And 2018 makes its debut on the farm by freezing the water pipes. Oh, goody!!
Today was gardening day. After a long winter, and several chickens scratching in the bark, the gardens need a little TLC. While I spent most of the day weeding (yes, already), the chickens and rooster were sticking their heads into the watering can to get a drink. Shirley spent at least an hour chasing a particularly wily butterfly who seemed to be juuust out of reach, even with superb stalking skills. The goats have found a tasty new patch of grass in a previously un-visited corner of their pasture. Later, when it got hot in the sun, Gibbs relaxed in the shade on the play structure. Bella spent the day on perimeter patrol and chasing the bunny across the yard. She also relaxed after a run, in the pool we put out for her with clean water. Earlier, she had flopped down in a mud puddle.
All in all, a good day. Even remembered the sunscreen.
Yesterday was goat maintenance day. Everybody feels better after this ritual, except the goats. The wooden contraption is a goat stand or stanchion. Its engineering is simple. Getting the goats into it is not. The theory is, the goat walks up the two steps, puts his head down to eat the goat treats in the box, and stands there eating while we close the rack that prevents him from backing his heat out. Then, while he’s standing there, busy eating, we brush him, trim his hooves, etc.
However…the goats know this routine. They don’t like wearing a collar and being led on a leash, so they scream bloody murder the whole time. In this case, Gibbs has figured out we cannot trim his nails if he lies down. And, even though he weighs about 80 pounds, he can make that 80 pounds feel like absolute dead weight if you try to lift him up.
So, we double-team the goat. I scratch under his chin while Brian trims the hooves. I try to feed him treats so he is quiet, and I have mixed success. It really depends on the goat. The brushing goes a little better, if you don’t mind de-clumping the brush every three strokes and spitting goat hairs off your tongue (that’s what those white clumps on the ground are.) Did I mention they’re shedding?? Ah, spring.
Dec. 4, 2016
Ah, yes. Winter. The first snowfall is always exciting, especially near Christmas. The “girls,” however, are dismayed with this cold white stuff covering the ground. They went out to free range, took a lap around the pine trees and went right back into the coop. Let the bickering begin…
But the best part of winter on the farm is coming in from the barn and being greeted by the smell of home made chicken & dumpling soup on the stove. The hubby’s a good cook!