When Homesteading isn't Glamorous

This homesteading thing. The glory of being self sufficient. It is not for the faint of heart.

My friend put it like this:

“Everyone loves spring and the new life it brings to the farm.
Things are turning green, babies are being born, chicks chirping and everyone is feeling good that we made it through another winter.
What we don’t talk about much though is when things go wrong.
Behind all the fun stories of cute babies and excitement every homestead will have that memory of when it didn’t go as planned.
When the joy of birth turns to the pain of loss.
When the days of waiting with excitement and anticipation turn into dread and leave you feeling empty.
If you have been in animals long you likely have a memory or two and know what I’m talking about.
There is a look to a farmers face that I thought came from the years of being out in the sun, the wind, the rain, but I wonder now how much actually came from the tears that were shed in the barn in the dark that no one ever sees.
When the plans changed and things didn’t line up.
When there was no choice other than to pull yourself up by your boot straps and try again.”

JazzyPictures? Really?

Tuesday morning my daughter and I realize that, indeed, one of our goats was in labor.
Things progressed well. Then they didn’t.

I had two goat friends. That’s what we call other friends who also have goats. My goat friends came to watch the miracle that is birth. Any birth. I didn’t need them there as in “I’ve got this my dear season goat friends. I don’t need you to help me help Jazzy”

It became apparent that Jazzy, my nubian, did indeed need help. I am not experienced at all in this area. I was spoiled with Jazzy’s last freshening because it was 3 in the morning and she had the babies before I got out to her.
My friend was giving me this look. The look of “things aren’t right….can I help?”
By all means, help!

Then both friends were in the pen with Jazzy. A boy! A beautiful boy!

Then they are both down helping Jazzy. There are whispers between them.
Children are told to go ahead and leave.

A stuck baby.
We have to get this baby out or we could loose the mama.

Now, Jazzy and I don’t get along. At all. But being all self reliant I have this scenario in my head, because I often think like this….if this were a TEOTWAWKI situation I would be screwed.
I can’t loose my girl.


My friend is able to get the 2nd baby out. A GIRL! Yay for girl baby goats!

There is a third and it isn’t good. At all.

One never wants to see what we saw. Unless maybe you are a Veterinarian Major at University of Idaho (true story)
This 3rd baby, after much pulling and PRAYER, was born.

I was told we could “wait and see” or you could get your husbands .22/45

Then we couldn’t find the gun.
Then when I called The Principal, who didn’t know Jazzy had even been in labor, he was asking why I needed it.
You know men need details when asking for their gun.

My friend did what no friend should ever have to do, but did it for me so I wouldn’t have to…..


So, sometimes homesteading isn’t glamorous and fun.
Mama goat is okay. Babies are doing better at each passing hour.

I am thankful for answered prayers and stronger friendships.

Have you ever experienced a death on your homestead?

photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

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