Its not a crisis here...yet. It shames me that I can have one dog rabies vaccinated for 80 bucks and have 30 sheep injected, dewormed and hoofs trimmed for 60 bucks. Around here its still reasonable and large vets are here, but getting thin.
That being said, we do a lot of our own work. I was at the barn the other day and and pinned a cow forward as Amy injected an IV into the cow because it had Milk Fever. How many people would do that to Fido??? Just another day here.
The thing that is getting real scarce here is actually sheep shearers. profession sheep shearers are 6 in number in this state, and all of them are over the age of 50. At 34 and in good health, its one thing I am looking at getting into. My biggest fear is the transition from training to professional...how can you charge someone something for something you are not great at yet?
By the way Frank, I don't blame you for missing your cows. I forgot how nice it is to have livestock. I know sheep hardly count, but even though they are always here, and there is always something to do regarding them,I like my sheep. Today Alyson and I went out and cut some standing corn for them. The boys have not chopped the corn yet and so I figured I would grab a trailer or two of it and feed it through my small chipper and feed it to the sheep instead of using hay now. It was pretty nice rolling across that hayfield, looking out across the ridges and valleys with the trees in full autumn colors with my 2 year old "helping" to steer the tractor while she sat on my lap. After she wakes up from her nap, we will get another load and I'll be sure to take some pictures.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"