Sandy Clark wrote:Hugs and mucho gracias for all your empathy Spiritwind and a Toast right back in kind!
Toast all around I say!
Wintertime is a great time to write more, because there are times when you can't do much else. That's probably why I am writing now. Because I am currently adjusting to our water being froze up, drains froze up, and a cold you just can't work outside in too long. It was -3 (F) this morning. My husband had got heat tape to put on the well head so this wouldn't happen, but had not had the chance to install it. It's really a cord, not tape, but anyway. The drains are a problem separate from that and can usually be kept open if you have enough water to run through them. Unfortunately we don't right now.
But yeah, so right now I have to focus on making sure the animals have drinking water, keep the fire going, and letting the dishes go for now. That goes for a shower too. Oh well, the goats don't care. In fact, the boys smell far worse than I ever could right now, and I'm pretty sure the reason that I see Raven shivering from time to time is because he won't stop peeing on himself to impress the girls. What a deal. Glad us humans don't engage in that behavior, at least none that I know anyway. I know I wouldn't be too impressed.
The girls, though, that is another matter. The two oldest does cry for two to three days straight when they are in heat, and it's every 18-21 days. It's kind of annoying, and if they get out they make a bee line for the boys pen and I generally have to get a leash and/or entice them with grain. That biological imperative is strong with goats. Even the horse gets a little ornery when she is in heat, so I guess that is kind of a universal characteristic. And then there's the dog who goes into heat regularly but doesn't get pregnant. And this last time it was the heat that wouldn't end. That will be fixed very soon as the appointment has been made.
I thought about it. If I was to breed all ten of the does I have in one season, and if they had 2-3 average per kidding, that could triple my herd. Not that I want to do that. They can have even four or five kids, so I could easily end up with 30 kids. I know people who do this, but that's way out of my league. I think that many goats to feed, clean up after, give supplements to, trim hooves etc. would definitely take the fun out of it for me. That's when it turns into a full time job. I don't want to work that hard anymore. As I've mentioned before, getting a milk machine is on my wish list. If I want to milk more than a couple goats I have to get one. My hands just won't do it anymore.
I have to admit, the girls have it a lot better this winter and even as cold as it's been I haven't seen any of them shivering. That makes me happy. And I can't help little Mr. Raven peeing on himself. At least he's gotten big enough to hold his own with Bob Dean pretty good. And, I almost forgot. I got an Amazon gift card from my niece, and my husband got a Christmas bonus from work so we bought Freckles a new winter blanket. It arrived in 2 days! Just before this latest cold snap. It's still a little big on her but so much more lightweight, and does fit way better than the other one. It's keeping her warm, but not too warm, and totally dry. All the cheaper one's that were water repellent or water proof were made out of nylon and too many reviews said the material didn't breath and made their horse sweat. Not good because that's an invitation for pneumonia when it's this cold. And she doesn't seem to be as stoved up as she was, even though it's been colder, so maybe she even slipped on some ice. I am very happy to see her not so stiffed up.
I know we still have to wait several more weeks before it becomes apparent that the days are getting longer, but just the thought of it makes me want to do the happy dance. I still didn't get to make the make shift green house I was hoping to have up before winter, but I can still fake it and come up with some thing. In fact, now is a good time to think about seeds, and planting in the new year. Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but hey, what else is there to do while I'm looking out the window watching it try to snow. And, my husband just came in and said he got the water thawed out. Yippie! Now we just have to thaw out the drains. And the damn fire is trying to go out (not unexpected when you are trying to burn semi-wet pine), so I will bid you all adieu. Maybe I will get that shower after all. Sometimes it is the little things that matter.