My normal routine has been disrupted, but in a good way. Wally is off work all this week and we’ve been working together to get things done around the farm. Got the date for the Animal Welfare inspection and we have a bit more time to get ready than we expected. That’s a good thing!
We got another rabbit tractor completed on Sunday. They get better with every attempt. This is the best one yet. I discovered I do not have the patience necessary to work on these things.
Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day working on income and expense stuff. I’m way, way, way far behind. Around 2:00 I got a telephone call from the horse farm up the street telling us that we could come up and pick up shavings, which we did. While we were there, I talked to the farm owner about Sudi. This woman breeds and shows Arabians. She offered to help me out with getting Sudi’s head down. Assuming the farrier makes it here this afternoon to trim his feet, we’ll be take Sudi up there tomorrow morning for a lesson.
I’ve tried the natural horsemanship thing and perhaps it does work, but it isn’t working for me. Now I’m going to try some old fashioned means to get Sudi to learn where he needs to keep his head. Namely, we’ll be doing some ground driving. He can learn to set his head with me safely on the ground. Until he learns to set his head, he is not using his body correctly. Sudi’s never been schooled, he’s just been ridden.
I had several people come out to look at him, but who’s going to pay $1,000 for a horse that I won’t even tack up to ride. Maybe it’s a good thing that I haven’t sold him. I hate keeping animals that are doing nothing, but given how nice a horse he is, I’d probably regret selling him. Sure, I can ride Ace, and he’s a good horse too, but I don’t like him as much as I do Sudi. We’ll see what happens.
You may recall I sold two of my dairy goats to a local woman whom I thought wanted them as homestead milkers. She told me the story of how she had been duped by another dairy into buying unhealthy animals. She originally came here to buy rabbits, saw my goats and asked if I’d be interested in selling any of them. I told her I’d sell Bella and Faith, both of which are half-gallon-a-milking does. She agreed to the prices I quoted (which were high) and came to pick them up the next day using a u-Haul trailer. She wanted the buck kids castrated, which we did before she picked them up. Three days after she had them, I saw them advertised on Craigslist. I called her asking what she was doing. She apologized for not calling before listing them, but assumed I wouldn’t want them back. She said that she couldn’t catch them to milk them. Wally and I drove up that afternoon and I bought them both back. When we got there, her untrained Border Collie was in the pasture with them. Both goats were on high alert. I asked why the Border Collie was in with them. She asked if that wasn’t what I did. Well, no. Wally and I chalked it up to someone who hadn’t done her research and didn’t really know what she wanted.
Yesterday, I saw another ad that she posted for a Saanen doe for sale. The reason she said she was selling her was because she was getting more milk than her family needed. What? I wrote her to say that I guess she was still having problems with diary goats. She wrote back to say that my animals were some of the worst dairy animals I’ve ever worked with, so she wasn’t sure how I had room to criticize. Well, hell, if they were some of the worst dairy animals she worked with, why did she ask to buy them to begin with? She went on to say that I was lucky she sold those goats back to me as she had already gotten calls to sell them. She said that she had been very successful in her business and did not care what my opinion of her farm was. Huh? Farm? I didn’t see much of a farm when I was there. I saw two other goats in a small paddock without adequate shelter and a dog run with some hens in it. What really made me glad that I did go and get my goats was her statement that her animals are animals and are there to make her money and she did not view them as children or people and would never treat them that way. She said that people who do that will always struggle and never make enough to make ends meet at farming much less a profit. Okay. Let’s take on the factory farm mentality. Finally, she said that I was a lonely person who looks to boss others and push my ideas on them and if they don’t do things my way it makes me mad.
Now my confidence in my gut feelings about people is completely shattered. I thought this woman was a good, decent person trying to do the best that she could to feed her family. I don’t think that’s the case. Not sure what sort of farm or business she thinks she’s running, but it certainly isn’t a farm or business I would want to be associated with. You live and learn. I only wish I hadn’t sold the rabbits to her. Maybe they’ll come up for sale later on.
I have since sold Faith and her kids. She’s going to a newly-started dairy in South Carolina. We are delivering her on Thursday so I can be confident that she’s going somewhere where she’ll be appreciated and well cared for. I think this will work out well. The woman also wants to buy a buck from us in the fall. I won’t be selling Bella. If I could milk Faith, I wouldn’t sell her, but her udder is tough and her teats are a bit short. She’s a good candidate for machine milking and that’s how she’ll be milked there. Every year I do need to sell off one of the does that I bought elsewhere to make room for the ones of my breeding and Faith is the one that will be going this year.
I’m a bit on pins and needles. The owner of my employer arrives back to the states tomorrow. I hope he’s happy with the work I’ve been doing. I think he might be going to the Charlotte Farmers Market with me on Saturday. We’ll see.
Until later …