Monday, October 3, 2022

Pssst "Got Any Food?"


Been a really nice day around the Small-Hold today. I was actually pretty busy at work and got home late but I did not need to stop for anything on the way home and the weather was excellent so I just spent the late afternoon strolling around taking note of things I need to work on. The dozers are still making noise next door but have dug so far below the road level I cannot see them at all. If I go to the back of the place most of the world doesn't exist except for the parts that are pretty much the same as they were last century. 

All the old retiree animals were abundantly happy (except the Ram) and are having so much fun chasing down new vegetable and plant matter prey around the now re-opened areas they did not hound me for treats. Well except Mommy goat who knows I always keep animal crackers in my pocket and she was determined to get them. 

My plastic and rubber welding kit didn't arrive until late so I just hung out and enjoyed the perfect weather and topped off the water tanks. 

Eventually the girls did convince me that despite the fact they had an unlimited smorgasbord of vegetable matter to sample their lives would be complete if I topped the entire day off with some sweet feed and cracked corn desert. They know Winter brings daily grain feeds and although they get grain pretty much all the time even in Summer for some reason Ruminants in general treat grain like some kind of crack drug. I mean it can't taste that different than leaves or green lush grass and besides it ain't like they taste the stuff as fast as they gobble it down. Anyway I gave in and wanted to do an accurate head count anyway so I fed em all. 

One thing I have noticed going into this Fall that seems to confirm all the predictions of doom for the Winter is the randomness of feed availability. Since we are down to three goats, ten sheep and a Ram I don't buy 20 or more  bags of grain at a time anymore and store it but limit myself to a trip once a month. 

However the preferred Goat  blend has been AWOL for some time now so has the mandatory chicken scratch (no crumbles they hate crumbles) so I am being forced to mix my own. Once I was even forced to buy an extra 50 pound bag of Horse sweet feed to mix with clean cracked corn to approximate the goat stuff as close as I could plus an extra bag of actual song bird feed to add to the chicken scratch. I try and put a block of supplement out every three months but there have been no blocks available for some time now. Luckily Goat and Sheep blocks are the same  mostly so I have been buying one big block and then cutting into three sections to give em all a block. Even those were not in stock this month.

I estimate my stock food/grain costs have jumped about 25% per month since January this year so I am spending about 40 bucks a month on grain and supplements. Not a whole lot of expense and as I have mentioned before I have enough hay stacked inside to last years before it gets too old to feed if it ever comes to that but still it is worth taking note of. I have not yet considered really storing grain like I used to because I actually moved to much smaller weather proof cans I moved outside to eradicate any pests that used to live in the barn and that is working well so I do not want to get em started again.

Only down side I have found to the outside metal cans has been when the wife forgets to replace the lids but it is so rare for her to do the feeding I have just ignored that so far.

I do have a few stored blocks of supplement in the barn in case grain dries up completely though. So even with no grain I can get the old girls (and guy) through Winter but the chickens would be a problem. I am sure though I will always be able to make them something. Besides I imagine there will always be stock feed for insane horse people to buy even if I end up paying 50 bucks for a bag.

If it comes to that I will plant about 5 acres in corn and see if I can get that old corn cracking thing I bought 15 years ago to work.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Look at that goat face! You just have to give her a treat!

    The rising price of feed is a real concern. I see bigger price hikes (and smaller 40lb packaging) at the big box store, so we travel farther to the family owned business who's part of the community and cares about their customers. Prices are higher there too, but not as bad. You are so fortunate that you have options to raise your own feed; I don't have the land for that.

    The big box feed and so-called farm supply store (every farmer needs a kayak, right?) has always been iffy on reliable supplies, so a long time ago I took to mixing three or four different feeds for my goats - usually two different generic livestock pellets, sweet feed, and rabbit pellets. I like to add oats and sunflower seeds (if I can get them). What's good about this is, I can swap out something if one of my regular ingredients isn't available. The goats never seem to notice and I don't have to worry about the sudden changes in feed they warn against. Cheaper that goat pellets too.


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