Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pasture questions

For those of you that have pasture for your animals, what type of maintanence do you do? Do you fertilize? If so, when and with what? Do you seed? If so, when and with what? We are having trouble finding any solid information. The neighbors aren't very informative, they pretty much say we can do whatever we want. I know the one neighbor got chicken poop sprayed over his fields a few weeks ago. We plan to set up a pasture rotation schedule soon, but with only 5 animals right now, the poop isn't going to be enough I don't think.

In other news, the garden is tilled and I've been busy planting, composting, mulching etc. In some parts the garden is only 2 inches deep before you hit hard clay so I need to really do some work! We are getting a truck this weekend! Finally, I need dirt, compost, mulch and livestock panels. All of which I need a truck to get.

We tried to catch the sheep today to deworm them and had no luck. We got them into a stall easily, but once they were in the stall we couldn't catch them. We are too timid, in truth we are both a little scared of them. And they are fast! We need a catch pen or something to get them into an even smaller area. We've been seriously considering selling the sheep even before this. We really like the goats and the sheep just aren't doing it for us. The jacob goes after the goats, so we were already considering selling her. The lamb is scared to death of us and hides behind her mom all the time. The only one we kind of like is the dorper. No final decisions have been made yet.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Flu pandemic possibility

There is an swine flu epidemic in Mexico right now. It is a new strain that seems to be pretty virulent. I don't usually post prepper stuff on my blog because I know a lot of people aren't into it. But I'd suggest going to the store and getting a few weeks worth of supplies if you don't already have them. If this spreads to the US, you may be home for a few weeks trying to avoid it. I'm going to the store today to get more stuff.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sage and Thyme

We went to the flea market Saturday hoping to find turkey poults, instead we came home with 2 ducklings! Yeah, it was sort of an impulse, we don't even know what type they are. I think they are mallards based on internet search. We also don't know the sexes or age.

But they are cute and Logan loves spending time with them.
This one is Thyme, Logan named this one. We think it is a girl because this one is really loud! I read that female ducks are louder than males.
This is Sage, named by me. We think this one is a boy.

A breeding pair would be great. We'd like at least one girl to get some eggs, but will be happy with whatever we get.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A good reminder

A good reminder of the joy we find here.

Duckling pictures soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Farmer meltdown

I'm having a complete meltdown tonight! I'm overwhelmed and behind and tired of relying on other people!

My garden needs to be tilled. It is hard clay and totally unplantable. My neighbor said he'd do it when he did his, but then his house burned down. So my other neighbor said he'd do it when he did his. This was a month ago. I needed to get things in the ground weeks ago. I have asparagus that I ordered that came and is sitting in pots. I built a raised bed to plant it in, but it needs a lot of dirt to fill it.

I need a pick up truck load of dirt for the asparagus bed and the onion bed, but we don't have a truck. So I'll need to borrow a truck and I'm tired of borrowing the neighbor's truck! Did I mention I had onions that need planting? I do and strawberries. Plus all the seeds that need to get in the ground. All my brocolli went from small to flowering overnight, so no brocolli for us this spring. The peas got too cold when it snowed and now it is too hot, so we probably won't get any peas either. And Mark mowed over all my blackberries. I feel like a complete gardening failure and want to go back to doing everything in pots.

We got ducklings but the heat lamp we got is too big and it is too hot in their pen. I need a smaller bulb but can't get one until Monday because Logan has poultry judging practice ALL day tomorrow and I have to go to a pet store because the feed store only has the big bulbs. The house is a mess and I'm not sure when I'm going to clean it.

Sweat Pea doesn't like Aurora and is always going after her. I've gotten in the way a few times and been gouged with her horns. And it hurts! I have to lock them all in the stall together at night because of the coyotes, but we only have 1 stall right now so I know that is stressful for them. I have no idea what kind of guardian animal I want, none of them are ideal.

Orion keeps getting out of the fence and eating the apple tree. I keep plugging the holes he finds, but he keeps finding new ones.

