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Peekaboo! | Speedkin


I composed this post on Tuesday but, apparently, I hit “save draft” instead of “publish” so it never got sent out.  Oops.  Thanks to Duke for pointing it out to me (and reading over my shoulder when I’m typing even though he knows it drives me crazy!).

‘Tis the crazy season.  On the bright side, that means it’s spring!  And, good gravy, has it really been three weeks since I last posted??  I don’t even know where to start.  I have a buttload backup of pics to upload for you but I think, for today, I’ll just do a quick catch up on what’s been going on and then work on putting up pics bit by bit over this week.

In the garden, not much has been happening.  It’s been cold and wet and, well, nothing much has been done.  I still haven’t planted out the onions that arrived back in March.  I’m not even sure they’d do anything at this point.  They’re probably mostly dead.  I’m a bad onion mommy this year!  I did get a bed of lettuce planted, however, and it should be up by now but I’ve not been back that way to look for a few days.  Also, a friend, Patty, let me come over and dig up a giant load of her thornless blackberries.  Yay!  We already had a few but they met with some misfortune not long after planting and haven’t done terribly well.  The new ones have been planted in front yard beds where I can keep an eye on them and dig up starts to plant elsewhere and/or share each year.  While planting the lettuce, I did notice the raspberries are coming up with new starts like crazy.  I’m very excited about that!  We love berries very, very much.

The birds are all doing well.  We’ve started getting turkey eggs and, after giving the mailman a few to try (we have the greatest mailman in the world!), we’re saving them up for hatching.  Maybe I won’t kill them all off this year, huh?  Heh.  The tractors are serving their purpose well.  Nothing in tractors been killed but I think a few of the still-loose chickens have been offed.  (Besides the usual suspects, we now have a bobcat on the scene.  It was over in the treeline a few nights back, snarling like a demon.)  The chickens and ducks are all starting to lay full speed ahead now.  We’ll soon be buried in eggs.  Oh, and I have 15 Icelandic hatching eggs in the incubator!  I’m so excited about the Icies and can’t wait to see how they do for us!  They’re due to hatch the second week of May.

We’re now entering our big kidding season.  ShowTime, our beautiful black Kinder, kidded one very beautifully colored doeling a few days ago.  She had a defect in her eye and was terribly weak.  ShowTime rejected her so we brought the doeling, named Redeye, in the house to warm up and feed.  Unfortunately, she died that evening.  I’m now milking ShowTime three or so times each day.  She’s a first freshener so I’m training her to the milkstand and working with little itty bitty teats.  Fun.  I got a couple of ice cube trays of colostrum put back in the freezer for my trouble in case we need it down the road.  And now her milk has come in, she’s putting out quite a bit of milk considering.  I think next year, she’ll be a great milker.  Other than the tiny, first-timer teats and being impatient on the milkstand as she trains, she milks out very easily.  We still have three does left to pop — Susie (who is HUGE!), Maisy, and Missy, all Kinders.  Susie is an experienced mom but Maisy and Missy are both first fresheners.  Hopefully, we’ll have no more troubles.

I got to go a sheep & goat class offered by the local adult ag program.  This was a month or two back and was nothing earth-shattering but I learned quite a bit.  The main thing that struck me is what the fella said about timing kidding in relationship to worm loads.  In a nutshell, kids who are born early (in winter), stand a much better chance at parasite resistance.  They are born before worm loads are high and get exposed to them very gradually, building up resistance and, by the time worm loads are high, in summer, they stand a good chance against them.  On the other hand, kids born in spring and summer never get that same chance to gradually build up that same resistance.  They are born when parasite loads are at their highest (or soon before).  It’s like being born in the middle of a very active battlefield.  They are never as healthy, for the rest of their lives, as the early born kids.  Very interesting, don’t you think?  I’d never thought of it from that angle, only from the “Brrr, it’s too cold in winter to mess with kidding!” angle.

And bees!  We picked up our two packages of bees the first week of April.  The install went smoothly and, miracle of miracles, they’re still there!  I inspected the hives again yesterday and saw plenty of brood, larvae, pollen, and nectar.  They look like happy bees.  This year, due to just using what was handiest to grab, both packages went into deep bodies with already drawn out foundation.  I’ll work on switching them to foundationless mediums as I can.  The old hive that overwintered is also doing well.  It’s currently in two medium boxes with a mix of foundation and foundationless.  I’m really, really hoping to be able to do a split from them at some point this spring.

Th-th-that’s all, folks.  At least as far as a quickie overview.  We’ve been hit with two separate varieties of crud over the past month and Josie is still sick.  The poor thing climbed up on my lap after I started typing so this will have to suffice for now.  :-)

6 Responses to “Peekaboo!”

  1. Gail Curry April 25, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Glad the tractors are keeping the birds alive – that’s a good thing! Hope you find a moment to catch yer breath – you stay so very busy. Hugs to all.

  2. Patty Mayhew April 25, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Your honey was the best I’ve ever had!!!!!!!!!!! I will be buying some from you later on so let me know for sure when you have more. Hope those blackberries do well for you.

    • Diane April 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      I know! I never knew how good honey could be before we started raising bees. I mean, it was always good but this fresh stuff, especially the really dark? Beyond good! I’ll let you know when we get more. And thanks again for the berries! They’re doing very well and putting out leaves.

  3. Tracy Meyer April 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Just a heads up. Maisy kidded last year so she will be a second freshener. Missy is a first freshener. After we explained to Maisy that those were her babies and she needed to feed them she took very good care of them. Almost stalker-ish care. And a note on the kidding and winter. Kevin has said the exact same thing since we have gotten goats.Its better to have kids when the ground is frozen than not. But he is not the one going out there every hour to check on them.

    • Diane April 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Dang. How did I screw that one up? I’m sure I have it in my notes somewhere but pulled a complete brain fart on it since I had it stuck in my head she was a first freshener. Glad she’s not! Too many first fresheners in one year is more stress than I need right now. LOL

      Interesting Kevin said the same thing. Is his reasoning the same? I feel like such a dummy for not thinking about that before.

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