Wednesday, May 28, 2008

GROWING



After a few days of rain all is lush and green. I have to savor this , since I know the days of juicy grass leafs are counted. By early summer they will eather have turned into milk or gone dormant until the heat makes way to some late summer rainfalls.
In the garden the radishes and lettuce try to outgrow each other, just to be passed by some laughing peas in a few days. Tomatoes have found an outside home as well and the peppers will join them today. The strawberries are flowering, the currants (red, white and black) are showing little risps of berries and the raspberry hedge I planted last year, is ~much to my delight ~ taking off. Then there is the other side, the pear tree which surprised me earlier this month with first blossoms, lost all of them. The plum tree is riddled with aphids and the dog trampled some tender plants, all the time wagging his tail, happy to have found me.




If you peak in the hen house you will find seven little puffballs starting to feather out and already scratching happily for whatever treasures they can find. The old girls are laying much better and I actually have eggs to barter with. A neighbour down the road has a great blackberry patch, maybe she will trade some blackberry starts for fresh eggs.
The ewes I milk are back into their routine and now it actually is enjoyable to go out at 6 o'clock to greet the day and milk the girls. Ebony worried me a bit this morning since she is one of my greediest eaters and she did not want to have anything to do with her grain. So I checked her udder for signs of mastitis , which were not evident and then decided to let her out and have her lamb relish the milk. I worried ~ until Ebony went out the gate and right to the flake of alfalfa which I treat the sheep to in the morning. Her message was clear: I do not care for he whole oats you tried to serve me this morning (usually I feed rolled oats and corn)!
So out the gate went a quart of milk and an opinionated, but healthy sheep!
The variety of cheeses are growing as well, besides feta and garlic/chive soft cheese we have yogurt in the fridge and today I will try my hands on some mozzarella, which is a first for me.
It is nice to start reaping the fruits of your labor again. Winter and especially spring always seem like a lot of work, with no eminent rewards ~ except of course all the frolicking babies !

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend

This weekend had us eat the first rhubarb pie of the year. For some reason I never developed a taste for American pie recipes, so I always bake German pies. This one has a nice buttery crust, a moist rhubarb filling and is topped with a sweet lemon meringue. It is quite good.

On Friday I made the first sheep's milk cheese of the season. To be correct, I started it. Today it will be ready to enjoy. I made a quick and easy soft cheese with fresh chives. So far I only milk a couple of ewes, so not too much milk jet. And what little I have the kids usually drink up before I get to it! By the end of this week I will hopefully be milking four or five ewes and have some extra milk to make more cheese and yogurt. I milk only once a day (the other milking the lambs do for me) and usually get between 3/4 to 1 quart per ewe.

This weekend also saw the first baby chicks crack their shells, only to be greeted by a mean momma chicken. Yes this girl sits on the eggs just fine, but when the chicks hatch she is downright nasty to them. So now we have a baby chick nursery in the coop. All it is, is a wire cage with a heat lamp , cardboard for wains coating and carpet remnants for flooring. This provides the little ones with warmth around 90*F, no drafts and non slippery footing. One a day has been hatching since Friday and each is different from the other. We have around six more eggs to go.
These little puffballs do not need any food for the first 48 hours since they still have the yolk in their tummies. We offer them rolled oats and fresh water for the first few days. After that, chopped dandelion leaves and stinging nettle ~ even a bird has to have it's greens!



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PIGS

So far we have two of them. We got them a few weeks ago and they stayed in a movable pen in the orchard when they were wee ones. Every two days we moved the pen and the piggies would do some digging for us. Yes, these Berkshire/Landrace crosses still dig, or in pig language: root. But they got to big to fast and we had to put them in the big pig pen. Were now Mr. Pig gets chased and beaten up by Ms. Pig. They have a good ol' time, love to run and play or lay in the mud. No names so far. Last years couple were refered to Plump and Dumpling, nothing cute or fancy, since these guys will go into the freezer. One in ours and one in somebodies that buys him or her at the local fair. This is my daughters way to save for college after all. Pigs are fun and it is easy to get attached to them, since they can get very personable. So far they are not, in fact, he bites, which if he keeps this up will make it a lot easier to part with him when the time comes.They dine on grain and whey, all kind of veggie scarps, and of course root for goodies of all sorts. The pig pen has a corner with rocks, were we used to have a lot of snakes, the oinkers took care of them. Learn something new every day ~ pigs kill snakes!
Click on the pic to see just how cute these guys are and check out his ears!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Shearing Day



