I don’t want to start apologizing for a lack of posting already, so I won’t.
Many, many things have happened – which is why I haven’t been able to post. The first being that I received a job offer that I wanted, and was able to leave the job that stressed me out and caused me an insane amount of anxiety. I have been there for about 3 weeks now, and I have never had another job that I loved as much as this.
Last week we had a scare with our little Broken Red New Zealand doe, she was really lethargic, and not responding to stimuli. She was just lying on her belly, breathing really fast. We were concerned but unsure of what it was. We didn’t know if she was just very tired or warm, but it was the end of the day and cooling off so we decided to let her stay and not bother her too much until morning. When I went out the next morning to do chores I really expected to find that she had expired overnight. I even took a shovel out with me just in case. But – to my surprise – she was actually doing better. We were in the middle of a heat-wave so to err on the side of caution I brought her inside. We gave her a bath, cleaned her up and put her in the dog kennel so she could have some peace and quiet and focus on feeling better. Within a couple of days she was back to her regular self. I did extra checking on our male, and he showed no signs of having any kind of struggle. Now that the heat wave has passed they are feeling much better. We also froze some fruit for them to munch on during the heat of the day.
Molly, our dairy goat, got her head stuck in the fence – again. Seriously people, what I am about to tell you is the BIGGEST reason to de-horn or dis bud your goats when they are babies. I know the process, and I don’t like it any more than anyone else, but it’s really an important part of their semi-urban survival. When we purchased our goats back in the spring, the owner told us that they had placed castrating bands on her horns to try to remove them. The one had fallen off, and the other had severe warping from multiple bands being used. We knew that the odds of the bands wearing and snapping before the horn fell off was more likely than it actually working. To resume the story, Molly got her head stuck by getting the horn stuck in the square above her head. When she tried to pull it back out it wouldn’t budge, and she was very distressed. Having been through this a number of times in the months after getting the goats, I knew that the drill was to calm her, hold the top and bottom of her head, and angle and ease her head back through the hole. However, this time was different. I placed my hand on the top of her head, with my thumb around the front of her horn, and as I angled her head back she lurched. Her horn caught the fence on last time, and the horn literally popped off in my hand! I honestly thought I had killed her. There was a loud scream from her, the horrifying sight of her bloody horn in my hand, and so, so much blood. She wouldn’t come near me, and this was a problem because I had to milk her still. I can’t blame her though, I would have been scared to death if I were her! It was nearly a circus act to get her into the stand so I could look at the wound. It was still bleeding pretty badly (I didn’t take any photos because I was absolutely devastated). We used some Blu Kote (my staple for just about everything, including spraying the chickens to get them to stop pecking each others feathers off) and put some gauze on it. Molly didn’t like it at all, and in order to get it to stay I had to try to wrap it with a bandage. If you know anything about goats, you know that they have weird shaped heads and are very skiddish about having anything near them. It was interesting to say the least. I have bonded with that goats, as I mentioned in the last post, and this was only a couple of days later. The next day she acted like she had a headache, and after learning that the goat’s sinus cavity grows into the horn it made a lot of sense. There was still a lot of blood, but she seemed to be feeling alright. I left the bandage, and only milked her about half way. I wanted her body to be able to focus on healing, but I wanted to relieve the pressure in her udder as well. Waiting over the next couple days was rough, but she was gradually getting better. We were soon able to remove the bandage, and the gauze fell off on its own. Here we are a few weeks after, and she is back to her quirky goat behavior. And now she isn’t getting her head stuck in the fence all the time.
We also harvested our peas, yielding us about 10 cups of peas and the numerous ones we ate raw while podding them and as we anticipated the harvest. Not too bad for only 2 packages of seeds. I believe we will attempt to grow a second crop before winter hits, hopefully by then we will have a place in the garden for them. We were able to plant everything we planned to, with the exception of cucumbers and broccoli because my seedlings died. We currently have the following in the garden: 1 row of bush beans (as well as the beans we planted around the frame for the bean house), 1 row of carrots, 1 row of radishes, 1 row of “yard-long” beans, 3 rows of fodder beets, 4 rows of corn, and 2 rows of onions. I’m unsure of how much we will yield, but I will post updates.
I have tomatoes and peppers that are growing now in the greenhouse/hoop house. We should be harvesting tomatoes in the next month. We ended up with 30-ish viable tomato plants, so we should have a good harvest.
I don’t know how much I have mentioned in the past, or how much I will in the future, but we adhere to the christian faith. We have had a somewhat wet year so far, and with the bees we have a crazy number of apples and cherries on the trees. We also have drawn deer and elk tags. I feel like it’s a huge blessing, and we need to take advantage of it. I also feel that we are going to need an extra fridge and freezer to hold everything. So I’m heading off to go look for them on the local classifieds.
Wish us luck!