Sunday, December 13, 2009

Doin's on the Ranch

Today the temps were up around 30. Our little hill gets colder in winter and cooler in summer. We also get every bit of the nasty wind- which is why my garden is never nice. No wind break in the high-desert. At least it's not 2 degrees, or 0, which it had been the week before. Too cold, and too stressful on the animals and us. Frozen pipes, carrying hot water from the kitchen to the barn...ugh.

I'm going back to a high- raw diet. I have been feeling so sick and sluggish again with all the holiday food that it's just like toxins are oozing from me. I hate that feeling, and do so much better on mostly raw.

Today after church and the glorious "Sunday nap" while the boys watch football, was chore time in the barn. We needed to fill up the big heated water barrel standing inside the barn for the dairy goat's water, as well as unload all the feed we got today after Church at the feed co-op.  A bag of 14% all breed grain, one Puina Goat Chow 16% protein, 40lbs of farm cat, and about 40 lbs. of a good dog food for the outside dogs.

Doug brought my black and white Nibian buck, Barbosa, up to the barn from his "rut pen" (the pen he stays in when he's in rut) as I noticed he was down on his hocks. I felt so bad, becasue I haven't had Doug around to help trim this poor boy's feet, and Taylor isn't strong enough to hold him (or maybe determined enough?). So, Doug put him in the stanchion, and I trimmed his overgrown feet. Then he got a Bo Se shot, as did Handsome Rob, my other Nubian buck. We rigged the big pen Rob has been in so the door stays open for the two bucks but the horses can't access it. This way the Nubian bucks have ten acres to roam again now that breeding season is pretty well over, but still have shelter and their own hay and water apart from the horses. I like for them to be able to get browse and walk up and down the steep hills to build muscle.

It's been so cold we barely get any eggs from my hens anymore. The neighbor dog killed about 20 or more heritage breed hens and 3 or 4 turkeys. Needless to say, though the neighbor didn't care about my hens, or one of his dogs after it got shot on my property, he did care when one of the dead hens was nailed to his front door and the sheriff paid him a call. Now the rest of my hens are safe, and the neighbor has changed his mind about being responsible for one's dogs. Packing dogs are worse, in my opinion, than coyotes.

After trimming Barbosa's feet and brushing him out, I got Ethel, my new American Nubian doeling up on the stanchion and trimmed her overgrown feet. I just got her about a week ago, so this time I couldn't take the blame. Usually I am diligent about the goat's care, because there is a promise in the Bible in Proverbs 27 about being diligent to know the state of your flocks and herds...they will provide food and extra money. I believe it! God has always been faithful to His Word and I reap the blessings when I'm faithful to it too.

Ethel isn't so friendly, the little rat, but I hope that will change with time. She isn't lonely anymore at least, and pals around my my little Camanna Nigerian buckling. Hoping those two will breed eventually, as I'd like a little Nubian, Nigerian cross buck kid to breed to my little Lola and Gina. Those two rascals are a month old now and I adore them. personality plus!

On a more serious note, the barn almost burned down the other morning...G. was first out ot the barn and found that a heat lamp in with the little girls had come apart at the metal clip and fallen in the hay pile where the girls usually sleep. Oh my! She unplugged it, but didn't tell anyone, so when I came in to milk and smelled smoke I freaked out. The smell was extreme, and filled the whole barn. I found a pile of smouldering hay and had to pour water on it and get that stall raked out. I was a bit furious with G. and mostly grateful to the Lord that He had protected my goats and barn. I really adore my goat family and losing them in a fire would be a devastation not easy to get over.

I'm still milking, and even though Lucy is only getting milked once a day, in the morning, she is still giving me a little over a quart a day...just enough for a glass for one of the kiddos and to keep the kefir going for Doug and I. Oh yes, and of course for my morning decaf coffee.

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