Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Been Rough

There are times that I just want to throw up my hands and quit. This spring has been one of those times. I'm exhausted and things just continue to go wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, my dear husband stayed late at work in Florida to pick up my new buckling and milker for me. That saved me a very long round trip. Long story short, the buckling ended up with pneumonia and the doe with mastitis.

I had my annual beach vacation planned so I left both of them at Auburn to get treated and ended up having them both put down. I just got home on Saturday and noticed that now my Alpine is coughing a bit. It's nothing bad, but I'm not taking any chances so I started her on antibiotics.

That means at the very least,  I'm down a gallon of milk a day for a couple weeks. I have found another buckling, but I need to make the trip to get him. I still don't know how much my vet bills are going to be.

While I was gone, the rabbits ate the cucumbers, the deer ate my apple trees, and something ate my son's silkie, Cloud.

Top it all off with two family friends dying. That shed light on what is really important in life, but made this month all the harder. Oh, and I had a birthday. Yay.

I'll update y'all when I'm feeling a bit less down.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bye Bye Bees and Bucklings

My friends came last night and hauled the bees off. There are a couple stragglers up by the window, but I think they got most of them. What a relief. I hope this turns out to be a good hive for them.

The bucklings went to the livestock auction last night. It's sad, but I was tired of pouring $10 worth of milk into them everyday.

The black kids on the right and left are two of the ones who left. The three goats in the middle are Lulu, Deuce (who I may call Vee because of the "V" on his forehead), and Opal. They are all staying, as is Dagny, the goat in front in the picture below. Her brother went to the sale.

Scilla and Kat are calling for their boys today. I think that's the hardest part. I hope they are well cared for at their new homes, even if it's only until they go to freezer camp or the grill. This is a sad reality when it comes to dairy goats- you just don't need the boys.

So we are done making changes to the herd for the year. I have 6 milkers, 2 bucks, and 4 dry does/doelings. I will evaluate who stays and who goes next spring. We sure are enjoying the milk.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Midland Farmers Market

Come on out and see us at the new Midland Farmers Market on Saturday from 9-noon at Midland Methodist Church. I'm bringing baby goats for everyone's enjoyment! I will also have goodies from my dairy goats and garden, tortillas, spice rub, soap, and more.

The Lodge across the street is also having a BBQ fundraiser from 11-3, so come make a morning of it and support our little community.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Will I ever get the garden in?" and Other Things Keeping Me Busy

My new goats finally got here from Florida on Friday. My sweet husband was working in Live Oak that week and met the breeder there to save me the trip. I am such a goat addict, I couldn't resist this cute little yearling.

This is Maddy:

Deuce, my new buckling:

And Star, who is more horse than goat:
I am a bit worried about her. She is not eating well for me. She will eat hay all day, but just nibbles her grain on the stand. She's only giving a bit more than a half gallon a day. I ran a CMT on her and got some gelling. She had a low somatic cell count on her April milk test and milked about 10 pounds! 

In case there is a subclinical infection, I added a third milking in for her yesterday and rubbed her udder down each time with herbal salve and essential oils. 

My new cheese press finally came. Thank you USPS for the crunched box and the 20 day shipping time from NJ. 

My garden is starting to grow but I can't seem to get it all planted! I still have beans, sweet potatoes, and okra to get in. I can't believe the beets and carrots germinated after 30 days. It's really limiting my space. My goal is to get at least one row of beans in today. 

As many of my long-time readers know, my beehives collapsed last year. While I was getting ready for market yesterday, I noticed bee activity out my kitchen window and went to investigate. 

Sure enough, bees were moving into the house at the corner of the bay window! Oh no! I have a hard time killing honeybees, but I cannot have a hive in my kitchen wall.

On my way home from market last night, I called up a beekeeper friend of mine. He and his family came out to inspect. He thought it looked like there were just starting to move into the spot and set up a nuc on the roof of the bay window. We had to lower it down from the bathroom window above, but that's another story. 

With a little luck, the bees will decide that the nuc box is a much nicer location and abandon my wall. He will get a new hive out of the deal. Maybe he'll give me a jar of honey. Cross your fingers!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Another Market, More Goats, and DHI Results

My next door neighbor let me know about a new farmers' market being held by the Methodist Church just down the street from my home. It is from 9-noon on Saturdays and just started last Saturday.

I've made lots of goodies and I will still head down the the other market in the afternoon. 

Star and Deuce are coming home today! It worked out that hubby was working in Live Oak, FL this week and will be able to meet the breeder to get them. It saved me an 8 hour round trip! Star and Deuce will actually be joined by a third goat (her name is Monochrome but I think I'll call her Maddy). I promise I'm not too bad a goat addict; I did manage to sell 2 does this year.

I got the results of my DHI testing. I'm glad I did it, it's really interesting to know all this information. My somatic cell counts were well within the "safe" limits. As a herd, I averaged 28% of that limit. I am pleased with that.

Alice took the creamy prize with 4.7% butterfat and 3.4% protein. Trixie took the protein prize with 3.9% protein and 3.6% butterfat. As a herd, they averaged 3.6% fat and 3.1% protein. It would be higher but for Scilla (my Alpine). She makes a lot of milk, but only 2.6% protein, 1.9% butterfat. Pretty typical for Swiss breeds and why I am focusing on Lamanchas. Scilla is just too pretty and sweet to sell.

I've been making a lot of cheese and am excited to have more milk when Star gets here. Kat's production is also picking up slowly. She's 2 weeks fresh now. I saw one of these on Facebook. Hubby is going to make me one.