Just to try and tie up any loose ends, I had my neighbor bring over her billy goat, Kramer. I'll get a picture of him up soon, because he is just the cutest little thing. If I were a doe goat, I'd be all over him like white on rice, but oh no, not my pack of nasty nannies. They butted him all to hell and gone, didn't even let him spend the night in the barn. Whenever I go out there, he tries to hide behind me.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
When I bought Rosie Pony back in October (?), I was warned that there was a chance she was pregnant. She had "had access" to a stallion, but no-one had actually witnessed any breeding. Well, she's been getting fatter and fatter since she came to stay with us, and several horsey-type people who have seen her have said she is either severely overweight or pregnant. Or both, I suppose that's a possibility. What she could possibly be getting fat ON is a mystery to me, since all I give her is the same hay I feed the goats, which isn't really very good hay, and a handful of alfalfa pellets morning and evening.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Xana is back in heat, along with Django and her baby Valentine. So far, we've paid $150 in breeding fees and had two failures that we know of and two other does which may or may not have caught pregnant. Theoretically, we get our money back if they aren't pregnant after three heat cycles, but that's the whole breeding season, and then we won't have any baby goats in the spring. And baby goats - and milk - are the whole point of this stinkin' operation.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Well, not really. This morning one of my minor fears came true: I was up in the hayloft getting some hay for the goats when the ladder fell down. No possible way to reach it. Hmmm, now what?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Unbelievable! Another seven or eight inches last night and still snowing like a mad bastard. When I went out to check on the animals, I was floundering around like a fish, wading through waist deep drifts. I have never seen this much snow in all my born days! Those are my front porch railings in the above picture, they are about chest height, so you can see how deep the drifts are. I absolutely hate to think about how much WATER there is going to be in a day or two when this all melts. It's warming up quick, up to 35 degrees now from a low of about 17 a few days ago, and they expect this snow to turn to rain any minute now.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Iris wearing polar fleece. I put polar fleece vests on Iris and Django, my two skinny does, and it seems to have worked great. They have both started to put on weight, finally. I was feeding them hot cooked oatmeal with raisins, and that didn't help until I got the jackets on them. Iris has been bred again, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she took this time. Eeryone I know on Goatbeat (the goat-related forum I've joined) is having babies already, posting photos that just make me so jealous I could scream.
The front porch.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Well, I'm not in Oaxaca. We are all still here enjoying the sub-zero wind chill factor. Travel document issue, and that's all I'm going to say about it. Well, that, and my husband is a mensch.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Well, we're off, like a herd of turtles as my dear mother likes to say. Leaving the farm with a foot of snow on the ground, more snow and high winds forecasted for the next week, and the temperature reaching new record lows every day. Can't wait to fly over the tropic of capricorn and start enjoying some HEAT.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Whoo-hoo! When we were looking at this house, the house inspector, a local guy, warned us "you get a lot of weather up on this ridge," and man, are we getting some of it now! Apparently, we pay for our extremely beautiful views with extremely severe weather that only exists in a 1/4 mile circle around the top of this hill. Right now, there is something falling from the sky which I hesitate to call snow, as it seems to actually be teeny tiny razor blades flying horizontally through the air at 70 miles an hour. The wind is the most bonechilling that I have ever personally experienced. I got home a little late today and just drove straight out to the animals to give them their evening feed, and in the five minutes or so that it took me to throw food at everybody, my fingers went through various kinds of cold, on through hideous pain, all the way to completely numb. I had to soak them in ice water when I got back to the house. No more chores without gloves and a hat! The animal's water is frozen solid, so I'll have to start toting boiling water out in the mornings. But hey, at least the mud is finally frozen as well! Thank God for small favors!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Iris isn't pregnant. She is out there "flagging," waving her tail around to send a message to any nearby bucks that's she's ready and willing. She's also turned a lovely seashell pink back there and swollen up a bit... and the timing is right for her to come back into heat, so it's pretty certain she isn't pregnant. Drat. I wonder what the problem was? Avatar definitely did the deed several times, that wasn't the issue. We'll just have to try again, I guess.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
We have four new chickens. That's not actually a picture of any one of them (camera still broken) but it is a picture I got off the web of a chicken in full molt, just to give you an idea how completely pathetic these new chickens are. They were my sister's chickens. Her old, worn out chickens. No, they are perfectly good chickens, two barred rocks and two araucunas, about a year and a half old, just what you like in a laying hen. But back in september, she and Marcus bought a whole flock of pullets, ten big, shiny, late-model rhode island reds. They were gorgeous as chickens can be all right, they just had one teeny little problem: they didn't lay eggs.
Monday, December 8, 2008
My goodness, but leaving the farm is expensive. Luckily, the couple I found to farm-sit will work cheap: they are staying in the house twelve days and charging me $200. I might have been able to haggle more, but why? The kids need the money and I trust them, so it's worth it. Doubt I could find anyone cheaper anyway. It might be only 30 minutes of work or so a day, but it's cold nasty work, likely to leave you muddy and freezing.
Friday, December 5, 2008
We are leaving town on the 17th, going to Oaxaca for christmas, a two week vacation. I'm looking forward to the trip; we haven't been to Mexico since Bibi was just over a year old... how long is that? Oh my God, it's two and a half years. How the time does fly. Which is also how we are getting there this time; no more month long roadtrips. Can't do that when you have a farm!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Hooray! The electric fence has been working for three whole days now! And the goats are starting to wise up. At first they were getting shocked right and left, especially Iris because she loves to climb the fences. I was so fed up with them I just laughed and laughed whenever I heard a big
Monday, December 1, 2008
Nobody I know has the troubles I do with containing their livestock. Remember the chickens that almost started a neighborly feud? Remember when Xana kicked out a window of the barn and cut herself to ribbons? The piglet in the bathtub episode?