the shortage of livestock veterinarians is reaching “crisis levels”

posted May 9, 2017

The_farmer's_veterinarian_BHL20172818

Even after the lamb comes, the ewe continues to strain. Sticky with afterbirth, the ram lamb calls to his mother in quavering tenor, but though she lifts her head in his direction and lets out a low moan of response, her heaving sides won’t let her rise and go to him.

In the compounded darkness of the manger—it’s well after sunset—it’s hard to see what’s happening. The ewe stretches a hind leg in effort, and then again, and again, pushing. She stops her rhythmic movement, breath ragged. Someone shines a light: there is something there, behind her hind legs, on the straw. A second lamb? The thing is dark, darker than the first lamb. A black lamb? But no, it glistens too strangely in the odd glare/shadow contrast of the flashlight.

“I—I think that’s part of her body.” What? “I think those are her organs.” 

The stillness breaks. The livestock manager is called. “Prolapse,” “iodine,” “warm water,” “towels.” There is a flurry of activity in service to these words. The rumble of a truck announces the arrival of Josh, the livestock manager, from down the road. He clicks his headlamp on to peer at the lumpen tangle between the prostrate ewe’s legs. “That’s her uterus,” he says, and walks away to call the vet.

He returns shaking his head. The vet can’t come for two hours—there’s another emergency, over the border in Vermont. “I guess I’ll try to put it back, but I’ve never had much luck.”

Josh instructs someone to fetch sugar, someone to fetch a better light, someone to prepare a bottle of colostrum for the new lamb (“He’s huge, look how huge he is! That must be what did it”). He sloshes iodine up to his elbows while two people hold the ewe still. Gingerly, he lifts the uterus from ground, pulling off bits of straw and hay. He pours sugar over it. “The vet says this will make it shrink, so that it will fit,” he tells us. Then in a low mutter, to himself, “This was my favorite sheep.”

After a few moments, he begins trying to push the uterus back into the ewe. But even gritty with sugar, reverse-osmosis starting to drain the fluid, it’s slippery and swollen, bulging any place where Josh’s hands can’t stretch, the task like trying to fit a water ballon into the tap from which it was filled. “She’s pushing against me,” he says. “Her body thinks she’s having a lamb.”

He keeps trying: adding more sugar, repositioning, applying prolonged pressure, but it won’t go. Josh sits back on his heels. There’s nothing to do but wait for the vet.
(more…)


don’t back down on DAPL, SEND PUBLIC COMMENTS TODAY!

posted February 2, 2017

ba_sized

Friends, it’s clear to us that the activism bug is sweeping the nation. Suddenly even my once-apolitical mother is calling her senators every day. It’s beautiful, and it’s important. On this note, we’ve got one URGENT request for you today: please, please add the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to your call and write lists. President Trump may have put the fast track on the Dakota Access Pipeline, but you still have the opportunity to voice your opposition to this dangerous and unnecessary project!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ public comment period on the proposed 1,172-mile-long pipeline is open now, and the Water Protectors at Standing Rock need your support before the comment period closes February 20, 2017.

 

Send your public comment now and continue to stand with Standing Rock in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Given this week’s current events,  we think the the sooner, the better!

*Photo by John Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeeper


farm hack south dakota!

posted October 27, 2013

farmhackFarm Hack South Dakota
Friday, November 1
11 am to 4 pm
Collaborative workshop with a tour of Cycle Farm, presentations by local farmers, break-out groups & a roundtable discussion, or “hack” to come up with creative solutions to human powered tools to support beginning farmers and ranchers.Open to Public. Great for tinkerers, hackers, makers, engineers, designers, farmers, ranchers, and eaters!

Suggested donation of $5.
Bring a potluck item to share for lunch.Part of Dakota Rural Action‘s 26th Annual Meeting & Celebration. Find out more at http://bit.ly/DRA26thAM


much afoot and apedal in south dakota

posted August 22, 2012

http://cyclefarm.wordpress.com/
Cycle Farm, LLC is located in the heart of Spearfish Valley, in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. The land has been farmed for many years; most recently it has been lovingly cultivated with hops. We grow mixed vegetables for CSA and market (Spearfish Farmer’s Market on Friday evenings). We are enthusiastic about building community and local resiliency through the food system using human-powered and natural farming practices.

Cycle Farm is on Facebook. Let’s be friends.