Sunday, November 12, 2017

What You Need is Almost Always Available and Often a Stones Throw Away

That's a long title!  The latest need here was to improve the ground the animals walk on.

After a week of rain the ground was saturated and MUDDY!!!  Then the temperature dropped to the teens and we had frozen ruts, both uncomfortable to walk on.  I think I finally realized last year, that putting down a layer of straw, helps (I will have to look that up).  The good news is: this year, after a few loads of leaves went to the hugel, I realized they could be of better use laid down where the animals stand the most.  And they are so beautiful to look at.  I will try to take a picture tomorrow.

One of the things I like about this time of year is that all the animals settle down early.  Last evening though,  I couldn't find Donald or Black when it was time to close the coop.  I looked a long time for them and it got dark.  It was only when I went in the garage/barn to turn off the light, that I found them in one of Black's favorite places; by the door in the garage/barn.  The reason I didn't look there was because the doors were closed all day since just after feeding the chickens.  That meant that they were both closed up in there All day.  Looking back, I thought it was funny that I hadn't seen them all day.

The next thing I need to figure out is how to get the mud out from between the two hoof parts of the sheep.  They won't let me just walk up to them and plop it out.  I do have to trim hoofs soon but the mud is a reoccurring problem (more often than hoofs).  I thought it would be nice to have a heated pan with warm water that they could walk through.  Even better would be a heated cement trough they could walk through that would also file their hoofs at the same time.  So, if what I need is available and a stones throw away.......... what is it?   I will consult with Henry tomorrow.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Why Do Geese Like To Harass Sheep?

sound like the beginning of a riddle or joke.  The mission of this blog has always been to document what is happening on the farm for future reference.

Last winter, I discovered the best order of morning chores and feeding; put out feed for the chickens, hay for the sheep, clean and fill water buckets, check level of free choice minerals, rake the barn, and then anything else I can think of, before I let the geese out.  This gives the sheep a little peace as they eat their morning hay.

I learned to embrace the time that it takes the sheep to eat, as an opportunity to meditate or take in the beauty of the morning and notice what was special about each day.  Yesterday morning, I was running late so I let the geese out before the sheep were finished eating.  They immediately went down to harass the sheep at the hay feeders.  The sheep would leave one feeder and go to the other and the geese would follow.  I drove out the driveway wondering if the sheep were going to get fed up and run over the geese, an awful feeling.  Fortunately, the sheep just tolerated the geese.  It is actually funny to watch the geese look to see which sheep is where because they know which ones will just carry on with what they are doing.  They will leave those alone and seek out the ones they know will take off.  I hope this harassment will transfer to unwanted predators.  They are guard geese, that is their job.  If they do their job, I guess we will all just have to tolerate their behavior.

My job is to get myself out of bed with enough time to go down and enjoy my morning meditation.  How long will it take me to realize that that one small action will add so much enjoyment to my day.

Transitions times have always been difficult for me,  especially fall.  At least it is light in the morning now when I start my day and start to feed hay.