Sunday, August 1, 2010

So, whatcha been up to? or a day on the homestead

Morning cart loaded with food and milking equipment for the for the goats and food and dishes for the pigs.  

So whatcha been up to?   Nothin much....  Same thing as everyday.   That's my answer to that question.  It's a question much like the one I get from my family in the mid west...."When you coming to see us?"   Ahhh.... probably not anytime soon guys.  Maybe you could come see me????   Usually -  not always -  but usually, when I get asked those questions it's as if  the person asking is waving a red flag that says they have absolutely no understanding what our life is like.  You can tell them and on a intellectual level they may get it but at gut level they really don't.  

We have a small kennel.  We raise and occasionally show Tibetan Terriers.  We used to show the dogs more but when you have a lot of animals it is hard to go anywhere.  Then, because we were limited in being able to leave anyway, I decided why not get those goat's I had always wanted.  I had been hesitant to get goats because of the twice a day milking and how that would really tie us to the house but what the heck we already were tied down because of the dogs.   After a couple of years with the goats the decision was made to get the pigs my 10 year old wanted to help use the milk and produce some of our own meat.   Now we are at a point that getting to the feed store is an event.   Add the garden and all it's chores to that and home has become a lifestyle called homesteading.  

 I have to check in with myself on occasion to see why the heck I'm doing this,  like on the day we moved all those cattle and goat panels when it was 100 degree's out.   Or tonight, when after doing all the day's chores and fitting in a trip to the feed store, I get home in time to get ready for the evening chores but realize, it's gonna rain tonight and momma pig hasn''t got that litter of piglets out of the woods yet and up to the pig house so I need to figure out how to either move them or somehow keep them dry where they lie.   I decided to haul a 9' picnic umbrella and heavy duty stand and some hay out to the woods to keep them covered and up somewhat off the ground on the hay.   We'll see.   Then I get to start the nights chores which are an abbreviated version of the morning chores.  

Load the cart, haul it to the goat area, tether the goats  so they don't eat each others food,  

Check out the udder on Tina (on the right).  That's about a gallon of milk in there.   With her two kids gone this week to their new home it's all ours...oh yeah, and the pigs.

Goats sweet feed mix with extra corn, sunflower seeds for extra protein and  2 overgrown summer squashes cut up in it - Yummy!

Now on to the pigs.  They hear the yellow wagon and me feeding the goats and know their next...momma even left her babies in the woods to come wait at the fence.   I throw them some hay over the fence first to distract them so I can get the food in there.  They don't always take the bait though.

Pig bucket... soaked corn, pig pellets with sunflower seeds, summer squash and milk.  Now the trick is to get it into their enclosure.  Yikes!  Let the squealing begin!  I  ALWAYS wear my knee high Welly's for this job. 

The adults don't look much better.   What little pigs they are about their food!   And isn't that Tina and Passion I hear letting me know they are done eating...come untether them?   I need to milk anyway now that all have been fed.

Let see, do I have everything?  Udderly easy milker and it's inserts, wipes to clean her, udder spray for when I'm done, insect repellent for her, a Pepsi for me,  milking bucket and my stool.   Oh and I better check baking soda before I leave and I think I'll do her hooves while I"m here.  Most goats can go 3 - 6 months on hooves but not my Tina. 

These were done at kidding time.   The kids are 10 weeks old now.   Should have done them a month ago.

OK,  that's better.  Not perfect but I'll do a little more tomorrow.   Now I need to go do the kennels, check the gardens, pick up the house, get some food on before I go to the the feed store so I can get home in time for evening chores.  

And I love it and  am so very very grateful that I have this as my life.  

Well it's getting light out now so I think I'll go see how those baby pigs made out last night in the woods.


  1. I just found your blog! I love it! Those goats and pigs are lovely.

  2. I'm so glad you found us! Hope you come back again.

  3. i like your goat site i have a lot of goats

  4. I too just found your blog, It's GREAT! I see your previous blogs are old but hope you see this. You are living the life I always wished for. Anonymous 78


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