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May 9, 2012

So hard not to take it personal!

I have written 2 posts on the use of gestation crates on our farm - I am linking them here:
Gestation Crates - The Good

A Tale Of Two Sows

I'll be honest I don't think I have ever made a new post using a link to an old post - I like to keep it "fresh" - but I feel right now in the light of things being said about the use of gestation crates a good reminder never hurt anybody!

I have bred sows, moved sows, nursed a sow back to health, called a vet many times for a sow, seen a prolapsed sow be put down because she had been layed on by other sows, been barked at by sows, been bitten by a sow, been knocked down by sows, seen two sows gang up on a third and nearly beat her to death just because they could but we treat our sows well - their health and well being is our priority, it is important to us - when the electricity goes out we have a generator that is started immediately at the hog barns (we don't have one at our house), every single morning (even holidays) they get fed without fail, we don't go on vacation if there isn't someone already set up to feed twice a day and be available to start the generator if need be, even on vacation Chris talks to someone at least once a day about the livestock, our wedding date was chosen after we knew what the hog schedule was - I could go on and I have LOTS to say on this subject but I best not say too much before my editor (Chris) can review as I tend to speak (write) first and think later!

12 comments :

  1. I hear you loud and clear! It is so hard not to take it personal. Especially when what they attack is not just a "job," but feels like it is every fiber of your being. I know some that say that farmers need to remember that they are more than just the farm...but I know that for me and my husband, that's not always the case. When you spend so much time and energy making sure that everything you do is in the best interest of all involved (animals, children, etc.), it's so very hard to hear people criticize. I love your blog, love your openness and love your passion for what you do...keep it up! :)

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  2. I just read the previous linked posts. You did an excellent job explaining the benefits of gestation creates.
    Before kids, we used to have a 100 sow feeder pig operation. We did not have gestation creates. Sows were outside in cement or dirt lots during gestation. They were subject to the sweltering summers and freezing winters. And it was a struggle to keep their bedding area clean. The boss (dominant) sows always bullied the weaker ones. Sometimes to the point of serious injury.

    The general public has an idealized view of raising farm animals that just isn't realistic. And the animal rights crowd plays on their lack of knowledge and then emotions. It is going to be a contentious fight for some time to come.

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  3. Jent, keep sharing and telling your story. Don't get brought down by the Negative Nellie's in the world. You are inspiring and the voice of family farmers. Keep blogging!

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  4. You keep right on blogging and telling your story. You and Chris, and so many more farmers out there are the GOOD CHARACTERS in this story. For some sick reason, the media feeds on telling the story of one or two BAD characters and using them to characterize us all, and viewer/listeners take it all in without any questioning. The silent majority cannot be silent any more. BE LOUD AND PROUD of what you do; you do it well, with pride and the best of intentions for your livestock.

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  5. Both are excellent posts addressing the reality of farming and animal personalities.

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  6. I completely understand what you're going through. You work hard to tell your story and then it seems as if folks don't even listen they just go straight to the comment area and blast you for "abusing" animals. It's hard, but we have to keep at it, otherwise the consequences are pretty severe - a few may raise pigs outside or in group pens, while the rest of America will be eating pork from China. You're doing such a great job and the pork industry is lucky to have you and Chris as such strong and caring advocates for the industry!

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  8. I love that you are so honest. I watched as a mother pig not in a gestation crate laid down on her litter and all died a crate would have saved them. I also watched as a mother pig turned around and ate yes I said ate one of her young. Unless people know what real farming and the real nature of the animals is they should not presume they know anything.
    Have you ever seen an angry pig rip a mans leg open and watch this same man struggled to continue to try to save these piglets that the mother was laying on even though he was in pain, bleeding from a wound that required 25 stitches, I HAVE. The crates protect the piglets, the mother, and the farmer. Not pretty get real people. Instead of writing about something you have never seen find out what it is really all about. We know you care for your animals Jent. Hey deleted comment above just for spelling sometimes I just get fired up in a comment and forget.

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  9. The squeaky wheel gets the publicity unfortunately. But it's so important for people like you who are living it 365 days a year to tell the "why" we do what we do. So thanks for all the time and effort you devote to animal husbandry AND for the time you take to tell about it via your blog. Keep plugging away, Jent! You are making a difference.

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  10. Thank you for the well-written posts. Before gestation crates became the latest "bad thing" I had no idea what they were. When they started to get attention I still didn't see much explanation about them, just that they were bad, so I chose to wait on forming an opinion. Reading about it from someone who actually runs their own farm definitely helps me draw my own conclusions.

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  11. I love this comment from the other post.

    Leah @ Beyer BewareJanuary 25, 2011 8:49 PM
    Agree 100%. If I am pregnant and all my girlfriends are pregnant at the same time, please keep us seperated!

    There are many gray areas in this world and things are not always as the seem. You are doing a great job of explaining.

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  12. I agree with so many of the other comments, so I'll sum it up this way. You are awesome. You are an awesome woman, an awesome farmer, and an awesome AGvocate. Keep your chin up!

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