and his turkeys are doing great. He still has 12.
I have definitely contemplated quitting my day job, but haven’t really had much of a chance to think about it.
As far as an update goes, we have been working on a llama rodeo the last few days, and did get them penned. They have not really done their job of protecting the sheep, and now that we are going to move the sheep home in a few days, we did not want to have to deal with the four of them for the winter, or how to castrate the two babies (and yes, they turned out to both be males.) A lovely couple of Llama Whisperers came from Denver area with their trailer and we loaded them up. Llamas gone, check.
Then we had another sheep rodeo and separated all the St. Croix ewes and their lambs and someone from Durango came and got the ewes. I have to take ten lambs to the processor at first light tomorrow. Lambs on the trailer tonight, check.
The fence is not finished so we can bring all of the other sheep home, and we have a few days to finish that. dreading.
We finished most of our haying at the end of July, which is earlier than we have been able to hay in the past. This season has been so very rainy and the grass grew so tall much earlier, so we wanted to hay and allow the meadows to grow back before it gets too cold. We have already had many mornings with light frost.
The rams are home and separated from the ladies, so we do not have any lambs in the most bitter months of January and February. We do have a new baby, who loves to play with the rams. The rams, not so much.
His mommy, Faline, has been most difficult to milk twice a day, but is doing much better.
It looks like she gives a lot, certainly more than last year, but she is a professional mom, holding back milk for her baby. She is giving about a gallon in the morning, and a gallon in the evening, not enough to use the cream separator, and I’ve only made one batch of crummy cheese (pig food actually.)
So this was yesterday. The man goes to get Faline so we can milk.
He mowed the rest of the hay the day before that we could not get to because of time and weather, and yesterday it had to be dry enough to bale, as it might rain today. He hooks me up to the tedder, which is a machine that fluffs out the mown hay so it can dry, and I am supposed to ted that meadow twice, then drive the tractor down the valley and ted that meadow.
As far as me being a tractor or large equipment operator, I am not really even his sous chef, but more like a bus boy, but he can get me going in the right direction. So I finish tedding the one meadow and think I have time to drive down valley and ted that one in the mean time, and I get the tedder caught in the sheep fence making a tight turn. Try as I might, I cannot get the wire out, and in all of the fencing nightmare I cannot find one pair of wire cutters. grrrr. He has taken my car to the other place to check on the sheep.
I get in his 1970 POS pick-up to go find him, as time is ticking and I don’t want the hay to be ruined, and remember the last time I drove his POS up steep 9-mile, that I broke down and had to walk home. All of a sudden the POS starts shaking, and sure enough, flat tire, on a dangerous curve, no shoulder, and a steep drop off. I wanted to just push the POS over the dropoff and say goodbye to it, but I found a place to pull over and abandoned it and started walking home.
I’m picked up later by a neighbor who takes me home, cuts the fence, the man gets home just then and gets me started on the meadow again. Ted again, drive to other meadow, ted that, drive back, ted this meadow again and he puts the rake on for me. Drive down valley and rake that meadow, and he follows me with the square baler and bales about 50 bales.
My heart skips a beat as I look up and see a red and white paint horse, which looks just like my dear Guernsey cow, Eleanor. Yes, she is gone, as I found her dead in the meadow a few weeks ago, two weeks before her calf was to be born. ugh, too devastating. I actually found a buyer for Faline, and was ready to quit my day job, but just couldn’t do it. She loves her baby so much, and he would have taken the calf away from her and we just could not bear that. She is such a dear cow, but is no Eleanor.
While I was raking, he had pulled his tractor into the neighbors driveway who were working on their massive mower that had almost caught on fire. They had to drive their baler in the river yesterday, as it was catching on fire. Those guys are amazing and put up hundreds and hundreds of round bales. They give him a beer and some salmon, and he gives them some pistachios, and off they all go again.
We have the flatbed trailer almost full of another load of trash and junk for the dump, so he has to get the cattle trailer hooked up to load the square bales in.
I just get the meadow at home raked, and he and Nonny pull up with the square baler and trailer, so I begin square baling while they load the trailer. Total bales he had to load, about 175.
A friend of ours once asked how heavy the square bales from our baler are, and the man says, “They start out at about 40 pounds, and end up over 100 pounds.” The friend was puzzled, but Nonny laughed as she knew exactly what dad meant.
I had just enough time before dark to go get the cow and milk her, and take some pictures of the turkeys. She hates them, the kitten, the dogs, and anything that is going to ravage her darling baby. oh brother.
Then the trailer was full, and it was already dark, so he had to run and take the baler off, and put on his dump trailer to get the rest of the bales.
She was the driver, and was getting pretty sick of his instructions.
He had planned to use the red truck to load, but the last time the guys were here, they left the ignition on.
Needless to say, he is pretty sore this morning. Now he has to unload the cattle trailer today so I can take the lambs tomorrow, and we have to finish loading the flatbed trailer and take it to the dump. Whew. No wonder no one can keep up with him.