Treating Mild Hypothermia in Ducks

Its bone chilling cold, we have been sitting between -35 to -38 for close to 24 hours, and we had a solid dump of snow of around a foot at the “warmest haha” part of the afternoon in full deep cold winter gear hubby cleared the lane. We were certainly happy to have the snow blower for this storm.

Here I was all worried about the larger livestock, the smaller rabbits and of course the purr pots, most of which are safely tucked in the house being lazy warm things on beds but there are two “farm” outside only so keeping a close eye on them in the croft.

The birds had been put in a lock down and they have a heat lamp in their main pen, the ducks main water had been made so they can drink but not bath in it.

One of the hens got herself into a pickle by sneaking in between the layers on the doorway and let herself get nice and chilled.. Why she didn’t move out of there is anyone’s guess.  She is a young hen, and its true that its her first bad spot of winter and like most of the ducks, they never seem to mind the cold, they are out in the snow, snow resting, snow bathing and enjoying the winter, she normally is one that sleeps in the outside hut but I wanted them all moved in due to the extreme cold.. but she clearly tried to get to close to going back outside.

Needless to say she was found on a check and now is currently in a big crate in my living room, she is being slowly warmed up.

Here are some Key points to raise the rates that this will be successful!

  • Use a damp luke warm towel to wipe the back /wings.
  • Wrap the duck in a warmed towel if possible, just put a number of your “livestock” towels that are clean into the dryer, so that way you can pull a warm one out as needed
  • You want to melt any ice/snow off their feet/legs and dry them up.
  • Once you have her dried but damp wiped down if needed
  • Put her in a box/crate with a soft warm ideally wool Blanket by indirect heat
  • You must warm the duck up slowly..
  • After the duck has had a 20 minute rest, bring out and start its movements if it can hold its head up.. if the head is still not held up.. wrap again in warmed towels, switch them out as they cool and back to the box.  If its head is up.. carefully and gently move its feet, toes and legs, don’t fight it.. if they are still stiff and can’t move things yet.. go slow.
  • Do not offer water or food at this stage, when bodies are this cool, digesting is hard work.
  • Help adjust the ducks legs so that they can sit properly under them..
  • Once you see them start to shift and tuck their feet/leg under themselves and tucking their head into their feathers on their own. Then you can offer them a small warm water drink. Better to have small drinks every hour and then two hours then big drinks.
  • Do not leave water in with the duck.. offer for a few minutes only at a time.
  • Please keep the duck in for at least 12 to 24 hours.
  • Ideally within 12 hours you will have a warmed happy ready to go duck on your hands.
  • Please check its feet/toes and legs carefully to see if you have any white spots, blisters and or how its movement is.

Update: Its the next day and our little hen is up, all looking good and ready to head back out to the hen house later this afternoon.  I am glad we caught her very early in her chill stage.  It could have been much worse if she had not been found as soon as she was.

Today is just as cold.. – 41 was our coldest and they say our “high” of the afternoon will be -28..  warm water will be hauled out for all the critters and multi checks will be done, I am hoping very much that we will have no issues today but I know that as the deep bitter cold extends day after day that it gets more and more likely that will have something crop up..

 

Posted in Critters | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Dogwood Photography Week 3

It was Week 3 for the Dogwood 52 Photography Challenge. Its been interesting to plan out the photo shoots and I had a crazy amount of good photos to choose from this week when it came to the final one.

Here is my official Dogwood Photography Photo for Week 3

This was my main runner up!


Everyone loved my other black and whites and I did too but I wanted it be different this week.. I was so happy with the others but just didn’t feel like they pushed “different” enough and I don’t get the same freedom in the coming weeks to be point on the subject so this week was one that I could go as funky as I wanted!

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How to make a Basic Rabbit Stew

Is there anything better on a cold winter day then a bowl of hot stick to your ribs stew? In this case is a filling tasty rabbit stew.  We made a big enough pot that it made 8 big portions of stew.

