Monday, December 17, 2012

Where I have my first visit to the vet and talk about sad things.

Snow in Victoria a few years back

It's snowing, the first hint of a proper snow we have had all year.  It might even settle on the ground in an hour or two.  Usually I would be cheering on the snow, like a child in hope of a snow day.  But not tonight.  I have to go back to the vet in a few hours to pick up Henny Penny.

It's my first experience with a vet and I'm finding it very stressful 

Henny Penny

As much as I love farm life and working with the animals, they really do break your heart.

You do everything right, everything you can and more, and things still go wrong.

Last week we lost Herman and Major Brown to a cougar attack.  It was very unfortunate  this young cat had been killing livestock in the area since spring.  It had not only learned that farm animals are tastier and easier to kill than deer, it also had taken to killing for fun.  If in the past other farmers had acted better, either allowing the conservation officer to set traps, or at least knowing better than to disturb the kill, then the cougar would have been taken care of earlier.  As it is, the remains of our darling friend and rescue alpaca Major Brown helped capture and rid farmers of a cougar that had killed at least 30 sheep, 10 goats and two alpacas since spring.

Loosing an animal hits hard anyway, but these two were very close to our heart.  These two rescue boys that we welcomed into our homestead had issues, but we had gotten to a point where they trusted us and knew we looked out for them.  The cougar got into their pasture and well... I suppose anger is a natural part of the grieving process.  I'm angry at myself for going out to a Holiday dinner with friends and enjoying myself while the alpacas were .... and I feel angry at other farmers for not doing enough to stop the cougar when THEY had a chance.  I'll get over it, but right now it just hurts.

Tonight Henny Penny is having her toe amputated.  To be quite frank, no matter how much I love a chicken I wouldn't normally go to this much expense over them.  There is something very different about her, ever since she got in a fight with a raccoon and had a puncture to her brain and I nursed her back to health.  She's been smarter than your average bird.  Crowing for earthquakes (with about a 90% accuracy).  She nurses other injured animals back to health.  She just seems to understand so much, more than many humans I've met.

She's just special to me, so I swallowed my fear of the vet and took her there this evening.

I'm worried to all hell about it.  There is something about vets that I just don't trust.  The vets we have here are not farm vets, and although they are willing to move heaven and earth for kitties, doggies, and other wild things, they don't seem to be very interested in birds.  I have the feeling that this vet knows what she's doing, but I guess most people don't resonate with chickens like I do.

I'm off to pig out on hot chocolate while I wait for them to call me and tell me how the surgery went.  I have this gut-sinking feeling that I've killed her with good intentions, but if I hadn't taken her to the vet, her foot would slowly rot and kill her.  I'm sure they will take the best care of her they know how, but what if something goes wrong?  I really don't like waiting to find out if the news is good or not.  I really wish I had more faith in other people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it is nice to know what happened to alpacas.
In YouTube is a story
"Conservation officer kills farm animal killing cougar in Saanich".
The cougar walked near houses and came more and more fearless of humans. If it were still alive, it could meet a child or somebody and try to take it.

They are going to give the body of the cougar to local indians if they want it. So I understood.