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Fighting tomato blight with pennies
How to help chicks during hatching
How many batteries do I need for my solar panels?
Moth pupa in the soil
Automatic chicken door
A year ago this week:
Goat meat taste test (and envy over apples)
Harvest sickle field test
Successful persimmon grafting
Battery powered chainsaw cleaning
Walden Effect Facebook page
One hour to dig and two hours to top, clean, and sort.
Total yield: approximately forty pounds.
Oh the drama of farm
downplayed Aurora's illness when he posted about her earlier this week.
Personally? I was convinced she'd be dead every time I trotted up to
the goat barn to check on our baby goat.
The vet guessed it might
be a heavy parasite load, mostly based on Aurora's age and the fact
she's a goat. To be on the safe side, he shot her up with selenium +
vitamin E, vitamin B-12, a painkiller/anti-inflammatory, and a
dewormer. Then he sent her home and told us to feed her half a cup of
yogurt per day until she started eating on her own.
That turned out to be
quite a challenge. In fact, that first day I was so terrified that I
couldn't figure out how to get her to eat anything. But after a good
night's sleep I remembered the big, needle-less syringes I'd bought as
part of our kidding kit. Yogurt mixed with some goat milk and a bit of Nutri-drench was just thin enough to
squirt down her throat if Mark restrained her and I pried open her
jaws. By the dinner feeding, Aurora was starting to look a little less
pained and a little more normal.
If you've seen me in
real life avoiding doctors at all costs (except for my sweet
sister...who I see in a nonprofessional capacity), you'll know I'm
leery of unnecessary pharmaceuticals. But I was terrified of losing our
dear doeling and was thrilled to have the vet inject Aurora with
everything under the sun.
To my delight, something
worked. We hadn't been able to get Aurora to eat on her own or nurse
for two full days, but on the way home she was already nibbling on
Mark's sleeve. Six hours later, she was ready to go out and graze with
her mother and bounce about on logs. The next day, we stopped squirting
yogurt down her throat because Artemesia's udders proved that the
doeling had drunk a pint of milk overnight.
Or the vet may be right
and it's my own fault for not forcing Aurora to eat her copper
bolus when the rest of the herd was treated last week. I hadn't
thought she was at as much risk of worms due to subsisting so much
milk. But it's easy to see how intestinal parasites can explode when
gut bacteria are just starting to figure out the transition from milk
to grass and when kids haven't yet learned not to eat off the ground.
Aurora will definitely get her copper next week once her system is back
up to snuff.
Anna noticed the first signs of blight on some tomato leaves today.
All of my reveling in off-farm
manure aside, one of
my big goals for the next few years is to close our homestead's
fertility loop. As the heaviest amendment, I'm working on compost
first, although mulch will likely go on my game plan eventually.
We took Aurora back to the vet this morning for another check up.
So, the good news is
that I realized on weaning
day two that one of our goat pastures had chicken wire around the base
that could keep Punkin in. Once our buckling was able to nose his
mother through the fence, he calmed down quite a bit. He still wouldn't
take a bottle or drink out of a pan, but I'm putting him in with
Artemesia some nights after his sister gets locked in the kennel so his
gut doesn't have to completely change over from milk to grass cold
turkey. I figure within two or three weeks, he'll be thoroughly and
The bad news? Between
Punkin calling "Mama!" and Artemesia hollering "My baby!" relentlessly
on day one, our mile-distant neighbor became convinced Mark was guilty
of spousal abuse. The neighbor in question came over on his
four-wheeler with a pistol at his hip the next day to check on
us...which was actually pretty sweet, in my opinion.
Securing berry limbs so they stay off the ground and keep growing.
When it comes to bad
bugs in the garden, a stitch in time definitely saves nine.
Aurora was not acting like her normal happy self this morning.
of you were concerned about chemical contamination in our
Luckily, we live in an impoverished area where excess chemicals aren't
used that often simply because they're expensive. Here's
my previous post on the topic. If our farm was located in
Lexington or northern Virginia where pastures are weed-free and
perfectly manicured, I'd be much more concerned.
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