Wednesday, May 12, 2010

faint of heart need not apply

It is with sadness that I write this post tonight. A while ago a friend commented that she'd like to have my job, I chuckled and took it as a compliment. At the time I was having fun 'playing' with essential oils making soap. She works with my husband in what I would consider a stressful job, especially compared to my simple life. Hers is a job that I would not want, though as a teenager it is what I endeavored to be, funny how life turns out huh? Well after witnessing the death of a chick tonight I wonder if she'd feel the same. Let me back up a minute, last week we got replacement layers and broilers and I've commented a few times within this week that I'm amazed at just how fast they are growing well here is some data I find interesting and sad at the same time. I was curious as to what their weight actually was and how quickly they grow so yesterday I weighed an average sized one and marked it so I would be able to know which one it is, he weighed in at a plump 4 ounces. Not exactly a heavyweight, but nothing to shake a stick at either, yet considering the chicks that just hatched this morning weigh in at a meager 1 1/4 ounce and the chicks that hatched two weeks ago are about 3 3/8 ounces each. Mind you the broilers are about a week old and already at 4 oz. and the replacement layers that are the same age are only 2 1/2 oz each I'd say 4 oz is pretty hefty! Well, I was interested to see if the broiler had gained any weight in a 24 hour period so I popped the marked one back on the scale to see. Doth mine eyes deceive me?! It was now at 4 3/4 0z!! 3/4 of an ounce overnight?! I realize it seems insignificant; a mere 3/4 of an ounce, after all they are intended for that purpose right? Right, but the point being the chick had gained nearly 1/4 of it's body weight overnight! I cannot even imagine waking up tomorrow 1/4 larger than I am now. Which brings me to the sadness of the evening, I figured it would come, but really hoped it wouldn't, I witnessed the heart attack of a chicken and all I can say is please please please take care of your hearts folks, it was awful to witness and I cannot imagine a more painful way to go. The scream that came out of that chick was awful! I won't go into anymore detail, but suffice it to say, a heart attack must be close to the most painful thing a human can experience physically. (I know there are more emotionally painful things.) So that being said, I sure it seems trivial but as a caretaker of creation I feel bad about what happened even knowing the rest will experience a similar fate. I'm told it's over quickly and as painlessly as possible, I have my doubts about that as how it that possible, but I know their lives will have been for a purpose. (Though you may not agree with it.) The life that was taken tonight seems pointless right now though I'm sure there was a reason. Tomorrow the rest of them will all be taken outside in the sun, on the grass so that they will at least once in their life experience life as a chicken was meant to.

Let me end by saying farming with all the wonderful things to be experienced and the sheer ecstasy of life sometimes hits you with a sucker punch and the faint of heart need not apply.


  1. We had a heifer that was bred and she was sick so we had the vet look at her. He said she had fluid around her heart and he felt that it was to bad to save her but if we wanted we could put her on a more intense treatment of antibiotics to try to at least save her but he felt she would never make a good milking cow. My husband is not one too give up he hates to see them die. So we brought her out of the pasture and put her in the back yard to try to help her. The next day when I was going to feed the chickens she looked up and just started crying out a few times. I felt so bad for her it was awful to hear and then her head just flopped down and she died, I figured a heart attack. So I know how you feel. When you find an animal dead it is so sad but to have to hear her and see her die just was not something I hope to have to see again.

  2. I hate losing chicks too. We hatch thousands every year but I still feel for each little loss.

    I kept checking back, hoping I was being pessimistic about the eggs hatching that you'd marked with the green magic marker. Looks like I was wrong and you've got a great hatch. I'm really pleased for you guys. Sounds like you've got a pretty healthy brood there.

    I will keep stopping by for updates, really enjoying your blog.


So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.