After cancelling the last shearing appointment due to poor human intestine health and very cold weather at night, we sheared yesterday.
Quick and painless, all the girls and boy sport a trendy short hair due which will last them 'til late October!
It takes the sheep a while to figure out who is who after they let down their wool. A lot of baaing and sniffing until everybody is finally satisfied with their identification efforts and settles down to munch on some grass or chew their guts after all that commotion.
Shearing always means bags of wool, with spring fleeces being considered 2nd class, since they have a lot more vegetable matter (hay, straw...) than the fall fleeces. Most of the time they are shorter as well. Still, they have to be stored and at some point put to use.
In front of my inner eye I see them converted into beautiful rugged rugs. Time will tell just how powerful this inner eye of mine is .....
Ever wondered if shearing is hard work? Take a look at my preteen son!


















Friday, May 9, 2008

Flying high



They are not quite flying, but they sure would if they could. So for now they abuse the hoop barn for their first attempts to take off!
Much to my husbands dismay. The hoop barn used to be tall enough for me to stand in, now you only stand a chance to be upright if you are a midget or under 5 years of age....
This diminishing of height happened over the past three years, happy airborne lambs and heavy winter snow both contributed to the sad sagging.
And the loss of height is not all, the sharp hooves of these little buggers rip through the tarp and once a hole is in place the already weathered plastic will rip like a pair of nylon stockings... ( I only know this, because my daughter is a ballerina)
The solution would be a nice wooden barn, but those are future dreams. For now I will go buy new tarp and when hubby comes home from work will innocently wonder about his plans for tonight...

video

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What did you miss?



Honestly - a lot, since it has been so long since I wrote the last post. That long in fact, that I could not remember the web address of my own blog!
I actually had to go to my website and check it. How embarrassing is that??
The worst of it, lambing is over and I did not write one entry - I do feel guilty!

Lambing went great, all ewes lambed with ease. We have 9 ewe lambs and 5 ram lambs out of 8 ewes. A very colorful and lively bunch! Most of them are twins, one set of triplets.
I did loose one ram lamb, he was dead when I went out to feed in the morning, his twin brother was up and running. With a small herd like mine you really get to know your sheep. So when I went out and saw mom and baby standing there I knew something was wrong. All she did was stand there, very quietly. Usually a new mom is busy as a bee, talking, licking, making sure all is fine with baby. This one just stood there, little one by her side. She had lost a lamb before and she very much grieves the loss! I had to kick her out on pasture and away from the place were she had given birth!
All is well now.
I am getting the milking pen ready, since on Saturday I will officially start milking season!

Our pigs have arrived as well. A boy and a girl that have been busy rototillers in my orchard, getting it ready for me to seed a colorful flower meadow!

Today was their lucky day, since I had to milk out one of the sheep. Her udder was rather lopsided, since her single lamb prefers to drink on one side only. So I quickly eased her load by a quart. Since the pigs were in the next pen they got a still warm good night drink!

The goats arrived safely at their new home in Colorado after 13 hours on the road. Their new owners are really dedicated to their animals (how much more dedicated than driving 1500 miles within two days for your goats can you get???). They will be spoiled rotten in no time and that is just dandy with me.
It is quiet around here without them, but it is nice that they can not pick on the sheep anymore. They went to an all goat home which I think is perfect!
The tomatoes are taking over my sun room and will keep doing just that for at least another couple of weeks. The radishes are peaking through the still a bit cold dirt and the apple, pear and plum trees are about to blossom.

So much for today - more to come soon!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Honey - get out the saw!

Our rams horn has caused me a bit of a headache lately. When we got him as a lamb early last summer he had broken off one horn.
Since then it had grown back, unfortunately now pushing into his head above his eye.
So when my ever so helpful husband came home from work today I asked him to get out the saw.
Off course he was delighted upon the chance of cutting a sheep's horn instead of relaxing on the coach with glass of pineapple juice (well yes, he does prefer the juice over a cold beer)!
So while he looked for a saw I put a halter on the ram, tied him to the fence and pinned him in the corner. My only question was: would this turn into a bleeding mess?
There are no nerves in the horns, so no pain for the little guy translated into no struggles. At least not for him, it was a bit different for my better half. He did not feel all that comfortable performing the procedure. But, eventually off came an inch or so of horn and not a drop of blood.
Happy ram, happy me, happy husband - Happy End!


