Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5: Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye is always the hardest part.

It doesn’t matter if it’s to a pet, a friend or family member, or livestock. Of course, I often feel as though the livestock are as much friends and family as any human.

Bertha-this was one of the few times she was actually awake!
Today the 7 sows I was in charge of went to the sale barn. I had only taken care of them for a month, but I still had to fight the urge to cry last night as I gave them some final scratches and took some final photos.

I stood guard with these girls while they were having piglets. I fed them Nilla wafers and spent plenty of time just hanging out with them. Several of them had acquired names.

It really frustrates me when people on the outside look in and say that obviously livestock producers do not care about their animals because we raise them and then send them off to be butchered.

How do you not care about something that you work with and care for everyday? Just because we appreciate the cycle of life, it makes us unfeeling, heartless monsters?

Goodbye Penelope love. 
I’ve been asked before if I get attached to the pigs. My response is that I don’t usually get attached to the piglets, mostly because they just grow so fast and it seems like one day they are born and the next day they are gone. But the sows and boars are another story. They spend years with you.

I’ve lost a few sows to unexplained and definitely surprising deaths. I cried uncontrollably each time.

I had a Hamp boar, the only truly fantastic son we ever got out of my old Hamp boar. His name was Tuff because he was the only survivor in his litter (it was a truly bizarre sequence of events). He came when called and was truly a Mama’s boy. As he got older he developed a habit of pen jumping. You couldn’t blame him, he was only jumping into pens that had pretty ladies in them and when he had satisfied his urges he would jump back to his pen. I came back from a conference to find out that while I was gone he had jumped a panel, gotten caught, and had broken his leg. Needless to say he had to be put down. 

The worst part about the losses of the 3 I adored the most? I don’t have any pictures of them. I foolishly thought I would have more time.

Saying goodbye is never easy. And just because we only show our pain behind closed doors doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

If you want to read a real tear-jerker, read this post from Just A Ranch Wife. It may better help show the depth of pain felt when livestock producers lose animals. 

To see the rest of my 30 Days of Randomness, check it out here

Check out the other bloggers and their 30 Day posts here


  1. It is always hard to sell or get rid of livestock we raise. Hardest ever was a bottle calf we raised, Sister Sarah haha. She was a twin and the reject. She stayed in the horse pasture and was short enough to run under the fence. She was like a dog haha. She'd sit on the porch and look in through the picture window. She'd follow us around everywhere except if you put a halter on her. She was a terrible show calf! haha. Thanks for the post and the link to Mabeline

    1. You are welcome Colby. Thanks for reading! Hahaha she sounds like she was quite the character :) and from what the men in my life tell me all the time, probably a typical female aka stubborn and hard to lead. I like to think it's that we are particular about what we want...and OK maybe a little bit crazy, in a good way ;)