This one is good hot the days its made and just as good reheated the next day!

Rabbit is an outstanding “other white meat” its a very lean and healthy protein source if you can buy it in the store or even better yet, if you can raise meat rabbits yourself.

In this case I was being very frugal indeed, as I was using up the “front” portion of the rabbit. I roasted off the neck and front bits (but not the front legs as they were used to make ” BBQ rabbit wings” 

Once it was cooked, I cooled it, saving all the broth and then pulled all the meat off the bones for this amazing stew. Rabbit does have a good amount of tiny bones so please take the time to do this carefully so that ideally  you don’t get any left in your meat.

Rabbit Stew Recipe (winter)

  • 2 med onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 med potato’s
  • 2 med carrots
  • 4 cups of diced green beans
  • 2 cups of corn
  • 8  to 10 cups of white broth (Veg or Chicken)
  • 3 to 4 cups of pre-cooked rabbit bits (approx. one full 3 to 4 pound rooster rabbit or 3 to 4 roasted rabbit necks/fronts roasted in the oven till tender)
  • Salt, Pepper and Seasoning salt.
  • Half a cup of cornstarch/mixed with water to thicken your stew at the end.

Then in a nice steel bottom pot add 2 tsp of fat or oil of your choice. cook your Diced onions and diced garlic in the oil till the onion is clear, at that point add your broth and your peeled, diced veggies. They will take about 30 to 40 minutes of cooking time

Once your potato’s, carrots and green beans are cooked to tender, then you can add your meat to the mix, check your seasonings here.. adjust your salt, pepper, and seasoning salt (if you do not want to use salt.. then add in your no salt veggie blend to taste) but please remember to add in a little pepper as well.

Now you might be wondering at some of the flavour choices here in regards to seasoning, and I would like to explain, often I add a little more kick or heat or spice to dishes.. we all want to try different things right.. but I will explain why I want with the ones I did here.  Rabbit is a lighter flavoured meat, a little more wild or gamey then chicken and I wanted that flavour to be in the stew..

After all if you bought your rabbit, it was on the pricey side and you are wanting to enjoy the taste of the rabbit right? this stew will stretch out your rabbit into lots of meals but still allow its natural flavour to come though.. so please do try this way once before adding more zip to it 🙂

At that point you can add your choice of the way to thicken the stew, I use Cornstarch and I used half a cup of it mixed with water to do mine.. however other people prefer arrow-root powder or some even use a bit of instant mashed potato to do the job..  how its done is very flexible. You will notice in the photo that there appears to be different kinds of beans in the stew, that is because in the summer, I was growing different kinds and harvested them all, prepped them and in some bags mixed them together for winter use.

You can use the same kind of green bean.. or like me, you can mix up the types if you want 🙂

Like most of my recipes you get the basics to work with and then they allow you to be a touch creative.

IF you do not have rabbit, this will make an excellent stew using leftover chicken or turkey pickings as well.

Posted in rabbits, Soups and Stews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Winter Fruit Needs..

We needed to head into town yesterday morning, as we needed to hit the hardware store and I do my best to tag team go to town trips. I will think ahead by days or the whole week, the whole point of the pantry is that we do not need to “run to the store”

I had a short list of things to get at the store and once I got to the store it became shorter as I went.. Nope, Nope.. NOPE!

My list was

Two or Three kinds of fresh fruit

Fresh veggies for winter salads

Cheese -Hard old Cheddar and Mozza for pizza making.

Like I said.. a short list

It got a lot shorter when I looked that prices.. WTF.. I am sorry for the lang.. but!

I looked at a number of fruits,  crazy prices.. we came home with a small bag of citrus the only thing that was a good sale price at 2 dollars for a bag of 8 tiny ones. And of course a Banana bunch.

I passed on everything else.. because they were far, FAR overpriced..

Then we got to the veggies..

I did come home with fresh carrots, at a dollar per pound.. they will be the base of my fresh salads.

