Discover more from AffirmationChickens
I've Got Your Bawk
Sometimes you just need one person* to believe in you; to tell you that you can do that thing that intimidates you. I am that person*. You got this.
— Sweet Tater
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
The seedlings are popping up, which can only mean one thing: The joyful march/dance towards spring has begun!
Veli is really settling into a rhythm, and I am so proud of her! She works two shifts out in the pasture—the overnight and a midday watch. In between, she comes back to the house to crash, curling into a tight ball and snoozling deeply for a few hours at a time. According to the old-timers, it’s coyote mating season, and that can make the ‘yotes more aggressive. I’m so thankful to have Veli watching Ms. Juliet and the rest of the sheepy gang.
Speaking of Juliet, I’ve been trying to decide whether to spay her. As many of you remember, she was born with tendons that were far too lax, making her legs buckle outward. The vets said it’s impossible to know the exact cause of her leg issues. Perhaps it was because, as the runt, she didn’t get enough nutrition in utero. Maybe she was cramped in the womb. It also could be genetic. Because there’s a chance it’s genetic, she could pass that trait on. She’s also still small for her age, so lambing might be harder on her. Given all this, spaying seems like a good idea. (Keeping a ram away from a ewe, even when separated by several fences, is harder than you might think. Love finds a way.)
But: A ewe that can’t breed is essentially a death sentence on any other farm. Juliet, obviously, is a beloved member of our family and can stay whether she’s productive or not. We have plenty of space and off-farm jobs that allow our farm profit margins to not be so important. (Sad thoughts coming next, so here’s a cute pic of her as a baby.)
I have no plans to leave the farm, but, I also know that shit happens. If Chris and I were to die in a car accident or something similarly sudden and horrible, Juliet might have to find a home elsewhere. If she’s sterile, finding a safe home for her will be harder. (I guess I need to rewrite my will to leave assets to my…sheep?)
There’s also the fact that sedation is risky for small ruminants. Last year, when we castrated Puck, the vet kept warning me that “sheep and goats love to die under sedation.” I sat, jaw-clenched, holding Puck for 30 minutes as the drugs wore off, listening to his ragged breathing and praying after every grunt of an exhale he’d have the strength for another inhale. What a relief it was when he opened his eyes.
Juliet would have her surgery done by the best vets in the state at the University of Tennessee—but I will be a wreck the whole dang time. One of my least favorite things about farming is that there are always 1,000 decisions to be made—with sometimes serious consequences for picking the wrong choice.
Here’s What I Loved This Week
My day job gave me a $30 Amazon gift card for Christmas, and on a whim, I bought a basic crochet needle set and some beginner yarn. Here’s the thing: I am both a perfectionist AND have ADHD. Crafting, for me, can quickly turn into an existential meltdown.
Since I raise sheep, getting into the fiber arts seemed like it was worth a try. And since it wasn’t my money, I figured the worst that would happen was that I’d get frustraited and donate the set to Goodwill or pass it to a friend.
Weirdly, though, I love it? I can’t believe how fast I’ve picked up the basics (you can learn anything from YouTube!). Sure, my projects progress at a glacial pace, but, if you’re planning to have a baby in maybe 2027 this blanket should be ready by then!