Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

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Jill of All Trades, Master of None

5/23/2012 11:54:39 AM

Tags: fencing, pigs, bottle lambs, customers, multitasking, Sue Dick

This past weekend I spent like one of my chickens in the fall, running around with my head cut off. Actually I’m joking. Not about being busy, but that they run around with their heads cut off; I try really hard not to let that happen as then the kids have trouble eating their homemade chicken fingers.

We had some buyers come in the morning (after emailing back and forth for an indeterminable length of time) and take our oldest donkey. She was a very moody, but excellent guardian. I confess, once I’d decided we were going to sell her (we have more donkeys than we need) I was already missing her. She’s now looking at me reproachfully from my desktop as she’s currently my wallpaper.

Right after they left I noticed that the new chicks in the small broiler house we’d made (the house will brood about 300-350 chicks, but currently we have almost 200) were a bit too hot and so began the fiddling with the lengths of wire suspending the heat lamps. I swear I spend a total of an hour in there every day tweaking the temperature as the temp outside changes. Let that be a lesson to insulate.

I was expecting some customers out at the farm sometime in the early afternoon, so my husband and I hurriedly pounded in a post and hung a new gate for access to the pig’s pasture. We have a school group coming through in a few days and I didn’t think the mom’s would appreciate me sending their kids home with shredded clothes from trying to climb through barbed wire (along the same line’s I have to remember to switch off the electric when those kids come through! note to self).

After dodging the ram, I checked on one of my favorite ewes, one I’d raised from a bottle by the name of “Bo-Peep”, as she was due to lamb and we had her in our small lambing “barn” (think large garden shed, city kind, not country). There in the jug was her first lamb! A homely (if you can believe it, I know I didn’t think it possible) little ram lamb. As I stood watching to see if she would mother it (as she herself had been an orphan I’m afraid I didn’t set a very good ovine example when I bottle raised her) I heard our dogs barking letting me know our customers had arrived.

Our visit turned out a bit longer than I’d anticipated (I LOVE showing the animals to children especially) and by the time they left it was regular chore time. Feeding, watering, and in general looking after cows, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and donkeys.

What would I write for my first post? My son sympathized, shaking his head.  “Mom, it’s not like you did anything today.” 

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