In 2008 my husband and I decided to try our hand at farming. We had no previous experience at what we were doing except for raising a few laying hens. After all the media hype with E-coli and other strange things in our food we just had a strong desire to know where our food was coming from. We both have full time jobs and a 14 year old son. We have jumped into this with both feet and we are learning as we go. We are interested to hear other people's comments.
Ok, well maybe not in the goat world, but in the world of mink ranching it is.
One of the major industries in our neck of the woods is mink ranching. Even though I hate the little buggers, if it wasn't for them this area would be dead. Most of us would need to move away for work.
J. holding a mink kit. These photos were taken last year.
So in a little while the ranchers are going to start getting their mink mated. By the end of April / beginning of May it's kit time! Kits are baby mink. The mink start giving birth. They are soooo cute! Too bad they can't stay that way.
I mean, how cute is that!!But then they grow up.
In July they begin implanting. Which means vaccinating against distemper and other such things. It's really an amazing process for start to finish.
By October is when they are humanely put down and prepared for the fur sales in March and May.
Mink is one of the warmest things you can wear. Cold climates like Russia depend on our mink to last their harsh winters.
I know GreenPeace and Peta would love to shut these places down, stating that the mink are inhumanely treated, but take it from someone who's seen it first hand, these animals are treated better than most people treat their pets! If they weren't treated well it would show in their pelts meaning less money for the rancher. Maybe it's not the best reason for treating the mink well, but at least it's better than nothing.
One of the real threats for the mink ranchers now is a disease called Aleutians Disease. Or AD. It kills the mink early or if it doesn't kill them, it kills their kits. It also is very contagious from mink to mink. We are hoping and praying for a vaccine or cure soon for them.
One of the marvels in our neck of the woods are the world's highest tides (and you thought it was my very own Red Green!)
Low Tide in Weymouth
Pictures cannot do them justice but I'm going to post high and low tide photos anyway.
Their power is awe inspiring!
High Tide in Weymouth
People have been known to get lost on the beaches around here. If it's low tide and they're by the water, then the fog sets in....it's a very dangerous situation. The tide comes in (and it comes in fast) the person gets disoriented. Not good.
Scientists have discovered a good way to use the power of the tides.
Well this year it seems like Febe hasn't grown a winter coat. Why? I have no idea? Cindi Lou and Tommy did hmmm...
Anyway I was kinda worried about this. Last year I tried putting sweaters on the goats but it just didn't pan out. They were too big and the goats were walking all over them.
So today I thought I'd try it again and I went to the local second hand clothing store and bought a few SMALL vests and sweaters.
Aren't they just so cute!
Cindi Lou is wearing the latest in zipped up fleece vests with pockets on each side for carrying a few snacks for later on in the day. I mean now...you never know when you're going to get the munchies. Especially when you're expecting!
Febe is modelling the latest in jersey knit tees. She just finds it makes her feel snug and cozy. Even though it is getting a bit tight in the midriff. But I mean...come on...isn't that how all celebrities wear their tees when they're enceinte?
Now Tomi, well Tomi pees on himself. So he doesn't get any goat couture.
This is what a buck pen looks like when your husband doesn't properly lock it.
This is what a properly locked buck pen looks like.
This is what a Great Pyrenees' pen looks like.
This is what a Great Pyrenees' pen looks like when the buck's pen is not locked properly and someone has a ball, grabs the goat treats off the tippy top shelf and gets a bellyache.
Hmmm....is it this tiny little puppy that did this damage?
Or is it the face of innocence here?
Hmmm....I'd say both.
Well it's this time of the year when I start to panic. Especially this year.
It's the time of year when mating season is just about over, the does have not come in heat in 2 cycles, yet they still aren't showing.
So I begin to think...are they? or aren't they?
That is the question. Especially when you are using a young unproven buck. Not the smartest thing I've done in my lifetime. But I hope it will all be fine at Easter, cause that's when both are due.
Well I just couldn't help myself. I just couldn't. I broke down and I bought SEEDS!!!!
But I didn't order them. I had to go to Kentville yesterday and today (Dave was having surgery to fix the complications from the surgery of 3 weeks ago) so I went to the Country Store and bought SEEDS in BULK!!
But I controlled myself. I only bought gourds, pumpkins, peas, beets, carrots and I'm looking for a place to buy sunflower seeds in bulk.
It was time to deworm the dog tonight. First of all I just couldn't believe the price to deworm her. Just a few dollars shy of 50$$$!!! ACK!
All I have to say is try giving 3 huge pills to an 82 lb puppy that just wants to lick your face and play. Oh My WORD! It took five tries to get them in her mouth and to get them to stay in there. In hindsight, I should have brought in a few hotdogs. But that doesn't always work. We used to have a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling dog and we'd put the pills in the hotdogs, she'd gulp to whole thing then spit out the pills like we do with watermelon seeds!
So after that wrestling match with Tundra I'm now kinda pooped.
We wanted it and we got it. Last week we got 40 cm of snow in a day. Ack! Now tomorrow we are getting 10 mm of rain. Isn't that gonna be nice. NOT!
Day after the storm, nice and sunny.
Getting rid of your snow in the driveway with a snowblower is great, if you only expect snow. Now.... if your also expecting rain, it's not the best. Because it turns that nice, clean, white driveway into a nice, smooth ice skating rink. Whip out the skates! It's 'Hockey night in Nova Scotia!"
Dandruff or snow? Hmmm you decide.
Thank goodness for studded winter tires. Phew.
Well our night at Rudders worked out well. It didn't have many ladies, but we did sell over 100$ worth of soap. New customers. I can't remember if I mentioned it but we came out with a new scent. Lavender. Some with the petals, some without. It went over well. I'm not much of a lavender fan, but now I'm not making soap just for myself. Kinda like the Patchouli. Yuck!
The lavender we called it Lavender Dreams and the Patchouli is Holy Patchouli! I'm having Deja Vu. I think I did mention this in a previous post. You know what they say. The mind is the second thing to go....and I can't remember what the first thing is.
This feeder is about 5 feet off the ground and Shadow regularly jumps in it. Doesn't grab anywhere, just jumps.
I've begun feeding the wild birds regularly now. Some appreciate it more than others. Shadow was waiting for his next meal of "Bluejay a l'orange".
J. also seems fascinated by the woodpecker.
Barn fever cured after the storm.
Oh! I just about forgot! I've started belly dancing lessons. Very good exercise since I'm trying to lose about 40 lbs. It's not going well. I've been at it for over a month now. I'm walking everyday and bellydancing once a week, eating healthy and I've lost a total of 2 lbs!! Then I gained it all back. Very, very discouraged.
Have a Blessed Day! Lisa
p.s. why is it that hurricanes and tropical storms have names and winter storms don't. Is the north not important enough?