Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Catch Up Day

Today is a catch up day! I've had 3 days of working hard to get pre-winter work done as we are predicted to have snow on Friday and rain Wednesday thru Saturday. Soon things will be frozen down and I won't be able to make things easier to tend to over the long winter. Our homestead may only be 11+ acres, but I still have to have things ready to care for the livestock appropriately.

Being I was able to trade the 6 does for the 5 heavy duty farm gates I have them set for corral panels and was able to use the whole chain link dog kennel for the bucks in their new location. That made it so their area is about 4 times as large as I had hoped for for the winter. So they are now in their new quarters just outside of the barn right next to the does which is where they want to be. They really want to be with those cute junior does who are coming in heat and a bit too young to be bred. They feel they need to keep tabs on them and socialize full time! I guess even if you're a goat you still crave attention from the girls and especially the "really hot and cute" girls!

I also was able to release the 8 new chickens into the new goat pen also. I'm hoping the goats will afford them some protection from predators. They do get along well so it's definitely worth trying. The hens will help clean up spilled grain the goats waste too. I had 3 of the young new hens who were doing quite a happy dance over the release from the big cage they were in. They were hopping in the air while spinning around and fluffing their feathers and flapping their wings.

One thing about farm work is there is a LOT of cause and effect. Everything something is achieved, it causes the need for more work! Now I need to cover the pen to keep the owls and hawks from getting to my hens. With the price of hens these days ($10-15 each for young hens around here) any loss is expensive. I have more to do where the pen was as there are some pallets that need taken care of that the goats jumped around on and the wasted hay to be put in the new raised garden beds I've started. There is still a gate to be mounted as a gate and some other tidying up and shoring up where I put the gates in for corral panels. Cause and effect!

So tomorrow while I take hubby for his medical appointments (which takes 2 days a week and daily bandaging and care) I will spend a few minutes reviewing my list of pre-winter preparations and get to scratch some things off while adding on more! The medical trips take all day as it's 1 1/2 hours' drive each way to the big city. We live in a small rural area so everything we do is a drive.

Tomorrow I'll have a shorter/easier chore to do as my mare has finally got her stock tank down low enough in water I'll be able to tip it and clean it out. I'll then move it back to it's winter spot where my electric cord can reach for the stock tank heater to keep her some open water. That spot is great for winter but not the rest of the year as it's by a walnut tree and few others and gets too many leaves in it. The walnut leaves cause the water to turn black and nasty and I worry about the tannins being toxic being walnut shavings are highly toxic to horses. I'll have to fill it of course and that can be in progress while I tend the goats and chickens and milk. If there's time I have 3 fence posts to drive. I got them pulled up today. Of course it's not as simple as just driving the posts! They have to be securely attached to what they are supporting and it always seems that there are other things that crop up making something so simple sounding a longer process than expected. Dinner will have to be something that I do the majority of the work on early in the day or in a crockpot so it's quick and easy. Maybe pizza melts!

We've had another blessing this week that is beyond thoughtful! A neighbor showed up with a trailer load of fire wood all cut and split for us. It's mostly odd shaped or sized pieces that don't stack well so end up in a pile. They had been throwing them on the trailer not sure what they were going to do with them. Then another neighbor had stopped by their place and commented he was going to be coming over to help us with wood in January. We have some left over from last year but I've been a bit concerned over having enough. I never use to worry about the fire wood as hubby took care of it. Now he can't and I'm responsible for something I'd not had to be overly involved in. I only toted some in the house and burned a lot of it in the past being it was one of hubby's responsibilities. At least we now have ample so I don't have to worry about enough to get through to mid-winter for help cutting and hauling it from the woods. We have a couple of wonderful neighbors! It's so hard to tell someone how much their kindness means to us!

I'm not sure if I'll have time to post tomorrow. I wish you all a very special Thanksgiving Day with your family, friends and special folks! We'll go to my BIL's/SIL's for the day and I'm looking forward to a day to relax! We'll still need to be home by 4:30 or 5 as I will still need to milk the does. Livestock chores are done here even on a holiday. The animals have needs that I chose to be responsible for and will tend too. I'll have everything done that I can prior to leaving so it will be easier and faster when I get home. We'll still have a special time with special people!

Enjoy your dinner and time! I'll be back in a few days!

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