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The End of Summer

19 Aug

I’ve said it before:  the end of summer–from the first of August until the true start of fall– is my least favorite time of year.  It’s when the grass is getting eaten down and the risk of worms in the goats increase.

Margarita

There’s still green everywhere, and I still have to try to keep the yard mowed, and it’s also the busiest time for trying to put up the produce.

plums

This past week, I canned my first batch of roasted tomato sauce.  I still have several batches of sauce to do and some cold packed tomatoes also.

I’ve begun milking in earnest now, and I’m getting about six quarts of milk each day, so I’m working hard to make sure it all gets processed into yummy foods.

draining feta cheese

I’m also working on getting enough frozen for next year’s kids.

Anubus

It’s very easily the busiest time of year for me on the farm (with the exception of the crazy week of spring break babies), and I enjoy so many of the things going on (except the worms).  Then, in the middle of it all, I have to go back to teaching.

I’m not ready.  I’m never ready to leave everyone and go back to a full-time off-farm job, but after twenty-five years of teaching, it gets harder and harder.  As the herd grows older, it seems like I’m constantly evaluating who I can’t leave home all day, and do I need to have someone euthanized because of their risk of falling and getting stuck down.  I don’t have anyone at that point this year (thankful for that).

Vixen

I’m trying to figure out how I will get everyone their supplemental feeding when I’m going to be gone all day because I’m still building Aurora up and giving extra care to some of the goats struggling with the lack of copper.

Aurora

There’s so much to be done, and it’s hard enough to get it accomplished when I’m here all day.

And my dog and I are going to have a hard time being separated from each other for the whole day.  He’s been glued to my side (or sitting by the gate) the entire summer.

Sky

If my posts become shorter, you’ll know it’s because I’m frantically trying to get everything done and I’m back to work too, wishing I were home.

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Annie’s Luck

16 Aug

Yesterday when I was doing chores, I went to put more minerals in the pans in the greenhouse and was really surprised to see Annie was in there instead of out in pasture with everyone else.  She looked horribly dumpy and acted really out of it.  She did take off when I checked her eyes.  I followed her into the barnyard, and as she went away from me I noticed she had blood on her back side.  When I got closer and caught her, I saw her vulva was mangled.

I shut her in the Love Shack and called the vet.  After our conversation and getting a bit closer look (so hard to see with a black goat), she also had a couple of wounds on her leg and one on her udder.  It was apparently a coyote attack.

I called my nephew to come hold her while I gave her shots (tetanus, pain killer and antibiotics), and I was shocked to hear a lone coyote just north of my barnyard, yipping with no response.  I would guess this is the one that attacked–in the middle of the afternoon–in the couple of hours she had been out to pasture with the herd before they came back because of sprinkles.

Annie

I don’t know what to do.  We’ve ordered materials to put a fence up to keep them away from the woodlot.  But this coyote was right by the barnyard.  I have five llamas on the farm, but they seem to be rather fat and lazy.

Maybeline

I’m just grateful her injuries aren’t worse.  I will keep her shut in a few days to recover and watch for infections.  My nephew, bless his heart, is coming to help hold her again (I might be repaying his kindness with feta).  Now Caroline just wants to know why she is getting shut in with her mother.

Caroline keeping Annie company

I thought Annie would feel better having her daughter with her.

Up a Tree

15 Aug

You might remember that when I first moved the girls to the front pasture, I had some issues with goats climbing the fallen tree and ending up on the wrong side.  Daisy kind of took that to the extreme.  Long after everyone else figured out how to stay in, she was still getting out and making me come open the gate for her.

Daisy in the tree; Penny by the fence

I swear every time I go out in pasture she’s up a tree.

Seriously.

(Moose and Maisie below)

She is also the one who was “accidentally” climbing the cattle panels to get into the buffer strip along the bean field.

She is a stinker.  Luckily, she seems to have quit that (for now).