Monday, May 7, 2012

A Risky Life

We all live a risky life. Even the simplest things can go terribly wrong and wreak havoc in our lives. This thought can make us become paranoid, and it can so easily suck us into a bad position in life. We lose our zest, we lose our creativity, we lose our love of life. Suddenly, everything seems dangerous and too risky...

Tonight I almost set my barn on fire.

I never sleep good when I have the brooder up and running with chicks in it. All that dust, and flammable objects so close to a heat lamp makes me uncomfortable. The last thought I have before going to sleep is worrying about the brooder, and the first thought in the morning is wondering how the chicks are.

Today was a busy day and I hurriedly raised the chick's heat lamps a couple inches, as I have been doing for the last few days. The little broilers are getting used to cooler temperatures in preparation to move them into the chicken tractor. The lamp was raised, the "lid", which is two wooden crib sides (I just scrounged our dump pile and found these. They were the perfect size!) with hardware cloth taped over them, was placed back where it was, and I left...

This evening, I went out to do barn chores and found a startling sight before me: One of the heat lamps was touching the wood of the "lid", and 2 1/2 inches had burned clean away. The tape was charred and mostly gone. All was hot to the touch. 

I picked up a frail piece of burnt tape in my hands. It felt like an autumn leaf, ready to crumble at the slightest pressure. I looked back at the chicks in the brooder box and whispered, "Oh God..." with a ragged breath. I have nightmares about accidentally setting my barn on fire with the heat lamps, and here I had just about done it. My mind was instantly made up: I took the tops off. If something had wanted the chicks before this, it could have easily gotten it's share of birds. I'm taking a chance here, yes, but I will NOT risk a fire. Nope, not this girl...

As I finished barn chores, a little shakier than I set out, it occurred to me how a fear of a barn fire could so easily be an excuse to not raise birds at all. Honestly, barn fires are one thing that scare me to death. Why should I risk my goats and cow by raising poultry with a potentially hazardous heat lamp in such close proximity to highly flammable pine shavings and dust? We live such a risky life. We can live in fear of what *could* happen, such as deaths, fires, sickness, money loss, and who knows what else. Or, we can accept the fact that there may be damages, but there might not be... It's up to us, the risk takers, to decide that and make our moves.

I almost set my barn on fire tonight. But that's just a risk to take, and I'm taking it.


gz said...

It isn't easy working alone- but at least you don't have the chance of you both thinking that the other has checked something.

Some things are sent so that we may learn.

Blessings Be

Sarah G said...

Ohmy! Isn't that quite a scare! You have someone watching over you. ;)

We've almost burned down our barn too... the heat lamp fell into the goose brooder bedding... our saving grace: the water had been leaking, so everything was soaked.