Oh WOW!

Things are going amazingly well here.  Getting lots done, but it seems like I’m going nonstop every day.  Saturday was such a nonstop day.  Went to breakfast with Wally, ran a few errands, then came back here to meet the woman I bought Luna and Penny (goats) from.  She came out with her two children to pick out two lambs for 4-H projects for the children.  I used both Fern and Gel to keep the sheep to us while they picked out their lambs.  I had them pick out three (just in case we lost one) and we tagged them.

After that, Wally and I got hay feeders made for the sheep and goats.  On Friday night, Marcus brought over two round bales of Coastal Bermuda Grass.  The sheep and goats ate it like candy and it didn’t take long for Rose and the goats to discover climbing on top of the hay bale was great fun.  We stopped that in its tracks.  They’ve ruined several round bales of hay by climbing on it.  Once the bale gets down low enough for the sheep to climb on it, it is essentially ruined because sheep (and goats) do not stop eliminating even if they are standing on top of their food source.

What we did was to put a cattle panel around the bale and then tie a swimming pool on top of the cattle panel to keep rain (and four legged critters) off the hay.  When the round bales are eaten, we’ll finish out the rest of our square bales using the same feeders.  Hopefully, by the time the square bales are done, the grass will be growing enough so that we won’t need to feed as much hay.

I have been taking the sheep (we merged the wether and young ewe flock into the ewe and lamb flock) down to the ElectroNet in the AM and then taking them back up at night.  Granted, there isn’t a lot of grass out there for them right now, they seem to enjoy grazing no matter what.  It gives them a change of scenery and the lambs have lots of room to run and play.  Yesterday, I managed to get Rose down there with them as well.  She wasn’t happy being left behind when I took the goats out, but she survived.  I’m hoping to be able to get her in there again today.  I have a bowl full of tasty tidbits (human food leftovers) to tempt her in.

Raising a livestock guard dog is not an easy task.  I wouldn’t ever want to do it again.  When it’s time for a new one (when Rose is five or so years old), she’ll be the one doing the upbringing which will make it a lot easier.

We also got the pine trees in the fenced-in area covered so that the goats couldn’t continue to eat the bark off them.

Fool goats.  I’m afraid they are going to have to remain in the fenced-in area.  Even with the electricity turned on, they go through the ElectroNet.  They seem to not care about getting shocked.  This spring and summer I’ll probably start feeding them some alfalfa hay to make up for what they are not getting by grazing.  Goats, as a species, are not grazing animals.  I wish there was a way to fence them in a high brush area so they could eat their natural food, but that isn’t in the cards right now.

Luna’s udder is getting bigger and bigger.  I thought she would have had her babies last week, but she had other ideas.  It’s just as well, it’s much warmer this week.  Maybe I’ll go out there this morning and find Luna babies.  Given her name and that there is a full moon, it would be a perfect time for her to kid.  Since we put the Coastal Bermuda Grass in the fenced-in area, Rain’s milk production has increased.  She was milking about a half a gallon a day, she’s gone up to almost three quarts.  The more you feed these good milk goats, the more milk they produce.

The man who was buying most of my milk called me last night to let me know that he recently acquired two does who had recently lost their kids and was milking them so he wouldn’t need to buy any more milk from me.  That’s fine given I have a waiting list for milk right now and I’d like to start making cheese again.  I’ve sold or given away almost all that I had in my freezer.

This week is going to be rough as far as work is concerned.  They loaded me up with hours, mostly night shifts which is okay I guess because it gives me time in the morning to get things done.  I’ll be glad when it’s over though.  I don’t know how I’ll ever get back to working full-time.  I’m hoping not to have to do so.

Until later …

4 Replies to “Oh WOW!”

  1. Hey Michelle, what did you wrap the pine trees in?? I am having trouble with my yearling lambs chewing on the bark of the trees in our barn yard.
    Thanks,
    Kathy

  2. You wouldn’t have access to what we wrapped our trees in. My former landlord’s son was in the playground equipment business for a while. There were a lot of 3-4′ long half tubes of plastic in the woods near my house. We wrapped the trees with about five of those tubes. It looks pretty funky, but it works. Chicken wire may work for your trees. I don’t think sheep would be as aggressive about getting at the trees as goats can be.

  3. These little buggers are climbing up the trees and chewing bark as high as they can reach. These are last year’s lambs and I have never had lambs be so aggressive about chewing on bark before. New ram?? I had talked to my husband last night about using drain tile to put around the trees. But for now I am going to put up some hog panels in a different area and move them. Then there won’t be any trees that they can reach. Stinkers!!

  4. I don’t know how many trees we are talking about, but what about putting cattle panels around the trees so they can’t reach them?

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