Waiting for water

By: nonblanche , 6:23 PM GMT on January 19, 2014

Computer projections are showing rain early in February. I hope so. Abe the Hay Guy is anticipating, if all is good as it can be under current conditions, two irrigation cycles. That's about 1/8 of what we would usually get.

He said "Gotta be optimistic, right?"
I answered "That's what farmers do. We stay optimistic, what it's all about."

$13 a bale isn't too bad. I didn't ask him what he's likely to charge next year. I sort of lucked out, he had a bunch of bales from the bottom of the stack that got wet and a little fouled the last time we had wet snow and rain. It was a touch moldy which isn't such a huge deal for the goats - what they don't eat they chop up with those pointy little hooves into compost for the pasture. $11 a bale!

I love that we're breeding for tough, thrifty eaters with good muscle and decent udders - the difference is obvious when I compare Lily with Angel. Lily's out of Marsha, a Nigerian Dwarf, by Tiger, who was Boer/Pygmy. At first I was going to cull Lily, but timing plus opportunity means she's here, she's loaded with kid, she has a wonderful blocky body and even at the bottom of the herd rank she's in wonderful condition. I figure she's about 60 or 70 lbs.

Angel on the other hand is a Boer/Toggenberg cross, supposed to be a milker but got the least desireable traits of both breeds I think. Her udder size is more Boer, her metabolism is more Togg, and I have to supplement her as though she were in full milk just to keep her in condition. She's an obligation though - she and her sister Dancer were given to us by an elderly neighbor on the condition that we don't cull them. And really, Angel is beautiful and a good doe to her kids, Woody and Elf. Woody looks like a good, solid wether who'll have good muscle, and Elf doesn't seem to have her mother's flaws. I'll know how much Togg trait she's carrying when she bags up before kidding (probably March.)

I'll see soon enough if Lily's genetic baggage is worth keeping around. I am thinking she'll be our first kidding, maybe even first week of February. This season's buck, Knight, is small but built like a heavy conditioned pit bull. Huge shoulders, huge girth, short legs with solid shanks. If he and Lily complement each other's muscle traits in wethered kids, next season I may use a buck out of her to reinforce the muscles.

I'll probably ramble more about our herd in a next entry.

For me though, unloading 10 bales with Mariel, I got enough mold dust into me I woke up with puffy vertigo ears. Almost felt hungover from it - but nothing coffee and fresh air didn't fix.

Time to go check the livestock again. Feel free to natter about the weather and goats.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About nonblanche

I live on 3 acres outside city limits. We raise goats, children, and quite a ruckus. Watch the radar, watch the skies.

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