Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Life Ends, Another Begins

I know I've mentioned before that ranching isn't all pretty meadows and frolicking lambs and calves and kittens under sunny blue skies.  There is always the spectre of death, either intentional or accidental, lurking in the shadows.  It's balanced by the arrival of the newborns, starting out on their great adventure, full of joy and wonder at their new world.
The dark side reared its scaly head Sunday afternoon late.  At feeding time just around dark, I went to close the door on Fort Hen when I saw that Miss Buffy, the littlest of the three Buff Orpington hens, was missing.  I checked her usual hangouts with no success so I grabbed a flashlight and started sweeping the maternity pasture.  As I rounded the backside of the round pen, I saw what was left of her, along with 3 piles of feathers that traced her final moments.  Hard to believe a coon could be so bold as to attack during the day, but one had clearly claimed Miss Buffy's life that day.  Anger and sadness that such a young life was snatched, and a renewed vow of no mercy for any coon caught in the trap.
This morning, Roberto came to pick up the 3 ewe lambs and look over Boomer the steer and Rango the ram.  We walked out to the south pasture to look at Rango when I saw Kayla alone on the hill - with a pair of tiny black ears poking up beside her.  Willa was probably only an hour or less old, feisty and full as a tick.  Kayla the Navajo-Churro ewe was a most excellent first time mom, and her daughter sure was a most colourful little girl!  Interesting as Rango is black and white while Kayla is red.  Looks like black does indeed trump red even in sheep!
 All that remains of Miss Buffy.  Well, there is more but not suitable for viewing
 Willa, probably two hours old here, with good first time mom Kayla

 Is that a face or what!!

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