Gwen

Gwen is cycling normally and that’s a good thing.  It’s taken me long enough to recognize it.  I wrote down when I last thought she was in heat and sure enough, 21 days later, she’s in heat again.  First I put Spot the steer with her.  He was more interested in eating and then rubbing his head on whatever he could find.  When he started to rub his head on the gas grill, we put him back down in the pasture and then went to find CB, the bull calf.  CB tends to spend a lot of time alone in the lower part of the pasture.  We let him up into the yard and at first he ignored Gwen and started eating.  I sent Gel to bring him close to Gwen and that’s when it became clear that Gwen was indeed in heat.  CB tried to breed her, but he’s still too short.  Once breeding her failed, he focused on his other interest: nursing.  Gwen wasn’t having any of that and tried to get away from him.  We separated them and put CB back in the pasture and I wrote in my calendar the next day Gwen should be in heat.  Maybe next month CB will be big enough to breed her.  I’d much rather have her bred naturally rather than artificially.  I’m really, really glad that she’s still cycling normally.  It would be great if we could keep CB for two breedings, but that probably won’t happen.  As soon as we know she’s bred, we’ll need to get another bull calf or two to raise up for the next breeding.  Talk about use and reuse: we raise the calves on goat and cow milk until they are old enough to wean; we use them to breed cow to produce another calf and more milk; then we put the adult bull(s) in the freezer.  What I’d love to be able to do is to keep two calves on Gwen over the summer when it’s too hot and miserable to milk her and then take them off in the fall when the goats start to dry up and milk her through the winter.  Unfortunately, the best laid plans often don’t work out.

It looks like we’ll only have one litter of rabbits born.  Yesterday was day 33 and there were no more babies.  I re-bred the New Zealand doe to an American Chinchilla buck.  I’ll put her in with him again this morning.  I’ve been told that this cross was a good one for fast-growing fryers so we’ll see.  I tried to re-breed the Creme does, but no go.  I’m about through with them.  I’ll try a little bit longer and if nothing happens, I’ll either re-sell them or put them in the freezer.  I need to call their breeder to see if they want them back before I do anything with them.

I only milked six goats yesterday morning.  I will probably only milk six does this morning as well.  I see no sense in feeding/dealing with a doe that’s giving a quart or less per milking.  I still have three going really strong and three that are just barely giving enough to bother with.  I need a break from milking goats.  I expect Gwen is going to be less-than-cooperative with milking this morning.  She was okay last night, but her production was down.  I don’t think she ate all that well yesterday.  It’s raining, but really just a heavy drizzle.

Work went okay.  I got in and found that the truck had not been put up the night before so I put all but the freezer items up.  Luckily there was not a lot of prep work that needed to be done.  Hopefully I won’t come in to an empty prep cooler this morning.  I spoke briefly to the manager that does the scheduling and he said that my availability starting November 1 wasn’t going to be a problem and that he’ll be able to still give me four days.  We’ll see.  I’m off tomorrow and I have a bit of running around to do.  The last of our rabbit cages are done so I need to go and pick them up.  I also need to go and get my venison scraps.  Other than that, the goal is to get the rest of the house cleaned.

Given that I am going to try to get rabbits bred this morning, off to do the chores.

Until later …

I am thinking about riding Sudi on Sunday.  Darned, that horse just pulls at me.  I like riding Ace, but Sudi has my heart.