Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Button's Baby Blessing

We have a thing for alliteration here if you haven't noticed.

Actually, since last week, we have lots to report. Mostly good.

Starting with the bad... Homesteading Hubby got laid off last week. Its not terribly surprising given the financial state of many municipalities. Working in engineering where your work is based on cities have tax revenue to spend on improvements can be a sketchy thing. Since then he's been pounding the pavement. He's worked longer hours this whole last week than he ever did at is 8-5 job. I'm really proud of him for not sitting in a stupor from the sting of it all. We don't expect him to be out of work long. We have a very Might God who is his ultimate Employer. We expect a promotion... and that's what is looking very likely. More about that in the weeks to come.

Thankfully, Angel, the dog, is doing very well. The only thing we were told was to keep her dry. We moved her big kennel into the garage for now. She certainly isnt slowing at all. She runs free most of the day now, but lately has picked up some bad habits which I'll need to spend some time to correct. Until then, she gets locked up when my attention is going to be diverted too much.

I decided to dry off Noel already. Her milk supply plummeted quickly. I think she's pregnant again. I've also noticed that she can't handle grain like the other goats can. She started to scour the other day so I tethered her to a bushy green area and clipped some more branches. She was very happy for the fiber. I can't keep her in milk and growing a baby on the calories supplied through the greenery in our pasture right now. She's not as into hay as other goats are either. She seems to prefer the fresh greens. So... I'd like to wait a couple more months, make sure she really is pregnant, than try to trade her for another lamancha or maybe a mini nubian. We'll have to see what comes.

Yesterday morning, Farmer Hub was milking for me and Farmer girl started her normal babble about Button (the sheep) and her baby. He thought little of it as we didn't know when to expect Button to give birth. But after her being rather adamant and then saying Button's BLACK baby, he turned to look, and sure enough, a little charcoal gray lamb was standing beside Button! No birthing problems at all! We didn't even hear her! The lamb is a ewe to top off the blessing. We're now working to make sure she doesn't get skiddish. I'm trying to feed her a bottle every day. She's got little interest in it now. Hopefully that will change. We also are still thinking of names.

In the garden, I transplanted lots of greens into the square foot bed. I know you're supposed to seed, but I think I still like transplanting better. I took down the ugly orange fencing because I think it was blocking the sun too much. That has given Angel entrance now... which means I've lost a few transplants. I also have most of our cucurbits planted. I have a lot of work to do outside still. Thankfully my hip is holding up well now. I'm plugging away. Its just a very busy time for me right now.

And on that note, please forgive the general updates concerning every topic on the 'stead. It doesn't make for easy searching of specific information. One day I'll get back to normal... I think.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

General Update

Ok... maybe not general but at least a lieutenant worthy of salute.

Its been slow going here at the homestead. While spring is marching in fast trying to catch up from a month of lost time, I, on the other hand, am as hindered as I was this fall fresh from childbirth. Last Sunday night I went to bed fine and when I woke up, I couldn't walk. Its been up and down from there- my left hip just being out of whack. Been to see the chiropractor yesterday where she chastised me for coming so late. Live and learn. I'm young... sorta... I expect to just heal. And I don't think that's a bad expectation to have.

Anyway, sprouts are outside and enjoying it. Got 6 zucchini plants transplanted and only 1 looks worse for the wear. I'll need to re-seed some watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumber seeds. I had tried to seed them in egg cartons- and egg hole per seed. Got very poor results. Again, live and learn. I'm going to direct seed once we hit the waxing moon and pray for the best.

Button is doing well. While she's still not letting me close to touching her. She comes just close enough to allow her room to bolt. That's a huge improvement. One huge lesson learned is to not buy any more animals from large herds. In our arrangement we need animals who are at least moderately comfortable with human interaction. Button also has learned that Angel, the dog, just wants to play. Button continues to sit and calmly stare into the distance when Angel comes bounding up wanting to herd.

Angel is right now at the humane society getting spayed. I have no idea how I'm going to keep this hyper BIG puppy calm while she's healing. Poor girl will go out of her gourd kept in the kennel, but I certainly can't run fast enough to give her exercise... even with 2 good hips.

Our post-molt birds are really producing! This is GREAT! Out of 4 birds we're getting 3-4 eggs each day. One sad bit of news is that I noticed a bird acting strange a couple weeks ago. Others were pecking her so I pulled her from the pen where she continued to sit and not run from me. I could tell she was sick. I jumped online and guessed it may be botulism. I administered Epsom salt water to her and as I was doing so, I noticed a huge bulge near her rectum. Then I remembered egg binding. Again, the internet to the rescue. Sure enough, her symptoms were exactly what they were describing. I did as I was told. I greased up her rectum and tried to massage out the egg. It seemed to have turned sideways but I was able to work out the egg. When it was over I took my hands off her... and she didn't move. I nudged her. Nothing. I set her in the sun and started trying to find out if birds will pass out from pain. No one knew. Evening was coming fast and I didn't want to feed a coon, but I also didn't want to bag a live bird. But by the time we really needed to know, she was stiff as a board. Too bad. I'm 0 for 2 on my midwifery skills.

We got our redneck pallet wood garden fence down and partially replaced it with standard 28" fencing. We're still being cheep though. We're discovering all the uses for electrical conduit. We have standard posts in the corner and we'll use 1 piece of conduit (about $2) to make 3 posts. Should work well and save a bundle even with spacing them closer than we would space normal posts. Wouldn't recommend it for animals but for unruly squash vines and hungry gopher tortoises, I think it will hold up fine.

Looking forward to next week when the moon will be phasing right and the weather should be good. Just praying my back will be back in action as well. If not, farmer girl's going to have a lot of work to do!