Farm Life

Some animal goofs

I need to start taking more photos of the goofballs that I work with at the farm. All of the animals have so much personality and many are allowed to roam free around the barnyard during the day. This means that they’re constantly underfoot and being naughty, but I enjoy every moment. For the record, let me just say that I’ve forgotten how crazy and awesome goats are! They’re sooooo mischievous. If they weren’t so darn cute they’d be completely loathsome!

sensa the goat
This is Sensa, who, with the rest of The Goon Squad jumps into the back of my truck as soon as I pull up to the barn. They’ll eat everything and anything that isn’t tied down. They’re so naughty…and strong. Once they have their mind and stomaches set on something it’s almost impossible to tear them away from it.
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This is my beloved Stencil, the ringleader of The Goon Squad. He’s looking….looking for trouble! He and Arthur went through my car and proceeded to eat my lunch when my back was turned.
Here are a few of the cows I care for. The one on the far right is Helen. She’s an old lady and blind to boot, however, her taste buds work just fine. She get’s a little overzealous when it comes to food and will knock anyone over who stands in the way of fresh hay. Who could blame her though? Hay is apparently very delicious (not as much as mushy bananas though).
Here are some of the turkeys. I’m not sure they’re loving the weather but they hang with us just the same. They’re sweet and friendly and will happily chat with you about any and all things.
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And the sheep laid and egg…or so it seems. I had to get a photo of Lambert and the stray egg. What perfect placement and timing.
tired farm worker
There’s nothing quite like a hay facial! Geeze, just looking at this person makes me tired. This is what I look like at the end of the day…and then I stop at the gas station…and then to the grocery store…yup, I pretty much go out looking like this. And yes, I am very ripe. I’m not sure this look is going to get me a husband (or a date for that matter) anytime soon. Oh well, c’est la vie.

Farm Life

My first day on the farm

I get a stipend for warm clothes. So I did a little the tractor supply store.

Today was the first day at my new job. You are reading the blog of Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s newest animal caregiver. The job entails animal husbandry three days a week and performing animal health checks the other two days. Yes, I finally get to revisit my veterinary technology roots! I’m rusty at the medical stuff, that’s for sure, but I’m a natural at caregiving so hopefully I’ll do great.

My extremely affectionate goat friend.

On my way to work today, a radio program was interviewing people who had to brave the cold for their jobs. One rancher in South Dakota called in because he was outside with his herd of 500 cattle, breaking ice in the water troughs. It was -40 degrees! The radio dj basically commented on how terribly sad it was that a cow had to endure -40 temperatures just to be eaten in the end. It’s not a great life. Heck, it’s not even a good one.

Now here I am, it’s almost midnight and I’m absolutely physically exhaused. Yet, I’m worrying about the animals I tucked in before I left for the day. The temperatures are going to be below zero tonight. They have nothing but plywood, plastic sheeting, maybe a little insulation and some straw to protect them. There’s no furnace blowing warm air on them. I can only hope that the straw I put in their pens is enough to make them comfortable. At times like this, I can’t imagine taking their place. I would not last the night.

This is one sassy Lady Jane.

So I sit here in my warm bed, listening to the freezing wind whip through the trees, and I can’t help but reflect on what that dj said this morning. It’s a hard life being an animal and we sure as heck couldn’t do it. It’s saddens me to think that they are so much better than us in so many ways and yet we treat them with such disrespect. We treat them like food. Like meat. We are nowhere near as strong and resilient as they are. Being around them is humbling, to say the least, and I hope I never forget the lessons they teach.