On the way to the house I found 7 eggs in the hen house. The chickens are in their yearly molt, were they are changing their entire feather costume. This takes a lot of energy, and translates into no eggs. 7 eggs means we are going uphill again and eggs for breakfast tomorrow!















Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What's happening?

No new lambs to report. What is going on??? Well, my theory is blaming the ram, I am a shepherdess, so naturally I will blame the male! He is a young guy and not only is he young and inexperienced, but a bit on the short side, at least he was at breeding time. So this past fall he had a few obstacles to overcome. Amazingly he managed to get all the the girls pregnant, which we could confirm last weekend when we trimmed feet and noticed swelling udders on each and every ewe... all that is left to do now is wait and drink tea.
We did not only take care of feet, but gave the pregnant group their yearly booster shot of "covexin 8" which gives the unborn lambs protection as well, mostly against overeating.
This is the only vaccination the sheep get. While on a roll, I mixed up a garlic molasses concoction to drench everybody as part of my "organic" worming program. The girls truly appreciated all the special attention and one on one time they got.... :o) ....while my husband was greatful for the opportunity to jet again prove his strength to the shepherdess!
I spent some time on Sunday in the veggie garden as well, ridding it from pine needles, which we have in sheer abundance... They are great for the berry patches, everything else will wrinkle their leaves in disapproval. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow was hauled out of the garden and onto the burn pile.
Inside the tomatoes are showing their first true leaves and are ready to move into their own big pots. Instead of repotting I have been spinning Mimis (my only babydoll ) fleece. I spun it in the raw, which means it did not get washed before spinning. In the pic you see an unwashed skein of yarn next to a washed skein. This is the same fleece! Just imagine the wash water...
Then I dyed one batch with moss that the kids gathered at a camping trip a couple of years back.
You know what they say:
a good thing takes time, or something along that line!
Another batch got to soak in a cooked down solution of green walnut shells which my dad had brought me...... a couple of years back. This sounds like a pattern doesn't it?

The moss dye resulted in a nice,
well mossy green, all the walnuts did is turn bright white into a light beige (instead of a deep brown)
I conclude moss keeps better than walnut shells...
Now I am trying to decide what to make of mossy and not so walnutty Mimi......




Friday, March 21, 2008

What are the sheep doing?




All the ewes do these days is eat, chew their guts, and complain. They do a lot of complaining. As soon as one spots me she will start with an accusing bahh and no sooner as she is finishied all will join... bahh-hay, more bahh-hay always asking for more, just like my wee ones, when I get the ice cream out.
Yes,
I could just give in and allow them to have a steady supply of hay, but since the icelandics are a primitive breed, I really have to watch how much they eat during pregnancy. If they get to much, their lambs will grow rather big and they will have trouble giving birth.
So, I harden my heart and ignore all the baa hing and stick to the balanced morning and evening ratio. Well, I do
gather pine branches, they love to nibble of all the needles and than strip the bark....

While the sheep are happily taking in their fresh greens, I have been working on another pair of slippers. When you knit these they are really really big, then you throw them in the washing machine to felt and get them to the right size.
Hide them when friends come over because once they spot them they will declare that they are very much in need for new slippers..... and all you will knit for a long time will be ...... slippers!





Monday, March 17, 2008

Signs of spring
















Tomatoes are started and already peaking through the black dirt, Crocuses are finally displaying some color in the garden and the sun is getting warmer every day!

It feels and looks like spring is on its way.

Dipsy, the first and so far only lamb is growing as fast as all the spring bulbs. She is a fine lamb that likes to touch noses with the dogs, much to moms disapproval! Hopefully soon she will be joined by many more little sheep still comfortably growing in big bellies.

This spring we decided against baby chicks and went to pick up ten young hens at a friends organic farm. These chickens are a mixed bunch that just started laying eggs and will hopefully be sitting and hatching some baby chicks.
But, live in the hen house can be cruel. A pecking order will be established at any cost. In our case that meant one new hens got pecked to badly she ended up in the stew pot and since it is not worth heating up the kettle for one chicken, Tony, the mean rooster got chosen to keep her company!

Since there would be no baby chicks without a rooster, we do have a new little guy waking the farm in the morning. And not only is he little with a dainty voice, but he is friendly as well!






