The weather was warm and beautiful this weekend so we worked outside. Paul spent most of the time working on my garden fence posts, on the tractor and pulling weeds around the fruit trees. He bought another large square bale for the equines and tractored it up to their barn. This bale is nothing as nice as the last one; lots of straw in it. The last one was almost entirely Bermuda and Ms. Melman and Nugget didn’t waste a mouthful of it. I have a feeling that there is going to be a lot of wasted hay with this bale. I wish we had a more reliable source of hay, but since we’ve moved to the large round or square bales, there is only one place close enough for us to get it from and it’s hit-or-miss. At least the grass is starting to come up so they will have some fresh greens to supplement the crappy hay.
I spent most of the time cleaning out the goat / chicken barn again in anticipation of Annette’s kidding in four days.
Birdie-View of Annette's Wide Load
The front of the barn is dedicated to the goats and the back side is the chicken coop & chicken stuff like extra waterers, feeders & brooding equipment. The goat side consists of three separate areas with an open, loafing area in the middle. The side where I do my milking also has the metal cans of feed, disbudding box, fence supplies, and just about every other thing goat-related with the exception of the medicines which I keep in the refrigerator or inside in the medicine cabinet. The other two areas are kidding pens, although Christine’s Silkies are still occupying the smaller kidding pen until they are big enough to join the rest of the flock.
Even though I did a good cleaning and tossing of junk less than a month ago, the mice were back. I’ve been saving the empty paper feed sacks for kiddings and the stinking rodents made a mess of them again. When I pulled the stack of bags out of there I found a nest of mice. Like, gag-me-there-were-so-many mice. Apparently they were having a good-ole time underneath the pile of bags. So I stepped on as many as I could, tossed the squished rodents to the chickens (yes, they love to eat mice) and cleaned the area up.
I really, really wish I could get Barn Cat to hang out in the barn. I see him just about every night, but have yet to find where he hangs out during the day or where he sleeps. I keep putting the cat food dish closer & closer to the barn, but I think the goats may be scaring him off. Either that or it’s too darned loud in there at night with all the goat kids that he has to find quieter sleeping accommodations elsewhere.
The chickens have fresh bedding in their coop (dry, wasted hay from the goats), the kidding pen has been cleaned, aired out and filled with fresh shavings and the milking parlor is clean enough to be able to actually milk in there now. I think I may cut a piece of vinyl flooring (extra from the kitchen re-do) to put on the milk stand so it will be easier to wipe clean after each milking. I was thinking about flooring the entire milk parlor with the vinyl, but I’m not sure if that will be more or less sanitary in the long run.