On Agrarian Connections

My view from the milk stool this morning is actually about the goats. It appears they’ve all be bred. The buck, Bassoon, has been in with them since the beginning of September. I saw some of them cycle and get bred, others I did not, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t bred. It’s about time to separate Bassoon from the does because he doesn’t need to be eating the alfalfa pellets the does are still getting. I hate to make him go by himself now though.

This morning, I funneled the does in where I usually give them their alfalfa pellets and brought Bassoon to a separate place and fed him some straight grain. Once the does were almost done, I put them back together. He still got some alfalfa pellets, but not as much as he was once getting.

Bucks aren’t supposed to have alfalfa pellets because it can cause urinary blockage, but like everything, there’s mixed feelings on this. In the grand scheme of things, he’s not getting much. I mix two scoops of alfalfa pellets in with a scoop of mixed grain and that’s divided between nine goats. Granted, he’s bigger than the does and gets more than his fair share.
In addition to producing milk, my goats do get some exercise by being worked by Katie. They aren’t completely sedentary. Bassoon is far from fat. I’ll just keep an eye on him and see how it goes. I need to keep the alfalfa to the does because I want this year’s doelings to grow out well and those in milk to continue to produce.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the agrarian connection between a human and a working dog. I don’t think it’s as common as it once was. I do have a good friend who does use her dogs on a daily basis to move livestock from pasture to pasture. We used to use a dog more than we do now.
The agrarian connection is slipping away in a lot of ways. It’s sad to me because it’s such a basic human need – to grow food for consumption and sharing. If more food was grown by those who consumed it, I expect there’d be a lot less waste and a lot less damage to the environment. But that all takes time.

Instead of reading the posts of others on Facebook which contribute to my innate feelings of inadequacy, I should be focusing on what I need to do here to connect to my agrarian roots. I did get some lettuce planted last week and it is starting to poke up from the ground! That makes me happy.

Until later …