I did not buy the cabbage head that when weighted out, would have been close to 9 dollars, I did not buy the butternut squash that came in at 4 dollars a pound! (what?)

I did not buy the peppers at a dollar each or the celery that was just about 4 dollars for a half size bunch..

I most certainly did not buy the pre-made stuff that ranged from 4 to 9 dollars per small plastic bag.. I just shook my head.. I need to consider going to a few stores in the next towns over to see if this is just my store?

I did get my cheese’s (I am totally out of homemade until my milking sheep come on line) I watched other folks walk up and down the fruit and veggie rows and leave mainly empty handed as well..

What I did find very interesting was that they were to be found on the back end of the store, buying frozen fruits in big bags, buying the 4 pound bags of frozen veggies..  and they were not buying the small fancy bags either.. they were buying the big bulky ones with the basic’s.

I wanted to see what the prices were and it was on the way to get hubby’s much loved ice cream..  Tell me again that people are not feeling the pressure of rising food costs!

I came home and went hmm.. time for a freezer/pantry count.. I need to get a full count of what I have in regards to frozen fruit for blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb and for canning, I need to see what I have in regards to apples sauces, rhubarb fruit and mixed rhubarb fruits. I will need to do a quick count on dried fruits that normally are used for baking or in salads but in a push can become stewed fruits.

I am going to need to put us on a fruit budget lol.. one serving size is a small apple, orange or banana or 1/2 cup of apple sauce or small fruits.

“they” says 2 servings of fruit, which means that we need min of four servings per day or two cups per day.

or another way of seeing it is 730 cups of fruit per year for the two of us.

 

That could be 121 6 cup bags in the freezer or that would be 365 pints of canned fruit, thank goodness you can use dried fruit in these numbers.

That is a lot of fruit to be grown in our short northern growing climate, per poundage, this is why we want the hard fruit trees in our growing plans (sadly they are also the most effected currently by the wild weather we are having) the small fruits, rhubarb and caning fruit are the best producing of them but require the most “time” in picking

I utterly refuse! to spend the money required to buy at the prices they are currently offering in the stores!

Here is my main issue, I have been trying to build back my pantry after two poor garden years, last year was a very good year for some fruits an I put up a two year supply of them, counting on being able to balance out my home grown with the combo in winter of small amounts of fresh monthly.

if I move over to just banana’s and the odd orange for hubby, then the issue is that my two year build up, slide down to a one year on average and means that this year I am pushing for fresh eating, winter 2019 and putting up my missing backup year, all on a year where we are in rebuild garden mode.

I think I will bulk up some of my dried fruit storage to give more depth to the pantry in the short term.

We get our first fresh (early pushed) eating rhubarb in 90 days..  120 for the next fruits to really come on line with is the honey berries and strawberries and much, much more rhubarb..

I will need to up the putting away numbers for this coming year because its not going to be better next winter.. but I will need to see if I can increase some of things we are bulk putting up.

How are you doing in your neck of the woods on the fruit front? Are you still able to find reasonable fruit prices? Can I ask what a five pound bag of apples costs? we are sitting between 5 to 6 dollars per bag. the lowest I could find yesterday was 4.95 for the Uneven apple bag.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in frugal | Tagged , , , , | 33 Comments

BBQ Rabbit Wings

Baked BQQ Rabbit Wings are a delightful treat.  You can change up the flavours making them sweet and sour or spicy or honey garlic. If it works with regular chicken wings flavour wise. It will work with rabbit “Wings”

What are Rabbit Wings? They are the rabbits front legs cut into two, one will be the thin front wing and the other will be the bigger meatier back wing part.  They are different then regular wings because they do not have the crispy skins.

I like to add them up in a freezer bag until ready for a bigger feast of them and then I soak them in salt water for at 24 hours in the fridge and then bake them in roasting pan with seasonings, at least salt and pepper (and remember to save your pan drippings for soup base) Bake until tender.

