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Overdue farm update


Lots has happened since I last updated about the farm. Here's some brief notes with some pictures!

Goats: We still have all the kids from this year! Sigh. We had 3 of the boys castrated surgically. Dear goddess, don't ever let that happen to one of my animals again. We've done all the standard methods of castration now and I found that one to be the worst for human and animal. Banding is the way we will go from now on. Three weeks later one of the boys is still in severe pain. emoticon The other two boys were left as bucks. The 3 wethers, along with the two little girls have been sold they are just waiting for fencing to be installed before they go to their new home. So far no homes for the bucks though!

We did lose two goats this summer. One of the wethers from last year got very 'depressed' (standing away from the herd, head down, not eating much). We studied all his symptoms and nothing was a 'hit'. The vet thought coccidiosis so we treated for that. He bounced back for a few days and then crashed hard, dying within hours. His last fecal exam (2 hours before he died) showed a tremendous worm load. I couldn't be sure if it was just that the worms were hitting him while he was down, or that they took him down. About 2 weeks later, his pasture mate started showing some of the same signs, but also some other ones. We treated him fast and hard for both worm load and coccidiosis. But new symptoms developed and it fit classic bloat - which I don't understand how he got in a clean pasture with no access to grain. We treated but he died too. Bah. The vet said he has seen a handful of odd bloat cases in just the last few weeks.

But the main milking herd is doing great. We bred two this year but it looks like one didn't take. So not sure if we are going to rebreed or just stick with one. That will be a big change from the usual 4-6 milkers!!!

Willie Mae, the guard donkey, is still in love with little kids. I think she just wants to eat their fingers, but my mom is convinced she is a nurturer at heart. I'm not giving her any chances though...
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The 60 new ducks have started laying [sign in to see URL] just about a week prior to that the restaurant we were raising the duck eggs for cancelled their order! So we've had 25 dozen duck eggs to try to sell each week. So far we are doing fine, but it's more work than we expected! We've had some rain lately so the ducks are loving it. The pipe is the extension of a gutter that makes a puddle in the yard.
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We grew a bunch of hibiscus tea this year. It's the red fleshy part around the fruit after the blooms die. Sooo yummy!
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Pawpaw is still Willa's favorite person. He can't do a thing around the farm without his little helper.
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One of the WWOOFers (volunteer workers) has a new pet - a hairless rat! Luna doesn't have a cage, she just hangs around in the house. It's pretty cute. (bad pic - low light!)
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Great snapshot of Willa and her favorite person.
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Oh, and we have a bobcat! As a wildlife lover, it sounded exciting at first. We had a few sightings and could see the trails and scat through the woods. But then the bobcat discovered the chickens. He is pretty brave and will saunter across the fields in the evening and snatch a chicken while it's still light out. There are plans to shoot it despite none of us wanting that (I'm very opposed to it) but so far he's nabbed 1 or 2 chickens a day for a week. I've taken my dog out and she marked all over the spots where the bobcat has been coming up. We cropped the grasses even shorter so there's no where to hide. So far we've had 2 days with no losses since doing that. Hopefully we can convince him to leave the farm alone, otherwise he is likely to get shot. emoticon

Ok, better get back to work!
10/11/2012, 3:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
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Re: Overdue farm update


Thanks for the update!

Maybe you could get some of the males of your family to "mark" the territory? Muladzh once said it used to work, but mostly with coyotes. Not sure about bobcats.

I totally understand you don't want to keep feeding it, though. emoticon

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Re: Overdue farm update


 [sign in to see URL] update, and Mexia is just adorable!

On the bobcat [sign in to see URL] there not a wildlife animal control there in Austin? If you've not contacted [sign in to see URL] it some thought and tell them you don't want the animal killed, but captured and relocated to a more appropriate place. See if they'll do that for you. The Texas Parks and Rec may know of someone to help if Wildlife people don't/can't do anything.

Wonder why the restaurant decided they didn't want the duck eggs. I prefer duck eggs over chicken eggs, especially for baking. I do love a good duck egg!!!! Been way too long since I had one, though.

I sure am sorry to hear you lost some of your goats [sign in to see URL] the mystery illness was. That's sad!

Love, love, love the photos!!! Willa sure has grown up this summer! She's such a doll!!! I love the photo of her and her Papaw sitting together in their chairs! That's just a sweet pic!!

It's more than awesome to get some news from ya. I hope you're feeling good and things are rolling along nicely!!! emoticon emoticon





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The bobcat has yet to return. All the agencies (county, sheriff and Texas Parks and Wildlife) just said to shoot it. But we haven't seen him so hopefully that won't happen at all!

And now we have feral hogs! They are coming through because the pecans are falling. They can't get through the welded wire fence that surrounds the area of the farm "under production" (where the goats, sheep, poultry and garden are) but they can get through the barbed wire fence that surrounds the rest of the place. But there really isn't anything for them to damage so we are just letting them be for now.

I need to do an update on stuff at my house. I've finally had time to work on it again!
10/22/2012, 9:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
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Glad the bobcat has made him/herself scarce. I'd hate to kill an animal for doing what comes naturally, but can understand when there are people around, too. I hope it stays away so y'all won't have to shoot it.

Sorry to hear hogs have taken it's place, but at least they're not hurting anything. Hope that continues to be the case.

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I bet feral hogs are a huge nuisance. At least they don't do damage for you - are they maybe helping to turn some fields?

All the best for your plans and family!

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Re: Overdue farm update


HI [sign in to see URL] the pictures! It's like a 'fairy tale' life. Would love to be your neighbor.. emoticon
Those feral hogs can be a bigger danger to anything that gets in their way of those nuts, than that Bobcat is.
They are smart and bullheaded and will attack.

As for the Bobcat, human urine is a good alternative. So is human hair. If you or kids or hubby get hair [sign in to see URL] the barber to save the cuttings. Spread both around your property.
Human scent will cause many wild animals to leave the area... emoticon

Good luck, and I'll keep you in my meditations for continued energy and success in your piece of eden.. emoticon

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The hogs are just turning over the soil in the wooded areas. It's hard to tell if they are still coming through or if it was just once. I bet they will be back though. There is talk about shooting them if we see them - it's much less of a waste as they are an invasive species and you can eat them!
10/24/2012, 7:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
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I would be in favor of shooting them. They can cause a lot of trouble, and with no big predators around (which you do not want nearby anyway!) only humans can keep their numbers down.

We have wild board in our forests (and they are getting out of hand), and I honestly wouldn't want to meet a group of them in spring, with little ones. They can be vicious!

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10/24/2012, 8:32 pm Link to this post Send Email to Firlefanz   Send PM to Firlefanz Blog
 
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I actually offered to dress the hog(s) if shot. The guy who lives at the farm right now didn't think the meat would be any good (too gamey) but I actually thought wild boar was pretty good the one time I had it. When I told my mom, she FREAKED OUT. Recall that she raised me vegetarian and until the last few months, I've pretty much stuck to that. But I have several books that go through it in fairly gory detail, so I thought it would be interesting to give it a go, especially if the meat would otherwise go to waste!

The likelihood on one being shot is pretty low anyway since they aren't coming very close to areas where people usually are. But still, it might happen and this would be a good intro for me to animal processing since the hardest part (for me) is the actual killing and I wouldn't do that. We'll see...
10/26/2012, 2:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 


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