I have to take the sheep to be sheared in a few weeks, but I don't have a transport cage or a truck. I'm planning to make a transport cage out of goat panels, but I have no way to get them home without borrowing a truck. We are supposed to be getting my dad's old truck, but Mark has to fly up there and get it sometime. Who knows when that will be. I need a truck!

Mark is out of town backpacking, but I can't go anywhere because I'm milking twice a day. I really need a break from Logan who has spring fever bad and is driving me crazy! Everytime we are outside he throws things at me and thinks it is hilarious. The wind threw Logan's trampoline across the yard. Luckily, we were able to fix it but it has no net right now because the poles got bent and we need to bend them back.

And I want a pygora goat but no one breeds them anywhere near here.

Anyway, I'll be fine tomorrow, just taking my turn for a meltdown tonight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ice cream

Aurora has been giving us more milk and Orion is down to 2 bottles a day, so we've been getting milk for us! It is honestly the best milk I've ever had. It has no milk after taste, it just tastes clean. I'm amazed, I really didn't expect the milk to be that much better. Every time I have a glass of milk it is a revelation!

Since we had extra milk, we made ice cream! It was so cool. I've never made ice cream before. I got this little ice cream maker for $20 and it worked great.
Here is our finished product. I guess I don't have to tell you how amazing this ice cream was. It was to die for!

I'm going to do a post soon about milking. I've settled into the routine and don't mind it too much. I still wouldn't say I enjoy it, but I don't mind it. It is annoying being stuck on such a strict schedule, but I'm adjusting to that too. I adore the goats and that alone makes it all worth it. They are such fun animals! I didn't think I'd be a goat person, but I am. The sheep I'm not so sure about yet...

Monday, April 13, 2009

A boy and his goat

Just some nice pictures of a boy and his goat and the fun they can have. These are a few weeks old, I have newer ones I'll post soon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A nice day

Yesterday was really nice weather after days of cold and wind. So we took advantage and spent most of the day out with the animals.

Here we are going on a walk to the creek. Everyone had to come!

Logan cuddling his chicken.
Our neighbor's old tractor. I just like the way it looks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

More Sweet Pea

I'm quite taken with this girl! She is so cool looking, I think I'm really going to like the jacobs. She is also very friendly and curious for a sheep. She isn't goat friendly, or at least not our goat friendly. But our goats are friendly to the point of annoying to be honest. The dorper and her lamb are still stand offish.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We got sheep!

We got sheep today. I went to look at them about a month ago and have been waiting for them to wean their lambs since I didn't want all the babies.

We got a dorper ewe and her lamb who is half baby doll and a jacob ewe.
Here is the dorper and her lamb. Dorpers are hair sheep so she is in the middle of shedding her coat and looks funny right now. Her lamb has wool since baby dolls are wool sheep. We named the mom Andromeda and the baby Nebula.
This is the jacob. She was already named Sweet Pea and even though plant names are supposed to be for poultry, we decided to stick with that name for her. She is very friendly, she's already come up for pets numerous times. For a sheep this is pretty amazing!

Here they are in the pen with the run-in, everyone loves to hang out here. You can see the chickens in the background and Aurora checking them out.

Everyone is getting along pretty well. The sheep are very interested in Orion but don't seem to like Aurora too much, she is very loud! The dorper is protecting her baby and doesn't let the goats get too close. Nebula wants to play with Orion but her mom won't let her yet. Sweet Pea has sniffed both goats and seems to think they are ok. Aurora is keeping her distance from the dorper.

I have them all in the stall tonight, I know that Aurora and Orion both sleep on top of their carriers so I figured they'd be ok. I made a straw nest on the floor for the sheep, unless they want to sleep in the carriers. I'll go down and check in a bit to make sure everyone is getting along. Do sheep sleep at night the way goats do? I need a barn cam.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My how I've grown!

Orion at 1 week old (sorry about the sideways, it just won't do it normal)
Orion at 3 weeks

Orion at 5 weeks, he sure is looking grown up to me!

I guess we are doing ok since he is growing.