Thanksgiving came early!

Decided to spend the day with Wally yesterday instead of going to South Mountain to ride.  It was overcast, windy and chilly all day and all I wanted to do was hole up in the house and cook.  Wally and I got up early and went to Wal-Mart to get the few things that we needed for the week (including ingredients to make pizza for supper), but later in the day, I got him to take me back out to the grocery store and I bought the fixings to make a turkey dinner.  I worked the rest of the day on it and it was nothing short of amazing.  This morning, I need to take the meat off the turkey bones and put them in the pot to make broth for soup.  The next couple of days are going to be warm so it won’t be good soup weather, but later in the week, it’s going to be cold again so soup will be good.

My schedule this week is the same that it has been so I’m off today.  I hope that it’s nicer today than it was yesterday because I’d like to get some outside work done, namely cleaning out the goat shelter.  A couple came out to look at the goats I have for sale Friday evening and I’m still pissed off at them.  I talked to the husband on the telephone and made it clear that I wasn’t going to take less for the goats and if he wasn’t willing to pay what I was asking that he shouldn’t come.  He assured me that he and his wife were serious and that they were looking for quality goats.  I called him when I left MM and he said they were in Lowell and would head to our house from there.  I wondered what they were doing in Lowell, but I didn’t ask.  It took them longer to get here than I expected and I was starving, beyond starving really so I sent Wally to Subway to get sandwiches (our cupboards were bare).

When they arrived and got out of their truck I knew something wasn’t right.  Our goats are really friendly and like visitors, but they were reluctant to come in from the pasture to visit with this couple.  Even Rose kept her distance, eying them warily.  Wally took Gel with him so I couldn’t use him to bring them in so I resorted to a can of grain.  The man examined the goats, but never looked at their udders.  He told his wife to be careful of that “buck” because he’d make her hands stink.  I told him there was no buck in the herd right now and that’s when they let it slip they were at another farm (in Lowell) and they had a buck.  I then straightened up and asked, “you were at another goat farm?”  He said yes, but they didn’t touch the goats.  Well shit on that … I told him that if he had been at another goat farm I didn’t want him here on mine.  That’s when he said that they were just shopping and that they were not ready for goats yet and asked if I’d have baby goats for sale in the spring.  I told him that yes I’d have baby goats in the spring, but that I didn’t normally sell baby does and ushered them out of the pasture.

While I would like to sell two or three of the goats, I am not going to take less than what I’m asking for them and I am not going to waste my time with people who are shopping, especially when I make it clear I don’t want to waste my time.  I recognize that now is not the time to sell dairy goats: people want goats in milk, you know, the instant gratification thing.  If I can’t sell them now, I’ll ask more for them when they are in milk.  I feel like if I’m asking a high price for the goats, they are more likely to go to a good home, but I know to a lot of people, what I think of as a lot of money is just a drop in the bucket for them.

We had a man come out to look at CB, the Jersey bull calf, on Sunday.  As you can see from the photo below, CB does not look like your typical Jersey calf.

This is your typical bottle fed Jersey calf:

We call these calves Alien Jerseys.  Note, the Craigslist advertisement for this calf says that they are asking $300 for him, we are asking $400 for CB, but would come down to $350.  CB could go right in the freezer right now if someone didn’t want a lot of meat.  Heck, he’d give Wally and I enough meat for a long time if we were to have him processed.

This is a photo of CB and Spot being brought in from the pasture by Gel:

Not that Spot is larger than CB, he isn’t by much.  Spot was a year old in March, CB won’t be a year old until February.  These are cows who are not getting a drop of grain; they haven’t had any grain their entire lives.

I’ll be glad to get Spot in the freezer.  He’s been a bit difficult to handle lately and he’s been challenging Gel quite a bit.  Gel keeps him in his place, but Spot has a nice set of horns on him right now and I don’t want Gel injured.  CB has figured out that he’s a bull and if he gets in with Gwen now, he harasses her, as does Spot.  Gwen runs from them now.  I’ll be really glad to get another cow for her companionship.

We do have someone interested in CB as a breeding bull and hopefully that will work out.  If I needed a breeding bull, I’d pay $400 for him in a heartbeat, especially knowing his genetics.

Well, the New Zealand doe was due yesterday and the Creme doe today.  I count 30 days from when they were bred, but they can go to 32 days.  If by day 35 there are no babies, then obviously they are not bred and they’ll go back in the breeding pen.  The New Zealand doe has a nest box made (it’s been made for well over a week now) and she was nervous last night, in fact she bit me when I was trying to pet her, but as of this morning, no babies.  The Creme doe hasn’t made a nest in her box.  The Californian doe is doing well with her litter and they are growing like weeds.

I sure hope we have more sun today than we had yesterday.  The plan is to ride Ace this afternoon so hopefully that will work out.  Sometimes, it seems like horseback riding is more trouble than it’s worth.  I told Wally that maybe next week I’d take Ace to South Mountain during the week and ride him there.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable riding Sudi alone, but I would Ace.  Last year I did that quite a bit and had some nice solo rides.  Of course I’d take Gel.  It’s nice going there during the week because I pretty much have the mountain to myself.

Until later …