EB Ranch is on the tail end of a cold spell. An average of -20 degrees at night with high temperatures maybe at zero, more often -11. Thankfully it's been mostly sunny for the last two weeks. Bob and I have kept our wood stove almost constantly burning this whole time. We do heat the house exclusively with the wood stove. Thankfully the critters are doing pretty good. I lost a few 10 year old hens due to the flip of extreme cold.
On December 7th one of my san clemente island goat does had a female kid I named Magga! Magga was born 11 inches at the shoulder weighing in at 4 pounds. She's a tiny little being, but that's about average for a sci goat. A week after Magga was born I noticed she was in a "hunched up" position and wasn't wanting to nurse from her mom. I took her to the vet the next morning and found out she had pneumonia as well as being dehydrated. When I got her home I followed the vet's plan to keep her inside the house overnight but she could nurse from her mom all day. This has been working great, and hopefully on Saturday Magga and start staying overnight with her mom in the goat shed. The temps are supposed to ease up a bit and we should be expecting temps in the mid 20's for at least a week.
Being able to not work an outside job in the winter time has been such a good decision. Especially in the severe cold weather I have needed to go out and check on the animals several times a day. I still fill up 10 gallon buckets of water from the kitchen sink and haul water by hand to everyone. Doing this takes time, and I need to make sure all the animals have water to drink at all times. Bob has always helped me in the past, but it's empowering to be able to do this on my own.
Plus I needed to focus on my kickstarter, make a BUNCH of soap, and keep on with building up the business. Right now I'm sending cover letters out to cooperative grocery stores in the Midwest. I hope to start being a vendor at enough stores so I don't have to spend so much time and energy attending farmers markets in 2018. I LOVE going to markets, it can just be a burn out. Especially since I will work at my outside job again this spring in summer at Spring Hill Community Farm! I really enjoy working for Patty and Mike and I don't want to burn myself out working my on farm job, and outside farm job, plus building my soap business and traipsing off to farmers markets every Saturday. So, if you know of any stores you think EB Ranch Goat Milk Soap would be a hit at, let me know!
Planning for this year of 2018 is a big chore I have started tackling. I need to look over my business plan and adjust numbers as needed. Taking inventory to see what my best soap sellers where and my not so good ones. Also figuring out meat CSA shares. I hope to offer early spring goose and duck meat shares in limited supply. Plus, delving into possibly offering goat meat shares at some point. If you are interested in any of these, please let me know and I can give you more details before I make it known on my website.
There are many other ideas brewing in my head. As always, I need to remember to reign myself back from taking on too much. That was one of my 2018 new year goals. I need to focus on what I have going and how I can improve and make a living from what I do. How I can get more people interested in these San Clemente Island goats, how I can improve this beautiful and Bob and I live on!
There where some major challenges in 2017. I ended up loosing 3 goats due to various reasons, one of which was an expected old age reason. I also am super unhappy with the loose minerals I have been feeding my goats. There is obviously something "off" as their fur coats are looking shabby and patchy. It's not a parasite issue, just a poor mineral mix. I have some new minerals picked out, they just need to get here so I can make the transition. It's stuff like this I need to problem solve and fix to continue to have healthy animals and land. It can be incredibly hard to loose animals due to things beyond your control, but it's part of being steward to animals, to live is to die. It's a sad thing, but also a natural and beautiful cycle of life.
Moving and learning from that, I have a pretty fantastic herd of goats. Most of the does will be due to kid in either mid March or mid April. I have a new grazing plan I want to implement. Plus I might be milking up to FIVE goats in a few months, yikes! I'm excited to grow this herd of sci goats and keep moving forward!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, as always let me know if you have any comments or questions. I have a slideshow at the bottom of this blog quite a few pictures, enjoy!
Thank you 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.