Friday, October 16, 2009

Tired of Goats Already

Ok, we had goats back north. Never had so much as problem one with any diseases, lumps, etc.

And had more than one Vet with a clue about dairy goats around, too.

Here, however, I have problems. Nothing but one headache to deal with after another it seems.

We are treating/cleaning mud soaked and caked hooves with a Clorox wash/soak routinely thanks to the blasted NON-STOP RAIN. Twenty-two days straight in September. I don't even have a count for October...I could probably find a week without rain if I tried.

It's nothing but mud. Mud as far as the eye can see. Mud so thick it's now throughout the center of the barn even, from taking animals to and from the milking room, from us walking in and out, etc.

Aside from hooves getting soft (and you thought clay facials and body wraps were agood thing heh?), we have another lump to lance. On a different goat this time. UGH UGH UGH.

Is there NO END to the diseases in this area?? How did I go years up north without ever having a sick goat, a molting chicken, dead chickens left and right from owls, hoof rot, and any of the other troubles that plague us non-stop down here? The fleas, the ticks, the snakes, the constant wet marshland for a homestead I have.

I'm on a rant. I know. I just seriously don't get it. I can't keep chickens down here. If the blasted owls aren't taking heads every night, the few that survive to laying age DON'T LAY...or the snakes get the eggs. I kept barred rocks, buff orpingtons, new hampshire reds and some aracauna's back north and they laid like troopers, and kept laying over winter even. We're talking snow to your rump roast, ice covered everything, and I still kept more eggs than I could use.

I started with 40 chicks...I have 8 left now. They aren't laying yet. They will not come out of the barn. Probably watched too many relatives take that long green mile and not return, I don't know. I buy chicken feed...and I buy cases of eggs. That is flat out stupidity.

I'm tired. I'm tired of rain and I'm tired of mud. It's hard to find anything good in this anymore. Well, I suppose I could be in monsoon-ridden tropics or something, but that's the best I've got right now.

I can't support a family down here. I just can't do it. I want to go back home. Or anywhere more north where there might be some black soil that isn't stripped of anything good or made up of 99% clay muck.
I want FOUR SEASONS...four REAL seasons...not wet and more wet, dry and dust bowl dry.
I want to grow a garden, not bugs and these thorn-covered trees.
I want a winter that kills off the bugs with the cold and the snow...not the humidity and wetland climate I have here that only breeds them.

But I'm here. The Lord moved us here, I don't dispute that. I have to find a level of contentment, period. I don't have a choice. Dewey hates winter. He hates having to work dark to past dark in freezing weather. I miss that.

Sure, some of you living in the northern areas are thinking I'm not only losing my marbles but purposely throwing them away to boot. I'm not, I assure you. I truly miss winter. I even miss the continually frozen water troughs, the shoveling of snow so deep I can't do it in one shot but have to take layers at a time.

And I miss having a garden that actually provided food and not just dreams. I miss chickens that lay eggs. I won't even do meat birds down here. It's not worth my time. I don't think they'd do any better than the other animals.

I'll find some good points here. Not today, but I will soon. Right now I just don't get what I did to live in this mud pit with sickly animals and no garden to provide my needs. Man, you can't even hunt down here -- the deer are plain scrawny and over-hunted around here. And the one 'hunts' around here. They turn out dogs, ride the perimeters on 4-wheelers, and shoot from their trucks/4-wheelers with high-powered rifles.

Might as well cage the deer and shoot them at close range for all the 'hunting' skill that takes.

Go ahead, southern friends, rip me apart and give me what-for and then some. Put aside that southern belle sweetness and give it to me straight. I want to know how you survive and thrive in this climate. I truly don't understand it. Do I need to build my house on stilts or something? Should I be putting in raised beds...or raise the entire "yard" and build sidewalks everywhere? How do you keep your chickens alive down here -- the heat stresses them, the critters attack them...I'm stumped. How do you keep from ahving sick animals constantly with all the wetness? Hoof rot? How on earth do you garden in CLAY? Am I not growing the right things for the wetter-than-wet one season and bone-dry the next?



LizBeth said...

Here's a suggestion: Pick out one area to conquer and do that till it's really up and going. Goats or chicken or garden or sewing business, whatever. Just one. Do it till you have it hummin', then add another. Get rid of anything else that's overloading you. You just have too much going on at one time AND being a homeschooling mom. You need some time to rest. You need some margin. If you don't get it, you're going to make yourself sick.