Thursday, March 6, 2008

New life


The first lamb of the season is here, born Wednesday morning , already up and running by the time I went out to feed.
I had locked the gray Navajo up Tuesday evening just in case, and sure enough she gave my shepherdess confidence a nice boost by delivering her baby the next day!
A beautiful spotted ewe lamb, legs still a bit wobbly and the woolly curls wet from birth greeted me around 7.00am. Forgotten are the shoveling of straw and muck heavy with odor. The hours spent on mending fences, catching excited sheep, yelling at beloved family members for letting that one dang ram escape....once again.
One look at this healthy #12 baby fills me with happiness and makes me thankful for being able to live this life. Life on the farm!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Leberknoedelsuppe - all mind over matter


Oma and Opa are visiting from Germany.

Oma likes to cook and more importantly knows how to cook. I like to take advantage of this and pick up a few recipes along the way.

As a child I always liked Leberknoedelsuppe. So, much to my husbands dismay I thawed out lamb liver and ran it through the food processor, so today we can enjoy this traditional Bavarian dish!
We do indeed eat most parts of the animals we butcher, including innerds. I got the older kids started a bit to late on this food group and they tent to have plans for the evenings I serve kidney, liver or heart.
I truly believe this is a case of mind over matter.
If I was to serve you this dish not sharing the list of ingredients, you are most likely to enjoy it. If you help me prepare it, you will probably go hungry .
This would surely be my husbands choice, but since he takes being a role model very serious, he does slurp the soup with a content smile on his face, and so do the wee ones.
If you are an adventurous eater, please let me know, I would be glad to share the recipe for liver dumpling soup.

No lambs jet, but BIG udders, I am on my way out to get the lambing pen ready for the ewe that looks like she is about to burst. Usually they stay in the pasture, but it has been cold and snowing, so she will move where she has her own shelter, peace and quite.... and probably be the last one to lamb!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tan your hide


When we butcher in late fall the local meatman sents the pelts of the lambs back home with us. Since I do not like to waste anything, they get tanned.
For some reason this year my oldest daughter aquired the job of loading the hides in the wheelbarrow and hauling them from the trailer to the barn (this makes for fond memories of growing up on a farm)
For me that meant out of sight, out of mind! Until a few days ago, when a friend of mine came over to get some fiber, which happens to be stored in the barn as well.
What a warm welcome we got, as several rams heads were peaking at us over the rim of the wheelbarrow, still attached to the hides along with legs and tails.
This left my wee ones to ponder over how we could put these sheep back together...
Luckily my friend and her son are farm people as well, so (animal) body parts do not alarm them to much.
Yesterday was spent seperating heads, legs, tails and specific male parts from the hides. All that was left to do is salt the pelts liberaly and leave them to dry. Then they will be sent off to finish the tanning process and returned as stunningly beautiful pelts - nothing attached!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who rules the roost?

So much for planning a vaccination day! I should know better! It seems in my world the more I plan the less goes according to it. The wee ones both came down with a high fever this weekend. When the girls are sick and miserable, it usually means mom and dad are as well. Needless to say after a sleepless saturday night and an equally restless sunday the sheep got put on hold!
Besides, by sunday a white blanket had been layed over my corner of the world. Yes, more snow, which you can be sure to get once you start thinking spring, which of course I have been doing.
I will try again to vaccinate this week, without a plan, just whenever I can squeeze it in! This should do the trick!
No lambs jet, even this morning I was almost certain to find one or two out there. Unfriendly weather is usually the top choice for the ewes to bed down and go into labor!
What I did discover was our rooster Tony getting a bit out of control.
It is nice to have a male that rules the roost and protects his chicks. Tony though, extents his dutys to attacking the wee ones, my older ones and me whenever he catches side of us.



Until a month ago we had a big old rooster who kept him in line, but how it goes with good old birds, he fell of the roost. Deader than dead!
No one to to make sure Tony knows his place anymore, besides the stick I am carrying around, which seems to be more of an annoyence to Tony than anything else.
For little ones a mean rooster can be a scary critter, since he will jump on top of them, scratch and peck, ultimatly trying to hurt their eyes.
Even for an adult it is not a pleasent experience to bent down to pick up some eggs, only to find yourself with a rageing rooster on your back.
So we might part with Tony soon and try our new barbeque.
The only backdraw is, I like having baby chicks around and that will be a tough one without Tony.

Does a chicken need a rooster to lay eggs?



