October 12th, 2005
Today I did animal and autumn home and garden chores. I bred my two Satin Angora rabbits- one to a red Satin Angora, the other to a black Jersey Wooly. I did the usual animal feeding and watering and I trimmed the hooves of the goats and wormed them. I pulled up the bean and corn plants from the garden and feed them to the critters as well as some swiss chard and zucchini. I then dug up three of the garden beds that don’t have squash or fall veggies planted and planted them with a cover crop- Austrian field peas- we’ll see what happens with that. I also weeded the beds that have peas, carrots, parsnips, carrots, chard and beets growing in them. Finally I climbed on the roof of the house, swept up the needles there and cleaned out the gutters.
Last Sunday we pressed apples to make hard apple cider. We have about 7 gallons of cider now fermenting- the photo is of half of it. We added sugar, malic acid, yeast nutrient and yeast and the fermentation is going in earnest.
Today was a rainy cool day so I spent a far amount of it inside doing household chores. I did the animals chores and I sheared our grey Angora goat, Angie. I then harvested and cleaned the squash and brought them in. This year we have spaghetti squash, small sugar pumpkin, and Lumina (white) pumpkin.
I started my weaving class today so I didn’t have as much time to spend with teh animals andd garden. They were hungry when I got home though. I got a new cell phone because our beagle chewed on my old one. This is one of my first attempts at taking a photo with it. I obviously have to learn more about this.
Once again I had a weaving class so not much time to do animal chores. I did manage to load Daphnie by myself into the bed of our 4×4 pickup and drive her to Acme to sell her. It’s sad to sell sheep but I wasn’t going to use her for breeding anymore and someone else wants her for this. I’m selling Daisy on Friday for the same reason. It’s always so bittersweet.
Today I didn’t have weaving class so I was able to get some stuff done. The 2 Satin Angora rabbit does I have are due on Saturday so I got their nest boxes ready. I fixed the electric fence yet again and got clean water and minerals for all the animal. I built a bon fire as well.
Last Saturday we picked up our new Dexter bull calf- Roscoe. We’re hoping to breed him with our Highland cows to get a cross that’ll have the best features of both breeds. We’ll see how that goes.
Last Saturday my first goat Ben whose been wasting away for a while got to the point that he can’t stand any more. I spoke to the vet at length Sunday morning and decided since he’s not in pain we’ll just keep caring for him and not euthanize him quite yet. He’s eating avidly and doesn’t seem to be in any pain. I’m trying to spoil him rotten with his favorite foods, and he seems to enjoy the extra attention.
Ben, one of my first goats, died last night. He was getting weaker and thinner and finally last evening he wasn’t too interested in eating (for the first time in his life). I petted him a bunch and he seemed to like it. I said good bye and this morning he had died. I hope it was a peaceful death- I think it was.
Above is a photo of him the day I bought him. He’s the littlest and cutest one. I had arranged to buy two Pygmy does from a woman in Ellensburg. I went with my dad and the woman offered me a third kid for free. My Dad thought three for the price of two- what a deal- so I came home with three- Ben being the third. I’m so glad I got him. He was always a playful, friendly goat and a great companion in the barnyard. He loved to eat though and got quite fat. I lost Carrie and Annie ( the two does) but Ben hung around as I got more goats and then sheep. He was always waiting for me when I came and I loved patting his fat belly. I’m going to miss him but I sure hope he had a good life with me.
On a good note- my Satin Angora rabbit had two reddish looking kits today- so far so good. The cycle of life and death continues…
It’s been snowing all week but the largest accumulation was tonight. We managed to freeze up the hoses so Tom had to haul 30 gallons of water to the cows during the storm in a cart- a lot of fun. The water tubs are all frozen and have to be broken up and the rabbits’ water bottles are frozen so they need to be given bowls. It’s certainly more work and cold but it’s so beautiful.
I finished my weaving class so will have more time for animal chores. We’ve had three Toggenburg does here being bred to our Nigerian Dwarf bucks (hopefully) and now we have two Pygora does here- our bucks have been busy.
We’re settling in for the long winter- waiting for spring and the lambs and kids that’ll be born then.