Stories to tell…


It seems like whenever we have cool stuff to write about, there’s not actually any time to write it. And when we have time to write, that’s when things are slower around here and there’s not so much to say.

In case you’re wondering, we do still plan to tell you the story of Drama Queen’s labor and birth, hopefully before Aberdeen enters her labor (though by now it may be somewhat anti-climatic, it’s still a cool story, with emergency late-night phone calls and amazing feats of goat midwifery).

And we also have lots of stories about learning to milk a goat, and about a first-time freshener (never been milked before) learning how to be milked. There’s been a lot of ups and downs – the ups include the first morning she actually waited at the gate for us and ran of her own free will to the milking stanchion for her treat, and fresh-that-morning Drama milk in our daily coffee and chai; the downs include kicked-over buckets and spilled milk, and currently some digestive issues that seem to be lowering her milk production to just enough for her babies (with none left over for us).

Also there’s the stories of our little Shygirl hen going broody, which means she’s sitting on a clutch of eggs, most of them not even hers (once she went broody, the other hens started laying their eggs under her). As Peter mentioned in his previous post, she now has her very own broody box where the other hens can’t reach her, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for some baby chicks in about 1 1/2 weeks. Meanwhile, the other 2 hens were upset enough at the change in flock dynamics that they pretty much stopped laying in the nest boxes. Now that Shygirl is in her own space, one of them has started using the boxes again, but the other one still has her secret hidden nest out in the trees somewhere. (Anyone up for an egg hunt? I’m tired of looking, and tired of realizing yet again that my chicken is smarter than I am.)

And then there’s the stories of the babies and their diarrhea, which lead to lots of research that said diarrhea can KILL baby goats, which then lead to taking fecal samples from all three adult goats over to our friend/neighbor/savior’s house (author of the fabulous Goat Health Care) to borrow her microscope and learn how to do a fecal exam (most likely cause of diarrhea in goat kids – worms or other parasites passed on from the rest of the herd or their environment). The adults all tested fine – the babies are over their diarrhea and happy and healthy – probably they just had some digestive upset because they’d started eating solid foods like mom does. (But hoo boy! Looking at goat poo under a microscope is FUN! We’re already lusting after our own ‘scope, and planning fecal exams for all the animals. No really, we are. We don’t own a TV, you see…)

And probably not last, and certainly not least, there’s the story of our approximately 3,000 new animals we’ll be bringing home tomorrow. Yes, I said 3,000. Tomorrow is the day we drive to Eugene to pick up our package of honeybees. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks reading up on the art of beekeeping. The main part of our hive is set up and ready to go, and some of our fruit trees are already in bloom, awaiting our newest residents. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of stories to tell about getting them settled into their new home.

And then instead of 11 animals with anywhere from 2-10 more on the way, we’ll have 3,011 animals with anywhere from 2-10 still on the way.

And oh yeah, we’re way behind on our planting…

EDITED TO ADD: Oops, I thought I had read that 1 pound is equal to approximately 1,000 bees. Found out this morning when we picked up our 3 pound box that it actually contains about 10,000 bees. So we now have 10,000 more mouths to feed! Wish us luck, we’ll be hiving them soon…

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