All around the world, children of all ages are beginning to get amped up for the big day. Christmas is not merely, ‘right around the corner’, we’ve made the turn and it’s staring us down. That’s pretty exciting…for some.
B and I haven’t had much time to think about Christmas yet. Oh, we’ve mailed some cards and sent some gifts, but right now, we have no time to ‘settle down for a long winter’s nap’. Between our bad timing and Mother Nature’s little temper tantrums, we have a lot of work to do.
First, the bad timing. We have pregnant goats everywhere. Except for the two that have already given birth, that is. We wanted to arrange for all our goats to freshen in Feb/March, and several will. In one of life’s little twists, because of a fence problem requiring us to move our billy goats earlier than we had hoped, we have several who are already in the maternity pen. So, we have to keep a watchful eye.
We’ve had no problem with goats and breeding this year. Rabbits, on the other hand, have all gone celibate on us. It’s the end of December and we haven’t had a single litter yet. Weird. The calendar says we do need, though, to put nest boxes in with the girls, as it’s getting close to time for them to give birth, if in fact the breedings we think are in place, have taken. No one looks pregnant, that’s for sure.
Mother Nature is also keeping us way too busy right now. We’ve had some torrential rains that have left the pastures a mess. There is a ton of clean up. We have to move some shelters because the rains were so bad water ran under and the animals are standing in ankle deep mud.
With the cold weather coming behind this storm front, we need to make sure the mules have an escape path, since everyone else does, so we’re putting up a portable shelter today and will build a nice run in shed in Mid January.
Oh, and goat hormones are forcing us to move another shelter. It seems our randy little Nigerian buck, Meshak, can’t stay away from our new Kiko girls, Venus and Serena. He climbs up on the shelter in his pasture, which is up against a fence, and hops over it onto the pig shelter in the other pasture, then down onto the ground. It’s pretty creative, except Achilles, our Kiko herd sire, isn’t interested in suitors coming to court his ladies. He out weighs Meshak by 15 or 20 lbs (soon it will be by about 200) and has horns. It’s no contest. Their last testosterone spike left Meshak with some pretty good scrapes and cuts. For several days, he pouted and nursed his obvious headache, while B tended to his wounds.
He’s healed and love is in the air. B found him back in the other pasture again yesterday. He’s doing his best to woo Serena (who should be pregnant, anyway). Achilles, ever the vigilant, jealous protector, is not letting Meshak get close enough to do any mischief.
The torrential rains, forced them all into the barn. When we went to check on them last night, Achilles had his girls and two of the pregnant Nigerians in the large stall, while Meshak was relegated to a smaller one which he shared with a dozen laying hens. He tried several times to make his way into the big stall, but Achilles was having none of it. Meshak, not being totally blinded by lust, wants no part of those Kiko horns, so he would slink back to his stall and wait for an opportunity to try again. I give him credit, he’s no quitter.
Anyway, we have to move Meshak’s climbing frame, aka, shelter, away from the fence so he can’t use it as a launching pad for romance and warfare. That can only end poorly for him. Eventually, we will make one pasture for Meshak and Jasper (our Alpine buck) and one for Achilles and his Kiko harem. Until then, we must make do.
Sometime this weekend I must, I do mean must, shovel mule manure. But it’s too muddy for me to get the truck down to the compost heap without tearing up the hillside. So it must wait and remain an eyesore.
It’s time now for me to hit the publish key and actually do the work rather than just talking about it. Oh, did I mention we need hay and straw as well. Of course, I love the feed store so that’s not even a problem. Just more time away from the chestnuts and the open fire.
Talk to you later. If I don’t get back here before Sunday, Peace on Earth, friends. Jesus really is the reason for the season even if He has become politically incorrect.