Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Ode to April

She was a big ugly doe with flat, stubby horns protruding from her head instead of the sweeping curved ones indicative of the Boer breed. Her udder was a pendulous spotted bag with an extra nub of a useless teat pointing out of one side. But her pedigree had plenty of heavyweights in the goat world and she was a long tank of doe with good feet and a history for producing triplets.

But today, we had to do the unspeakable, except among those of us who raise livestock, who understand, that sometimes there's just nothing you can do except humanely send a member of the flock to the other side of the rainbow.

Yes, everyone loves to look at all the cute pictures of the goats and their babies, but there's a price we pay for domestication that no one wants to think about.

I breed and raise animals for meat. I know that one day many of my animals will end up on the dinner plate...that's a fact of farming. But when it comes to the death of a working doe, well, that's like losing an old friend.

April will live on in our herd as most of the babies born this season are out of her buck kid from two years ago, HandyMan, who spent a season as our herdsire before going to Clan Stewart Farm in Huntingdon. During her time here at Painted Hand Farm, I longed for a doe kid from April, but she only ever gave me bucks.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very sorry to hear about April. I can tell she will be greatly missed in your family, and it's nice that here legacy will be going strong long after she's passed on.