Fur, Feathers and Fins Agricultural Petting Zoo

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When to Call For Help

Farmers are innovative, self motivated people who can problem solve like engineers. Much of the time, they can fix what's broken, and run their farms without a lot of outside help. There are certain things where farmers call in the experts though. This includes feed specialists who help balance the best rations for each animal's unique needs, mechanics for when something is really really broken, veterinarians for preventative healthcare and treatment when it sometimes becomes needed. There are a host of other people that are involved in the running of the farm too, like feed, and seed dealers, artificial insemination technicians, crop advisors, custom operators who own equipment such as sprayers, no-till planters, or big square balers that the farmer might find useful, but might not use often enough to justify buying their own. We haven't even touched on the various inspectors, and regulatory board members who make sure farms are all running according to a provincial, national, or even international standard, or the bankers, accountants and financial planners who help the farmer get the credit he needs, and manage his extensive receipts in an organized way. Farms are legitimate small businesses, so their tax returns are not something that can be completed in a leisurely afternoon. 

One of the keys to running a farm well, is to know when you can go it alone, and when you need to call in a professional. 

Most farmers have lots of knowledge on how to do routine maintenance on their equipment. They know how to spot a sick animal, and how to treat her for routine illnesses and injuries. They can deliver babies, plant seeds, harvest crops, arrange transportation for their commodities (if they don't have their own 18-wheeler and do it themselves as is the case for many larger farms), and still get their routine chores done in enough time to make it out to the occasional family event, church, or maybe a farm related get together like their local Soil and Crop meeting. 

Despite lots of knowledge on lots of topics, and organizational skills to rival a CEO, farmers still have to know when to realize they are in over their head, and to make the phone call to the right person. 

We've been lambing since December 29th. So far so good, as the lambs are doing very well, and the mothers have been, well, good mothers for the most part. This picture is of one of our newest lambs. She's a twin, born a few days ago. Her mother is Michelle, the lamb we took all the way to the TD Youth Sheep Show at the Royal Winter Fair. She will be a 3rd generation 4-H lamb if someone chooses her as a project this year. 

The thing about animal mothers and babies, is that they can't talk to use to let us know what's going on. It's common to check the barn, and see nothing new, then come back a very short time (like sometimes minutes), and have new babies on the ground. Usually a doe or ewe will give us some indication she's about to give birth, by being restless, not as interested in food as usual (animals are almost ALWAYS interested in food!), or by standing off by herself (animals also like to be in groups for the most part). We can't ask an animal how far apart the contractions are, or how long ago it was when they started. This can mean it's sometimes really tricky to know when to intervene, and when to let nature take its course. 

We're pretty good at helping mother animals who need help, but we still have to know our limitations. There have been numerous times over the years, where we have examined an animal, planning to assist, but realizing that the the assistance needed is far outside our skill set. It's in these times that we make the phone call to our vet, like we did last Saturday when our first goat kids of 2016 were born. 

Part of being a professional, is knowing when you're in over your head. Even if  you're great at a pile of things, that moment when you choose to admit you don't have all the answers, is the moment you stand the tallest, and are truly the strongest. If it's something simple and earthly, like your car breaking down, or your pet getting sick, calling for help is as easy as picking up the phone and calling your mechanic, or vet. When it's something more difficult, like a loved one suffering from a debilitating illness, or when the bills coming in the mail are of a much higher value than the paycheck coming with them, then you have to call on someone bigger.

Psalm 55:16 (New American Standard Bible)

As for me, I shall call upon God, and the LORD will save me. 

When your earthly 'professionals' can't help you, there is still one who can. 

Psalm 55:22a

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; 

Now if you wonder if God really understands what you're going through, you can be assured that He does. 

Hebrews 4:14-16

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the havens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

We all need professionals in our earthly life. And we need a LORD and Savior in our spiritual life too. 



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