I am sorry to have been so long without posting. Cardiac rehab is still dominating my schedule, but I feel like I have a little more breathing room now. And the summer weather has continued to shine on us even into October! We are very dry here, but we have hopes of some rain coming in early this week. This evening is a misty one, and it’s looking good for some precipitation.
There is a lot to take care of on the farm at this time of year. I am looking forward to breeding season, which will happen here after I get back from the New York Sheep and Wool show around the third week of October. (I can’t wait!) But, in the meantime we are making sure that the does are on a steady and slowly rising plane of nutrition. Have to get them in shape for their amorous interlude with our stud, Reddog!
It’s a difficult thing for me to balance, this nutrition rise. At this point I have cut back to a once a day milking routine, which means that the milking mamas are getting less grain, so they don’t make as much milk. And since they are still in milk, they need their calories for that as well as for the energy to get into their breeding cycles. Sometimes I dry them off before breeding, but this year it’s been so mild I think I will milk them well into November, or even into December, depending on the weather. We decided to put a second cut round bale in with the breeding girls today, so they have that extra nutrition without the extra grain. I am hoping that this will be a good plan.
And so it goes. I will get their Selenium shots to them before I leave for Rhinebeck (as well as their annual Rabies vaccines), and then we shall see what happens. We have chosen 5 girls to breed this year. Another full house can be expected in the spring!
To finally have found a vet that would come and give all our ruminants rabies shots without breaking the bank. I have lost sleep worrying about a rabid animal getting into our pens and infecting our girls, which would mean all of the sheep and goats, the llama and the donkey would probably end up being put down. Not a scenario I want to have played out here. Being as wooded as we are, I know there is plenty of nighttime activity all around us. So far we have not seen skunks or raccoons out during the day, but on occasion we see foxes, and there was a very dramatic case down in Portland recently where a rabid fox actually jumped through the open window of a man's truck cab and bit him up, in the parking lot of a big box store one morning.
After a few false starts, we met up today and all of the adult goats and sheep are taken care of. Phew! The donkey needed more than just the rabies, so we are going to catch up in two weeks to take care of one more shot. The vet is fairly new in the area and luckily is open to working with more than just horses. Big sigh of relief!
To round out the fun, our friend Chris came up from Brunswick for a spinning day. She even brought lunch with her! (I was actually supposed to go down to her place for the day, but my car is out of commission at the moment). We got some spinning done and had a little show and tell with our fiber projects (as well as a look at her new spinning wheel acquisition, an old Norwegian), ate a delicious meal of goat curry, and just generally enjoyed the time. It was a nice way to relax after the morning's work. And as a bonus, the weather continues to be clear and beautiful.