Fall is finally here. The does should all be pregnant. I will send blood samples in 30 days to Biotracking in Northern Idaho for pregnancy and CAE testing.
I did decide to breed one of the does to a Golden Guernsey buck. I am excited to bring this rare breed into out breeding program. I have waited so long to add a second breed to our herd for two reasons. One, I truly wanted to get my herd management down for my Oberhasli girls and second, I wanted to pick a breed that had a high butterfat to enhance our cheeses. Adding the Guernsey will be a slow process since I will be breeding up but it will be a fun learning process.
We should have a total of 8 girls milking next spring. I will take my best 7 to use in cheeses and sell raw milk the last will be used to help feed kids. This will be the first time I have milked this many does so should be interesting.
Fall chore list has been compiled:
- Clean feed shed
- Order/pick-up/unload 1 ton of feed (I unfortunately have to do this by hand. The hubby insists on keeping a 80hp tractor instead of a decent sized 30hp LOL)
- Insulate chicken coop
- Fill barn with new gravel mix (raise the floor a bit to keep moisture out).
- Rake/remove any extra manure from pens
- 4th cutting of hay
- Prep feeders for winter
- Water heaters set-up
The two older kids have started doing outside farm chores on a more regular basis. Collecting eggs in the coop as well as finding those hidden egg spots in the haystack is a fun chore for the kids. They have figured out favorite egg spots that the chickens keep going back to so they have fun checking them. A wheelbarrow, rake and shovel gets the pens cleaned. Unfortunately this job usually peaks interest for five minutes and I have to pick up the rest but at least they are learning to rake. Digging post holes has become a fun chore since digging is involved LOL.
My youngest (2 yrs) already knows how to lead the goat kids from this year at about 16mths. She drags them by the collar saying "Come, Come" and puts them in the pen. My two oldest should be doing showmanship next year with a goat kid they choose to practice with.
I can truly say I am glad my parents choice to raise me around animals, gardening, and raising our own food. I see my kids blossoming on the farm and am glad we made the choice to do the same. Last spring when my son was helping me outside he asked if we were ever to move to Israel (this is where my husband is from) would we move to a farm. I told him maybe but some people don't live on a farm and it is not always possible to live on a farm. He looked at me and said "that is very sad, I always want to live on a farm".