Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preg Checking

Jay the vet came the other day compleat with his Borg like ultra sound equipment to preg check the goats. Sadly they were all empty (not pregnant) but on reflection I was relieved and happy. Let me explain.
We could not find a Toggenberg buck any where and many breeders suggested we line breed by using one of this years buck kids. I knew this was a common practice with purebred breeders but to a commercial breeder like myself it was all a bit much. I felt very guilty turning him in with his relatives and a sence of guilt and shame came over me. though young he seemed to be doing his job and well, at least we would have kids born on time and a milk supply for orphan lambs. What you see is not always what you get, espesialy in this case. Although busy the buck was not mature and so was shooting blanks. A huge burden of guilt lifted of my Catholic consience, I felt much better, but where was I to find a buck this late.
Being late is what saved my bacon. The origional supplier of my doe's said she would rent me an unrelated Toggenburg buck who had finished his work and was keen for some overtime. So of to Lumby I went and brought home Charles who is now very busy with his new ladies. We will have the kids later and I may have to buy some milk powder to start the orphan lambs, but at least we will have Toggenberg kids with out the "goatie insence"!

New Arrivals

Long before I met my wife she raised meat rabbits for the local butcher in England. Later when logging in BC in the 80s we had some for our own consumption. Its the other white meat, and it doesn't make a noise at first light so you can produce them in town without any one knowing!
With our Harmonious Homestead agritourism business we were looking for new forms of livestock that would earn their keep but still be fun for visitors to pet and see. After much web searching and phone calls Clare came back from visiting the grandchildren in Alberta with three beautiful Californian does. Then this coming weekend we will have delivered a New Zealand white buck from a rabbitary in the next valley. Needless to say they will not be getting closely acquainted until February so we can have little bunnies galore for our open days!

Rosa RIP

After moving back to the farmyard side of the river and with access to the road our dog Rosa developed some annoying habits. It started with her collecting garbage from the road side and bringing it back into the field to chew on. Amazingly she could chew an aluminium beer can to shreds and not cut herself. Sadly it turned into vehicle chasing. Why any dog starts to chase 3 tons of Detroit steel never ceases to amaze me, I mean what do they think they will do with it when they catch it!Several neighbours said they had seen her in the act, but I had not caught her to tell her off.
One morning several weeks ago at first light I found her lying in the barn with major injuries all down one side. It was obvious she had been struck by a vehicle and had come back to the barn as it was her "safe place".The only choice was to put her down as she was in pain with no hope of recovery. I buried her next to our first guardian dog Emma in our pet cemetery who thankfully died at a much older age due to a stroke. Even though I view these types of dogs as livestock and members of the flock it is still tough and lonely doing chores when you loose one.