Whispering Pond Farm

Whispering Pond Farm

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kid Dehorning

It was my turn this week to make the vet run to Ionia. I took Bug and Dahlia to be dehorned. We were unable to burn their horn buds adequately this spring and they kept getting larger, to the point where Bug actually got his head caught in the hay manger. It was the proverbial goat rodeo getting them both into the horse trailer, each going in different directions. They are very strong for small animals! The whole dehorning process took about an hour. Each got sedation and local medication around their horns. The vet used a scalpel around the base of each horn and then a hack saw to remove them at the base. He then cauterized the area with an electric iron. Each got pain medicine and a reversal for the sedation. Getting them out of the trailer and back into their stall, once we were home, was much easier. A little grain for enticement works every time. Dahlia perked up immediately, I am once again her friend. Bug, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with me. He'll come around, it just might take until next year! I've been on vacation this week. Katelyn was here for the first part of the week for yet another dress fitting. The bridal shop seamstress just can't seem to fit the dress to the woman. She may have to think about a different dress. We did succeed in ordering supplies for the reception and made many phone calls to finalize some plans. The rest of the week has been spent on the garden. The rain finally came this week, a blessing. Today I have been in and out, working around thunderstorms. I am going to have to inspect the damage once the rain stops. Hail accompanied the rain during the second storm. Tomorrow I want to work in the front flower bed, weed bed is actually a better term. The weeds survived the drought very well and found great comfort in the front bed. Carmen

Heat, July 18, 2012

How naive I was several weeks ago. The heat did not stop, the drought spell has continued. This is being reported as the worst stretch of heat with drought since the 1980's. Everyone is miserable. The lambs do not seem to be losing weight but I don't think they've grown either. Bob had last week off. He did all sorts of glamourous things with his time such as watering the garden, filling water tanks, weeding, and best of all....running stool samples to the vet in Ionia. Running stool across county lines is a thankless and dangerous job. Well, not either one of those things, just makes it sound more intriguing. The first run was made Tuesday morning. One of the ewe lambs was droopy, meaning she looked like she'd lost weight, was moving more slowly to the grain trough, and her mucous membranes were very pale. Flashes of Lucy's illness and death came flooding back. The verdict was nematode worms. Thankfully not coccidiosis! Still dangerous, we wormed each lamb for three days with a worm medicine more specifically for nematodes. The initially afflicted lamb is holding her own but is still not interested in grain and has not regained her lost weight. The second stool run was made Thursday morning. Violet, one of Sweet Pea's kids had diarrhea. The diagnosis this time was coccidiosis. We treatment course for the three kids was five days of oral medication. Last year we treated four lambs for 14, yes, 14 days with oral medication. A 50 pound kid is much easier to catch and treat than a 100 pound lamb, and a 5 day medication course beats 14 days hands down. I've picked blueberries for several weeks. A hot and sweaty job. The yield has been remarkable considering the crazy weather this spring. I found a recipe for blueberry BBQ sauce....unreal! Maybe everything should be slathered in blueberry BBQ sauce for the wedding dinner. Bob thinks this is a great idea! Carmen

Heat, July 6, 2012

The weather has been incredibly hot, ninety degrees and warmer for the last five days. Today will be the last day for a day or two. Bob and I have been watering the garden twice a day and the plants continue to be stressed. The water pressure in the garden is better since Mike Dyer from Dyer Drilling came and deepened the well by eight feet. He replaced the original pump and installed a smaller reservoir. He did not have to install a new well! We still cannot run the garden hose full blast, as Bob would like. The water stops completely, but the pressure is maintained enough to run a sprinkler. The cost for the adjustments is significantly less than a new well. The increased pressure and volume are adequate. The grass across the road seems to be holding it's own. I did set up a sprinkler and will start to water over there tomorrow. It does need to be reseeded. I would like to do that within the next week so new grass will be ready by September. The animals are suffering in the heat. Bob enlarged the chick area and set up a fan for them. The plastic was removed from their area so a breeze can get through. They all pant but none are sluggish, moving away from stimulation easily. The pastures are turning brown and are becoming bare, eaten to a nub by hungry sheep. I have resorted to feeding more hay. Katelyn was here for the weekend. We made a kist of people to contact and things to do. Minutiae, as Bob would say. Better to do now than rush around closer to the wedding. Katelyn picked blueberries on Sunday in the heat, a rotten job. I have since picked twice. We now have enough for ten pies for the wedding. She also helped me get hay from Bob Roth. He had many questions for her as he always does. I have started to dehydrate the herbs. The chamomile did not survive the heat so I don't have any for soap for next year. Unfortunate. Maybe I can use carrot greens with the chamomile essential oil. Hum.....Carmen

Monday, July 2, 2012

CeeLo Green, June 30

CeeLo Green has escaped the horse stall! I found him roosting on the gate in the goat stall no worse for wear. I decided to let him have his freedom come what may; cats, rooster, kid goats. After all, his continued efforts to escape should not be taken lightly. With such determination he might just have the gumption to survive. In the evening I returned to do evening chores and found him sitting on top of the lambs picking bugs out off their wool. The lambs seemed to enjoy this, actually seeking him out. Gently touching him with their noses, pick me, pick me! CeeLo has made great alliances with the lambs, he removing the bugs, they protecting him from outside forces. Who knew? Katelyn and I took Ruthie and Sweet Pea to Lisa's last night. Lisa will have them to milk. Ruthie will come home in September to contribute more milk to the wedding cheese making effort. As we pulled out of the drive Ruthie ran along the fence following the truck down the road. Sigh, she will be back soon. The kids were distraught as well. They calmed down some by late evening. It will take time. Carmen

New Chicks, June 24

The new chicks arrived today. We ordered 25 meat chicks and 10 Buff Orpington egg chicks from the hatchery in Iowa. The exotic chick has yellow down with a tuft of yellow down on it's head. It looks like it had an athletic sweat band on too tightly and the band pushed the down up into a pompon. CeeLo Green got moved into the empty horse stall to grow a little larger before he gets released into the barn yard. I got meal worms from Tractor Supply as a treat for him. He enjoyed them immensely. My way of helping him adjust to being alone. I also filled in the hole he was digging under the stall door, his valiant attempt at making a run for the outside. I felt sad for squashing his flight to freedom. Soon enough little bird. Carmen