A year ago, I had exactly zero experience caring for farm animals. Sure, I have had cats and dogs and a fish tank or two, but that is it. Over time and with a lot of help from others, I have slowly been able to overcome the many challenges that come with raising so many different species of animals. And with help from the animals themselves! They are always willing to tell you (in their own way) what you are doing right and when they are not happy with you. But this week we took in two blind calves and the challenges of caring for them seem daunting! These precious black angus bulls, Richard (7 months old) and Fredrick (5 months old), are not only blind but also malnourished. They were rescued from a beef farm where they surely would have died most likely sooner rather than later because of food competition within the herd. The kind woman who rescued them contacted us because she did not have the facility to raise them long term. Our hearts ached as soon as we heard their story, so we agreed to bring them to Butterfly Field Farm. And now that the boys are here, the challenges begin. We cleared the front pasture from any potential obstacles and temporarily relocated the other pasture animals into another field, with the exception for our two sweetest donkeys, Susie and Gerry, who will protect our new residents from any predators. But I am unsure of how they will find their food, water, and shelter despite being told they will find these things on their own. After being here a little more than 24 hours, the weather turned bad and the dreaded wintery mix began to fall. As we looked out the window, we could see the boys walking in circles, not sure where to go or what to do, while the other animals had taken shelter. This broke our hearts and we sprang into action in an attempt to help remove them from the elements. I went out and with the help of a bucket of grain, was able to lead them into the dry shelter. But of course, they did not stay in it long and soon were back out getting soaked. A new day and a new challenge to overcome. And I am sure there will be many more in the coming days and months. We will work with Richard and Fredrick to help them familiarize themselves with their new surroundings and will eventually and slowly, start bringing more of the other residents back into the pasture. The hope is that one of the many pasture mates will bond with the pair and help lead them around. But for now, we are taking things one day at a time and one challenge at a time.
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