Drain them out and add your sauce over them, crank you your oven and back in uncovered to brown up the edge bits and bake your BBQ glace on nice and sticky! Serve hot!

Posted in rabbits | 4 Comments

Friday Rambles around the table “paycheck to paycheck”

Come on in.. What a lovely day for the drive here.. it’s not to cold yet and it’s just the perfect Christmas snow.. fat, soft and fluffy!

Ya, the big guys could go the barn but they don’t seem to mind the snow in the least.. and they do like to watch the world go by. They have their big lean too and they have their spots in the big barn but give them a choice and they are out in the weather..

I have a pot of soup on and there are fresh biscuits to go with, I will put the kettle on for a hot cuppa and if you still have room.. I am baking a raspberry dump cake in the oven..

Yes, I agree.. soup on the stove simmering away is a wonderful way to scent the house LOL

I have been watching with concern what has been happening south of the border in regards to the government shut down and how it is effecting so many workers and households.

The Canadian government workers have been struggling now for almost three years when it comes to being paid, being under paid, being over paid, having the wrong amounts taken for tax’s, union dues and so forth. Thanks to a new pay system.

“The Phoenix pay system is a payroll processing system for Canadian federal government employees, run by Public Services and Procurement Canada. After coming online in early 2016, Phoenix has been mired in problems with underpayments, over-payments, and non-payments.”

These hardships have caused endless worry and hardship, even those that were able to get coverage to help them have had to deal with clawback on the first pay check that comes back in, leaving them gasping for breath..  checking and praying that your pay will be in your account, its causes workers to lose their homes, their vehicles, and in a number of cases their marriages.

It has effected the summer students, who faithfully got hired, worked their hours and then didn’t get paid, who borrowed to go back to school or who was unable to go back to school in the fall due to lack of funds

It has effected those who are having children, with some mom’s having whole leaves with no paychecks coming in, or the wrong pay coming in..  There have been mom’s that went back to work early trying to get this sorted.

It has effected those with medical leaves both short-term and long-term.. it has not been a good time to have a heart attach or get hurt because it could be weeks, months or years before cases where sorted.. I know that sometimes people never got it sorted while off and only started getting pay checks again when they went back.. if they were lucky enough to go back in a reasonable time frame

It has effected new hires (its been very hard to get top talent to want to get hired when you don’t know if your paycheck will be there) its effect sideways movement or upward movement.. This one I know personally.. Hubby and I have been in a solid holding pattern for more than two years because we are in fear of what would happen if he moved departments, could we suddenly find ourselves lacking our main income?!

It has effected retirement.. I know at least three people who would have retired in the past two years that refuse to even consider it, until the phoenix is fixed as they know that it could be weeks to months or longer before their pensions could come on-line.

In a nutshell..

The report stated that the issue is widespread across departments, with 62 per cent of employees paid incorrectly at least once during the 2017-18 fiscal year — the same percentage as the 2016-17 fiscal year.

“The federal government’s Phoenix system woes are as tumultuous as ever, according to a report by the Auditor General of Canada, which says pay errors this year alone amounted to about $615 million.

The 26-page report released Monday by Auditor General Michael Ferguson describes the Phoenix payroll system as the one “significant blemish” on the federal government’s financial record.

More than half of the roughly 300,000 people employed by the federal government have faced pay problems since the Phoenix system was introduced more than two years ago. Workers have been overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all for months at a time.”

Its been some hard times for those who work for the government, they go to work faithfully and then they cross their fingers if that paycheck will come in, will it under, will it be over

I personally know of teens that have started working to help keep the bills paid enough to keep houses.

I know that trips cancelled, after school group or sports events cancelled for the children in these families. I know of adult children that have gone to work full-time to help mom in single mom households instead of the planned post secondary.

I know of family after family becoming one vehicle.. no vehicle, public transport only, of families that had for the first time combine generations to make things work, that have done without, that now know where their local food bank is. Who have put off getting their teeth done and more.

