Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyLivestock Surprises

Livestock Surprises

The thing about raising livestock is you never know exactly what’s going to happen, but whatever it is, it’s probably going to be messy.

My friend Sandy has lots of stories about her messy life with livestock. My favorites involve her prepping to go on a date, only to realize, as her date is pulling up to the house, that she’s got a livestock emergency to deal with RIGHT! NOW! And so she goes from fancy to farmer in 60 seconds. Once it was a baby goat that died, and if I remember correctly, rather than letting it go to waste, she skinned it and prepped it for the freezer before heading out with her beau. I guess it’s a good way to find out if the two of you are compatible.

In this week’s issue, I include two stories from my own livestock surprises. They involve a disease crisis and how I worked through it. What you don’t see in these stories are the tears and the laughter. The tears were for goat colleagues that I’d spent five years with – who knew the ropes, came when called – and, because of an invisible disease, would have to go slaughter. The laughter was for the fun of being with 60 baby goats, raised by hand so we could protect them from potential infection.

I planned for every bit of the process that I could imagine, but lots of things I couldn’t imagine happened along the way. The things I thought would be the hardest were actually the easiest and the the things I thought would be hardest were easy.

That year was both the best of times and the worst of times and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much and I hope that sharing it here will help you figure out good responses to your livestock surprises.

Thanks for reading and be safe out there!


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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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