A quiet week on the homestead

Its been a relatively uneventful week here on the homestead. We had a mild spell with the sun shining bright and snow melting enough that it was actually worthwhile to put the goats out to pasture for a bit. The chickens loved it and barged out of their run and down the trail the moment I opened the door to feed them. Such a simple pleasure to watch a gunch of fluffy butts scratching and pecking at the ground!

I used the opportunity of good weather and empty barn and pens to do some cleaning in there. I got the coop cleaned out, roosts scraped and fresh shavings on the floor and in the nesting boxes. I’m trying out deep litter in the goat stall, so I just “fluffed” that and added some fresh shavings over the straw. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the deep litter method for the goats. It seems to be most efficient for us when I alternate hay/straw and shavings. A couple of my bantam hens got in there and had already done a major part of the fluffing and turning for me. Have I mentioned how much I love chickens yet? 😊

I also used the warmer weather as an opportunity to trim the goats hooves again and oh my! It had only been about 2 to 3 weeks since the last trimming and they had already grown significantly! I will be needing to keep a close eye on them over the winter months it seems. The frequent standing around in the wet snow must accelerate growth, which makes sense considering our nails grow faster when they are often in water too. Its good practice for them and meΒ  anyway and the wetness does make for an easier job trimming so thats a bright side to it.

After the warm spell we naturally got a snowstorm which has been going on since the evening before last. It’s so pretty out today! All the trees are draped in a heavy blanket of sticky snow and the flakes that are still coming down are huge and dancy. The less-pretty side is me pushing and shoving and pulling to try to get doors and gates open, but that’s just part of this life. Once the snow stops coming down I’ll scrape the snow down around all the doors/gates and they’ll be fine. I’m just happy its not ice!

Indoors, life has been calm, or at least as calm as can be with a toddler at play. I’ve been working on finishing up crochet projects that will be given as gifts next week for Christmas. I finished off 2 hats and a scarf and am still working on a blanket, another hat and a unicorn and missing a pompom to finish another hat. Hats are one of the only things I can crochet relatively quickly right now and I did not want to venture into uncharted territory so close to Christmas or I would have tried to make some mittens. Apart from the crocheting, I’m also baking several freezable breads and energy bites and other goodies for a gift basket I am giving my dad. I am running out of time however as tomorrow will be a busy day between errands, a few hours at work and getting last minute things in order before my husbands parents arrive Thursday morning from Belgium. This will be their first “real” Christmas in Canada and their first Christmas with us since kiddo was born. Kiddo, who I might add, is super excited! She is so determined that she will not be shy with her Bompie ( he is very tall and has a deep voice, a combination that always takes time for her to get used to) and her plans are to “dump out all my little guys on the floor for Granny and Bompie” πŸ˜‚.

Oh yea..I also killed several hours daydreaming as I flipped through my William Dam seed catalogue the last couple of evenings haha! It occured to my that my Halifax seeds catalogue will probably have been sent to our old house. Ugh!

So there you have it, the moseying meanders of a winter week on the homestead! Happy last week before Christmas everyone!

S.

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Today was kind of gross! Weak stomachs beware.

So today was pretty gross in comparison to a normal day on the farm. It started out fine, we got up, had breakfast, went out to do the chores. All seemed normal still, until I got the goats to the pasture and realized my little Gracie (4 month old doeling) had the poops! Never a good thing, but I figure she overindulged in her new pasture. I was pretty weirded out by her mess though. Later, around mid morning when the Mr. came home, I went back out to check on Gracie and offer her some baking soda. Well, don’t you know , big old bully Magda wanted in on that action! I grabbed her collar to hold her away for a minute so Gracie would have a chance…and my hand felt wet. I looked and ugh…Are you eating? Finish eating before we go on….. So I look down at my hand and it’s covered in puss. So here I am with one goat pooping herself and one goat with a leaking abscess from where she got her vaccine. I was a little grossed out! I shouted back to the house to bring me some paper towel and peroxide and stood there with my 2 messy girls, feeling sorry for them and myself. Luckily I had just bought Blue Kote to have on hand and got Magda cleaned up and blue koted. It is NASTY how fast flies will sniff out the ickys, so the quicker she was cleaned up, the better!

After lunch I succeeded to get the kiddo to nap( !!!). It’s the first time in about a week that she naps. I have mixed feelings about this whole growing up thing!! Anyway, while she napped, I went out in the 35celcius degree weather to do some much needed garden weeding. One bucket of weeds in and I could literally feel the sweat rolling off my face and dripping, actually DRIPPING onto my chest. It’s a whole different kind of gross from my earlier adventures, but super gross nonetheless. I couldn’t believe it. I am so ready for this heat to take a hike! It’s all fine and dandy for all you air conditioned workplace/home people to say ”it’s better than the white stuff!” but come on out and weed the garden with me or build a pasture and we can chat about it πŸ˜‰ I’m going to be darn excited to see the first pretty snowfall! Especially since the other morning my little sweetpea woke up talking about snow! I guess she had a dream about it? She just woke up chattering about her snow boots and making a snowman! Who needs this heat when I have my little sweetie to keep my heart nice and warm!

