Change happens

In the worming pen
In the worming pen

Oh my. What a day! It’s been a totally crazy weekend. Yesterday I basically spent the day on the road picking up and delivering the fresh pork for our customers as well as for ourselves. Our wonderful butcher is a little more than an hour away and yesterday my husband had also scheduled our new Subaru for replacement tires. (I know, it only has 3,000 miles on it, why the new tires? The tires that Subarus come with are actually very good ones, Yokohamas, but they are not great in ice, snow and really rainy conditions. So John wanted to put my favorite Michelins on while we could still sell the original tires). As a result, I didn’t get as early a start as I had planned on. By the time I made the rounds the afternoon was well on its way, and I still had to put our meat into our freezer (an athletic event, at the least!). So there went Saturday.

This morning was a big morning: worming time for the does and the ewes. I do not worm regularly unless they need it, although we try to do Famacha scoring as regularly as we can. But sometime in November when the ground is beginning to freeze and the cold weather is here, we worm everyone just to get rid of any nasties before the winter. I don’t worm them in their paddock area, I set up a pen outside the paddock and worm them in there on an empty stomach. Then I make them wait for breakfast. Not a happy bunch! After a few hours they get fed, but I keep them in the outside pen for as long as I can so they shed their wormy poops out of the paddock. I can’t always leave them out for the whole day, as I like to do, and today we had to go get hay, but they were out as long as we were home.

Worming was just the first of the strenuous activities, however. After strong-arming the does (they are definitely not happy about the nasty tasting stuff) and hustling the ewes I was tired enough. But I needed to get all my cattle panels wired together before the winter, so I did that, and then I got a third paddock gated so I could put Jingle the donkey and Beige Boy the buck into that one. Not a happy scene, I am afraid. Jingle was not pleased to be in that pen, and when the buck was introduced, she went crazy. That was just the beginning! I then put all the does in with Bagels the buck and Zorro the llama. Another crazy scene. By the time I finished chores, most of the inmates had settled down. I am concerned about the does being stressed with this move, as they have all been bred by hand in the last two weeks. Sometimes stress can cause them not to “settle” or not let the fetus implant. If so, hopefully they will come into heat and get bred again. Don’t want to make this too boring for Bagels!

Chèvre almost ready
Chèvre almost ready

One other activity that is keeping me busy every day is making chèvre. We gave most of SnowPea’s milk to the pigs while they were here. After they left, I went into high gear, starting a new batch every three days or so. I know that freezing is anathema to most cheese gurus, but I find the chèvre we freeze is quite good on the other end. So most of my batches go right into the freezer, and I use some of it right away (as well as share the goods with friends and family!). So that is what I am left with tonight, beside the laundry, packaging up the newest batch. And then I think early to bed is in order.


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