What do you think should be a parent’s number one priority? I believe a parent should put his/her child’s safety and health first.
Care-taking, nurturing and protecting the livestock in my care is priority one for me, as well. It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. That’s why last weekend we didn’t allow guests to feed our goats or their kids. (Baby goats are called kids.) Honestly, it pained me not to provide our guests with an animal feeding experience because I love seeing children’s faces light up when they first feel the sensation of a goat’s tongue or lips nibbling feed from their hands.
In this blog post, I’m hoping to explain why my guests’ experience had to take second place to my animals’ needs. Bottom line: Our animals were abused on Oct. 8-9. I know “abused” is a harsh word, but that’s really what happens when animals are fed foods that their bodies can’t digest.
Yes, even food can be dangerous.
There’s a difference between food and feed. Food is what goes on a person’s dinner table. Feed is what goes in a trough for animals.
You can see from the photos here that each of our animals gets its own feed: kitten chow, rabbit pellets, layer crumbles (for the chickens that lay eggs) and goat feed. Not only do these animals receive different types of feed, they receive different proportions. Why?
Layer Crumbles (Chickens)
Think about your family for a minute… a baby’s stomach is certainly smaller than an adult’s stomach. Toddlers have different nutritional needs than teenagers. Some children are extra active in sports and require more calories. The same holds true for adults who run marathons or enter body building competitions; their bodies have different nutritional feeds. Plus, some people have different dietary needs based on medical conditions like diabetes.
Would you take a person’s prescription medicine for a condition that you do not have? No! No one wants to take medicine that isn’t meant for them because it’s dangerous, right?
It’s also dangerous to give the wrong feed to livestock. Turkey feed can kill a horse. Feeding corn from the “corn pool” at Enchanted Acres to our goats makes the goats extremely ill. The shelled corn from the corn pool is hard for the goats to digest, and diarrhea results. You’ll notice the feed we give our goats looks different from the corn in the corn pool, and I promise you that wasn’t done as a marketing ploy to sell our guests goat food! The feed for our goats includes cracked corn and alfalfa pellets because it’s designed to give their bodies a healthy balance of what they need.
Popcorn also is not goat feed… nor are paper towels or plastic bags. Plastic foods are dangerous to human babies and animal babies alike. Trash left near parked cars or not properly disposed of around our animals becomes dangerous for humans and animals alike. Your help with properly disposing of trash will be greatly appreciated!
If you have any questions about different livestock production, please ask! I’m all about trying to create better understanding between farmers and neighbors. I also hope you understand that we care for the health and well-being of our livestock.
We also care about the health and safety of our guests. That’s why we have rules. Rules are in place so everyone – every living being – stays safe and enjoys our little farm. Let’s keep the corn pool filled with shelled corn and the barnyard free of debris!