Thursday, January 14, 2010

In the Pasture - Sunshine

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but... it turned out to be a bit of a do-over day so I didn't get my blogging done. (I had resolved to post everyday, LOL.)

The sun came out, the temperature broke 35 deg. F, and the Mob wanted to go out. They have been confined to the barn and a small yard for most of the past two weeks. We are feeding hay right now, and when the weather is really bad it is easier on all of us to keep them close. But, with the sun shining and the temperature rising they wanted to go out. I wanted them out too. I needed to do some work in the barn and it is much easier to do without a dozen goats nosing in to see what you are doing. So I hauled hay and water out to the pasture and turned them out. They loved it. Running, bucking, acting like kids. It was fun to watch.

Once I got them settled it was time to get some projects done. There are things that have been waiting for a break in the weather. Time's getting short, and it looked like I was going to get the break I needed. Besides getting the animals out of the barn, there were a few bits I needed to pick up to be able to do the barn projects. So, I jumped in the truck and headed out. Backing out of the driveway I slid off the edge of the hill and got stuck. I tried every trick I knew (including calling the neighbors to beg for help.) Nothing worked. An hour later I gave up. The truck was well and truly stuck (I've done this before, so I know.) The barn projects were not going to get done.

So I decided to turn my attention to the greenhouse. It is past time to get it ready for early planting. As I walked by I started smacking the plastic with my hand, trying to get the snow to slid off the top. After three good smacks the rotted lath along the bottom gave way and half of the plastic started flapping in the breeze. I could see the rest of it starting to give way too. I knew the lath needed replacing this year, but I was hoping to be able to wait until the snow was gone and the day was calm. Two hours of crawling around in the snow screwing scraps to the base to temporarily hold the plastic in place. The greenhouse wasn't one bit cleaner, but at least it would not blow away (I hope!)

I went to check on the Mob in the pasture. All this activity out in the sun would make them thirsty. I needed to make sure there was still water in the trough, and that they weren't completely out of feed. The feed and water were fine, but Darby, one of our first fresheners, was laying in the snow off by herself. She is usually one of the first to the fence when I come out to check on them, so this was a bit strange. She is due to kid the first week of March. Still far enough away to not be a concern, but... I jumped the fence and trudged over to her. She had miscarried and was bleeding. I tried to get her up so I could walk her to the barn, but she couldn't stand. So, I had to carry her back. She only ways about 120 lbs, so it wasn't that difficult. Still, 120 lbs of squirming, unhappy goat, 6 inches of wet, melting snow, and a mob of interested others who wanted to come along to see what was happening, made for an interesting trip. I got her to the barn, bedded down in some dry straw, and checked her out. The bleeding stopped, I got her cleaned up, fed, and doctored to the best of my ability. Exhausted, I went back out to find half the goats out wandering around the yard. Apparently I didn't get the gate shut properly. They just wanted to see what was happening, and let me know that if I didn't do something about the gate the cow would get out too. I got them back to the pasture, locked the gate, and looked furtively around for what ever was coming next. The sun was sinking toward the western hills, long blue shadows reaching out across the snow. Time to call it a day. Wish it could be a do-over.

1 comment:

Barbee' said...

Oh, WOW, Alan! Guess it's a good thing you didn't leave in the truck. I don't know much about them, but it seems to me you might have lost that one if you hadn't been there. What a day! What is it they say about troubles coming in threes.


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