Bad news.

One of the goat kids died last night.  He was acting dumpy last night and I could see from his mother’s udder that he hadn’t been nursing.  He was dead this morning.  Who knows what happened to him.  We couldn’t find anything obviously wrong with him.

It’s hard when animals die, but unfortunately, it’s a fact of life.  Luckily it wasn’t a doe and even more luckily it wasn’t Bella’s baby because I would not want to have to milk her twice a day.  Her udder is high, tight and she doesn’t have very long teats so she’s hard to milk.  She gives a full half gallon per milking so it isn’t as if it’s only a quart I need to get out of her.  Next year, her udder should be better.

Except for having to work on Saturday, we had a good weekend and got a lot accomplished.  I may have been too quick to say the neem did not work.  I spent quite a bit of time in the garden Sunday afternoon hunting for squash bugs and did not find too many.  Those I did find got squished … squashed squash bugs, yummmm!  When Wally watered last night, he said he didn’t see any.  While I was hunting the bugs, I cleaned off any clusters of eggs that I found.  There may be hope for the bed of squash.  I got the row cover on my herb garden near the milk stand looking good (finally!) and we picked up some cheap flowering plants at Lowe’s and got them planted in clay pots near the milk parlor.  I’ve wanted some flowering plants there but didn’t want to pay full price for them, so I bought half dead ones at severely discounted prices and brought them back to life.

Harvesting food from the garden got me inspired to start to look at recipes and think about cooking.  I found an interesting recipe for refrigerator bread and butter pickles which I plan to try.  I found a lot of neat recipes on this site such as caramelized onion and goat cheese corn bread.  I can’t wait to try that one!  The other good recipe that looked good was one for zucchini bread.  I started a half gallon of buttermilk using goat milk yesterday so it will be ready to use for this recipe.

I guess I had better get out there and milk because in addition to my normal chores, I have to dispose of a goat body.  I wish I could feed him to the dogs, but I don’t know what he died from so I won’t risk it.  Now I have four does I need to milk twice a day.  That means I may just leave the remaining kids on their mothers 24/7 as I don’t need that much milk, at least not every day of the week.  My hands have been bothering me some lately so a break from milking may not be a bad idea.  I toyed with hiring a guy to come and artificially inseminate Gwen, but the more research I do on it, the more I think it simply is not a viable option for us.  It works in a dairy-situation, but it is simply not viable in a home dairy.  It is unfortunate, but sometimes things are just not meant to be.  I’d love to buy another milk cow, but that may not be in the cards either.  I wish we could raise more pigs, but that probably won’t happen this year.  I think when it cools off, I’ll add to our project list building a permanent pig enclosure.  Maybe if I cook some barbeque ribs with that wonderful corn bread it may inspire Wally to move forward on that project sooner.

Until later …