Of course, we have lots of animals on our farm. The only ones we really bond with as pets, however, are the dogs and an occasional cat.
We do have a fondness for certain of the goats and sheep that have been with us for many years — especially the ones that we have milked on a regular basis. One goat in particular we will never have the heart to butcher, even though we can no longer milk her (more on that soon, in another post), because she’s been with us so long. We thought about butchering our oldest ewe last fall, because she’d had such a tough winter the year before. But, again, we didn’t have the heart to do it. Instead, we made sure she got extra feed this winter. She’s come through very well this time, and we’re glad we kept her, even though she’ll likely never give us another lamb.
Longtime readers of the blog know that on occasion we’ve had bummer goat kids and lambs living in my office building. Especially if they’re born when the weather is really cold, they get to stay in my office until they’re big enough to begin jumping on (and messing on) the furniture. They’re fun to have around, and even the dogs enjoy playing with them, but even these little guys never stay inside long enough to bond with us as pets.
That said, it’s certainly possible for farm animals to become pets. This video might just be the cutest thing you see all week. Or all month:
In case you’re wondering: “Snowflake” is a White Pekin (so is the AFLAC duck). Most of them have a life expectancy of about eight weeks, because that’s when they reach a good butchering size (if fed quality feed). If not butchered, they can live nine to twelve years. Hopefully, with the nice care Snowflake has been getting, he can reach the full dozen. Or more.