I told Wally I’d run an errand for him today and while I was out doing that errand I planned to run a few of my own. I did a good bit of house cleaning, then cleaned myself up enough so I’d be reasonably presentable and headed out to the car. Got in it and couldn’t find my keys. Damn! Looked around and there they were: in the ignition turned in the on position. Great. I wasn’t going anywhere. Called Wally and told him he’d have to run his errand after work and to please borrow a set of jumper cables. Part of my errands was to pick up something for supper. That got canned. Thank goodness for individually wrapped chicken breasts which are now defrosting in a bath of warm water.
I took the dogs for a good run today. They got an extra hard work-out because they had to leap through the tall grass like gazelles to keep up with me. Finally Fern got smart and started to run in the tire tracks behind the ATV. They all came home soaking wet and covered in hay seed.
Mopping linoleum floors is usually enough of a cleaning, but there are times that you need to get down on your hands and knees and scrub. Once down there, you find all sorts of unmentionables stuck to cabinet doors, the walls, refrigerator, etc. What should have been a ten minute mop job in the kitchen turned into an hour scrub fest.
Remember the chicken was was sitting? Well, she’s still trying to sit, but she keeps getting bumped out of her nest by the other chickens. Why 12 nests are not enough for 10 chickens is beyond me. I set up a half barrel with a hole cut in it into the pen that we were formally using for the chicks, put some hay and ten eggs in the barrel and put her in the pen. She’s now happily setting and hopefully she’ll complete her job. I had some doubt as to whether she’d be able to protect her chicks from the cats, but not any more. When I took her off the nest to move the eggs, Ted came in to see what was up. That hen chased him back out of the hen house.
Ted is still being a nuisance while milking, but he has a different agenda this time. At Champagne’s former home she was eating pellet grain. I brought a bag home with me when I got her with the intention of switching her over to the sweet grain that I feed the other goats. When I milk, I make up a smorgasbord for the goats: I put down a strip of sweet goat food, a strip of sunflower seeds and a third strip of pellets. Often goats will not eat pelleted food and in looking at the ingredients of this food, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t eat it. Was I ever surprised to see that the three LaManchas went for the pelleted food. There must be something addictive in that food because Ted loves it too. Definitely not species-appropriate and whenever I catch him in it, I toss him back out the door, but he’s persistent. Beast.
It’s been fun having the sheep in the yard so I can see them. The lambs are growing up beautifully. We’ll need to get the rest of the ram lambs either sold or butchered in the next couple of months. While we’ll continue to give most of our processing work to a local business, I found out about a man in Morganton who does processing for half the price we have been paying. In a few months if we still have ram lambs we’ll probably take them there and have them processed for the dogs. Next year we will band all of the ram lambs so we won’t have to separate them from the ewes. A male goat may start breeding at five months old. I don’t think a sheep will start breeding that young, but we don’t want to take a chance with that.
Speaking of banding, we’ve decided to go ahead and band Basil (the Alpine buck kid I bought at the auction) and we’ll band the two babies we are going to pick up on Friday. Keeping a male goat is a pain in the butt. When it’s time to breed we’ll just borrow an experienced buck who will get in and get the job done and we’ll get him out. We’ll do the same thing with a ram. He’ll stay with the ewes for 30 days and then he’ll be removed. The year before last we had an issue with a ram who wasn’t breeding as he should have. Luckily we had a botched wether (we didn’t get both of his testicles in the band and he was still able to breed) in with the ewes who finished up the job.
Back to my floor scrubbing …