It’s a mud pit out there. I feel bad for the animals having to walk through the mud. On Thursday, we got the front part of the goat shelter covered and we went and bought three bales of shavings to put down in the back part of the shelter so at least they are dry. Yesterday, Wally made four more nest boxes and a couple of resting shelves for the rabbits. We got another round bale of hay for the animals and when rolling it off the truck, Wally twisted his knee so he’s been gimping ever since. It sucks because he’s probably going to have to have surgery on it and until I get a job, he can’t take the time off from work.
I sent our 2011 Newsletter to my family members; I haven’t sent out Christmas cards or had any contact with my family for years. I spoke to my father yesterday. That felt weird, but good. I guess I’ve decided that life is too short to not reach out to family members. During our telephone conversation, my father kept saying that if there was anything he could do to help me, to just let him know. He’s been sending me $50 checks for Christmas and birthday presents for quite while and I haven’t cashed them. I have three of them sitting on my desk right now and this time, I’m going to cash them. They’ll help pay utility bills next month.
We should already be out milking and doing the chores as we have quite a bit to get done today. Namely, I need to make a cheesecake to take to Christmas Eve dinner with Wally’s family and it needs quite a few hours to chill. I forgot to get pans to put them in so we need to go to the grocery store and get them. We also need to pick up venison scraps.
While we were out yesterday, I went to the store where we normally get Gwen’s food and discovered it was not in stock and were told that they would not have any more in stock until after the first of the year. Great. Gwen has become hooked on this food and has been reluctant to eat anything else. We need to break her off that food and get her on something that we can source anytime anywhere. Last night, she was happy to eat alfalfa pellets so that may be what I need to switch her to (not just alfalfa pellets, but some grain mixture that contains alfalfa pellets). I don’t like being dependent upon any commercial grain ration. When the goats freshen next year, I am going to get them off the commercial grain mixture that is part of the grain mixture that I feed them and put them on just grains. I discovered that some of the senior does did not stay in milk as well if they were not getting the commercial ration as at least part of their diet. Well, this year, if that happens, they will be culled. I’ve got enough does now so that I don’t need to keep anything that doesn’t milk well on a grain mixture that does not contain soy and corn. I discovered towards the middle of the milking season that some of the does dropped in production when I took the grain mixture containing corn and soy out of their diet. When I put it back into the mixture, they picked back up.
Wally and I went out this morning and picked up two bags of alfalfa pellets and one of cracked corn. I mixed it together and offered Gwen a bucket of it and she readily ate it. Good. Let’s hope she continues to eat that mixture and milk well on it. Her production was down this morning. We’ll see how she does over the next couple of days. She did not come back into heat so hopefully she’s bred. If I can keep her milking a few more months, I’ll be happy.
I started writing this post, I think, Thursday morning and here it is 2:00 PM on Saturday and I’m still working on it. As I write this, Wally is watching a football game and I’m in the process of washing the floors. They are covered in muddy footprints. Given how muddy it is, it’s probably a waste of time to be washing the floors, but I can’t stand looking at them. I made the banana split cheesecakes and they are in the refrigerator cooling.
Another American Chinchilla doe kindled last night: seven babies, that’s a good number. The Californian doe has ear mites which I treated this morning. I checked all of the other rabbits and they seem to be clear. Hopefully the treatment will clear them and no one else will be come invested. I hate ear mites, they are such a pain in the butt to treat.
Until later …