Good book our doctor recommended when we were going through hell is called "Margin" by Dr. Richard Swenson. A rant now and then won't do it. You have to take better care of you. That is not selfish. That is good for you AND your family.

And I'd get rid of the lumpy goats. Just my opinion, based on your own testimony.

I've lived in monsoons, by the whole season. You don't want 'em.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you're having a bad time. I'm in Louisiana (Delta area) we do not have clay soil. My garden produced well this year even though it was an unusual summer (wet & not too hot). This has been an unusual year weather wise - we had an extremely wet spring, and like you, have had too much rain in Sept. and Oct. Our normal rainfall for the entire month of Oct. is 4 inches - so far we've had 17 inches in 16 days! The cotton farmers and soybean farmers are in big trouble - most of the corn got out of the field already. Can't help you with the goats or chickens.


LizBeth said...


PS Just one more thought. Maybe you need to back up a step and take care of the mud and clay first. Get the barn in the dry and work manure into the clay for your garden. That would be a lot of work for one year alone; but it's very important work.

Sounds like you just have too much to do at one time. And Dewey has been gone for so much time this year. You're trying to carry too much, Deanna. You get interested in so many things, and then you get swamped by them all. (I do the same thing, so I know all too well!) Starting over in a place like Mississippi is not easy. Be good to yourself. You've sure got what it takes, but doing it takes time -- no matter how bullheaded you are!! LOL God bless!

Valerie said...

We are in Georgia and it has never rained this much here either. Everywhere is mud. I am sick of it too. Hope things get better for you.

Stone Bridge Farm said...

Gosh...I thought for a minute I was reading my own thoughts. :0) I live north, well... north of you. I constantly fight goat worms, diseases, etc... We have owls,hawks,rats,snakes,etc...that are always trying to get our chickens. Oh! Did I mention the opossums and raccoons? And MUD is everywhere! Now it is not red clay mud...but it is MUD! Oh..and I had a coyote kill one of the goats last year. I have been contemplating getting rid of the goats..but the reason I got them was to provide for our family. I feel like if I give them up I am giving up part of our self-sufficiency. I don't know what to do!
I feel your pain! Don't give up just yet. Pray and do what God leads you to do!
I love your blog and am praying for you as well. :0)

Tessa Silvas said...

Hey, There!

Aw, sounds like it's kinda rough, hey? I know how you feel. :( We had to leave our MI home of 15 years to come to a different state and start all over. For us, too, it seems like it's been nothing but trials. The place we're living at now also houses another mans goats that have a sickness called "CL", which is a lump that they develop and must be lanced. One of our dairy goats came down with it earlier this year, and it was quite a hardship. Mom loves her goats, and it's not fun to see them sick! Another of our dairy goats seems to be ill with something also. We're not sure if it's just worms, or what, but, good cow, trial after trial, it seems. Like you, I've had to often remind myself that the Lord planted us here for a reason, and we need to bloom where HE has put us. Just throughout the past two weeks, I've been missing MI something awful, and yes, it's affected my attitude and willingness to serve my KING. It seems so often as of late, that I've had to ask the LORD to come in and take dominion over my heart....again. I'm so thankful that HE is soooo forgiving and wonderful! So, friend, take heart. The LORD is good, and he is most faithful. Like Ron Hamilton said in his hymn "Give thanks to the Lord", "Give thanks to the Lord though your testing seems long, in trials He gives a song!"

Blessings to you!

Because HE is Good, Tessa

LizBeth said...


Hope you got your hot chocolate and a little rest! Take it easy, best you can today.

I'm off to mill and bake. Sisters-in-law cruisin' by tomorrow. I'm not a company kind of person. Oh, well. ~Liz

Lisa said...

I am so sorry things are piling up on you. This has been a weird year for the weather, but I sorry you have so much mud.

I like what LizBeth suggested about taking one area at a time until it is work well. But, may I throw in that setting up some raised beds and getting them set for next spring would be relatively quick and would let you have some homegrown veggies next year. They don't have to be super deep, just enough to start so that the rain wouldn't pool right where your plants are growing.

The only thing you can do with clay soil is amend the heck out of an area to try and build it up. I bet you have a compost pile, if not, start one with your scraps and animal manure and that will save you some money. Or, you could start a pottery business with all that clay and sell authentic, Mississippi mud stoneware!


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.

Blog Archive