i talked to our bobcat guy about getting some work done up here. everyone knows about my mud phobia and my grass obsession but it does have a good reason behind it.... farm animals who live in mud have continuously wet and muddy feet, it can lead to foot rot. spot has been battling foot rot for many years according to our vet..he saw her on her original farm. edith is having trouble with her feet this year...when we finally sedated her at one of our vets for a really good look, she has an inflammation high up between her toes. she needs to have drier and cleaner feet. the horses can get it too and the last thing that spritely needs is foot rot in that compromised foot of hers.
we have too many heavy farm animals for our little 3 acres of land. mud is always a huge issue. we did not weather the winter very well...all of our gravel areas got wrecked...too much spilled shavings, too many piles of hay and manure were piled on them for clean up at another more convenient time. the left over hay did not get cleaned up often enough, and with all of the heavy snow this year, neither did the manure.
now it is a thick and muddy mess which we have to repair right away. every year we have to repair the ravages of winter, of too many animals, and too few humans to keep it all up...this year the repair is the worst of all time, (except when the lower pasture was turned into a mud pit)....but the actual cost will be about the same.
probably around 5 grand. that is a tough one when you are scrambling for wages and money to pay the vets. and we still have to repair and regrow the pasture areas too. while not quite as expensive, it requires more time and planning in rotating the animals around while we give each area enough time to harrow, lime, fertilize, re-seed and regrow.
and the timing is essential because we only have from mid april-the end of june before we are on water rationing again. thats 10 weeks to rotate animals and re-grow the 2 fields....it is a race against spring's too wet and summer's too dry weather for this city girl. and it stresses me out every year.
the obvious solution is less farm animals...but then someone who is already here would probably not be alive anymore...or a bigger property which quite frankly, given how much money i don't have cuz of saints, i will never be able to afford. and really more space just means more animals cuz we all know how many sad and desperate senior ones are out there.
so this morning, i am thinking of grass, and gravel, and money that just won't grow on trees. i am thinking on wet and muddy feet...not just theirs, but the humans around here sucked up to their ankles and trying to push 200 pound wheelbarrows too.
and i am thinking that rescue is just so much more complicated and involved then i ever knew and it boggles me over what i have to learn.
if you had asked me what one of the biggest issues in rescue were, maybe about 10 years ago...i might have said money, i might have said volunteer numbers, i might have said too many animals and not enough homes. i would have talked on health issues, and education, and changing attitudes...but i would never have said it was turning mud into grass and making it grow.
its like the whole turning water into wine thing...we need a freaking miracle.