Thursday, July 10, 2014

Farming Frustrations

**Disclaimer: this post contains medical/veterinary complaints and is gross.  You have been forewarned.**

I have been busy and I've been meaning to get a post up about the pig adventure that Dan's getting into.  Paddocks, wire, set up, food, water, fencing, plans, dreams...it was all on my radar.

Then today happened.

Oh farming...that idyllic scene of pasture, man and beast living in symbiosis and harmony...until real life interjects and sucker punches you and you have to deal with something sad, gross, or both.


A prolapsed rectum.

Gross.

After my stint at work, I awoke to Dan letting me know that one of the boars we were planning on breeding had an intestinal prolapse and that he was going to try to get it back in.   Off the bat, this condition takes that boar out of our breeding program as it is a genetic predisposition; however, we hoped to reduce the prolapse and at least raise him up to a good finish weight. After consulting some veterinary resources, trying my medical knowledge background, and even enlisting the help of one of our farming friends, we had to finally admit defeat.    It's stuck out, we've every trick in the book to no avail.

In case you didn't know, having your insides persistently on your outsides in a problem, particularly if you're a pig in a pig herd outdoors where sun, wind, dirt, etc can irritate/harm it.

Go figure.

Frustrating thing gets spazzed out and squeals and struggles and undoes any progress we may have made.  I highly suspect that more than the rectum prolapsed based on the difficulty we had getting it to budge--a loop of bowel, a testicle....something else is out inside that pouch, I'm pretty sure.  Our farming friend told us that it was one of the worst ones he had seen, so at least we feel like we gave it a good try.

Sad.

Some discussion later, we determined to just let the hog run around the farm for a few days, lick its wounds so to speak and not be harassed by the other pigs.  Once Dan gets back from a volunteer construction trip, he's going to put it down and make it into a roaster hog before it gets infected or sick.

Farming and homesteading is rewarding.  Having the pigs all run up to the fence and the chickens come scampering across the yard is fun.  Knowing you're raising healthy food for your family, knowing that you're giving the animals under your care the most humane and meaningful life possible--it's all awesome.

It's just days like today that are hard. You have to make a tough decision and try to be humane and not allow it to suffer and balance that against making their life meaningful and being a good steward of the animals that we've been blessed and entrusted with.

The redeeming factor is even if he can't be a breeder, at least we can have bacon...barring any unforeseen issues, which could happen as we ARE on a farm...with real, live animals...where the unplanned happens.