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Seaweed and udders



Earlier this week I filled up the sheep's seaweed supply. They are grassfed only, which means pasture or hay, no grain. I do supplement them with salt, minerals and seaweed. To round up this wholesome diet they get a squirt of good apple cider vinegar in their freshly pumped well water.
I know, I know it does sound rather granola, but it makes for very healthy sheep and it helps to keep their wool in top condition. And remember we eat our sheep as well. Since they live so healthy I guess we can skip a beat in our diets..... at least that's my husbands excuse when I find the occasional McDonalds evidence in his truck...
The animals are pretty in tune to what their needs are, so all the supplements are free choice and the last few days they were going for the seaweed. So while refilling I noticed the udders. Udders a sure sign of lambing time coming closer. The navajo churro ewes are the first ones to delight us with newborns. Usually they suprise me, but this time it seems I am ahead of them. These navajo ewes are so skittish, it is hard to get a good look at them. All the wool on their bellis does not help eather. We will just have to wait and see. Since it is getting close to lambing time tomorrow will be vaccination and garlic/molasses drench day.


I need to let my nighbours know, since I think this is one of their yearly entertainment highlights on the farm.




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Meet the cats



On most farms you will find cats. Cats are good, they keep down the mice population, which you will find on most farms as well.
We have two cats, one is old, cranky and handicaped, the other young, beautiful and cross eyed.They have one thing in common: both live in the house - not anywhere close to the mice vincinitys.
How did this happen?
Taffy the old one, is fourteen, has already spent his seven lives, but must have been granted another seven by some nice fairy. So far he has outlived any other cat we have ever owned. Something is not wired right in Taffys brain. He will try to jump up a tree and miss the stump by two feet, or he'll try to get up onto the couch, but after a backward summersalt ends up back were he started.
Since he has lived with us all his live and survived stunts like jumping on top of the roaring wood stove or falling into a pan full of motor oil, he is here to stay. Even his digestive system is of rather delicate nature and will only tolerate the most expensive cat food. Otherwise he will puke all over the place, preferably on the carpets.
Did I mention Taffy will not catch any mice?
Two years ago I decided that the farm needed a barn cat. To the local shelter we went. There I was told that the cat of my choice would have to stay indoors for at least a month before I was allowed to introduce her to the barn. Right, I'm sure the kitty is counting the days before she can move to the great outdoors! Needless to say, I did not choose to take home another housecat. Meanwhile my oldest daughter had fallen in love with an indeed beautiful kitten.
Since it was Christmas she did get to take Charlotte home. Charly was the calmest kitten ever, quiet, sleeping a lot, I was smitten!
Turns out quiet and sleepy translated to sick, very sick kitten.
Sick kitten in car and hysterical daughter in tow we drove to the vet, to find out Charles was indeed very very ill and had to stay.
Three days later and $250 poorer we had a still sick Charly at home. Now we had to force feed this still amazingly strong creature. Let me tell you,cats do not like to be force fed, nope, not at all. The deal is, when a cat has a runny nose it cannot smell and if a cat cannot smell its food,it will not eat it!
Charles did fully recover and she does catch mice!
What's the catch? Turns out my husband is highly allergic to her - but she charmed herself into his heart and onto the couch!






Sunday, February 17, 2008

Farmchores


Sunday should be the day to rest, at least I'd like to think so.

For some reason at our farm it seldom is. On a beautiful day like today it is nearly impossible to stay inside and once you leave the house there is no chance to walk by the wheelbarrow. In the back of my mind I just know how much work lies ahead once spring is here, so it is nice to get a bit ahead. The biggest mistake I make is to look around and focus in on all that needs to be done, and then the curtain closes - I am majorly overwhelmed. This has the same effect on me than a week of fasting. Extreme crabbyness, which results in my kids making a wide circle around me instead of helping and a husband that will just plainly stay out of sight. This does not help me feel any better. So I have learned to take a deep breath and take little steps, one at a time (allright, I do try to sprint once in a while, but the shortness of breath keeps me at bay)

So as of today the chickencoop is only two wheelbarrows short of being clean and the ram pen looks presentable as well.

I will not start a list of what all still needs to be done. But if you are thinking of loosing a few pounds, please come to the farm and help me with my chores. The longer you stay the better shape you will be in and the happier you will make me and my family!

Let's call it the farm boot camp!


Friday, February 15, 2008

A spring day in February



What a beautiful day! Blue skies, sunshine and 43 *F.


