Stories about a small farm in western MA

Dog with Ducks

Lila in the dominant position


The drake now above Lila


The goats keep inadvertently shutting the door that opens into their stall. They bleat in frustration because they’re then unable to eat their feed, until I come out and open it back up. The ducks are  humungous and gorgeous. One of them is black and white and the black is iridescent-green. We talked last night about hiring someone to kill them versus doing it ourselves. My best friend advised me strongly not to be here when it happens as she thinks I’ll get in the way. It’s strange to feel worried about it, I am apprehensive in a way I wasn’t with the chickens when we first killed them. Slaughtering the ducks seems different, not because I think they’re more precious. I feel that they won’t surrender as easily, and we therefore risk making them suffer unnecessarily. Not something I’m comfortable imagining. The chickens, we have 20 right now, are doing great. A few of them are also startling in their beauty and grace. Yes, grace. All the animals have so much of it, except of course when I was walking the goats and the dog in the woods yesterday. Sky Blue, sister to Dreams Come True, slipped on a log, falling on her back and was unable for a few seconds to right herself. It was exceedingly clumsy of her and funny, too. Lila (my dog) seized the moment to terrorize her even more, until I scolded her. She bounded down the trail with the goats running behind her and in front of me. Dappled goats, dappled sunlight, dappled me!


I wonder how the animals are making sense of this winter, a blizzard in October and none since with only a few days of freezing temperatures. The hair on the goats is thick and coarse, and all the chickens are fully feathered and fluffy.