Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Animal Update

Not much happening around here. Nothing new. It has caused a bit of writer's block. My mom called tonight and asked, like she always does, "What's new?" We always laugh then because we can't think of a darn thing. It's winter and cold. I have lots of things I could do but don't. I am sitting by the woodstove, with Chihuahua in my lap, knitting and watching a lot of T.V.
I am knitting a bag for the girlfriend. It is the same wool that I used for her hat. It has llama in it and is so wonderful to knit with, soft and smooth like butter, and then when felted the llama fiber sticks out a bit. It's a belated birthday gift because it is taking me so long to knit it.

The diet seems to be working with the goat herd. Lexi is much thinner and down to a perfect weight. Semi Sweet is still a bit portly but headed in the right direction. She has been so busy looking for a husband the last few months that she is driving us, and the other goats, crazy. Ruckus is still such a baby. He is starting to get the idea but is going to need a step ladder to do anything about it. I would really like it to happen so I can get babies, at this point, by late summer.
I have been working on getting his papers in order and it looks like those are on the way. I was getting in a bit of a panic because I'm a paperwork kind of girl. I like to keep track of the paperwork and rarely lose anything. But it is sometimes a lesson in patience trying to wade through all the rules and regulations of registrations when more than one person is involved. So Ruckus is now registered, officially, but "It's in the mail."

The pig sisters are recovering from a bout of....gasp....sarcoptic mange. Sounds terrible and I feel great shame when I say it but it's true. My pigs had mange. I have no idea how they came to get it but get it they did. I started to notice that their little feet were red and bumpy like an allergic reaction. I thought they were allergic to something. I tried everything. Then they started to lose their hair. That's not good when it's down in the 20's & 30's at night. So I did what every modern farmer does and emailed a pig lady in Bakersfield.
She said "Mange"
I said "Yuck!"
But it is easy enough to cure. Just worm with Ivermectin. I even had some on hand. I put it in a hollowed out banana and threw a piece to each girl. Daphne inhaled hers. Fiona inhaled hers also but promptly spit it out and nosed it around. She was just getting ready to leave it when Daphne came around the corner, ready to steal it, and Fiona snatched it up and choked it down. I needed to follow it up with another dose a few weeks later. I had to hide it in an apple this time because you can't fool a pig twice.
I am starting to see the slightest bit of stiff fuzz coming back on the girls' brow so I am hoping we are over our embarassing problem.

The ladies have started laying again and are laying under the llama manger. Easy to find. I almost have the wood cleared out of the shed that I will put my new hens in. It was made for pheasants when hubby raised his own birds and is secure. Even the floor has wire so nothing can dig up through. We have had that problem before with my son's homing pigeons. He had racing homers he loved so much he wouldn't take them out and let them race because he was afraid he wouldn't get them back. One morning he went out to feed them and something had dug under and killed every one of his beloved birds. Even the babies in the nests were headless. That was one sad boy.

Then there is Koo. He is so regal and has many admirers. Koo likes to stand out by the road and people stop and look at him. I have started to see small bits of apple left on the fence for him. I am sure they are left by an old couple that walks every day. I would like to get another llama but haven't found the right one. I always seem to come across a road block. I found a female that's perfect but she is a ways away and involves a ferry ride. It was getting too complicated so I passed. I hope to find one a little closer.
He doesn't seem to mind his life in the meantime.

Me too, I don't mind my life at all.


Marigold said...

Just remember. No life is perfect without Peantus.

goatgirl said...

Now tell Marigold, do you like your Peanuts in the shell or out?

Susan aka Chicken Mama said...

Thanks for this great blog. I love the stories of all of your animals and the fact you knit, too! I am not sure the ocelot would fit in...something about being on the same food chain?

Danni said...

What a wonderful update. It only feels to you like there's nothing new. I practically inhaled this post of yours! :-)

Your full disclosure on the mange was very brave and nothing to feel shame over. What quick acting on your part to help them over it! I laughed about not being able to fool a pig twice.

Your poor son and his homing pigeons...I can just imagine his horror. Very sad.

Will you post a picture of your woodshed-soon-to-be-henhouse? I feel like I've read every book in the world, at this point, on chicken raising, yet feel completely unable to make the decision on what type of housing I'm going to build...I've gotta get going on this!! :-)

Marigold said...

I prefer Peanuts any way I can get them.

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed hearing all about your animals. I liked the way you go into details with each of them. Thanks for sharing.

goatgirl said...

Chicken Mama, Thanks for the nice comments. Yes I am a fairly new knitter. I have made felted bags and hats only. I like to do, what I call, mindless knitting. I can just knit without thinking. Bags and hat you just knit, knit ,knit but a sweater you would have to think about.
I could make an ocelot fit in:)

Farmgirl-dk: I will post a picture when I get all the wood out and my new hens in. I'm pretty excited to do that. A neighbor lady raises chickens so I can get them from her, grown. Then I don't have to go through the chick part. Instant eggs.

ga.farmgirl Thanks for reading. I too enjoy your blog. I love to read about farm life. I always have. I was the only kid that had a subscription to Countryside Magazine.

Marigold, I just saw the most gorgeous Kiko buck. He is the strong and rugged type. I think you should check him out.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your Blog is such a joy to read, especially about all the animal antics (problems and joys, too).

Your animals are all lovely, especially Koo. Well, you know I have a soft spot for llamas, too! hehe

I can't wait to use my llamas fiber to hand card/spin and knit.

Please post a photo of your completed bag/gift. I'd love to ooh and aahh over it!

goatgirl said...

twinville I read your blog about the llamas dancing in the moonlight and thought of it yesterday when I went to feed. All the goats and Koo were running through the pasture. Little Ruckus got in Koo's way. Koo had the most graceful moves as to not step on the baby. Like he was running on his toes in midair. What graceful animals.

Anonymous said...

Still love to come look at the pictures here. Now come on over to my place for your award.

Danni said...

Now I know *something* interesting must have happened to you since Feb. 5. Where'd you go? Everything ok? What did you say to me once... "Come back from the other side..." :-)

goatgirl said...

Honest.....nothing interesting has happened.