The standard way of thinking about farm life is that it is boring, lots of work, dirty and inhumane. Changing the views that people have about farm animals is important, especially with our change in politics. I don’t not want to get into the political side of raising animals, but instead focus on what farm animals have to offer.
In viewing farm animals, one can see that farm life is interesting, exciting and the opposite of being inhumane to animals. Each day has something new and exciting happens from a baby being born to the untimely death of an animal. One example is twin lambs being born to an ewe. The first time mother was not sure how to care for her lambs. Not being able to provide much support and intervention to the ewe, the twins were removed from the ewe, as they would not survive in that environment. This started another process that is time consuming and involving feeding two baby lambs with a bottle four times a day. Several important aspects of farm animals are well cared for as individual animals. If someone would consider the circle of life and what these animals are raised for, one might understand the purpose of farm animals. These animals have meaning in their short lives and that is to provide nourishment to my family. During this short life, these animals are cared, in a way that I know they have been provided the best life possible. Every day my animals have human interaction. Recently I learned of a terminology called anthropomorphism. This terminology refers to transferring human emotion upon an animal. Never realizing this term existed I related to it because if I had a bad day at work, my animals are always willing to listen to everything I have to say and they never talk back to me. I have discovered when talking with other farm animal owners, anthropomorphism happens more than when we know.
Ultimately, if one was to view farm animals from a distance or not engaged in all aspects of a farm, often their views are skewed and inaccurate. After all farm animals are amazing creatures. I raise my animals in a loving environment, each animals has its own personality and is unique. The animals raised by me are raised for the idea that they will eventually be slaughtered to provide food for my family. This does not mean we are mean and harsh to animals it is just the opposite. All of the animals on my farm are vaccinated and well tended to prior to them being slaughtered. One example of this would be chickens they will lay eggs for up to two years. At that time you need to have new layers ready to go. The hens are allowed to sit and hatch their eggs about eight months prior to their slaughter. We enjoy the chicken meat and the eggs from the newly hatched chickens.
When you start dealing with larger livestock it is a different story and genetics becomes an intricate part of livestock management. One is not able to breed a baby back to the dad. My farm is very small and so I rely more on artificial insemination. This is the best way to determine that your animals will be healthy. Management of livestock is crucial and you always have to consider some loss. This last cold spell took a toll on my livestock and their health. It is calving season for the cows and the babies are not able to survive under such harsh conditions. One has to be diligent of when the calves are coming and make sure that the heifer and calve are in a warm environment. With that being said, there is only so much room in the barn and the boy or bull yearlings must stay outside. The herd suffered some pneumonia and resulted in a loss of meat. This takes a toll on your productivity, resulting in a decrease of income.
For instance, if one were to consider the meat purchased at a grocery store and where it comes from, one would be astonished at that discovery. If a person was to visit a feedlot or slaughterhouse they would understand what it means to be inhumane and unjust...
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