When I finished milking this morning, I fed the babies. Gwen was still hanging near the gate and when he finished drinking his bottle, Spot went over and started nursing on Gwen. He was tentative at first and she turned around a few times threateningly, but not enough to discourage him. When Gwen moved on towards the hay rack, Spot followed and when she stopped to eat, he continued nursing. Interesting. I wonder if this is the first time he’s done it. That is going to be problematic when it comes time to dry Gwen off. I’ll have to separate them.
One of my goats, Kersey, is going on to a new home on Sunday and Sunday cannot come soon enough. She’s a good milking goat, but I’m getting bloody tired of her ramming Gel. She’s been here for over a month now and she hasn’t stopped fighting him. I have to carry a stock stick with me to keep her from charging him. She’s a sneaky bitch and frequently hits him when he’s coming in through the gate. This morning, she rammed him into the gate post. I wasn’t carrying the stock stick at the time so I felt really bad that I allowed Gel to be hurt. She seems impervious to pain because it doesn’t matter how much Gel bites her, she keeps on fighting him. Gel is worth 25 Kerseys and I’m not going to risk him by keeping her.
Champagne, a Nubian goat that I sold last year to a veterinarian friend of mine is back for a week. The veterinarian is away at a conference and her husband won’t milk in her absence. I haven’t missed her Nubian screaming and I can’t wait for her to go back home.
Yesterday morning, I was stressing about not having enough meat to feed the dogs and cats. There is a chance my rabbit supply is going to dry up. The couple that I was buying them from broke up this weekend. The husband is keeping the rabbits, but I’m not sure he’s going to be able to keep up with that many rabbits. Hopefully his new girlfriend is into rabbits as well. I don’t want to take up raising rabbits so the cats may have to settle on chicken if the rabbit supply dries up.
Around noontime I drove out to pick up a load of my special mixture feed. I changed it a bit from the last time by removing the beet pulp and increasing the molasses and it ended up costing me about the same amount of money as a back of commercial goat sweet feed. The goats have been corn and soy free for over a week now and their milk production hasn’t decreased. I’m limiting the amount of hay they have access to during the day in order to force them to go out and forage. When it’s too hot for the horses to be in the back pasture, I put the goats down in the woods that are adjacent to the pasture. They moan and complain the whole time, well, they moan and complain in between mouthfuls of browse.
After I got the feed, I stopped at a small grocery store that has a nice meat selection. I asked the owner what was the best price he could give me on a case of chickens. He told me that he could give me chicken drumsticks for $.85/pound or split breasts for $1.35/pound. I chose the split breasts. He’s ordering a case of whole chickens for me to pick up on Wednesday. It’s a bit of a drive to get out there, but the chicken is really high quality. I like using whole chickens because frequently I’ll take the breast meat off the frame, use that for our supper and feed the rest of the chicken to the dogs and cats. When I got home and started to unpack the chicken, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was boneless breasts. That was a mistake on the part of the owner, but it was in my favor. I’ll be picking up 80 pounds of rabbit this afternoon so my freezers will be full, at least for a while.
My book, Raising Cats Naturally, continues to sell reasonably well. The royalties that I receive get rolled right back into cat food. Book sales essentially feed the cats and to some extent, the dogs.
Until later …