Whew!…it’s been a little while since I have posted. Life is going full blast in all good directions, but it leaves little time for the computer, which honestly, since I was born a century too late, doesn’t bother me much.
Here’s an update of what’s up at our homestead.
Heidi and her doeling, Fern (the kids changed the doeling’s name), are doing very well. The other two doelings were sold as bottle babies.
But before we sold them we had the vet out to do the dreaded dis-budding and teach Mtn Man how to do it so we can do it on our own next time. It was NOT a fun process and we are so glad it is over. If we didn’t have a mixed flock we would likely leave the horns, but since none of the rest of our flock have horns, we didn’t want to keep a goat that had them and have them become a bully or injure the other flock members who don’t have the same weapons on their heads.
We are getting about 1/2 – 3/4 gallon of milk from Heidi, milking twice a day, while still leaving Fern with her mom full time. We were planning to close kids off at night and just milk once a day in the morning once Gretchen had her kids, but as you will see below, that wont be happening. It is too cold to close Fern off on her own at night, and since there are no other kids to be with her we are just milking twice a day and sharing Heidi with Fern. We are really enjoying having fresh, raw milk again.
Gretchen, sadly, had a very rough delivery last Friday/Saturday. We were able to save her, but not the doeling that she was carrying. It was a very stressful and sad ordeal for the whole family. A hard reminder that this lifestyle includes painful losses right along with all the wonderful life and joy. It also made us all the more grateful that Heidi was able to safely deliver her triplets despite the first one being breech.
Gretchen is currently on antibiotics and meds to help her heal from the ordeal, and time will tell what we are going to do with her. The vet made it out the farm after I finally got the baby out (one of the drawbacks of living over an hour from the nearest large animal vet) and he said he believes Gretchen is older than we were told she was when we bought her and that she is too old to breed again – it would be too dangerous for her. In addition, she isn’t making much milk yet. We don’t know if that is from the stress and strain of the birth, or what. We can’t drink the milk anyway, because of the meds she is on. So we will see if she is able to produce a good lactation or not and that will help decide what we will do with her.
Two of the sheep are now in their last month of pregnancy and we have shifted their feed and given them their CDT vaccinations. No worming this year because we opted to do fecal tests instead and everyone came back worm free. The other two pregnant sheep are still about 6 weeks out.
Chickens & Chicks
My hens are doing fine, nothing new with them. The chicks are growing fast – as always. They are starting to get their feathers. They will stay in brooders another week or so and then move up to the upper coop. After my last post we still had more chicks die – all of the same breed from the same hatchery. The other chicks of that breed that came from a different hatchery, as well as the other breeds from a different hatchery all survived fine. I think that is pretty strong evidence that it has to do with the hatchery and either their breeding stock, or their handling of eggs and chicks. Thankfully, all the remaining chicks are strong and healthy and I think we are through with having chicks die.
We are closing in on time to start seeds indoors in a couple of weeks. I am beginning to prepare my seed starting supplies and finalize my plans.
My knitting has taken a back seat lately as I have been in the mood to cross stitch. I have also been working on finishing up the last few skirts I am making for myself and the girls. And I am starting to work on the spring/Easter placemat/napkin set I am making to add to my seasonal placemat/napkin goal for this year.
I haven’t had time for photos recently, but hoping to get some photos up in the next week or so of all the things going on around here.