B-r-r-r-r-r-r-r

It’s only 40 degrees as I write this!  I’m not putting my heat on; refuse to until later in the year.

Must save money!  Must cut corners!  Must be frugal!

I drove to Statesville yesterday to get rabbits.  I was going to go to Salisbury for a herding lesson, but part of that trip was to pick up some dog food.  One bag for me to supplement the livestock guard dogs’ diets and one for Wally’s dogs.  The cost is very reasonable and for kibble, it’s an okay food.  The plan is to feed the LGDs half kibble, half raw.  Well, the dog food hadn’t been delivered so, since I can do it, I postponed my lesson until later this week when the food comes in.  We’ll make an afternoon of working dogs.  Should be fun.

I had Cian and Gel with me, poor dogs, got loaded up thinking they were going somewhere and didn’t get to do a thing until they came back home.

On my way home, I called Rain’s breeder to tell her how she was doing and to see if she had some suggestions as to what to feed to her to get her eating.  She suggested alfalfa hay so I stopped on the way home and got a bale of alfalfa hay.  The man asked if I wanted it in the car.  It wouldn’t have fit in the car if I wanted it to.  I had two dog crates, 100 pounds of grain (goat and chicken) and 60 pounds of rabbit.  I told him nope: put it on top of the car.  He looked at me as if I was crazy and then put it up there and helped me put the cargo netting over it.  I didn’t have far to go.

When I got home I tossed the hay off the top of the car and gave a few flakes to Rain and Dobie (the Obie doe).  Rain went to town on it.  I off-loaded the grain and rabbits and then fired up the ATV.  I got all three Border Collies, got out the sheep, male goats and LGDs and headed out into the back fields.  The plan was to let the sheep and goats craze and to give the LGDs a run.  They’ve been extremely frisky lately.  I still haven’t put a drag pole on them and I might not.  In thinking about it (last night when I couldn’t sleep) I realized that LGDs have been bred to stay with their flock and most cultures move their flocks over great distances.  The LGDs meander along with the stock.  I’ve been keeping these two puppies up in a relatively small (half to three quarters of an acre) space.  Sure they run around and play with each other (and the sheep) and get some exercise there.  I growl at them when they chase the sheep.  Today’s plan is to set my ElectroNet out in the furthermost part back field and transport the livestock and LGDs back and forth each day.  This will get them a little bit of traveling and a new place to visit every day.

While out in the back field a friend called me.  It was a very good time for him to call.  I stopped the ATV and laid across the top of it and talked to him for about an hour.  It was warm, the dogs lied in the shade, Kitty and Rose explored and it was a great sense of well-being.  Well, as best a sense of well-being that I can experience these days.  Kitty and Rose stayed with the stock for quite a while, then they wandered off.  Bad girls!  I caught them and put them back up in the ElectroNet and left the sheep and goats out to graze while I ran the Border Collies.

My ducks still are not laying well.  I am not sure what to make of that.  Usually I let them out at around 7 AM (if not earlier).  The plan today is to leave them up later and see if it doesn’t result in more eggs being laid in their pen.  Unfortunately, the lock on the chicken pen is loose (need to fix it) and the goats have been letting the chickens out.  I know the chickens are laying, I just can’t find out where.  I want the eggs.  I need to focus on being smarter than the chickens and getting to the bottom of this.

I broke out my bread machine this morning.  Why buy bread when I can make it for much less money.  Homemade bread is tastier too.  I’ve had bread made with goat milk instead of water and it’s very tasty.  I have a shopping list going and on it is bread flour, regular flour and yeast.  I can make my own pizza dough too.  Couple that with my homemade tomato sauce and I’ll have the makings for a very good, homemade pizza for half the cost of buying a pre-made one.  The ingredients will be healthier as well.

Somehow, things are going to work out.  I know they are.