Whew! It's been a busy few weeks at the farm. The ice and snow didn't melt for a whole week. One cold day after the other made for a lot of slipping and sliding. And when it finally did melt.... oh, the mud! What a mess! The chicken run and the pastures were so muddy that I actually lost my boot right off my foot. The good news is that everything has finally started to dry up... just in time for the next winter storm to come next week. I'm hoping it will just be rain!
Last Saturday we had an old-fashioned sheep round-up. It was time to say good bye to the sheep we've been fostering since summer. Two border collies came along to help round them up. How fascinating to watch! Those two dogs listened to their owner's voice inflections and commands and knew just what to do. I never heard her call either one by name but somehow they both knew where to go and what to do at all times. While that was going on, I was busy talking to Mr. Mann (the man whose donkeys we were also fostering) and trying to sweet talk him into letting us keep his donkey, Thirty Eight. It worked! He packed up Snowflake and all but 8 of the donkeys and headed home. We were able to choose eight of the sheep to keep so we picked out four males and four girls. Of course we had to keep the ram that my husband saved from drowning! Everyone is doing great and I definitely do not have to use as much feed which is great and much cheaper!
After a short family meeting, we decided to change Thirty Eight's name. It just didn't go along with the rest of them. So he is now Muffin. And that suits him just fine. He has a bigger muffin top than me.
This past week, our three billy goats suddenly decided to become aggressive. Ever since we lost our head goat Grumpy, those three boys have become increasingly obnoxious. She must have kept them in line. One in particular (Scrooge and trust me, his name was perfect for him) started being very food dominant and would lie in the food trough and throw his huge horns at anyone that tried to eat. Even the donkeys avoided him. This past Thursday, he made the horrible mistake of injuring me while I was feeding everyone. He came barrelling in and smashed my hand against his horn as hard as he could. I thought it was broken and boy, did it hurt! Luckily it just ended up being a painful, deep bruise but that was the last straw. I put him on CraigsList that night.
Here was my very honest ad:
One big white bully Billy Goat to someone who wants to come get him. Big horns. No specific type and age unknown. We acquired him when we bought our farm and he was fine until our main girl was killed. Now he's a bully and we don't know how to handle him. Good size for a goat and still growing as far as we can tell. Anyone want him? Available Saturday 1/22 only. He just about broke my hand and we have two small children. Wish I could keep him but he must go! FREE! Can also throw in another billy who is much nicer but not needed.
My husband laughed at me but I thought I needed to be truthful. Within the hour I had emails from almost 30
fools people who wanted him. Guess you really can get rid of anything on CraigsList. Our excited new goat owner arrived right on time Saturday and took all three of our male goats. I was so happy! I couldn't part with our two pregnant little girls, but we really do want to get a new breed of goat and this is our chance. We promised the children we will have new goats soon. Of course they want little Nigerian Dwarf goats. Or Fainting goats. We'll see. The farm is much more peaceful now that Snowflake and the bully goats are gone. Everyone is eating nicely and working together. Beautiful! And my hand is finally losing some of the swelling.
And guess what else? We have two brand new baby lambs! Born today. One of the ewes that we kept had her babies this morning. We didn't even realize she was that close to giving birth! We have so much to learn. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera but I'll definitely be there out there tomorrow snapping away!