Friday, September 25, 2009

Death In The Afternoon

Farmers say, if you've got livestock, you've got dead stock. You can't be sentimental if you farm.

I'm used to stock dying; I'm even used to killing animals for meat. But today we killed Mrs T. She was over eleven years old, and for seven of those years she lived here on our farm. She was a fine old lady who was gradually worn down by age and weather. Over the last couple of days she couldn't get up, though she ate the pellets and drank the water Farmdoc brought her. In the end we thought it would be kinder to kill her than to let her waste away in misery, lying in her own faeces.

When we first moved here, we tried tethering her along the driveway to eat down the sycamore and blackberry, but she had other ideas. She got herself in such a mess that we got sick of untangling her, and after a short time we gave up and returned her to the paddocks, where she reared a number of kids and ruled in imperious fashion, queen of the goats. She was a lady of dignity and self-possession who always did things in her own way.

Mrs T spent her last year as the matriarch of Home Paddock, living with last year's kids, looking like Gulliver amongst the Lilliputians while she taught the youngsters how to behave.

Then, this afternoon as we fed out to the stock, we came across this aborted kid, abandoned near the trough next to the hay shed: a little doe.

And a little later, about 100 metres away, we saw this second miscarried foetus, this time a little buck.

Were they twins, or did two nannies miscarry today? We won't ever know, probably, but today was a very sad day here at Onemilebridge.


  1. What a terribly sad day you had there. I am so sorry. XX

  2. awful as it looks and sounds. May the near future bring a cornucopia filled to the brim of new life to offset this day.

  3. Many many thanks for the lovely comments.You're right, kittykatmandoo: this is life. Yesterday shook us and we'll miss Mrs T and talk about her for years to come, but thankfully, today the sun is shining and all the animals are grazing contentedly, and pretty soon there'll be another batch of gambolling kids to win our hearts.

  4. Oh no! What a sad post. Sending much love to you all down there, the human and the non-human beings.