Welcome to MY ADVENTURE OF DAILY LIFE. I have long since wanted and been encouraged to document the plethora of items I work on, learn, and in general tinker with. I travel and experience new things far and wide and love to share what I gain from them. Here I am sharing with you not just the amazing but the every day as well. They may not fall under the category of "daring adventure" but I am usually having a blast doing them. Enjoy!
It's baby chick time!
My husband surprised me last week with a drop by at work. It's always nice to see him but he also had a surprise in the back seat. Peeps! He picked up 24 Cornish crosses and 4 Silver Laced Wyandots. Now we have them at home in the living room in a special "coffee table" that is equipped with heat lamps, feeders, and water.
This year we have decided to start sharing our good home grown food with our neighbors and will offer extra meat chickens, pigs, and anything we grow in the garden for sale. We have been hearing a lot of success stories in surrounding areas of people offering good humane and clean food.
We can do that too!
So here we are with baby chicks in the living room, starting our working farm.
The day has finally come! We found a Jersey calf for a really good price and within reasonable driving distance to go pick her up. We are probably looking at three years before we actually get some milk but that is fine with us!
The Chinese proverb says "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. Second best time is now". That's how we feel with Heidi. We don't need milk right this minute but every season that passes us by just delays us for when we do want to have our own milk and butter. So here we are with this dear sweet baby that has the softest brown eyes and longest eyelashes I've ever seen.
My husband went out and picked her up while I was at work. Poor thing looked skinny when she got home and we have been doing our best to plump her up. Mr Brawny says that the guy we bought her from was likely just in it for the money. So unfortunately we just helped perpetuate a puppy mill for cows but this was our first time hunting down a calf in this area. Hopefully our last!
Her second day with us, I noticed she had a lot of mucus discharge from her nose. I called our friend who has a lot of cows and she said that she might have something called "Shipping Fever". It happens from the stress of the move and if they were undernourished to begin with. She recommended adding Apple Cider Vinegar before we pulled out the big guns and started with anti-biotics. I was sure to use the good stuff: Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. This acts as a probiotic to amp up her immune system. Sure enough, by the next day she was already looking better. Still had some, but it was clear instead of white. We also moved her from outside with the goats, into the garage while the temperatures are really low. We just can't take the chance of her getting too sick now that we have our little darling!
It took her a bit to let us touch her. I was taking the slow method of talking to her and extending my hand to calm her and let her sniff. My husband was the first one to touch her though, but he cheated. He just went into the pen and grabbed her, started loving on her, scratching her ears and under her jaw line. Now she won't leave any of us alone!
We are very excited to have our little girl and will be dreaming of raw milk and butter in a few years!
We have a new mama!
In an interesting turn of events, we will have pigs a little sooner than we thought this year. Our original plan was in April to go to our chosen breeder and pick up 5 piglets. 3 for our eventual consumption, 1 one for my sister, and one to sell to a local restaurant who touts being able to offer locally sourced meat.
Last Wednesday I got a text message from our breeder. As it turns out she had more sows get pregnant than what she had room for. She offered us one of the pregnant girls for almost half of what we would have paid for the piglets! Now there is a bit of a gamble. Either she might not have enough of them or she might have a lot more. We are hoping for more since they will just add to what we can offer our neighbors. She is expected to farrow in around 2 weeks.
My sister decided not to take one this year after all, but we have a neighbor that readily stepped up to take her place. Depending on how many we end up with, it would be wonderful to be able to offer this opportunity to more neighbors!
Yesterday we loaded the goat tote that we had borrowed from this same breeder and trucked off to pick up our new girl. She was from a small litter and they were all named after the Carter sisters. This particular lady is named Maybelle.
We had to build a new pen that was an offshoot of the goat pen. We were sure to install very thick boards and a solid latch to keep her contained if need be. Once she has babies, Mama will become very aggressive if something happens to them. When it comes time to fixing the male babies, we need to make sure she won't eat the vet, and these 2x6 boards will keep her contained. Also since our last bunch pretty much decimated the feeding and watering troughs, we bought her a new one. Add lots of hay in her shelter cave and she is one happy piggy!