Friday, November 21, 2008

I totally jinxed it

I knew I shouldn't have posted... I KNEW it! Buttercup's in heat. Three AI events later (ok, only 2 of them counted) and we've got mucous and bellowing and everything. I give up.

I think it may be too late this year to breed anyway. We've already missed this one because I doubt Emily could come out this late. That would mean another three weeks or so before we could AI again. Then, IF she settles, the due date would be September 27th, giving us a little baby to deal with when next year's cold weather hits.

Frustrating and sad. Maybe I can get Craig to get me a bred cow or a cow in milk for Christmas. Whatever the case, I hate feeding an animal that isn't productive... especially at the cost it takes to feed Buttercup.


Dare I hope?

I'm almost afraid to post this for fear of jinxing myself, is day 23 of Buttercup's cycle and still no signs of heat. No bellering or fence pacing, which is good. Even better is no mucous showing (yes, I check... gross, yes, but necessary). Keeping my fingers (and toes and wrists and ankles) crossed for successful conception. The next few days will tell.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New puppies!!!

Pile O' Puppies

Maddy has always wanted a Welsh Corgi. I think we need more Great Pyrs to help with the guarding (we have a predator problem that's proving difficult to overcome...more on this later).

So - as fate would have it - I've found the perfect solution!

Last night I picked up four half Corgi, half Pyrenees puppies. They are absolutely, positively adorable. And big. Really big. They're 8 weeks old and probably twice the size of our rat terrier, Spunky. (Spunky has gone to stay with Grandma Pat for a little while - I don't think she could handle the exuberance of these four pups. Even the cat is cowed, which gives me a secret little pleasure).

One thing I have discovered is that 4 big puppies = a HUGE mess.

There's one female who is short haired and relatively short legged... Julia.
There's a BIG fuzzy male, mostly white with a couple of black spots... Jack.
Another BIG fuzzy male, brown with a black face.... Gizmo
Another BIG fuzzy male, brown with just a black nose... Bear
(I'll post pictures this evening)

Craig introduced Jack to Abby today and she seemed very accepting, thankfully. Abby also seemed to fall in love with Gizmo, but she wasn't a big fan of Julia. Bear is not feeling so well and has a bit of diarrhea. So, Jack and Gizmo can head out to the goat pen soon for their basic guard training from Abby. Julia has been chosen to become the "duck duck goose" guard. On Saturday I'll build her a dog house and run out by the waterfowl pond so that she can begin to get acclimated to them. Bear will remain inside until he's feeling better, then we'll decide what his farm role will be.

After all that happens I can quit cleaning up poop and pee.... YAY!


Jack and Craig



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rendering Lard

Rendered my first batch of lard today from the back fat of a pig we bought a few months ago. It's quite excellent if I do say so myself! It looks much browner in the picture than it really is. Once it cooled and got refrigerated, it turned nicely white as it should.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Into the woods

This week we spent mostly wandering the "back 40" which is entirely woods. Someday this will be several separate areas of woods and pasture and "picnic" areas, but it's going to take a lot of work to get it to that point.

The woods are magnificent, though.... here are some pics: