June 4th, 2005:
Today I weeded the garden and then mowed the back field. This gave me time to think. Tom worked on parting out this Superbee (which on it has Rocky our new beagle and my step daughter’s cat Smish who seems to have become a permanent resident). I am noticing that I am doing almost all of the gardening, house, and animal work. I think I’m what you call a “Mopar widow”.
Today I did something quite stupid. I caught and sheared the llama which went quite well, but when I went to give his yearly injection, he didn’t like it. I was more concerned that he’d slam me into the fence or step on me, but what he did was kick behind himself and got my thigh. I didn’t seem that hard initially but very quickly became apparent that it was. So then I couldn’t leave him tied up so I had to hobble with him across two fields to put him back. Then I saw that the beagle had somehow gotten into the pasture with the rams, Highland cattle and geese and was howling at them. Great! So then I had to hobble over there, catch the beagle, tell him he was very bad and toss him into the back yard where he belongs. Then I manage to hobble to the house, put a compression bandage and ice on and make it to the couch where I’ve been ever since. I’ll probably have to miss some work. Totally worth it for one fleece huh? (Pictured above) I had been starting to think I liked llamas.
In all truth, this is totally my fault. You have to protect yourself from injury with animals. I was going to say large animals, but little rams are actually quite dangerous too. Let this be a lesson.
Now that I’ve somewhat recovered from my leg injury, I’ve been busy. I’ve mowed two fields, fixed fencing, and vaccinated all the lambs and kids. I weeded the garden today and have been installing electric fences too. Today I also clipped all the rabbits nails- a lot of fun- let me tell you! We got a new computer today so we’re pretty excited.
June 27, 2005:
We actually went on vacation last week! It’s trickier with critters, but we have a nice ex-neighbor that actually enjoys (with his daughter) looking after them. We do the same for them when they are away. It works out great.
The lambs and kids are getting older. Soon they’ll need to be weaned, identified, vaccinated and sent to their new homes. It’s a bittersweet time for me. I love having the cute, playful young animals around, but they all can’t stay here. They have wonderful new homes where they’ll get more individual attention and love.
The garden’s growing like crazy. I had weeded everything before we left for a week and on our return it’s all weedy again. The beans, corn and tomotoes are growing particularly fast. Today I cut down some 20 foot bamboo stalks (kindly planted by the ex-owner) and made bean trellises with them. We’ll see if that works.
A sad day here. Last night we found one of our goat kids, Pandora, recently dead. I took her to the vet today, and she had coccidiosis (a parasite) that killed her. I treated all the other goat kids and lambs for this so they should be OK. I also gave them their shots.
I put ear tags in the lambs and tattooed the goats. Guinevere, one of the lambs, was picked up to go to her new home in Idaho. Buttercup, another lamb, will be picked up tomorrow.
I also took Ben to the vet. He’s my first goat, my farm animal in fact. He’s been losing weight- he’s always been fat in the past. The vet didn’t find anything obvious on exam and fecal tests so he’s doing more tests. It probably won’t be good news.
Like I said- a sad day
Today we received 12 tons of hay. The weather’s been nice here so all the local farmers are haying and our supplier called late Monday night saying we could have our hay delivered Tuesday or Wednesday. As we were both working Tuesday, we set it up til Wednesday. The first load of hay didn’t arrive until 4 PM and then the truck with the hay got stuck in our field nowhere near the barn. he dumped the hay there and then got a neighbor with a large truck to tow him out. As he didn’t want to get stuck again (understandably) the next two 4 ton load were dumped in our front yard. Since we had such a late start we weren’t able to get all the hay in the barn so this is our front yard at nightfall.
Today I’ve been working on the garden, which I haven’t had a chance to in several weeks. The tomatoes, corn and beans are growing like crazy! I have a good cauliflower and broccoli harvest but the peas have all withered away. The carrots didn’t grow well for all the weeds in their bed. I dug out a bed to start planting a winter garden.
The duck and chicken hens have figured out how to set on eggs in the space between the pen walls and the outside walls of the barn. We had two chicks a few weeks ago, ducklings last week and another chick born over the weekend. The photo is of the ducklings. Their mother is a brown and white runner duck and their father is a Magpie. They’ll be kind of funny looking. They look like they’re starting to stand up more like a Runner. The eagles had eaten all but three of our adult ducks and one of the ducklings so I have them in a pen to protect them now.
Two of the lambs went to their new home in Woodinville today. Two more goat kids will go one Saturday and I have one more lady that’s going to pick up the rest of the lambs later in the week. Then all the sales of the lambs and kids will be over for the year.
I’m thinking about cutting back on the number I breed next year. I’m therefore going to sell two of my ewes and possibly some of the does this year. It’s just a lot of work caring for so many young creatures. I try hard to do a good job by them.
This is the garden growing like crazy. I took the week off of work to work on the farm. We did go backpacking for three days but the next 5 were all working here. I harvested and preserved peas, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, potatoes, beets, carrots, blueberries, & blackberries. Dug up two garden beds and planted a winter garden with carrots, radishes, parsnips, beets, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. I mowed a field and used the tractor to scoop the dirty bedding out of the barn. I put up electric fencing along the tops of the cross-fencing to keep the cows from rubbing their heads on it and destroying it. I finished selling and registering/transfering the kids/lambs. I trimmed all the goats hooves and wormed them all. I moved the goats out to the blackberries to eat them up again. We mowed the orchard and weeded around the trees. We fixed the front fence where to beagle found a small hole. All and all a lot of work.