Yes, I have been watching this government shutdown with a worried eye  I am sorry to the families effected.. those that work for the Canadian Government have a good grasp on what is happening and what will be coming if it keeps running longer and longer!

I hope that you will have one or more other incomes still coming in to your household, this can be the saving grace in the short term. Look at your other skill set, what do you do that can make a little income on the side, even a extra 20 a week can make a huge difference in your food for the week!  Side Note: Now is not the time to stock up, buy basic products to make things.. if you have it in stock already, go for it, otherwise focus on things that use your trained skills or things that do not require you to put out cash first but bring it in.

Also remember to barter! Maybe you can trade off after school pick up and care for a full day of baby sitting on the weekend when you are home.  Think outside the box!  Use the library, you can get rid of Netflix and bring home music, books and DVD’s for the whole family.

The best I can say is figure out what must be paid and in what order and figure out where you can cut costs and I truly hope you have a pantry and if so, use it to the best of your ability to keep your family feed and for those in the north, stay warm and for those in the heat.. stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in At the kitchen table | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Farmgal’s Photography Jan 17th

What a week for photos! I had some lovely sunny days.. cold but sunny!

We had a little trip to friends place a few hours from our farm

and its quite different in landscape and these photos reflect it


 

The Little Black Caps are getting bold and relaxed when I am around but not so much when they see the farm cats.. good choice!

We have had cold days, snowy days, drifting days.. All work together to give you different ways of seeing things..

Only 63 days till spring and as bitter, cold and snowy as it is outside there are pretty blooms in my house. A reminder of what will be..

I am just loving the building of my albums, I will have some outstanding choices for coming projects in 2019! This week has a wide range.. might be harder to pick your favorite.. maybe.. everyone on facebook is mad about Caleb’s amazing eye photo!

 

Posted in photography | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Tracking Drift Patterns on your Homestead.

One of the very first things any gardener or homesteader should be doing to watching where the winds come from, how they move around your home, yard, barns and of course your garden sites.

Second to this is the water patterns that come with spring run off and or rains.. The way the winds blow and how they move though your yards and gardens will work with the water.

I loved this stunning example of wind I snapped.. the one side had a tree splitting the wind drift and the other did not.. I am willing to bet you can figure out which was which?

Ah, hedge rows.. you have been a blessing for 100’s and 100’s of years.. In Alberta where I was raised you can see the lines of tree’s.. They used mainly Siberian Pea, O I loved to pick those tiny flowers in the spring and suck that bit of sweetness from the very end.

I think I have nibbled on 1000’s of those flowers over the years, when you get further north, spruce becomes the tree of choice and when you move down south, the scrub willow and long winding lanes of native Chokeberries, Saskatoon and Pin Cherries would show themselves.

These were special places to me as a child because they were you hid from the bitter and biting winds, the never-ending blowing wind of the prairie.

I had one of my most magic moments of my life sitting deep under a massive old spruce tree, I had crawled under it for shelter while I was up high on a ridge that over looked a lovely valley up in the Hinton Alberta Area and I watched a nice buck cross into the valley.. I watched until he moved out of site and I was just enjoying being one in that spot..

When he appears up the hill coming right up on the same little trail I had followed down to find this spot. I watched as he walked up and just head on down that trail, I moved as slow as I could, and just reached out with just one arm.. and when he pushed past those spruce tips, he brushed past my finger tips at the same time..

Never should have happened, Never would happen again.. but it was just so perfect in that moment! I have never forgotten it.

When it comes to our gardens, our yards and our homesteads, we can and should use what nature shows us to give a helping hand. Only we want straight lines, cleared open spaces and never ending views..

Nature gives us nook’s and valleys, it gives us wind breaks and ridges, it gives us low spots, damp spots, high and dry spots, it gives us full sun, part shade and full shade.  It gives us hedges that slow the snow and holds it in place to help give us that water we will need to grow and thrive..

