Don’t cry over spilled milk…just give it to the dogs.

Greetings from Yarrow this fine week!!!

I would say what a wonderfully fine week this is, but hell I actually don’t remember what happened this week. I will have to consult my notes.  While I do that have a sweet look at where Conner spends guard duty now. The milk stanchion. He has been guarding the babies at night, that little section to the right is where the babies stay. He also LOVES being there for milking. He cleans up any spilled milk right away. He also loves playing with the babies and licking the goat mommas. It is great! I think Conner thinks he isn’t big enough so he must stand on the stanchion. He has also totally lucked out the past two mornings.  It really wasn’t great for me, but both mornings a goat decided they really wanted their foot in my milk pail.  Hence, the milk went to the dogs.  Depressing for me, exciting for the dogs. 

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This isn’t going to be in any sort of order. We went and did some errands on Monday.  We picked up roofing metal, mostly for other people, but you know, we are nice like that.  We also had to replace metal we had borrowed from someone else.  Because you know, people are nice like that 🙂  We also went to our most favorite Amish ran salvage grocery store.  Oh how I love salvage grocery stores.   We also picked up some metal barrels to store feed.  You see the white bucket system doesn’t work that well.  The lids are either really hard to get on or way too hard to get off.  Hence, the girls don’t usually put them on all the way, hence food is lost in one way or another.  There is also the fact that a 50 pound bag of feed will not fit in one bucket.  So, you either have buckets all over the place, or half used bags or well, in any way it is a mess.  I am excited about these new barrels. The milk stand looks very different now.  Last night we went to drop the metal off at Shagbark.   While we were settling up everything (that is the awesome thing about neighbors that rock, it always seems that either you owe them money or they owe you), I was notified that the angora bunnies were weaned and ready to go home.  The girls had already talked about which ones they wanted.  Joan had brought over bunnies about a week ago for everyone to snuggle.  I have to be honest and say I really didn’t care which bunnies, I just want fiber!!!  Anyway, we went and got the bunnies and went home.  They are all settled in right now.  We still don’t know what sex they are.  I am pretty sure they are different though.  At least their parts look different to me.   We will see though.

So here are some sweet pictures of the newest additions to Yarrow.

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Layla and Midnight. Names may change when we find out their sex.  Yes, they DO have eyes, you just can’t see them.  These bunnies are only about 6 weeks old.  I got to see them when they were hairless little mice looking things.  They will give me lots of fiber eventually and I find that super exciting.  

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so you can see the nose, which really is the only thing on this bunny that shows it is something other than a ball of fluff.

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This is Calico.  Again, name may change.  These are english angora bunnies.  They are the softest fiber ever.  Okay, there may be something softer, but I am not too sure about that.  It is sad that I can’t feel any fiber after touching these guys because everything feels rough after them.  

Yesterday we stated harvesting rose petals.  This isn’t so easy.  You can’t harvest the whole flower, just the petals.  If you harvest the whole flower you won’t get the hip later in the year. It took the four of us about 2 hours of constant picking to get enough to do two quarts.  AND we get to do it all over again many days in a row.  To make the tincture and oil strong you want to keep straining out the old and putting new in every day.  We have enough wild roses to do this though.  It is just super time consuming. 

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Multi-flora rose…an invasive species that our animals LOVE!!!  They smell amazing and while it is a pain to see them all over the place, well, when life gives you an invasive species, make tincture!!  And do your best to keep it under control.  That is the animals job.  They eat the rose down every time they are near one.

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They are beautiful though, aren’t they???

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The girls picking.  It was a windy day, which made picking not very easy.  By the way, you may be thinking, wow Natalie looks tall.   Yes, she is.  She is maybe an inch shorter than me right now.  Maybe.  I am just going to say that she is so I feel better.  

Really, not much has been happening this past week.  I can tell you all how much yesterday morning sucked. 

It started out not so bad.  The girls came in totally freaking out because Luna had a missing tooth and it was all bloody.  So a quick search on the internet showed that she was older than we thought, 3.5 to 4 years old, and was losing her baby teeth.  No biggie, or at least not a much of a biggie as it seemed.  The girls asked if they could give her some yarrow for the bleeding.  While it was a great idea, there is yarrow all over the place and the animals all go for it all the time.  They also told me that Conner ripped open the bag of sunflower seeds.  See why we need barrels??  Anyway, they were all over the place.  So I wrote Jack and told him we would need more and gave him the news about Luna.  Then I went out to milk.  There are days when milking is a comedy of errors.  Everything that can go wrong does.  Goats spill the milk, worse actually, they just put their foot in it.  If a little spills out because they knock it, that is one thing, if they put their foot in it, you can’t save it.  Conner kept trying to get on the milk stand also.  He really likes getting the first squirt of milk.   This first squirt never goes in your pail,  The goats in line to be milked were getting lose and kept trying to get into the food.  Layla was trying to get the alfalfa pellets into a bucket.  About halfway through I noticed that they didn’t look right.  Turns out the bag had gotten wet somehow and there was mold all in it.  The whole bag was ruined. Oh sigh.  THEN, THEN!!!!  The girls informed me that Rapunzel had somehow gotten out.  This goat still doesn’t like us.  Catching her was not going to be fun.  We finished milking and then giving the milk to Conner since it had goat foot cooties on it.   Then we went and tried to catch Rapunzel.  We had her cornered a few times but she is a wily one.  I feel that I should mention that I am not good at catching animals. I can herd them alright, but when it comes down to jumping at them and grabbing, not good.  However, we didn’t have much option yesterday morning.  So we were all closed in on her, with me behind.  I figured it was now or not.  If she ran she at least would be running into our farm and not down the road to the train tracks like all her sisters did that one winter night.  I dove and grabbed. I landed hard on my knees and was dragged by her while holding onto a back leg.  Natalie quickly dove and got the other leg and Layla got the horns. We dragged her back and put her in the fence.  After all that I was about ready to be done. 

The day went on however, it always does no matter if you want it to or not.  We knew we had to move animals that night.  That was probably a big reason why we had such a problem with goats getting out.  Moving them was not fun.  As soon as we came to the fence they thought they could get out.  It was a lot of work, a lot of running, a lot of catching animals that got out, a lot of sweat, swearing and tears.  The lesson learned, it is better to move them a day early than a day late.  

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