If all goes well, our herd will be down by eight goats today. I’ve been considering this for a long time now and yesterday, I did it. I’m selling off all but one goat that I bought from another farm or dairy, keeping just those that were born here. There’s nothing wrong with these goats, I simply felt that it was time to do some housekeeping. The goats that were born here far outperformed most of the goats I am selling. Plus, I really did not like some of them. Milking them had become way less than pleasurable.
Wally and I bought some sheep this past weekend. I need sheep to start young Border Collies. The goats will not work. How I ever managed to train Gel on goats I will never know. The way weird thing is how small this world really is. While at the Charlotte Farmer’s Market on Saturday, I went into the main building to talk to a couple of farmers. I walked by the table of Underwood Family Farms and stopped. I had been intending to talk to this farm for some time now about their molasses making, so I did. Then I saw their photographs and saw that they raised hair sheep. I asked if they had any cull ewes and they did. Wally and I drove up there Sunday afternoon. The odd thing is that Wally had been to their house before to buy goats, not from them, but from the previous owner. The Underwoods used to live in a rental house at a sheep farm where I used to trial. I knew them then. On Monday, we went to buy a ram to breed the ewes. While at that farm, we saw sheep with our identification tags. We sold these sheep to a friend of ours, who sold them to this man. Very odd.
The other night, after dealing with the goats getting into my herb bed, the rabbit barn and grain barrels, I said to Wally, we should get rid of all of the goats and just keep sheep and Jersey cattle. He agreed. We are not going to get rid of all of our goats, but we are cutting way down. The goats are all going together to a Christian living community in South Carolina. Because they will be depending upon these goats for their milk, I know they will be well cared for, which is important.
Yesterday, while looking on Craigslist I saw some “Standard” Chinchilla rabbits for sale. I looked at them and realized from the telephone number of the poster that it was a man I traded two American Chinchilla rabbits for chickens in May. I’ve regretted that transaction ever since. I called the number and asked where the rabbits came from. He said he traded them with a woman for chickens. I told him I’d be up that morning to pick them up and I did. I was glad to see that their rabbitry was clean and the rabbits were well cared for. These rabbits were born here and sired by a buck that I lost a few months back so I’m glad to have the genetics back. I think they are glad to be back on grass.
We had a bad time last night bringing up the sheep. I sent Gel for them and he not only brought the sheep, but the cows as well. The female cow that is in the mix has become protective of the two calves with her and she did not take too kindly to having the sheep separated off from the group. It got hairy real fast and I got angry. Not a good mix. Tonight, I’m going to go to get the sheep earlier (before it starts to get dark) and use Shine to bring them up. I think she can handle that task (I could be wrong!) and I know she won’t try to bring up the cows as well. Gel simply cannot grasp the concept of bringing up a few animals. He wants to bring the whole shooting match.
I have been feeling a little ragged lately. My allergies are bad as is my asthma. I am about out of my conventional inhalers. I am going to try a salt pipe. Supposedly they work. It would be good if it did because the coughing is greatly disturbing my sleep. The weather this week has been glorious! Next week will be a rude awakening because it’s going to be cold and windy! My favorite kind of weather … not.
Shine: I see a lot that I like in her work. She’s still aggravating as heck. Young Border Collies are a lesson in patience. Farming is a lesson in patience. It seems I’m here for a reason.
Until later …