OK, now I am POed

So because we have been told where we can and cannot have our animals on our own property, I had to move the rams to a pasture next to the ewes and put up an electric net fence for a second layer of protection.  I did not electrify it since I have lost rams this way, but I thought it would at least slow them down.

Tom got home from work last evening and found our ram lamb Shaun caught in this fencing.  He untangled him in the dark with great difficulty and put him back in the ram field.  He could not untangle the messed up fence so chased the sheep out of their field and closed the gate.

I came home today to find the same little Shaun in with all the ewes and the chain on the gate was not hooked.  I will have to wait until Tom gets home to see if I will get mad at him too but right now I am upset because now I have many unwanted lambs in my future, some of which may be lesser quality (like if he bred his aged mother).  

So I moved the rest of the rams to the furthest field where they will be coyote bait and chased little Shaun in with them.  Now we also have to carry the hay to them a lot farther than we had planned if they were in the field they normally stay in.  So now we cannot use our own land in a manner that is to the benefit of us or our animals but to the whim of some bureaucrat.  And we will not be compensated for our extra work, financial consequences of these decisions, or inability to use our land, but we still have to make our mortgage payments.

I worked long and hard to get to the point where I could have a farm.  I went to medical school partially so I could have a job with financial security so I could be in a position to have a farm but not have to depend on it for income.  I know this was overkill, but I have finally achieved my goal and now feel it is threatened.

Now I will go take a nap after a 24 hour shift at the hospital and hopefully will have a better perspective when I wake up.

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16 Responses to OK, now I am POed

  1. Michelle says:

    I hope your nap helps, but I think any of us would feel as angry/frustrated/helpless as you do if we were put in your shoes. Wish I could offer some sort of help or solution….

  2. kathy says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I own the “surface rights” on our farm in WV, but someone else owns the “mineral rights”. This means they have the “right” to tear up our surface to get to their minerals as long as they fix it back to “the way it was” or “better”. We pay the taxes, we keep the farm clean, they bulldozed 40’ft roads in my pasture, left their drilling sights open to my cattle, and a calf was poisoned and all anyone from the DEP can say is it’s a civil matter.. We went from a peaceful life to having to come home and count cows to make sure they are all here. Everything has been fixed back for now, but they have the “right” to come in anytime they want to access their minerals and we are still in the process of getting compensated for damages.
    I hope things work out for you.

  3. Thanks Michelle and Kathy for your kind words. I am still frustrated (and can’t nap because of it). I hope I can find a solution, especially before any of my sheep are eaten by coyotes. Unfortunately the unwanted breeding has already occurred.

  4. And Tom did leave the chain on the gate hooked. A persistent little ram got it unhooked somehow.

  5. Tammy says:

    I hate that you are having this problem. It’s so frightening how the whim of the government can totally change your life from one minute to the next. Is there any way to study up on this and find out if what the inspector guy was saying is true? Cause it sure didn’t sound like he knew what he was talking about. And they couldn’t pick a worse time of the year, could they? What with winter and breeding season.

    • Thanks Tammy! One of the points is that what he is telling us is more than is required by the documentation for the project. Now I am sure he knows other regulations that may apply that I do not. See my “government” post for more information, if you’d like.

  6. Franna Pitt says:

    We found it best to work with the county on a farm plan. Helpful government folks can usually find solutions.

    Donna, Please DO NOT use the electric net fence uncharged. The animals don’t see it as a barrier at all, and as you saw, will get totally tangled in it, even to the point of strangulation. Hot is dangerous, too, but at least they try to avoid it.

    Frustrating, indeed, and we’re dealing with similar things on our Whidbey Island property. Somehow, government has decided they can dictate what we do with our own property, and ignore our individual rights.

    • Thanks for you advice. I have heard horror stories about folks making farm plans in Whatcom county so it scares me. I hope the Whidbey property issues work out for you.

  7. Lita says:

    We live near you and also have had people telling us where we can build, graze, etc. on our land. Also, we were told to create a buffer around a non-existent creek. We argued and argued that the creek did not exist. We convinced them to look at Google Earth so they could see there was no creek. We paid an additional fee to have a conservation “expert” walk the property. Finally they realized they had been using a 40 year old map and that the creek had been diverted to a neighboring property years ago to build a logging road. With all of the mapping technology, why are they using such an old map?! Now that they have been out here, other neighbors are annoyed that the same officials have been poking around on their property. If you end up getting a lawyer, it might be worth noting that in King County some of the setbacks were thrown out because a judge found that it was unfair to have setbacks that differed in rural vs. urban settings (the Cedar River as it passed through Maple Valley and then Renton was cited). I wish you all the best Donna. We are the same as you, always had the dream to own a little farm, but occasionally feel very frustrated.

    • Wow Lita! Thanks for sharing your story. It is really nice to hear other people’s stories and to know we are not alone. I am not sure how to react, whether to be passive or assertive, but we will do the best we can and hopefully keep animals on our 60+ year old farm.

  8. Jackie Craw says:

    I am sorry you are having these problems. You don’t deserve it! The only reason no one is bugging us is… they don’t want to come up our horrible road! or can’t find it on the google map.

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  11. Liz says:

    I’m reading some of your old blog posts; this sound very similar to what Tori went through on her old property. Very irritating!

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