14 March 2016

Whole lot of busy

Today is one of those days I realize just how many different things I have going on here.  I've been working with Chocolate on the milking idea, and as long as she has Goat Chow in the feeder, she could not care less.  The instant she's done inhaling her Chow though, she tries to get away.  Hubby has been holding her for my to milk, except this morning he is up in Jacksonville because his brother just got back from a rotation to Korea.  I tried to get Lynn out here to hold her, but business is picking up fast at the commercial nursery she owns/runs so no dice there.  As a result, I only got about two ounces this morning, whereas I got over six ounces yesterday morning, and the difference is someone holding her.  A milking stand is en route here from Pennsylvania, but FedEx tracking says it won't be here until Wednesday.

Also in transit are: a meat grinder, patty mold, and bell hog scraper to get the hair off the pigs' skins after slaughter; hoof trimmers, hoof knife, goat halter, and a lamb/kid bottle in case I need that for my next goat; and two cheese making kits plus another cheese making book so next year when I have three in milk, I will be able to make cheese from the excess.  One Nigerian Dwarf doe can give up to a quart a day even with kids on her, depending on how good a milking bloodline she's from.  That is enough for hubby and me, but Cocoa will grow up, as will the registered doeling I am on the hunt for, so for a couple years I will be having three kidding and milking, so cheese making has been on my to-learn list for a couple years.

The guineas are finally acting like proper guineas: they are flying or hopping out of the enclosure and moving off in a gaggle to hunt for bugs.  May they find every tick nest not just on our property, but the neighboring properties as well!  I find it amusing they just started doing this the day after Craig, Marty, and me were discussing how to cook guinea.

On the chicken front, more hens are getting into the spring mood and starting to camp out on eggs or golf balls ... including one of the Big Butt Girls, the black phase BLR Wyandottes I got from Luanne.  Luanne has now had a grand total of two Wyandotte hens go broody on her over the years (one last year, just to prove her wrong when she told me they don't go broody) so having one out of only three in the back of the tractor all fluffed up and growling was a surprise.  Kids and critters will make a liar out of you every time.  Having another Silkie go broody wasn't much of a surprise, but having it be one of the black dragons still tending Silkie chicks was.  Let the daily battle over marked versus unmarked eggs begin.

Hammy and Pork Chop continue to grow and eat like pigs should.  I have decided not to keep either one, and instead go hunting for a pair or trio of full blooded Pot Belly pigs for my pork project.  Hammy will go first, as he is the smaller one and not putting on fat to the extent Pork Chop is.  Pork Chop has the fat jowls and wrinkles around the shoulders that Potbellies are known for, so I am curious to see just how big and fat he'll get.  I even had to buy the second bag of pig food for those two last week, making my total investment still less than $35 for pigs plus feed.

I was going to including planting notes and greenhouse update, but wow this has gotten quite long with only part of the critter update.  Oh, no pics this morning, as I set my camera down somewhere and don't recall where.

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