, saying they did not need our help as there were tears flowing all over the parking lot and I know they felt more than helpless in dealing with us. They knew how to deal with our cherished girl. So my city girl, then farm girl became a memory. One I still think about to this day, there will never be one who could replace her because she and I became one. It took me several weeks to remove her bed from her corner, but one day it was time. I had my heart filled with memories and my kitty was starting to show her age and once again I was dealing with losing another of our city pets. So in settling here, we had lost all three of the pets who moved to the farm. It was our strong desire for all of them to make the journey to the farm and enjoy the calm of our farm.
The first critters added to the farm were chickens, then came the goats. The chickens have been here for eight years and are starting to show their age. My mind set was for my first girls to live out their life on the farm. Well, this happened over the Christmas season. My girl, Ornery, became sick. We were able to bring her around and things seemed good but with the bitter cold weather, she went down again. I moved her to our house and took care of her. I was spoon feeding her and watering the same way. I was hoping she would recover, but I knew better. After one day, I knew this was just a waiting game and I would have to let it play out. Wrapped in a blanket and lying in a basket, she took her final breath. There is now another grave on our farm. I am pleased to have had this ornery chicken in my life, she made me smile, she sang a little song for me everyday until I moved her into our house. I knew she wanted to end her days in the coop with all of her friends (I say this with caution as she kept everyone in line when pecking was called for) I know she enjoyed being with all of the chickens.
I have other chickens who are also getting older, I have read where some have lived to be in the tens, teens and one who made twenty some years. I am not sure how old my girls will get but they have a good life. Warmed oatmeal and scrambled eggs for breakfast, lots of grain and seeds, fresh water and a covered run. They are protected from the rain if they wish to be and we, the chickens and I, argue about their being out when there is snow on the ground. I was touched with the loss of a chicken's life here on our farm but I know that is part of farming. I stood up strong and remembered she was lucky to be here. They do not have to worry about hawks taking them away and I see their alarm systems begin to work when a hawk is crying from the sky and they do move to their safe place. There was always food and she never had to do with what we could come up with.
This chicken managed to get into our heart and head just like our big fluffy dog. I dealt with their deaths and I know I have to move forward for there are others who will be waiting for me to take care of them. This is one part of farm of life I could say I do not enjoy but this is an important part of farm life. It teaches you how to let go and move on. Having seen life and death all of my life, I think I understand how to accept death much better than a lot of folks I know. Accepting someone is no longer with you leaves a void or a hollow in your soul and /or heart, taking your memories, cherishing them will fill you with overflowing joy.
I was sang a song and I noticed just a few days ago, another one of my hens is now singing a song at bedtime. Ornery lives on as she taught someone to sing her song.