Saturday, October 31, 2009

Making Barn Plans

We have dried off the 2 does in milk here, everyone (praying hard!!) has been bred except Kati-Bug and little Abigail (Abigail just looks so small yet compared to Malachi...we're waiting until next year to breed her).

If, all is right and all are bred on the dates we have, we should start kidding around January 20th, give or take, and continue through February 16th.

And, if at least the older does hold true to past form with our Malachi, we might have some triplets in the group. The least, given 1 kidd per, will be 5 new additions to the herd here. If we're really lucky, we might see at least 2 triplets and 3 sets of twins :o) Either way, plenty of goats coming!! I'm excited to see them all, but I'm more excited about getting back into the MILK here!

I have started working out how I want the kidding pens set up, so we can alter things around a bit and make sure we have room for everyone. Ideally, I'd like to be ready with 5 pens set up. Right now we are getting the barn more in line for feeding -- we will have short tethers mounted at feed buckets like we did up north. It worked well, no one got shorted on feed because of a lack of aggression (although we don't seem to have much shortage of aggression in the barn with these ladies!). I want to build platforms (well, wood plank floors anyway) in the pens and get rid of this packed clay. With all the recent rains, we have a mess everywhere, it's very hard to keep clean, and with the coming and going in and out, hard to keep dry.

We have also been making some new chicken coop plans. I'm not complaining right now, mind you, as we are finally getting eggs. EGGS on the homestead again. Ok, so we started out in the spring with some 40 chicks and only have 8 layers and a couple roosters left. Owls and coons picked us clean for the most part. Poor chickens wouldn't even come outside...even if we put their feed outside, they stayed in, watching and waiting. Nothing was going to bring them outside, period. We covered the top of their outside run and after a few days, they decided it was worth a shot. Bingo....eggs, happy is gettin' good :o)

We are planning a building in the yard, near the garden area, with a divided interior. Meats on one side, layers on the other. Out both sides, north and south, we will have runs (definitely covered and enclosed well from owls) and then we can get some decent amount of birds on the homestead again. We typically ran 2 sets of meats and some 60+ layers up north. I miss that.

Dewey would like to get turkeys. Seems around here the folks doing turkeys have them in off-ground cage/house set ups, sort of like hunting dogs or rabbits. I know the times we tried turkeys back north, we had nothing but leg troubles with them and never made it to a 'harvestable' age. Maybe we can do turkeys in the existing chicken coop once the birds are moved to the new set up.

And rabbits. I'm going to track down some decent meat rabbits around here if it kills me. No one does animals it seems. They might have a handful of brush goats, or a few game hens running about...and a hundred barrels and tethers for game cocks :o( But not very many actual 'homestead animals' to be found. I know where I can get some in Alabama...something closer would be nice, though.

I'm a mean wife...I'm not supporting the "let's get more pigs"mentality here at all. I don't want pigs. They were a mess and created enough havoc around here to last me a life-time, thank you very much. I understand I was head pig tender here alone for the majority of their life span here, but still...I'd just as soon buy my bacon and chops from our local butcher than to raise them myself again. I don't mind the goats (though I'm not eating them), I love the chickens, and I would like to do the rabbits...that's enough to keep this homestead humming along, I think.


LizBeth said...

Sounds like things are looking up! Glad for you.


Tessa Silvas said...

Oooooooo! I'll take all the pigs you have and don't want! I've wanted a pig for sooo long, and would still love to have one. :-)


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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