Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Still Clucking Along
Yes, Yes I know it's been well over a year since I posted anything. Believe it or not we are still going 100% but as I explained when I decided to mostly quit blogging we spend much much much more time on routine boring chores, upkeep and mundane stuff now than we do on cool new building and the like. I still have an endless list of project I am working on but five or more years ago I got to make blog-worthy progress on a project almost everyday. Now I am lucky if I spend 1 or 2 days a month actually working on projects and I just cannot blog everyday about feeding time or repairing yet another fence.
None-the-less I have finished a few big projects which I hope to post some pictures of and tell you about in a post soon. I honestly was not prepared to make a post today but it ended up raining and driving me inside this afternoon, so I had some time. Rain has been a rare occurrence this year let me tell you.
Just a text post today to tease you that another is coming soon with pictures!!! The hay is baled for the year and it doesn't look like we are going to get another cutting. It was a sad harvest too as I think we only got a little over half what we usually get and I even fertilized the hay field in the Spring. It's just been a bad drought year.
Lambing season was not the greatest. We got some good lambs but we lost more than usual this year. We had one still born. Then another first year ewe had a lamb and I waited with her for over an hour to see if she was going to drop another. Sure enough when I left for not even 15 minutes she had two more and one of them suffocated before I could get it free. The second I managed to save but the ewe would not accept it so we got another bottle baby. We named her Rita and she now lives in my mother's back yard and thinks she is a dog. She also doesn't like other sheep much.
Then Hazel decided to go into labor in the back of the large field and had trouble and before I noticed her and got back to her we had lost another three lambs due to her first being so large. I thought I was going to lose Hazel as well as there was so much blood but we managed to save her. I think we ended up with 33 lambs this year.
I finished the East pasture just in time for the sheep to eat it down to nothing and the drought to hit so it never has grown back worth a damn.
The worms hit us about mid-July so a little later than usual but we were prepared and did not lose any sheep at all to them this year. We did have some frantic individual worming rotation for about two weeks though.
The chickens are still around and we had like 5 hens go broody this year and managed to actually get some 15 or more chicks to survive and become pretty much full grown. It was touch and go there though as the hens are not cooperating when they go broody and it seems every predator for miles likes to eat baby chicks. I couldn't tell you how many chickens we got running around the place but I know several of them are now on pension benefits and have formed their own retirement roost area int he barn.
We had a huge Bald eagle attack one of our lambs. Luckily I needed to check the fence down that way so I did not have to break some stupid federal law that says I cannot interfere with a bald eagle eating my lambs. I just happened to be going that way and it flew off without killing the lamb. the wounds were not serious and the lamb recovered but he still has a scar on the side of his face. That same eagle also tried to snatch one of our buff hens but somehow that hen caught on at the last second and pulled a fake dodge move worthy of an NFL running back and the eagle did a crash and burn through the neighbor's bean field. After that I haven't seen the eagle since. Perhaps she was too embarrassed to come back?
I got 3 of my 5 remaining fencing projects finished and am ready to start on number 4 tomorrow if the weather permits.
Lastly we added yet another group of animals to the Small-Hold population in the form of dwarf goats.....
Ya I know I couldn't believe it either but I finally relented to Mrs. PP's constant begging and we bought three goats. One mother with a baby and another baby that lost her mother. I think that was kind of a mistake because the Mom and daughter pair kinda pick on the orphan but they seem to be slowly getting less mean to her. They are named Nubby, Nugget and Houdini. Houdini being the mother goat. I built them a mobile goat palace with an inside sleeping loft and a deck. I then hook it up to the tractor and move it to whatever field I am keeping them in. Nubby decided I was her human and won't let the other goats near me which is fine because Nugget has become Mrs. PP's special needs goat anyway. They actually are a hoot to watch and much more playful and out going than the lambs and sheep.
Anyway more on them later too.
So yes we are all alive here and still making progress and prepping away. The bees have taken a big hit this year however due to the drought and my lack of time but that is OK as I plan on putting more effort back into them next year again.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!