Also need to go to the bank to draw the money to pay Phil for the butchering of the beasties, and collect the frozen meat. I got about half the canning meat done - 40 quart jars - before the rest of the meat froze in the shed. I ran out of wide-mouth canning jars, and didn’t have regular mouth lids to use the regular quart jars either. Have a whack of meat curing for biltong, need to hang it tomorrow, and have a brisket curing too. Can’t wait to make ruebens with it, found a partial jar of sauerkraut I made previously in the fridge, so just need to make another batch of the horseradish dressing, maybe bake some ciabatta rolls and we’ll have a great meal or six.
Daisy May has mastitis, so I medicated her on Friday after milking and now am watching her for the 60 hours needed to clear the meds from her system. Sheila and Lisa terrorised the cows, Lisa inside their closure, Sheila outside the fence. The cows hit the fence and broke 2 posts, Daisy May hurting her front foot / leg in the process, and then coming down with the mastitis due to the stress. Bloody dogs. Them chasing deer is bad enough, but attacking the cows in an enclosed space where they can’t run away, made me really angry. It’s as if Lisa can’t help herself, she hops over the fence next to the shed into their enclosure, where I’ve tried to block it, but at least now she can’t jump back out. Sheila doesn’t jump into the enclosure, she joins in the fun from the outside. I keep one of them tied up, Lisa at night and Sheila during the day. Keeps them home and out of the lower barn enclosure. I suppose I should be grateful they don’t attack the chickens. Tux does that. Had to chase her out the chicken house the other day again.
The guinea fowl have commandeered the chicken house, and they’re mean to the new chickies. The balance of the older hens and roosters are in the side yard, waiting for butchering when it gets a bit warmer but before the flies reappear. Set one free, a hatchling from last year who is laying a dirty-green egg. Come to think of it, I don’t know where she’s laying the past few days. The last one I found was in a nest she’d made next to the sheeps’ hay bale. But Herbie found a guinea egg in the chicken house today too.
Sold Seasaidh last month, took Taxes and IRS to be butchered together with a ram, and have Thor and Ginger up for sale too. Then just need to sell them and Tony and Gus, and we’re down to 2 Jersey cows, 1 Jersey heifer and Oliver, the Jersey bull. Herbie wanted me to reduce the numbers so that we can feed them through the Winter with our own hay. We had 3 poor hay cuttings last year, hopefully this year will be better. On the sheep, we are down to 4 ewes, one ram lamb from last year, my bottle boy Stan, and Hershey, the ram. Manda is looking at possibly taking 2 ewes in the Spring once they’ve had their lambs, together with the lambs. That will mean we’ll only grow by a maximum of 4 lambs next year - much more manageable. Also need to reduce the numbers of our geese. We have 16, down from 18, and I’ll happily go back down to 6. Looking forward to having some goose liver. Our duck population is down to 10 from 18 due to vermin too, can butcher a few boys as well, if I can catch them. Happy to keep the 13 guinea fowl. They’re loud but I can’t sex them. Have a gimpy girl in the chicken house. She skedaddles from me whenever I go in there to replace feed and water. Need to grab her to see exactly what her issue is.
Last week our water quit. Fortunately it stopped right when the 3rd animal trough was full ! But milking was interesting. I’d stored 4 x 5-gallon buckets of water in the basement after the 4-day power outage we experienced last year, as going down to the creek to fill buckets to flush loos wasn’t fun. Used 2 buckets for the milking, had to heat a pot of water on the stove to wash the cows and for the washing of the milking equipment, did the rinsing in cold water, then put the sterilisation liquid in the rinse water and ran it through the system again. Our neighbour, Doug, offered me water, so I took the buggy down and filled more buckets, as well as some potable water for us. Gave Herbie a mug so he could brush his teeth, and another mug for me, and could make some tea. Thanks Doug :). Rick from Seese removed the check-valve from the piping before the bladder tank. He was part of the team that installed the well in 2003. Although the instructions with the tank said it had to be installed, he said it wasn’t to code, and it was sparking. When the water stopped, Herbie first replaced the switch in the electric box - still no water, then put in a new pump switch, no water. Then we had to call the well company. Lovely when shit happens on a Sunday, have to wait for Monday to get anything fixed.
It’s weird. As soon as we get a little extra money, something goes wrong and we need to spend it on some unforeseen expense. That will be about $1,000 that should have gone to the farm taxes.
Herbie really likes driving the Subaru, while I have the truck. I moved his work stuff from the truck the night I sold Seasaidh and had to have the truck to deliver her in the horse trailer, and then to get a tonne of feed from the mill, and the weekly hay run over from Mikes’, so moved all my paraphernalia from Ruby to the truck. Noddy is still in the shed, under a protective tarp. He’s not tagged or licensed so is not driveable, his tag was transferred to Ruby. Thinking about it now, we should have transferred the tag from the Honda, or the van.
Sucessfully made mozzarella cheese a few times now :). It’s delicious. Having excess milk has it’s upside.
Had a flooded basement again 2 weeks ago. It seems to seep in from under the lounge and I don’t know how to fix that. Stepping into cold water in my socks isn’t fun, and many of my canning boxes have been ruined. Desperately need to get the basement cleared, and then put the shelving up. At least then nothing should get wet, except me of course. I probably need to pull the bit of flooring up. Maybe seal the floors ? And partway up the wall to keep it dry ?Thank goodness I have those colourful foam tiles, I just need to steer clear of the joins which let water through when stepped on.
I bought 2 of those huge 240 lbs (?) plastic cube containers in the metal cages for my greenhouse. Thinking about filling them with water and placing them on the back West wall, for insulating / heating mass, and to grow tilapia fish. Just not sure what to feed them. Don’t want to go the corn or other grain feed route, would rather feed what they’d eat in the wild so that they’re healthier for us to eat. Need a bit of research. Would love to grow Hake, Kabeljou, Musselcracker or Kingklip :). Miss those delicious South African fish :(.
Marmalade is sick again. Just got her, Tux and Bandit better, when she regressed. Respiratory issues are a bugger, aren’t they ? Cooper never caught it, she’s fat and sassy. Saw her eat a creature she’d caught the other day. She wouldn’t let me close enough to see what it was. Just heard all the bones crunching as she chewed it, and saw a scrap of greyish fur. Let them into the house where I could medicate their feed, and now I have to stand guardian at the doors as they try shoost in whenever one is opened. Except for Bandit. He escapes through the doggy door immediately after I bring him inside. Erics’ boys broke it, so I have duct tape holding it closed. The cats can go out, but they can’t come back in.
Received Herbies W2 in the mail this weekend, so now there is no excuse to procrastinate any further on the taxes !! I absolutely hate doing the taxes. Which is surprising as it’s really not that bad when I’m actually doing them. Think it’s the preparation that is so stressful.