It’s been a long week. A tough week. Still not feeling on top of the lingering chest cold and then of course everything changes so quickly when it’s breeding and butcher season. Kyra’s Boy’s departure left a big gap as he was always our meeter and greeter at the house, and then to top it off with a group of lambs and goats that needed loading to get out to the butcher (never something I look forward to as we have to catch them, and then hoist them into the back of the truck), it was a stressful one as well. Especially since I wrestled with and made a very tough decision about one of my original milking does, Sock Monkey, and sent her to the butcher with the two little guys. Life in the fast farm lane. I guess some people can make those decisions and not let it bother them, but it’s tough for me. Necessary decisions since this is much of the food we put on the table, but tough nonetheless. Although I really think I would rather it be this way. It wouldn’t give me such a hard time if I didn’t care so much for all of our animals, and that’s a good place to be, I think. We really do give each other life and enjoy our time together in the process.
Ah well, the weekend is here and full of promise… it’s not raining! And I can hardly wait to see the grandbabies all dressed up for Halloween :*)
Aside from having been really sick with this blasted chest cold, today turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the leaves are looking gorgeous, and it was so warm that I traded my turtleneck and my vest for a t-shirt. We decided that it was time to harvest all of our root vegetables, which did beautifully. We have been eating some of our beets in the last month, but today we harvested 5.5 lbs. of golden beets, 13.75 lbs of red beets, 6 lbs. carrots, and we didn’t have time to pull the leeks. And even though we have eaten at least 10 lbs. of our Kennebec potatoes,
we still harvested another 23.5 lbs. today. Beautiful! We are very lucky that the blight didn’t hit us here. So we took the opportunity to roast up some golden and red beets, onions and garlic.
It was totally delicious.
And on another front, we finally made the decision to put Kyra’s Boy down. Our dear ram just kept regenerating infection around his knee; it leaked, we dealt with it, he got better, and it started all over again. He’s been living in his own pen for so long, it began to feel like the norm for us. I really didn’t dare let him back in with the rambunctious boys as he might have leaked infectious stuff all over the place, so he remained all by his lonesome. There weren’t many choices to be had, so a friend of ours came and put him down and took him to another friend who will use his carcass. I got as much fleece off him as I could, which I will use and remember him by. He had a good life here, and that’s about all we can ask of our animal friends. He made a lot of great market lambs for a few years there, so he didn’t owe us anything. Good bye Kyra’s Boy. We are all going to miss you.
We finally were able to get the field breeding group coated yesterday! Yay! Now we can get our little Hamish in there with them in the hopes that the breeding will go smoothly and quickly. The girls and Jingle the donkey have been busy eating the last of the grass down there, and will probably be there until Thanksgiving if the weather holds.
Norma is on the right giving me the eye, and HoneyBea is on the left. No one gave us too hard a time, even though we only had an extra flexnet holding them in a small group. Getting the coats on them usually needs a nice solid corner so we can get those back legs into those straps!
And I guess that Fuzzy Lumpkin was happy with her coat: She gave Chloe an opportunity to get a little air kiss!
Elvis the buck is smelling so odiferous that you know he’s there long before you even catch sight of him (a sure sign of the onset of breeding time) and
Mr. Big the ram is constantly peering pensively over the fence. It won’t be long now… we have the ewes at the starting gate, but haven’t had time to trim their hooves and get their coats on them. 5 are going to be joining Mr. Big up in one of the paddocks at the house, and 5 are down in the field waiting for Hamish, one of our ram lambs. And poor Elvis is going to have to wait until Mr. Big and his group have had their first 16-day fling so that he may meet his does for their breeding rendezvous!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!