It gives us the ground cover to not just create soil but to hold soil in place.. Wind has always been a favorite of mine but I know that Wind is a trickster in many ways..

It loves to play with the trees, and they have it right.. enjoy the winds but sink your roots down deep and you will go far.

I say the same for us.. learn what we have and then figure out how to work with it, and how to use the same tricks as nature does to create your micro climates, your wind breaks.

One of things that I do on the farm is that I have many small garden spots all over the farm yard.. I will just put a garden here and there.. some are only spring gardens, some are full time gardens and some are late season..

The plants need different things at different times and sometimes it just easier to move the seeds then to fight to make it all work in one place..

Interplant with wind in mind..

Your Plants will thank you

Your soil will thank you

Your yields will thank you!

So if you have not already done so.. start tracking where you winds are coming from, how they move around your landscape, and start planning on how to work with them, instead of against them 🙂

Please consider heading on over to the other blogs that are part of the challenge, you can find a link to the main page on the side bar of my website and it will have a full listing of all the bloggers in the challenge.  They have some GREAT posts out this week..

Posted in 31 Day Self Reliance Challange | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

FarmGal’s For Hire Shingle is Out for 2019

Hello Folks,

I finally got my Farmgal For Hire Page Updated for 2019

Thank you to everyone that has hired me over to talk about Permaculture, Gardening, Raising Rabbits, Backyard Chickens, Raising Chicks 101, Growing Fodder for small Live Stock, Working with Creepy Crawlies, How to start and run a worm bin, Composting for the backyard gardener.

Pricing Free(for certain community groups) Standard speaking 45 to 1.30 hours $100 to #200 depending on event and numbers and how much gear or samples I need to bring with me.

New for 2019

Wild for Wild Pollinators!

A combined talk on Mason Bee’s, Leaf Cutter Bee’s, Native pollinators and If you plant it, they will come! Included in the talk will be hands on views of common bee hotels and their pro’s and cons with them, how to make a bee water spot in your yard.  

I have worked hard on this new talk and I will offer a number of them for travel costs only to non-profit community groups.. I look forward to promoting my love for the local wild pollinators.

Coming Soon

Living Soils

Half day speaking events are available.. Price is flexible based on what is wanted but start at $200 and upward from there.

I love my hands on training classes as well, Teaching Water Bath Canning, Teaching Pressure Canning, Bread Making, Yogurt and Cheese Making, How to make cold process Soap, How to make your own homemade Salves.

Hands on Classes average 20 to 40 per person depending again on what group (sliding prices available) and if I am working with others that will be presenting on the same day, if it’s just me.. $40 to $80 per person for a tailored in-depth class.

I look forward to hearing from you in regards to booking me for local community groups and events!

Do you want a smaller group where you know everyone?

Hire me to work a party at your home?

Three hours training session available for $200 hundred for up to 4 people.. each extra person is $50. I will work with you to custom create the ideal morning or afternoon training session.

Want to learn how to make the most amazing sour dough bread.. Always wanted to learn how to make light flaky pie crusts? Want to learn how to scale up your recipes for canning purposes?

Want to learn how to make jelly (its more tricky then you think) or want to take a much-loved family jam recipe and not only learn how to make it but have it gone over to update if needed to make it safe to todays current canning standards?

Want to learn how to make homemade cold process soap? or a healing salve?

Garden or Farm Consult

There are two main types of garden consults available but there is lots of flexibility

Over the phone or computer consult.

Got a certain issue that you want to talk about.. you can send me photos, or a short video to watch for the area? You can do follow-up in the same way..
Great! I am open to giving a helping hand in this way across your gardening or small farm needs.

Price $50 an hour (with one full follow-up written report of what I am recommending) and two short, five to ten minute follows if needed to tweak idea’s and make sure you have great success!

Repeat clients get a discount at 40 per hour.

This is available across Canada by phone and by Facebook/Skype across N.A.

Close enough to have me come in person?