 

Oh and PS: I made a homestead instagram account! Follow me for a peak into our journey. I update there WAY more than here XP @littleriver_homestead

Journey of a skinny goat. Day 1

Our search for a 2nd goathas ended! After much back and forth and undeciveness on my part, we chose our new goat. She is a beautiful, albeit skinny little Alpine-Nigerian dwarf doeling. I was not especially thrilled with how skinny she and her herd mates are, but am chalking it up to the very bare pasture they were in. I hope I am correct in that asumption!

When we arrived home and I put a leash on Magda, she quickly reinforced my suspiscions by diving into the tall grass, taking huge mouthfulls! Poor girl looked starved. Wanting to avoid any potential bloat, I kept her moving along so she could sample a bit of everything, from luscious grass to wild peas, weed flowers, poplar, apple, and pine branches and weed trees. At first she wws extremely relunctant to move away from where she was eating, but she quickly realized that each step brought a new delicious mouthful. At the end of about a half hour of grazing, I was delighted to see that she looks much better with a belly full. She was dewormed prior to leaving her previous owners farm, so I’m hoping to see solid improvement by the end of one week with some intensive brush clearing duties.

She is a very sweet little goat, so I hope everything works out and I look forward to watching her settle in, get comfortable, fill out, and really become a part of our homestead!

We got a goat!

It happened!We got a goat! Her name is Gracie and she is a monster!

She came to us a little over 3 weeks ago at the ripe old age of about 6 hours old. Mama goat had had a very young surprise breeding and as with many goats bred young, she did not want to have anything to do with the kid. She also didn’t want anyone to touch her udder so it was a job and a half to get a little colostrum for the kid. Anyway, long story short, we were given Gracie free of charge as long as we were willing to take on the responsibilities and costs of bottle feeding and raising her. She is an Alpine, Nubian cross which is not at all what I originally wanted( Nigerian Dwarf, or at the very least Nubian X Nigerian dwarf), but I am so pleased with her and if she takes from her mother, she should still have a high butterfat content. Our days are now filled with a bleating kid doing tricks and stunts on everything and anything. It is both adorable and overwhelming, but she’s such a cutie!

Just look at this little face!

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Here’s to a future filled with milk, cheese, butter and yogurt!!

The bridge is up!

It has been 9 months since we moved into our little homestead, five of which were solid winter and not much was getting done , and yet I am seeing so much progress. The coop and run are up, the garden is tilled, the house is coming together well..and now the bridge is up! The bridge was one of our big goals because without it, we are partially cut off from the largest part of our land and with that, most of our wood. What was in place of the bridge was a washed out section around a large cut out drum. We could still get across by walking through the stream or jumping over it when it was running low, but we could not get across on the 4 wheeler, therefore couldn’t really haul firewood back. Even if we wanted to really put our backs into it and use a small sled and pull it ourselves, it would mean going down a steep embankment, across the water, and up the steep and rough other side. No thanks.

Anyway, there’s no need for that anymore! The Mister spent several days cutting and hauling large logs to lay over the washed out area and across the old drum, then cut and lay really old 2 inch thick floor boards we had in the garage and now we have a bridge!! There is still work to do, railings to put up, some sort of protection to put on the wood and smooth off the ends where we would drive onto and off the bridge, but the most of it is done. I am so happy and proud of my Mister! His hard work has paid off beautifully!

It especially looks great from the end of our backyard when we look down into the gully through the trees and see the fresh bridge below! Have I mentioned how excited I am about this yet? πŸ˜›

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Isn’t it great? What big projects do you have going on on your homestead?

Margie is sick!

I briefly mentioned this in a previous post, but our Margie girl is sick! She is a standard co-op layer we got with our first batch of hens 3 years ago and I’ve grown very fond of her.Β 25396098_10154912769186372_6913900404036223139_n

She’s always seemed to be an on-again, off-again girl and I came to associate her ruffled stance and quiet ways as just part of her general behaviour as she would perk up anytime I approached her. Lately though, she’s been pooping green..something that is associated with dehydration and waste ( among other things) so we are working hard to ”fix her up”. Yesterday she got some hamburger for lunch and LOVED it! At supper she got scrambled eggs and again LOVED it! How ironic that I’m feeding eggs to chickens who have been free loading for well over a month..

Anyway, her poop seems to be less funky looking now and while she’s still ruffled and reserved, she isn’t tucking into her wing today. Here’s hoping she makes a come back. And if not, I’m hoping for a swift passing. I’d hate to have to choose between watching her suffer and culling :S

On the menu today: rice and egg with a side of black sunflower seeds! Hopefully this get’s her back up and going!

Anybody deal with a similar situation? What worked for you?

 

Update: Margie went on to peck at greener grasses on January 1st,2018. It was a sad and hard day for me, losing my first animal and beloved trouble maker chicken, but I am happy to report that she spent her last day sitting in the bright winter sunshine!