Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The livestock around here

A long-time AOL friend emailed me this morning asking about Libby.

Libby's been gone a long time, Jo. You must have missed
this entry. I did love Libby, but I realized I had neither the energy or the know-how to start from scratch breaking a horse, nor the money to get her to a professional. After realizing yesterday how fat Blue is without my even noticing the weight-gain, I'm questioning whether I deserve one horse! (Don't worry, Blue isn't going anywhere.)

Jo also asked about Meatloaf and Secret. I've deliberately been quiet about those two, because some city folks get upset about the fact that animals have to disappear... either to be butchered or to be sold. Meatloaf is living on borrowed time: He's only here because it hasn't been convenient to get him loaded and take him to the butcher shop.

Secret has been at Cliff's brother's place with a bull, getting her sixth or seventh chance to get pregnant... I've stopped counting. If nothing happens this time, we'll likely just cut our losses and take her to the sale barn, where she won't bring much, because cattle prices are down. But my freezer won't hold the meat from two animals, even small animals.

Will I ever have a Jersey cow again? Very possibly, yes; but I may buy a grown one, either bred or with a calf by her side. Time will tell.

Blue is going to have to reside in a pen alone, since out of three horses that live here, he's the only one who insists on overeating. I'll probably start letting him out for an hour or so a day, maybe twice a day, so he can play with his equine friends. But I've put off the inevitable for too long. He really can't be allowed to eat as much as he likes.

When I first got him, I thought he had foundered (because of his fat neck) and kept him on dry-lot for over a year. That worked just dandy, and would still be the ideal situation for him; unfortunately, that particular dry lot is now our front yard... more or less. I turned Blue out onto grass after both the vet and the farrier assured me he'd never had laminitis. There have been several times I've kept him stalled for his own good, but never for long.

I hope this entry doesn't set off a flurry of comments asking about founder again. To see more about my experiences with founder, click HERE.

9 comments:

Traci said...

I did miss when you sold Libby. Probably for the best, but sad nonetheless.

Muhd Imran said...

Libby is a success story but Meatloaf... one upset city folk here.

I can never comprehend that these animals are livestock, not pets!

Have good week ahead and happy New Year!

Kelly said...

I wish we lived closer, would like to have a jersey out back for a pet, would be glad to take her off your hands. I have always loved Jerseys so much. You know I see both sides on the pet/livestock issue. When we moved out here I got livestock, but as pets. I understand also that some raise them for the meat, and thats okay too. I still eat chicken, just not my chickens. ;) Kelly

Leilani Lee said...

I just noticed your earlier post with the hymnbooks. I grew up with the "Great Songs of the Church" book and always wanted one for "old times sake" and lo and behold, I found one in a junk shop. I was elated

Midlife Mom said...

Buddy was an over eater too. Always struggled with his weight until the last year or so. Now my old Morgan is looking big, neck is thick and hard, not good signs of things to come. Had three people including myself riding him this past summer and I don't think he droped 10 pounds. Scares me.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Having had grandparents on a farm I'm used to animals being used for food or sold...they aren't pets like a dog or cat are. Of course horses like Blue come close to that for sure. 'On Ya'-ma

Amy said...

Meatloaf always seemed like the tag-along little brother. I'll miss him.

Celeste said...

No matter how much Precious is rode or how little she is fed she never loses. The vet said she is just big and fat and a much too easy keeper. I am hoping that I will be able to ride more this year and Brook is riding her every chance she gets. I want some meat!

Pamela said...

Thank you for directing me to this entry. Don't know how I missed it. I hope Secret gets pregnant. I had no idea you sold Libby. And Meatloaf...well....what can I say? I understand it even though I'm a city gal.
Have a good weekend.