Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Let's Catch Up Shall We?

It's been a while.  Ahem.  Sorry about that.

Things are crazy as ever.  Maisy is better, in fact the vet was out today for a milk sample and some calf wrangling (impressive stuff people.  It was like a real life rodeo in my barn this afternoon.)  He said she looked great - and I had to agree.  Her milk production is back and while not as robust as before it's still more than this family can drink in a day.  (We currently average 2 gallons.  Milking, not drinking that is.)

Carmel finally had her babies - twin boys named Sam and Little.  Unfortunately Carmel is proving a less than attentive mother.  A usual afternoon goes something like this:  Carmel sees food - hay, dropped grain, whatever - and bolts off often leaving her wee babes abandoned in the barn.  This isn't so troubling now as the boys have wised up and figured out how to follow Momma out - but the first few days?  Little crying baby goats tucked in random corners and under wheelbarrows and generally acting pitiful and unloved.

Not cool, Carmel.  Not cool.

Needless to say Carmel's days are numbered here.  The boys are already on craigslist and we hope to find homes for them and Carmel, too.  We're not goat people it turns out.  At least not these goats and at least not right now.

Yesterday we sold Truffles and her baby girls to a lovely woman from Vacaville looking for living lawn mowers.  I am so grateful they'll all stay together - though can I just say?  I'm glad they'll be together somewhere else.

Did I mention we're not goat people?

We've corralled Steer into a stall since Monday and are working diligently to get some weight back on him.  Apparently while Maisy was sick and we were tending her and the many sick babies in our house he lost some weight.  Cows are funny creatures - they lose weight in a hurry and then take for-eh-ver to put it back on.  We thought keeping him close and feeding him a little more of the high protien pellets and grain would be a good idea until we were confident that he wasn't going to keel over in the pasture.  The most likely cause of his rapid loss in condition are roundworms.  Like dogs and cats and other animals cows often get parasites.  In a grown cow it's not (usually) a big deal - their immune system is often strong enough to keep things in check and you'd never know.  In a calf under a year it'll take 'em down in a minute.  After just a few days (and a hearty worming treatment a week ago) he's already looking better.  We'll re-worm in a week just to be sure and then call it good.  All this rest is also good for his injured boy bits.  We still have no idea what happened there but it's looking less inflamed every day.

I'm so looking forward to a time when checking on Steer's bits isn't part of my day.


And finally: the chickens have started laying!  Oh yes - collecting eggs is now part of the barn chores.  What's great is this is a fun chore.  Unlike mucking stalls or giving shots.  There's no downside to looking for eggs.  Our girls are giving about 3 a day which means we probably have about 6 girls laying.  They start off slow - one every day or two and they're tiny.  Think quail eggs. It's hilarious.  I feel like a GIANT while making scrambled eggs in the morning.

It's the little things people.

The sun was out today, the pasture is starting to dry out, I'm finally thinking if I put seeds in the garden they wouldn't drown.

It's looking up around here.

Okay, it's looking like dried mud and pollen dust around here - but that's the way spring shows up in California.

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