Loss on the farm is unavoidable. It's probably one of the hardest parts of farm life. It's an ever present threat looming on the horizon. The worst aspect is that this loss usually happens unexpectedly. The loss isn't always death, it can also be rain that doesn't come, and crops that wither in never ending heat. A swarm of insects intent on consuming seeds, and leaves. Or, ironically enough, rain that won't stop, or a string of bad luck that causes tires to go flat, animals to get sick, and dreams to shake and waver.
Lucky enough for me, I haven't experienced a lot of farm losses yet. I don't depend on the garden for food, so any losses there have been easier to accept. Last summer we lost our rooster, and 8 hens. That was a more expected loss, chickens get taken by predators often, and eventually we got their coop secure enough the remaining three hens were safe. Last fall, Berta got sick, and I thought losing her would be unbearable, but she made it. A few weeks ago we had our first unexpectedly, harder hitting losses. We had bought 6 meat turkeys, two had to be culled due to leg problems, and the remaining four were taken to the farm so they could start "free" ranging in the hoop coop. They did well for a week, but I found two dead during evening chores. The remaining two were injured and in shock, but made it.
Farm life is hard. Especially when you feel it in your soul. These losses are heartbreaking, and change the way I view things. They make me falter, and hurt, and question myself. "Is this really what I want? Do I really want to constantly be surrounded by death? By unexpected losses of life, along with those lives taken by my own hands for food?"