Life has felt pretty crazy in the last few months. Jeremy and I fell for cows and meat grouse, but then our goats turned into a lot of extra work and money. Now everyone seems to be well and slow down. We do not have meat chickens anymore (they are all in the freezer). We have no more baby bottles. The working time is now about 10 minutes and the boys can do it themselves.
Gideon feeds everyone over the fence so he will not be overwhelmed and Esmond fills the water every morning. Then Gideon goes down to feed the pigs while Esmond feeds the cats, and then it's done.
We were Four bottles per day for the kids and up to six for the bottle calves. We were Move the chicken tractor every morning and get some water for them. We were Feed everyone in separate stands so we will not be pushed. It took all 45 minutes for the housework. Morning and evening.
Now we can breathe again.
Our pig husbandry is really nice. We move them faster and faster, but we only have to move them every two weeks. So far we just had to fill up the water barrel when we move it. It holds enough water for eternity. I imagine the pigs are drinking more as they get bigger, but it will not be an everyday task.
We've parked the chicken tractor for the year and right now we've set up a giant compass for Eowyn's on-site scientific work. (The grass needs to be mown, of course, but that's on the plan later in the afternoon.)
Then the goats. Goats pay for my rescue. They annoy me with the tar, but then get sick and send me to my knees. We hope that most of them will be sold as goats have just become pets. They produce neither meat nor milk for us, so we pay to feed and care for them. We had Gracie with mastitis, and a few weeks ago all six got sick. Jeremy cut bushes in the yard and threw the clippings over the fence for them. He did not know that azalea is very poisonous. And sure, a few hours later, the goats began to vomit.
Have you ever seen a goat surrender? It is disgusting. And pathetic. Everything we read and everyone we've talked with said that they all would die. And they were so sick. But we still fought and prayed. We gave them olive oil, charcoal, as much vitamin C as they would take, electrolytes, Mylanta, cedar and pine twigs, lamb and kidney calorie supplement and MFO to the two who were affected by the weakness. It took three days, but they did not die. And then we put them back on grass slowly and now they are back to normal. The Lord has protected us.
The cows are doing great. Irene has declared herself queen of the field. The goats tried to fight it, but they won. This is one of the reasons why we handle the fence carefully. She did not challenge us, but she demands a lot of attention and attrition. Honestly she scares me. Curdie, on the other hand, is very similar to Ferdinand. He is gentle and sweet, but his mass grows big enough that no one can push him around. He worried me to death when he fed the bottle. Sometimes he fed, sometimes not. But now he is fine. And his color gets so dark! Irene has become lighter, but his is now dark chocolate. I love it.
Now I have time to take photos and I'm not covered with animal waste all the time. It's nice to finally slow down and find our new rhythm.
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