One thing we have noticed about our fairly new farm life is the frequency we have to deal with loss.  Our families are no strangers at having to say good bye.  Matt comes to the farm a retired army vet who has lost friends both stateside and abroad, I come as an army widow who bred dogs for the last ten years and aside from the obviously loss of Birdy's dad, have had to say good bye to some very sweet and too young canine souls in my past.  Most people at some time or another suffer loss.  It is part of life and we try to get through it as best we can.  There are numerous prayers etc I chant in my mind on a regular to remind myself that Bare (Birdys dad) is still with us, gone but not forgotten etc.  
    Adding livestock, to our lives has greatly increased the number of new life and of course death on the farm.  Our sweet Mumble, a very happy bouncy bottle baby lamb was a hard, sudden loss that I cried over for days, a doe we bought that was ill and no treatment seemed to help was another sad loss.  There are sadly countless other, baby chicks, ducklings, our beloved Fizzle who just disappeared, our first Cayuga duck who did the same, likely to a coyote, a bunny who contracted wry neck. Even today heading to school with the Bird we saw the trailer at our neighbors farm picking up the beef steers that had been there for six months or so and sadness overcame me as I knew their time had come. I couldn't even be near when Matt processed the first Turkey, knowing that it had a good life and that was what the turkey was raised for and will go on to nourish a family. These losses are hard enough on me, but with a ten year old little girl, and Khloe growing fast, it is no doubt tough on the kids.      
    We try to support each other through these sad times, talk about the love and comfort they were given while with us, and educate ourselves to deal with similar situations in the future if there is anything we can do differently or better.  I admit there are times when I'd like to give up.  Never bring in other chicks, ducks etc.  It can be hard to regroup after a tough loss and reason with yourself what the purpose of continueing on with our mission even is.  Thankfully there is always something to raise hope, like a rainbow after the storm, or Mumble's sweet sister, Hope who against all odds is a happy healthy, tiny, but normal lamb running around. This is the life we have been blessed with, we are grateful for each day here and every opportunity to learn and grow.  Of the eight chicklets hatched in our barn, only one is still with us, it is hard to understand why so many hatched if only to be with us such a short time. All we can do is stay strong, learn, and stay focused. We want to raise healthy food for our family and community, and offer our wool productst that our sheep worked so hard to grow :) I know it is our mission and truly feel that in my heart, today I just need to keep on truckin and be grateful.  ~With love, and Hope, Michelle