Of course I had to sieze the break in winter weather and head outside. As soon as I set foot out the front door I could hear them. Little pleading voices, they are everywere. They all ask for the same: Take care of me, no me, I really need it more... It is impossible to ignore them, they surround me, remind me, force me to pick up rake, shovel and wheelbarrow. Since I am in the yard, I start right here and there. Every spring this is the hub of pineneedles, bones of all kinds of nature (for details please refer to the the dogs), shredded balls and much more.
After a few loads I needed a break from raking, so why not bring the chickens their daily leftovers. The chicken coop does not whisper, no it screams in my ear: Look at me and do something about it!
See, we have two Indian runner ducks, which decided to overwinter with the chickens. BIG no-no! Ducks love water and they will be spreading it very liberaly. These two runners did just that and now the coop is not just sawdust, straw and mostly dry chicken manure, now it is a watering hole filled with sawdust, straw and everything but dry chicken and duck manure.
Of course I picked up the shovel right away and started filling up the wheelbarrow. It was not until after I had packed it all the way to the top, that I paused for a moment and recalled how heavy this mud hole material was. To make matters worse, the manure pile is about 80 feet of steady uphill from the coop. So up I pushed, slowley, very slowley. The worst thing that can happen with a wheelbarrow overflowing with nastyness is having is tip over. So remember: slow and steady wins the race. I did manage to clean out two good loads. Now taking care of a few loads from one of the sheep paddocks was a cinch.
All that was left to do for today was filling up the water troughs. No big deal, since there are no frozen hoses at 43*F.

All in all a very productive day for me, since I did all this with the assistence of my two, four and two year old, little girls.

video






Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why you should always trust your gut feeling





Today I decided to ponder once more over my last sock knitting project. When I cast on the stiches for the "retro rib socks" (interweave favorite socks book) I had a funny feeling in my stomach. As I progressed on the first sock the feeling got stronger, something along the line: will this be enough yarn? What did I do: IGNORE IT , of course!
The first sock was quickly finished, the second cast on. By the time I reached the heal, my gut was screaming at me: Told you so, told you so...
Since I bought the yarn years ago in Germany, and of course it has been discontinued since then, there was no stopping at the friendly yarn store in town. I have searched high and low on the net, no luck!
So I guess I will have to find some solid color to match my sock wool and unravel part of the first sock, then find a way to finish this pair half way presentable.
The moral of this knitting tale: Never, never ignore your gut feeling! Or, if in doubt, knit shorter socks, like these grey ones...





Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Looking ahead


After it rained last night and part of today, we are succesfully growing mud, mud and - some more mud!

Now the big question is: how can we turn this into a succesful business?

Any ideas? Please share them with me!

After making sure I put on rather snug fitting rubber boots, it was time to dig some more trenches to give the sheep and goats a break from their mud treatments. Pretty much all I could do for today.

Time to think ahead, think spring. Plan and lay out the gardens. Catalogs are arriving almost daily at a rate that can almost compete with the "growth" of the mud. This year I would like to bigger the spot for my dying plants. I got a fabulous book from Germany.It is the most comprehensive guide on how to use a wide variety of plants for dying wool and silk. It is by Dorothea Fischer and she covers well known dye stuff, but also introduces exotic ideas like red cabbage and mango. I promise to report on my experiments, which I hope to conduct often this year......
It might be a good idea to stop talking now and spin some wool instead!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Why oh why oh why


No running water today, all was frozen with a light sprinkle of snow which hid the underlaying ....perfectly.

When I fed this morning I looked at the ever deminishing hay pile and then my eye caught HER. And that is when I felt like rabbit reciting:" Why oh why oh why", does Hanni the angora goat always have to eat on top of the hay? Now you might think what is the big deal? Let me tell you. She does not just stand there and eat, no, she will happily drop some surprises while she munches along. Goats are like most grasing animals, where they poop they will not eat. So what this translates into is a rather big waste of hay and with skyrocketing prices of $190/ton this does give me a slight headache. Since the goats are so funny and heartwarming the headache does subside rather quickly.
I have four angora goats, actually they are not really my goats anymore, since a super nice lady from Colorado bought them and will pick them up in the spring.
She even does help to pay for the winter hay, so I really have no reason to complain! Funny enough Hanni is the only one that jumps into the feeder, the other three mind their manners and eat, like the book suggests, from the sides of the manger.
Once these girls arrive in Colorado they will assume they died and went to heaven, this is how much Becky cares for her critters. And let me tell you, it is the best feeling to now that the animals I have to part with go to a wonderful home!
Still I will miss Hanni, Nanni, Colleen and Socks. Until next fall when I have to buy hay again......
 
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