Death: The Reality of a Farm Life

What a positive title, hey? Well it comes of not blogging for a month because almost every week the past month, there has been some kind of death – whether it has been planned or unplanned.

On Thursday 26th March, Miss Piggy and the rest of the piglets (bar two who are being used on a friend’s property to clear some ground for them) were visited by the mobile butcher. I wasn’t there to witness it this time as i had to work, however Kel said that it went as well as could be. None of them were stressed at all. In fact, it was almost like they didn’t understand stress or death because when each one was shot, the only thing that scared the remaining pigs was the noise of the gun. And they recovered immediately and ran back up to the butcher again to say hello. It was almost heartbreaking in a way.

Miss Piggy and Piglets 00Miss Piggy on the left

Miss Piggy and Piglets 01Munching on the abundant grass

Miss Piggy and Piglets 02Miss Piggy and her piglets all grown up now

Miss Piggy and Piglets 03The piglets having a drink

The next day, Friday, all was eerily quiet in our backyard. Solomon didn’t have to fight for his breakfast like he usually did. However neither Kel nor myself twigged. Until Kel saw feathers laying around. We’re not sure what happened, whether a fox or a dog came through however our rooster plus three hens were lying scattered, dead. Including good old Martha, who i truly thought would never die. She didn’t have a scratch or a mark on her. And she’s not the kind of chook to die of fright. We were extremely upset about all of them however Martha was our original chook. She and Betty were the first pets we got together as a married couple.

Martha 00RIP Martha – The bravest, fiercest, cheekiest, cuddliest chicken I’ve ever known

Two weeks later Kel came out to find almost all of our second batch of teenage chicks dead and scattered. Not only had the predator got through one fence, however it had unpegged the bottom of the second fence to get into where the chicks are kept.

Was that enough though? No.

Only last night, our first batch of chicks for the season, who were all grown up and over at Kel’s parents property surrounded by electric fencing mesh, were completely wiped out. Around thirty in one night. Devastation. In a single night, all of our poultry meat for the next year was wiped out and killed.

Death is the reality of a farm life.

As Kel was the main carer for the animals, it has taken it’s toll on him the hardest. For most of the animals, bar a couple, he’s bred, hand raised, fed and cared for them their entire lives. Months and months of hard work, just obliterated. And so many lives lost. And for what? These predators, which we think are foxes, come and wipe them all out but do they take them all back to their den for food? Not at all! It’s disgusting. People bang on about how humans ruthlessly hunt and kill for pleasure, well what about animals like this? They do the same thing. The carcasses are left strewn all over the place for us to clean up.

As you can see, we’re pretty devastated at the amount of lives lost. It was hard enough having the piglets culled on purpose, let alone all of those chickens not on purpose. Resources and hard work, all down the drain. Planned food, gone. Yes, there are people in much worse off situations than us, we’re grateful for what we still have. It’s just hard to have this happen when you’re trying to live ethically and look after the environment.


8 thoughts on “Death: The Reality of a Farm Life

  1. Wow, what really terribly hard things you’ve been going through! I’m SO sorry! This is the hard, hard part of farming, and you have come in for more than your share of it. I truly, truly HATE predators! I hope your luck will be turning around soon.


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