One of the worst things about raising animals is how they are so darn needy on a daily basis. Seriously – they want food. They want water. They need milking. They need grooming. It’s just so… regular.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week because our family has been hit hard by some type of sickness that’s going around. It’s been about a two week period and it’s cycled through all six of us. Assuming it doesn’t offer the pleasure of a repeat round I think we’re about three days from being totally done of it…
And all during this time we’ve still had to feed and water the rabbits. Milk the goats. Collect the eggs.
Animals don’t care a whit if you have a 103* temperature and chills.
Fortunately in our case the sickness we’ve had has been staggered so there’s always been someone healthy enough to do the chores, but it reminds me of the stories of early pioneers who were found dead in their tracks on the way to the barn while the rest of their family is dead in the bed. The last one standing in that situation was obviously overcome with the immensity of it all.
Morbid, I know. Sorry.
My goal in sharing this was actually not to be depressing and speak of death, doom, and destruction, but to point out the need for a plan when things go bad.
We know that life is always going to through curve balls at us – so when it comes to our animals, how are we prepared? Who is your back up to call and take care of the fur babies if you’re suddenly ill? On vacation?
This has been the greatest discussion in our family when our daughter first brought up wanting dairy goats. We know that with a milking animal our schedule will be much more limited and our travel adventures will slow down. However, we’re moving into a season of our family where that fits… so we can make a sacrifice of time and effort for this season.
How are you prepared for an emergency?
In response to our growing microfarm adventures, I’m taking another look at our emergency plan (initially created after I wrote this post a few years ago) and making sure it’s up to date. My plan is to turn it into a fillable .pdf and make it available to all of YOU so your leg work in creating your own plan is a little less stressful. Hopefully it will be out by the end of next week!
In the meantime, may your animal adventures be calm and that Murphy’s Law thing stay far away from you!
I’d love to hear from you about how you handle emergencies and travel plans! I feel like we should create some sort of a web-based service (like the Babysitters Club) where people could schedule others to come and cover chores!
Tagged: 4H, animals, chickens, emergency manual, emergency plan, goats, homesteading, livestock, rabbits, sickness, travel, urban farm
I LOVE the idea of creating a “babysitters club” for the farm! I am currently trying to find a critter sitter we can trust to do a good job so we can get away for a few days. It is not easy!! Unfortunately, it is me and just me to do the chores most days as my husband gets up EARLY for work and is exhausted by the evening. But I do it … and welcome the help when it comes! Sick or not, the animals needs come before mine!