Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Dude and his progeny

Chick #1
Chick #2
The Dude and his golden girls

Busy busy- fencing, eggs, cheese, canning

Good times going on around here.  Hard times too.  I hate to admit but funds are low right now so getting another goat is going to have to wait.  Luckily ours is going to reproduce in the spring so with any luck we'll have a doeling (or two) out of her and we can build our herd a little more slowly but at a pace that fits our budget a bit better.  My sister (as in the best sister in the whole wide world)  has so kindly ordered the meds for Kissee to get prepared for breeding for me so we are almost ready.

The goats have been escaping a lot so we cleared all the weeds from the fence line and ran many tests on the fence and charger before we finally opened the back of the charger and there is a significant black smoky mark on the circuit board.  Needless to say the charger is dead.  So today we got our gloves on and installed a section of "real" fencing that was left by the prior owner of this house.  There are a lot of sections of used fence too so we will be busy tomorrow installing the next piece we can find that might be long enough to cover our shared fence line with our neighbor.  I'm especially concerned that they might get the idea to go that way being as our neighbor grows a very large market garden with lots of goat temptations.    Its a fairly temporary solution, but like I said, funds are low so we make do with what's on hand.

The garden is really growing all the fall/winter veggies pretty well.  I planted a section with a trio of radishes, beets and carrots....idea being the radishes harvest first, then the beets and the carrots being the slowest.  So far the radishes are about half way there.  I also have planted turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi, spinach, lettuce, bunching onions and snow peas.  I don't know if we even like turnips or rutabaga but  we figured the goats and chickens will enjoy them if we don't.

The pullets from April's chick order are starting to lay.  At least 4 of the 5 Buffs started laying right after they turned 20 weeks.  The Americaunas started laying last week at 22 weeks old.  Still waiting on the Andulusians to lay. The duck started laying too, everyday without fail so far.    Two of our hens went broody ( I think I mentioned it but maybe I didn't) and the first one hatched 2 of 3 eggs and the babies are so cute!  The second broody hen has about 6 eggs under her, 5 chicken and 1 duck.  I slipped the duck in there hoping to win the lottery and get another female duck....and to see if the Cayuga drake was hitting his mark.    When I candled her eggs the other day the duck egg appears to be developing.  I'm not sure yet what I'll do if the hen gives up early and the duck egg doesn't hatch.  I don't think its going to be a big deal but when the time comes I'll be watching the hen.

I canned some carrots I got on sale a couple weeks ago, they turned out great!  Why didn't I do that sooner? Tonight its tomato puree.  Tomorrow its roasted peppers and I'm to can some chicken noodle soup and chicken and rice soup as well as just canned chicken and broth.  We are butchering the turkeys next weekend so I really need the freezer space for them now. 

Also tomorrow I need to get crackin on making some cheese.  Our milk inventory is a little high so I think some Queso Fresco is in order.  My husband wants more kefir and our son just adores yogurt.  I think that will use up what we have on hand.  I really want some cottage cheese sometime this week so that will be next up.  I picked up some cream at the store so goat ice cream is on the menu soon too.....see why I'd like another goat?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Updates and my evening routine (in pictures)

The two black hens in the back are the broody ladies
This has been an eventful day/week/month in the world of chickens.  I lost a black hen today, found her in the bushes dead.  She looked like she just fell asleep and didn't wake up.  She's one of the original bunch that were a gift from a friend so I'm sad to have her gone.  That leaves 6 hens, 2 of which have decided to go broody.  One of the broody girls has made it 16 days so by next weekend I think we may have chicks!  My other broody girl just went to the nest today so I plan to slip her a duck egg and see if she'll hatch it out too. 
buff orphs to the rescue!

Luckily my young buff orphington pullets are starting to lay and as of now I have 4 of them laying eggs, albeit tiny and infrequently, but they really are making a difference with 2 hens down and 1 gone.  My pekin duck (as mentioned above) is laying eggs daily and I couldn't be happier to see it.  I don't really want more ducks but I do want to see if either of our drakes are doing their "job" so that's why I'm going to see if the broody will hatch one out for me.  Both my husband and son like duck meat so a few ducks each year probably wouldn't be too bad.  I think 7 for us was too many though.

I recieved a gift from a friend of some old cast iron pans in need of repair, they had heard I was trying to make the switch from my old toxic non-stick pans.  I now have them up and running with a fresh seasoning and they are better at being non-stick than my old non-stick pans were already.  I couldn't be happier with their turn out.  I made pancakes with them using both this morning, unfortunately the smaller lodge pan started sticking so it went back in the oven today for a new coat of oil for seasoning.  Hopefully this time I'll have a better outcome.

before milking (not her fullest udder)
after milking

Kissee is going back to the breeder next month to be bred.  I'm going to go with the breeder's recommendation for bucks to see what offspring we end up with.  I know wishing doesn't get one anywhere but I'm really hoping she throws both a buckling and doeling so we can have some goat meat for the freezer.  I've only had goat once and I liked it but I don't know if I actually tasted the meat being as it was a highly seasoned satay. 

I was at the fertility doc this morning, got all my scripts to get the meds so here we go again.  My first official month of trying will be October.  I'm not going to post the play by play, but hopefully it will result in some eventual good news.