Don't romanticize what living in the country might be - for all our wonderful blessings - it is often plain hard work. As the weather turned warmer - we realized it was past time to pick up fallen tree limbs, use the tractor to pile up cut down trees and pick up/pile up brush that is dried. We'd stacked up some last fall - it served as shelter for some birds and unfortunately - snakes. Copperheads have been bad this year - with our goats and household pets (including Moe the magnificent!) it is smarter to get rid of brush piles. Only way to deal with it is to burn. So first we gather up as much as possible.To go from THIS:
But to smoldering embers like below - just 30 minutes or so.
So many jobs are like that - the preparation takes real work and planning. We even have to notify the sheriff's department when we are starting to burn so we don't scare people around us into calling 911 to report a fire. Once the prep is done - the activity itself takes just a little time and finally you have some clean up to do. It has been a stressful few days- we lost an adult goat. Despite researching and asking questions of people we thought would know,we never figured out exactly the problem. Bananna seemed to rally Friday and to our dismay we found her dead in the pen Saturday morning. Death is part of life whether we live in the country or in a city condo - but it is still hard. Small comfort was that she ate rather well on Friday and all the time she stayed with the herd (goats get very stressed when they are isolated). So we are down to 18 goats right now - Bananna's twin sister, Hannah, and their mother, Crybaby, have been restless since Saturday - wandering around making "calls" and searching the pens. Bananna was such a sweet mother - she kept one of the newborn kids (Dotsy) thriving by accepting her when Dotsy's mother wasn't maternal. So it all goes on - Dotsy will possibly breed next year and we can hope she'll be a mother like Bananna. We find the goats to be very similar in their family lines - physically and in behaviors. Sweet does have better natured kids -so that was our rationale in selecting who to sell this year in reducing the herd. The does we kept are good mothers, pleasant enough for us to deal with and not so dominant. Of course - nature abhors a vacuum - so the Alpha female role is being duked out - current leaders are Crybaby and Flip but Nubie gets ticked enough to fight back once in a while. Nubie's lack of horns is a disadvantage but we'll see how it shakes out.