Narley found a new home!

Narley, the  Australian Cattle Dog, arrived in her new home in Maryland last night.  She’s going to be living with a woman who recently lost her husband.  She’ll be a city dog!  Yea for Narley.  This is a perfect home for her.  I got a call last night from the woman who delivered her saying that Narley was the best dog she’s ever had on a temporary basis.  Guess I did a good job with her remedial training.

On a sad note, the little rabbit died yesterday afternoon.  I hate that he died, but I don’t think his quality of life was very good.  Poor guy, he was a fighter.

Yesterday, Wally and I went to look at some rabbits and rabbit cages.  I bought two young New Zealand does … two really, really nice does.  I’m extremely pleased with both their type and temperaments.  I’ll breed them the first of April to Claude Hopper, the Chin buck.  While we were there, I mentioned the rabbit deaths.  He said he lost 45 rabbits to a bad batch of food.  I asked what food: Circle M, the same brand that killed mine.  One would think that we could get together and do something to prevent this from happening to more rabbits.  He told me that a friend of his, a commercial grower, lost a lot of rabbits to Circle M feed and all Circle M offered to do was to replace the food.  Hell, let’s just kill all of the rabbits while we are at it.

We should be having a lot of new rabbit babies this week.  I have several does due Tuesday and several more Friday.  Hopefully they’ll survive and grow out well.

Yesterday’s milking went okay, but Heavenly, one of my senior does has become very difficult to milk.  She’s got a bit of scar tissue at the base of one nipple.  I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for me to milk her, but not so bad that she has to kick as bad as she does.  I hobble her, but she fights them and eventually she’s going to break free of her hobbles and send the milk bucket flying which makes for very stressful milking.  Another senior doe, Beetaloo, had very little milk.  I had problems with these two does last year.  I don’t want to cull them because, especially when it comes to Heavenly, because she produces doe kids much better than herself.  I haven’t kept anything from Beetaloo yet, but given her pedigree, her does ought to be very nice.  So, at least Heavenly is in for a rude awakening this morning:  I’m not going to milk her.  She’ll be the first at the gate all but running me down to get into the milking parlor.  She won’t make it to the milk parlor, she’ll go right back into the goat pasture to wait for her babies to milk her.  If Beetaloo doesn’t have much milk, she’ll go back in too.  These two does do not produce well if they are not getting corn and soy in their diets.  Both of these does were raised in a commercial manner: they were taken off their mothers at birth and raised on a bottle and put on grain as soon as they would eat it.  I only have one other doe that was raised that way and she’s a border-line producer.  Like I said, I don’t want to cull these does, I’ll just use them as “brood” animals.  They can raise their babies as future milkers and I’ll milk them.  Right now, I have three does from Heavenly milking and all three are good does.

Gwen continues to give a solid gallon and a half.  I’m only milking her in the morning.  Morning milking will work out better when it gets warm and the flies start.  It would be nice to only milk in the morning all year long.

Off to milk!

Until later …