I would love to give you my thoughts and help you create a successful plan to move things forward in a successful way that meets your goals, your dreams and your needs!

1 or 2 hour consults available within an hour of the farm. $100 dollars per hour, includes travel costs and a follow-up report and up to 3 10 to 15 minutes follow ups as needed by phone, Facebook or email.

Half Day consults

Morning or Afternoon are available

3 hours $200 per half day including travel costs (within a hour of the farm) and Follow up report and up to 3 10 to 15 minute Follow ups as needed by phone, Facebook or email.

Because Travel time adds up fast, I do give a discount in regards to the longer Half Day Consults. While it allows us to cover more subject matters and allows us to have a more relaxed pace that can work better for retaining more information.

You are welcome to combine two half days if you really want to go over a number of things on your garden/farm in combo. Max amount of hours is 6 hours with at least a hour’s break for me to recoup/relax and just visit over a lunch

I will travel further then a hour from the farm but I will need to look at and figure out travel costs. Full amount will be shared when hired so there is no Surprises at all

All prices are in Canadian dollars

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Photos and Notes are highly recommended but video taping me while talking is NOT allowed without express permission given for personal use only!

Posted in farm sales, Food Forest | 8 Comments

Sheep Milking in 2019

I love my milking Sheep. If I had to choose between owning a good milking sheep or a goat, I am ALWAYS going to pick my sheep.

While the volume is not as much as a dairy goat, the fact that sheep milk has such a larger amount of proteins, it does not matter.. you will still get the same amount of rich creamy yogurt, amazing Ice cream, outstanding soft farmers Cheese or Hard Feta Cheese in a lovely salt brine. I even have skimmed cream off the top and made sheep butter.

The best part, your sheep ram does not stink or pee on himself like a goat buck will..  Not having that stink around is huge to me..

Having said that, I keep ending up with goats over the years lol.. I think its because I love having a goat or two on the farm. There is times where I think I should just get a nice weather and train it as a hauling/pack/cart boy just so I have one on the farm..

The biggest issue with having milking girls is that you need to milk twice a day ideally which means that you are after the first milking, pulling the babies to be bottle feed or you are milking once a day and co-sharing with the baby or babies.

I do tend to co-share most of the time, it works well, once the babies get to be weaning size, I can move over to full time milking for the rest of the milking season.  I have always hand milked the girls and this works well for me.. I started hand milking and having my own goats at the age of 8 so its muscle memory to me.

However it locks me to the farm in a crazy way because hubby does not milk well, he tries and it never works.. and I can not teach him a way that gets the job done..  We have tried to work on this for years and nope!

This year we are taking our “honeymoon 20 years later” and we will have a full time live on the farm sitter for the two weeks we are gone. This means that either I need to find a work around for the milking and or have a VERY short milking season and or buy a new milker to bring in after I am back..

OR

Buy a auto milker..  yup.. after 15 years of milking by hand on the farm, I am now the proud owner of a fancy steel goat/sheep two teat only plug in power milker with pulse built in.

I have not had anyone freshen so I can’t give any thoughts on how it works yet or on how interesting it will be to train the girls to it. I will have to change a number of things. I normally milk on a stand in the big barn but I will have to pull the house milking ewe out of the main flock and set up the milking area in the Croft as the Croft has power and the Big Barn does not.

No sheep likes to live alone and I can’t keep her lambs with her.. this means that I will need to have two house milk ewes this year so they can be their own little flock of two and that I will have bottle babies.

Still I want to have more freedom this year and in the coming years and this will allow me to have someone come in to do chores now and again. It will allow me to go away for a couple days to seminars and have hubby do the milking while I am gone. and it will allow my farm sitter to milk while I am gone.

Do you still milk by hand? or do you have a powered milker?

This post is part of the Self Reliance Challenge Jan 2019. There is a link on the side bar of the main website, please go check out what the other awesome bloggers are up to!

 

 

Posted in 31 Day Self Reliance Challange | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments