Monday, July 18, 2011

Preparing for a New Season

Good Morning!  The heat in our area continues.  After a brief respite today's high is supposed to be back in the 90's and an increase in humidity.  This is really hard on us, but especially hard on the animals.  We will be going out and spraying down some of the animals at about 1-2 PM.  With the high heat we may be having to do it sooner and several times.  It's also important to check water supplies and even dump warm water and replace with fresh, cool water.  The Alpines and Pashminas are especially affected by the high heat.  Their small ears do not allow much heat transfer, as opposed to Nubians and Boers.  My Black Angus calves also will probably be appreciative of a good spray down.

Faline, the new Jersey calf continues to grow, which is a wonder considering she thinks Maggie only has one teat.  She seems to be getting enough, however, since she is up romping around and playing with the Boer kids.

It is now weaning season here on the farm.  I have finally convinced Li'l Bit, the steer, that he can get by without a bottle.  It was a somewhat loud process, with him voicing his disapproval every time he heard my voice near the pen.  The Boer kids, Danielle and Bounder, are ready to be weaned.  That's my judgment call.  I doubt they would agree, especially Bounder who is somewhat of a momma's boy.  So this week I will be removing them from their momma during the day, putting Danielle with the doe kids and Bounder in with the bucks.  I suppose I will feel somewhat like I am dropping them each at separate daycares.  Then at night I will put them back with their momma.  But next Monday, look out!  They will be permanently removed from momma and in with the kids.  The last of the Alpine kids will be weaned in the next two weeks, also.

The last two weeks of July will be spent preparing my does for breeding season.  Deworming is done, hooves are trimmed up, the cashmeres are combed out well one last time.  The plan is to put the bucks in with the Boers and Cashmeres for August and September for kidding in January/February.  Believe it or not, this is the first year I actually have a breeding plan written down (for the next five years!).  Last year I had a plan, but wasn't in control of the buck, so it kind of fell apart.  This year I feel much more in control and I don't have to run all over southeastern NC to accomplish it.  Michaela will not start breeding the Alpines until a little later, shooting for March/April kids.  We would both like to avoid the May/June kids since we are so busy with other things by then.

Well, the day is calling so I had better run.  As usual I am starting the day off behind.

May Yahweh bless you in this new day!


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