Monday, September 6, 2010

goats and sunflowers

We've been making a few improvements on our current goat setup. When we moved the does to their current location last October, there were a few essentials we overlooked, the most significant being that we hadn't set up an easy way to get bedding out of the stalls and pen and away to a convenient compost location. We are now remedying that by pushing a path in on the downside of the stall. Dustin has been using a skid-steer to remove all the hay and bedding that has built up over the last year. He also put up electric fencing for a second pen, and built a door at the rear of the stall that exits into the new pen. The buck pen has also benefited from Dustin having time off work. The stall is cleaned out, as well as several wheelbarrows of bedding removed from the feed area. Yesterday he moved the feeder away from the gate and built a roof over it that can be pulled with a rope to lift from outside the pen. So we can toss hay into their pen without having to handle to boys - very convenient this time of year when they are in full rut - saves lots of laundry and extra showering. In the past we have tossed hay in from outside, but the feeder was close to their gate, so it was a never ending battle with the hay building up and blocking the gate.

New doe pen.

Now there is a door on the stall wall facing us. You can see the new path that wraps around the building.
In other goat news, Rose is in heat for the first time this season. I was hoping she would be hoarse by this morning as she spent the better part of yesterday and all night hollering at the top of her lungs. Of course she is the one doe that I'm planning on breeding late as she is giving the most milk right now. We've started drying off Xanadu as she hasn't been looking well. We had the vet come out and look at her. She is anemic so we've been worming her heavily and we gave her a round of antibiotics. We've stopped milking her and have separated her from her daughter in an attempt to reduce stresses on her body.


It has been a good sunflower summer. I've been cutting fresh sunflowers to bring in the house regularly. There are several that are going to seed. The goats love to nibble on sunflower heads as do the chickens, so I'll hang and dry them for winter treats.

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