Ok, an update on the Farm Animal Care Conference: the past two days have been incredibly eye opening. Day One: Dave and I, along with I’m pretty positive everyone in our class, walked out overwhelmed. Animal Care is no joke, and goes deeper and is far more involved than you could ever imagine. Especially with rescued animals who are victims of the food production system - you can’t just rescue them, check them out and expect that all will be well and they’ll just self-sufficiently chill out on the pasture all day. I mean, the chilling part they’ll definitely do for sure, but God, these animals are so complex and require so much attention and individualized care. We spent hours talking about one species alone and everything from the type of wood, flooring, electric and screening needed for their specific infrastructure to the entire list of parasites they’re susceptible to. Our heads were spinning and we all left at the end of the day looking like this ➡️ 😳. Side story: I also was lucky enough (?) to have a very thick egg crack open directly on my head from an unconcerned pigeon from 15 feet up, who then proceeded to drop a steamy pile of crap all over my hair and back. After I washed my hair in the sink and changed shirts, I kid you not, the same bird (I’m sure of it) came back for more and crapped all over a $60 sweatshirt I bought at the gift shop like 4 hours later.
In summary, Day One: A bit rocky.
TODAY, however was a different story. The learning was just as intense, covering all things related to two entirely new species: chickens and pigs. Some of the details, however, started to click into place as we began hearing similar scenarios, treatment plans and best practices from earlier sessions. There were some intense moments too; watching a pig be constrained by his top tusks and roped to a pole, screaming at the top of his lungs, while his hooves were trimmed was a bit of a shock to witness and something I wasn’t really prepared for. But oh my, there were some great moments of happiness, joy and peace that we witnessed which far outweighed the uncomfortable stuff, making it well worth it. Is there a learning curve to be had? Yes. Will we find the right people to help us and teach us before taking in a single animal? Absolutely. I truly am SOOOO excited, optimistic and enthusiastic about the future and what I think we are capable of. I really am. I cannot WAIT to build Loveland (the right way) and begin rescuing and bringing a life fulfilled to our future residents. We have been learning so much and feel far more prepared with the next phase of our venture. Did I mention we’re only $1000 away from the $40,000 fundraising mark?! What we’ve been able to achieve with the help of our community is beyond words. I can’t believe we’ve come this far. Two more days of training to go!