Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still Alive and Well...

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't posted in quite some time. We have been so busy with various projects and family things that I just haven't taken the time from my sleep schedule to post.

Since I have nothing going on this evening, I thought it would be a good time to post a bit of an update. So here's the good and bad of what has been happening here this spring and summer so far.

First off Jade went to the 4H Rabbit and Cavy Expo at Michigan State University in June. I don't remember the full results. I think her Junior team took first place in Cavy Judging. I do know that Jade took second place over all in the state for individuals in Cavy Judging. I'm very proud of her. She is really learning her stuff.

On a sadder note, we lost two goats this year. The first was Ginger Ale. We aren't sure why she died. She had no signs or symptoms of any kind. She was never as energetic or curious as any other goat I've ever met. She just wasn't very "goat like", for lack of a better way to describe it. We wonder now if she may have had some sort of genetic defect that we didn't know about. The other goat we lost was Leah. With her it was coccidiosis. Unfortunately by the time I realized something was wrong with her it was too late. We started her on medication, but it wasn't soon enough.

Luckily the other two goats are as healthy as ever and have been treated for coccidiosis as well to avoid any more tragedy.

On a happier note, it's the time of year for ducklings and chicks.

We have an abundance of ducklings this year. We thought we were limiting the number of eggs in the nests, but it seems that those mother ducks are sneakier than we realized.

We don't have the abundance of chicks that we were hoping for with the bantam chicks though. It took three clutches for us to finally get a hatch, and that hatch only has seven chicks. Seven would be a great number if we were only hatching for ourselves, but we have had a few 4H families that have wanted chicks this year. With any luck we will still be able to get another hatch this summer and maybe make some kids happy.

We also have added our first buck to the goat herd. He's a pygmy goat that I'm head over heels in love with. His previous owners called him "Shaggy", but we decided that the name "Ottis" is more fitting.

We are considering some new options with our goat herd over all here. The kids aren't crazy about the goat milk and although I like it, I'm not a big milk drinker. So adding more dairy goats to our herd really doesn't make much sense.

Jade would like to add a boer goat to the herd so she can raise market goats for the fair. I've also been offered a pair of nice pygmy does. We are also considering adding some angora goats to the herd.

Whatever we decide we need to add either another buck or a wether to be a companion to Ottis. I think the pygmy and angora options are both good ones since I can cross them and grow a nice fiber herd. I'd love to have my own ready source of fiber instead of having to buy it.

Other than animal stuff going on, there is the garden. As always it needs to be weeded. It seems like no matter how much I weed it still needs to be done.

I planted purple beans this year and I am so glad that I did. The plants them selves are such a dark rich green with a hint of purple hue. Then the blooms start out as dark purple buds that slowly lighten as they open up. I love seeing that sort of beauty in my veggie garden. It makes me happy. I think I will grow them every year.
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