Sunday, April 5, 2020

Highs and a Low

The view from the milking stand is quite different from last week - most of the snow is gone! The wheat field is getting a little greener each day.
Tuesday was a VERY long day.  Two hour barn checks beginning at bedtime Sunday (I had a feeling) were followed by hourly barn checks all day.  The blessed event did not get started until 8:00 PM - I texted Kevin who was working in the grinding room - Here we go!

Dahlia was born first and Vinca really had to push hard!

Little sister Camellia wasn't far behind.

Sweet Camellia was very weak from the start. We gave her a supplement shot to help out with her wobbly hind legs and gave her bottles as she just didn't get the hang of nursing from mom.  She continued to lose ground and we lost her on Wednesday.

Dahlia is doing just fine but cannot keep up with the milk supply.  She enjoys hopping around at milking time!  We are looking forward to Echo providing some playmates for her!

This post is not just about goats, fascinating as they are - The turkey poults are getting some feathers.

And the pea sprouts are ready to harvest for salads - they are delicious!

As my broken arm heals, Kevin continues to experience new things - he baked the Saturday and Sunday morning muffins!  He also has to wash the milking things twice a day - not a new experience but one he has mostly avoided in the past!

We were very excited on Wednesday when the truck delivering our new Winnow Wizard (seed/grain cleaner) arrived!  Because of the muddy condition of our driveway, Kevin met the truck out on the road.

He did not get to the uncrating and the simple assembly until Saturday.

I watched, waiting to see the art on the side! As you can see, there aren't many of these innovative machines out there yet!

Here it is!  This will be a great labor/time saver in our grain milling processes.

That's it!  Until next time, stay home if you can and be well friends!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 2020. a month to remember

It's been longer than I had originally planned on to get a new post on here.  There was supposed to be one last Sunday but this happened to me. I broke left arm just above the wrist. We had some fresh snow that covered the ice and I slipped and went down hard.

Two weeks ago on Saturday a racoon showed up on our deck at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. Definitely not normal racoon activity. Kurt was home and we went out to try to find it but it had disappeared. Later at choretime, Kurt spotted it again and was able to track it down and shoot it. We are so grateful that it did not take any of the chickens.  
Yesterday the turkey poults hatched. One of them seems to be pretty adventurous and hopped down out of the nest early. We found it very cold and almost dead in the corner. I was able to warm it back up and we put it back under Mom. This morning Kevin went out to check on the poults and again one was missing and cheeping. After a bit of searching, he found it under the heater we have in the coop. Kevin got Peanut off the nest and put all three poults down on the floor. They are doing fine now, but only three of the four eggs hatched.

Now in goat news, Hickory has gone courting. He has moved to another farm to mingle with some pretty does.  At that farm they are trying to have fall kids. Usually larger breed goats only go in heat in the fall, but they want to see if he can push them into heat in the spring. Hickory is a very willing participant in a science experiment!

In the doe paddock, nothing much is happening except Vinca is really ready to be done. We are checking on them about every two hours and she is almost always laying down and in the same place.
With my broken arm Kevin is getting to do many things he normally does not (including typing this post, if you notice the difference.) Before I broke my arm I had a flat of lettuce growing and last weekend Kevin helped plant a flat of peas for sprouts, which sprouted really quick and we moved them out to the greenhouse on Friday. We then planted 2 flats of peppers and tomatoes, which are currently in the basement under the lights.
So last Sunday was bad, and then today. This morning we woke up to 6" of wet heavy snow and no electricity. No electricity really does not affect us too much, but not having water is a pain. Most of the animals had enough in their containers for a while, but when we still had no power at evening chores, things got a little interesting. Kevin put a bunch of buckets under the down spouts and collected enough water to fill everyone's containers back up. Power came back about 6:30 pm, thank goodness.

Above is a picture from the milking stand this morning. Before yesterday the fields were pretty clear of snow, and now this. Below is one of the pine trees in the back yard. It's melting fast and it is getting really messy out.
It's hard to keep on doing the normal things we do with what is going on in our country and world. We will be growing more vegetables than we normally do, and following our elected officials mandates for our own safety and the safety of others. Our biggest concern is feed for our animals, but we are doing fine with that so far.

I will conclude with my usual - Until next time, be well friends.  I always sincerely mean that but right now even more so.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Signs of Spring!

Whoo Hoo, what a beautiful day we had today!!!

This post is mostly about signs of spring so I will start with that - stay with me though, I have some pretty cool wood splitting pictures coming up too.

First - sign of spring... pre-season baseball!!! (and check out that 45 degree temp reading!!!

The view from the milking stand still has a lot of snow in it but it's gone down quite a bit.

The driveway is dirt (and mud) again.
 The garden is emerging.
And baby lettuces are under the lights in the basement.  

Peanut is setting - she only has four eggs under there.  That is my fault, she kept laying eggs and it was too early so I would take them and we ate them.  When we decided it was probably OK for her to start setting, I stopped taking them and she started setting just a few days later!  I should have kept some of her eggs instead of eating them but I guess I thought she would lay until she had a good clutch.   Not so. 

Last month's post had big doe bellies in it - well, here they are again, but bigger.  Vinca gets around fine but her steps are ponderous and she definitely isn't frolicking around!

In other goat news, Tamarack has hurt his ankle and isn't bearing much weight on it - at first we just wrapped it but it seemed to need more support so we have him splinted now. 
A Spot update:  The antibiotic shot only lasted two weeks. She went back for another one which also lasted two weeks.  Now we are trying twice a week pills.  They go down much easier that I thought they would and she loves the follow-up treat. I guess I would say that she is doing OK for now.  In the photo she is on her grooming table (aka the washing machine) - the daily brushing  has improved her coat tremendously.  

