I’ve had to get a job, so any hours we have will be by appointment only once we get started again. I’ve joined TOFGA, and we are looking at greenhouse ideas. Strictly low budget. I’m leaning towards a hoop house like we did with the shelters.
Ann adjusted fairly well to her new home, and Amy is happy as a clam. She’s still skittish around me, but will come to me if Amy does. However, she won’t let me touch her so I can’t feel for lamb movement. I’ll have to get my son out to help me. We’re discussing going back and buying the other ewes she had for sale. The goats are still eating Amy’s wool, so a separate area is moving up the “must do” list.
Our neighbor put the land next to us up for sale. This is the land we tried to buy, but he bought it first. I’m hoping we can get a down payment together, and buy it when he drops the price in February. It’s doubtful, but it won’t hurt to try.
We’re trying to decide how to lay out the chickens and turkeys in relation to the rest of the place. We miss having our feathered friends and plan to replace them asap. We’re okay on some eggs for now, but my soy-sensitive daughter is joining us in the spring, so we need them in place by then.
The goats keep escaping and getting into the neighbor’s pasture of cattle. Not a good way to build relations. We’ve put temporary fencing up to block the barbed wire that they army crawl under (seriously amusing to watch a 110 pound goat army crawl). The adults haven’t gotten out again but the kids have. We’re literally piling things in front of any suspected holes to block them. So far they’re winning.
To say things haven’t gone as planned is an understatement. We were told it would cost $500 – 1000 to hook up water and electric. It is $1000 for electric and $3000 for water. However, the way our entrance is won’t allow for a long trailer with the electrical pole or a drill for a well. We hit the camper tongue and back end pulling in with a lifted truck. We have to put in a driveway and redo the gate we just did. I left all my kidding/lambing supplies in Maine, because I didn’t breed anyone this year due to the move. I just bought a ewe who is probably bred. That’s not a big deal but we do have a lot of hawks, so I need to build a safe place for the lamb. There is more, but that’s the gist of the way things are going.
We don’t regret moving, though. It’s not all bad. There is a peace when I walk outside that I haven’t felt in a while. The livestock love the space, though the goats have figured out how to get into the neighbor’s property. We need to fix that, but we had unexpected problems that literally killed our small building fund plus our emergency fund. I look forward to setting things up, bringing back the turkeys and chickens, and breeding next fall. It will take at least a year longer than expected.
We arrived in Texas at the end of October. We built temporary shelters for the sheep and goats, plus added a temporary shed to cover hay and other things we needed to store like grain bins and outdoor tools. It has held up fairly well to the wind. Rebuilding will be slow, getting utilities hooked up is a lot more expensive than expected, and I’ve already gotten a list started for the trailer on the next trip down to Texas. Those still in Maine are doing well.
We’ll be building a chicken coop soon along with a run. A new sheep was exposed to a ram prior to purchase, so we may have our first birth starting in February. The previous owner didn’t keep track, so it will be interesting. She was exposed October to December. We need to build a lambing jug with a protective overhang. There are a lot of hawks and owls around. We’ve already had coyotoes up to the fence. All the animals roam during the day but are locked up at night. Amy is glad to have company again.
The weather has sometimes rivaled Maine. Snow is expected on Saturday with a low of 19. We’re not happy, but that’s the way life goes. We’re hoping the tanks on the camper don’t freeze. I’m wishing I brought my heated buckets, but without electricity they wouldn’t work anyhow. That’s pretty much it for now.
Someone jump-started the hens, and they went from 1 or 2 eggs every other day to 4-7 every day. It looks like a good time to restart egg sales. Even if I get down to our land, the adult children staying behind will continue selling eggs. We may have to put a mini-fridge outside and go to the honor system. It’s a common thing around my area, and most people are really good about it.
One doe is still up in the air. Figuratively for you literal people. Two does are confirmed bred: Cedar*Run Drops of Jupiter ( FF- due last week of April), and Cedars of Lebanon Fortuitous (Tuiti – due first week of April). Poor Tuiti is quite wide. I’m praying shes got a couple of does in there, and they aren’t planning on a pretzel delivery. Loki is still keeping us guessing. I’m betting I decide she isn’t, and I’ll walk outside and find kids running around that I know weren’t there the night before. She’s stubborn like that.
As of right now, we are not raising turkeys or meat chickens this year, nor are we putting in a garden If I can’t get the goats down south before temps get into the 80s on my travel route, I will have to wait until Fall. Seriously, would you want to be stuck in a trailer on highways for 3 days and 2 nights in the summer with no air conditioning? That saga is being posted on my main blog.
I’ve been trying to get things done via long-distance on our new land. It isn’t working. We need an address. We can’t get an address until the driveway is marked. The land is too far from anyone who might be able to mark it for us. We were supposed to move the camper down last month. We did not get the camper renovated before the cold moved in, and now it is too cold to use the sealant (mandatory). I’m looking into a portable cabin shell instead, but they are very expensive. Why a cabin shell instead of a “new-to-us” camper? Because of the latest development: the tornadoes that hit Texas.
My daughter lives where the largest one landed. In fact, it danced behind her house and down the street behind her. They could see it over the trees in the yard. Thankfully, she and her family are okay and only lost a screen door. However, a close friend, who was at their house picking a few things up, discovered his apartment building was destroyed. Needless to say, he lost everything. If he hadn’t decided to go to my daughter’s house, he may not have made it. But he is alive and that’s what matters.
This created a discussion of building/buying a cabin shell or purchasing a camper down there. A lot of pros and cons need to be weighed. A cabin would be more stable in a high wind situation. However, if we realize it was put in a bad spot, it would be difficult to move it. Those types of issues. It’s still up in the air.
In the meantime, life goes on. Birthing stalls need to be prepared, hoofs trimmed (boy, do they need to be done), the trailer is at the repair place waiting its turn to be fixed, hay needs to be bought and stored along with grain, clearing and organizing what goes down and what stays, people need to be fed …