Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Animals First

You have probably figured out that taking care of our animals is my top priority.
Ok, second.
Family comes first.
However some days they might say that the animals come first!

I spend a great deal of time considering the needs of all of our animals,
and actually plan my days around what the animals will need.
Weather plays a dramatic role in this.

Right now we are in the midst of grey, dreary, rainy, snowy weather.

Because of the snow on the ground, many of our animals
have preferred to remain indoors these past few days.

And so, not only do I make the necessary trips out to the barnyard for several feedings a day,
but I also feel the need to visit the pigs in between in order to offer them some
mental stimulation.

It is said that pigs are as smart as dogs.
If this is true, I know that a great deal of their happiness is derived from
interpersonal interactions.

Ordinarily the pigs spend a portion of each day out in a pasture,
and so they have an opportunity to visit with goats, and turkeys and chickens.

But when the weather is so gloomy, they prefer to remain in the barn.
So......I do what I can to relieve their boredom.

I leave their stall door open so that they have free run of the barn; and
I open one of the stall doors so that the horses can visit them over the door.

This way they can visit with the cats, the horses,  chickens and guineas
who are hanging out in the barn.

Tell me....am I crazy being concerned with the mental health of my animals?

Just so that you understand....
this is what happens when a person
who has spent her life caring for others ends up on a farm
surrounded by animals.

All kidding aside, I do feel a tremendous responsibility for the lives
of the animals on our farm.  
They depend upon us for so much...
and give even more in return!


  1. Good mental health is important to ALL of us!
    You're a great momma!!

  2. Bev, nope, you're not crazy for caring about the mental health of your animal family. After all, no matter what "experts" say, anyone who has spent time with animals can tell you just how much they do feel, think and respond to us, their environment and to each other. I consider our animals as family, too, and care for them as I do my human family. As you said, we are their stewards in this life, giving us their love and devotion in kind.

  3. What a wonderfully rewarding life you have!!!

  4. absolutely right you are! It can be a raging blizzard out and I will go huddle with the cattle in the barn and visit on those days. No wonder my children think I've gone over the edge at times. I do radios and have cameras installed in spots also, just so I can watch the goings on and see what they do without human interference. It also comes from raising 5 grown children...now its just with animals!

  5. May I come be an animal on your farm? I know I will be well taken care of and my mental health sure could use a boots! Gray, dreary, rainy sky my ways also. Love those animals!

  6. I like the guinea photos showing their interesting detail.

  7. Wonderful post Beverly! The animals are great aren't they!! Love the guineas-I think I need to add some this spring-they look like they are from otta space!!~~Rain

  8. You set a wonderful example for us wanna be farmers. Sometimes we learn what our animals need by watching them thru the days. Other times, we get some loving, sharing, caring person to walk us thru her days and show us how she cares and loves those under her care.... human or critter. Many thanks Bev!

  9. Mental Health is important for all of us..I'm sure that what you're doing for/with your animals is good for yours as well. I often take Mollie for an extra walk for stimulation for both of us...I'm sure she is totally bored most of the time...

  10. I think you're a wonderful animal mom, and I bet you were an even better care giver in the medical field. I love my animals, but I have to admit I probably wouldn't be as concerned with their mental stimulation during a dreary day as you are...lol...and I'm not proud to admit that! :-)

  11. Good morning Bev!
    If I was an animal I'd want to live on your farm...seriously. You take wonderful care of your pets and caring for their mental health is part of the package when you take them into your life. You're a nurse and I doubt you could ever stop thinking like one. Your animals and your family are very lucky to have you :) Keep warm!
    Maura :)

  12. We were the same way on our hobby farm when I was growing up and we still are with our Miggy and Harley. I love animals and will do anything to make sure their life is fulfilled ! I loved your post and photos ! have a wonderful day !

  13. I think your caring and love for them is beyond measure.
    I also know they bring much to your life too. I am also very much an animal person and many days know that I prefer their company to many humans I know.

  14. The mental health of animals is very important and too often overlooked. I'd say it makes you a great caretaker.

  15. I think it is very important to care of their physical and mental health .you are a very special person !!!!!!

  16. Totally agree about the mental health of our 4 legged friends is important. With all the ice we have had this winter our horses have had to spend way to much time inside. We make a point in keeping there minds busy with our visits..and activity in the barn. Cabin fecer is just as hard on the horses as it is on us..lol.

  17. Our farm motto is "A Happy Animal is a Healthy Animal"

    You're not crazy. And if you are, so am I.

  18. Hi Bev,
    Love the scenes of all the snow, we havnt had any winter here yet. Has been warm and humid here in the south. I can appreciate your love and kindness to your animals, they are lucky to have you as their caretakers. what are your plans for the cute pigs??.....Stay warm up there............Sheryl


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