I went out to the woodworking area to help with splitting today.  The woods are always beautiful; though winter might seem stark I really enjoy looking through the trees.  Every step presents a new image of light and shadow. 

It was pretty muddy - make that VERY muddy out where the guys were working!

Now for the wood splitting. The splitter we use has a blade that cuts both ways and is impressively powerful.  The guys have the system down and it's really efficient, even more so if there is a third person there to run the back and forth handle.  That was me today.  I could not believe the huge chunk of oak they put on.  The first photo is from the side where I was, then I went around to the other side for a better look at the process.  

After the first split, that smaller piece took eight more splits to finish, then they were on to the bigger part.

Can I just say how amazing Rollie is?  He had a bit of a health scare last week and was in the hospital for a several nights - you sure cannot tell by how hard he was working today!
Well, I think that is enough for tonight.   Thank you for stopping by the blog - until next time, be well friends. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Winter Goings On

Well, it's been quite a while since my last post on this blog - over a month so I had better put something on here before everyone forgets about it!  Since it's been over a month we've had the whole gamut of winter weather - from more snow, to a warm up then cold and a very once in a while the sun shines.  Currently we are dealing with ice.

This was January 18th, after a significant snowfall
The current state of our driveway
Kevin and Rollie continue to work in the woods as much as possible.  Kevin is generally the one cutting down the trees.  He is very safety conscious and wears chainsaw chaps, ear protection, a hard hat and a face shield.

Rollie pulls the trees and logs out to the work area.  Today they were working on a pretty big oak.
Getting the log hooked up with a choker

Rollie puts it in position near the pile
And then turns the tractor around and skillfully rolls it up to the pile with the front tires!
Out in the barn the does are showing their pregnancies.  Vinca is in her seventh and final pregancy and is truly enormous considering she has several more weeks to go. I sure hope there are only two kids in there!

Echo is merely well rounded by comparison.

The chickens are doing fine - although a couple of them think it's time to be broody.  I tell them sorry, not yet Ma'am and take the eggs away.
 When it is sunny, some of the hens like to go over and dust bathe in the loose dirt in the woodshed.

We haven't had a cat in the house for a quite while now, Lily left us some months back and we just weren't ready.  I was just starting to think about adopting a young cat but that is on hold now that Spot has moved in.

Spot lived out in the shop (heated) and as an elderly kitty just hadn't been taking very good care of herself .  Her fur was getting clumpy and she was losing weight.  Then she had a wound on her face.  I took her to the vet to have that looked at and it turned out to be an abscessed tooth, poor thing.  An antibiotic shot seems to have taken care of it. She also has some other old cat issues so would not be a candidate for dentistry.   After seventeen years as a barn/shop cat, she now lives in the house.  She adapted to the change with little fuss and pretty much stays in the kitchen and the laundry area where her food and litter box are.  This is a good thing as I have never known a cat that sheds as much as she does, she has always been that way.  Most of her shed hair ends up on the two rugs that she favors.  I am also brushing her daily which helps.  She is doing much better and seems to have put on some weight.

I will try not to stay away from the blog for so long - spring is coming after all and things will be changing - thank goodness!  Until next time, be well friends!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Winter Wood Work

It's been about a month since the last post here.  In that time we have had a couple of holidays and some crummy weather.  You locals know all about it - lots of snow, cold, more snow, then rain that froze - what a slushy mess to clear up - heavy stuff! 

A few years ago, one of my very first blog posts was called Rescuing the Avalanche Victims - or something like that.  The snow comes off the north roof of the pole barn and blocks the little goat door.  That year I had to tunnel them out and it took  most of a day.  This time wasn't that bad.
Before - trapped in the shed
After my work
Vinca, Echo, and Hickory came out, looked around and went back in.  They sure look grungy compared to the white snow - especially Hickory - He reminds me of a polar bear on the ice cap.
Poppy and Tamarack didn't get blocked in but when the snow came down on the south side of the hayshed, they got a big ridge of hard packed snow to play on.  Thankfully, they didn't figure out that they could have easily jumped over it and gotten into all kinds of mischief.

Since those pictures were taken, we have done some rearranging.  Tamarack and Poppy have moved back in with Vinca and Echo. Hickory moved into their pen after Kevin and Bob(cat) dug that snow away. 

Rafael and the hens, and the turkeys Tom and Peanut have been getting outside some too. 

The hens are laying very satisfactorily now, and Peanut has been laying an egg every other day too!
Three new hens came to our place from friends Bonnie and Duane - they are Buckeyes saved from Bonnie's canner.   
Buckeyes are a heritage breed of chicken originating in (of course) Ohio. They are said to be quite docile, cold hardy, and good mousers!  Rafael is also a Buckeye.

Hoover and I have been walking the logging trails on the weekends.  He has to be on a leash to prevent him from following the deer trails and potentially chasing them.  He enjoys our outings anyway.

As usual in the winter, the guys are putting in a lot of time in the woods.  Usually Kevin cuts the trees down and Rollie pulls them out to an area where they can be cut up.  Some of the lengths are cut up with the buzz saw, and the bigger pieces need to be split.  Team work gets it done more efficiently. 

We will have a post again in a few weeks - by then we will really be looking forward to Spring I am sure.  Until then, be well friends!