Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.
Our weekend started off with a great time at the Lawrence Farmer's Market, but that enjoyment was quickly replaced with the realization that one of our sheep were displaying some odd signs and behaviors. She was drooling excessively and appeared a bit dazed and disoriented. A quick search of Google showed nothing good was going to probably come from this.
So we were faced with a choice. Do we let nature take it course or do we try and intervene. She was one of our pregnant ewes, and this is our first time going through sheep lambing. Our expectation (whether right or wrong), was that it would probably be a simple and fairly hands off experience. So, we made a couple of calls to some other sheep owners, as well as a vet. Everyone was helpful, and honest. The consensus was Pregnancy Toxemia. It can come on in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and is typically caused by nutritional deficiencies. In other words, we probably didn't make sure all her nutritional needs were being met properly. There is a nice fact to chew on over a Saturday afternoon.
We did take some steps to intervene, and on Sunday, she looked better, and appeared to be on her feet, and stronger. However, on Monday we awoke to find her dead. Nothing like burying a large sheep at 6:30 in the morning.
This situation has made us have to really talk about what are our values, and what steps are we willing to take to intervene, and when do we let the natural cycle of things take control. I am not proposing that we did everything the "right" way, but we did what we thought was best, and we paid some "tuition", as another farmer put it.
So now our focus is on our other 2 pregnant ewes, and trying to bring them through full term with no more complications. We have taken steps to adjust their diet, to make sure they are getting enough calcium, and calories, while on our pasture. Hopefully that is.
Frustration and farming seem to go hand in hand sometimes. Actually a lot of the time. I think that is true of any dream you may have. Achievement of that dream will never come easy. It will cost you something and you will be forced to question how bad do you really want that dream more than once. This weekend was one of those times for us. We still have this dream though. Not giving up yet!
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave your thoughts/comments.