Additions and losses; farm math

A new year often brings change. Some people initiate change through resolutions. Others – like me – just embrace what life brings as things evolve.  Some changes, though, are better than others. We ended last year with the addition of a grandson and a grand-dog. Huey (the dog) is quite a handful. He’s a nice guy with bad habits, and has been re-homed many times. We are working hard to make this his forever home.

We started this year with a loss. A cougar attacked our flock. Robert scared it away, but a lamb died of her injuries. We mourn the loss of Bianca, and the loss of our sense of security. The loss of a lamb is also a financial loss. We have added two new ewes to the flock – Ava and Lori are the same breed as the rest and have settled in nicely. Their addition will result in more lambs for our clients. The cougar has not returned, but the flock is now shut in the barn every night as a precaution. Another daily task added to the list.

We have been very fortunate – this was our only predator attack in 4 1/2 years. However, an electrified wire has been added to the top of the perimeter fence. Tall wire has been added to the house yard fence to keep Huey out of the barnyard and off the street. During one of his escapes, our neighbours almost lost a chicken. Sigh.

The very cold, wet weather has killed some plants in the garden. The high winds have toppled trees. Many farmers and gardeners have suffered weather-related losses this year. It’s one of the challenges Mother Nature sends our way to remind us who’s boss. The plants will be replaced with something more hardy when the weather improves. Maybe we’ll add a wind turbine.

Additions and losses are part of life. On a farm, they can affect the health of our flock and the bottom line. So, we hope for the best and adjust our plans as new challenges and opportunities arise. May your changes be good ones.