Today was a good day for cleaning up the barn. I do believe it was a high of 30 degrees, overcast, and very humid. I let the hay pile up in the barn for the goats to have extra winter bedding. Mixed up in that is wood chips that help things smell better and absorb moisture. I decided to tidy things up in the barn and haul out some extra hay that was taking up cement floor space. I recently clipped all the goat hooves and was reminded that their hooves wear down more when they have contact with cement. Plus I'm fighting to keep their skin healthy over this winter. The last few winters I have had to deal with lice and mites. Though I think there is a small mite problem now, I have been dusting the bedding weekly with diatomaceous earth. This a powder of fossilized sea animal skeletons. The powder will puncture the pest or parasites body and dehydrate it until death occurs. People like to use this in their gardens to combat unwanted pests. Just be careful of how much you use, because it kills all bugs. And try not to inhale the dust the floats up, that includes being careful around goats!
On top of external help I have been giving the goats herbs to boost their immunity. Garlic is a great thing, along with my herbal dewormer. I also have been using what is called "black ointment" on any external spots that may look a little patchy. All herbal remedies need to be followed through with, and may take more time to see results.
Anyway, this barn cleaning time gives me time to observe all my goats. I have three does that are pregnant and should be due mid March. You can see their baby bellies showing!! May and Max also wanted to get in on some pictures too. I'm so anxious to be milking again, and to have new kids running around! How exciting!!!
I have been shoveling barn stuff for about three hours. I'm a little tuckered out but feeling good. Bob and I will soon have to move hay bales from our garage to the old milk house where we now store hay. That will be another good workout. It just feels good to be able to be active outside in the winter time. Even though I go for walks often, it's not the same as actual work. I guess I better enjoy it while it lasts, this summer is going to be hectic!
I can smell one of the roosters that I butchered last fall baking in the oven. It smells delicious. I plan on making a nice green salad and perhaps some pasta go go with everything. Being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor is an amazing feeling.
If anybody wants to have a share of my products and also enjoy the fruits of my labor I am taking shares for my meat CSA. All information is available on this site.
Thanks for the support!
There will be NO vampires visiting EB Ranch anytime soon. I decided to make a ton of garlic powder yesterday. All you do is dehydrate garlic clove slices. You then put the dry slices in a coffee grinder to make your own powder. It's so worth the house reeking like garlic! Plus I'm excited to see my results of doubling the amount of garlic I planted with my friend Bretton last fall. I went from 300 cloves to 600 planted. Garlic is amazing to have for cooking but is an awfully useful plant to help with boosting your immunity. I even made another huge batch of garlic, raw apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper paste for the goats. This will help improve circulation in the cold months and keep internal parasites at bay. So in short, EAT MORE GARLIC!
As for the cold and outside critters, everyone is doing just fine. The goats of acclimated nicely to the cold. It's -10 and I don't even see them shiver anymore. Their rumen/many stomachs help produce amazing heat, plus they fluff out and keep super warm as long as they are in a draft free environment. All my chickens are very hardy along with the geese. Just give good shelter, and a proper breed for the climate and they will thrive. I on the other hand still need to wear lots of layers of clothes before doing chores....
Also, I want to remind everyone that I am trying to get people signed up for my meat CSA shares. I need to know what everyone wants by April 1st. This will include letting me know if you want any turkeys or geese. I will be raising a second group of chickens later on in the summer. I am about at a quarter of my goal for the first group of chickens. For all my CSA members I plan on having at least one organized farm visit this summer. That way everyone can see for themselves how things work around the farm. Plus I'll be cooking up some good food to try. Remember that one share is five chickens, but if even five is too many you could always split that amount with friends or family. Plus CSA shares make GREAT gifts.
I will have the sign up file attached for your viewing pleasures. And always feel free to ask questions.
Thanks for your support!
Born and raised in a small town, then moved back to the same small town. Jill of many trades and happy to be so.