So, the big ranch party has begun and goes through Sunday to celebrate the ranch triplets graduating from High School. Much work has been done to spruce up the ranch and make ready. There are hundreds of hamburger patties made up, a new and improved BBQ to grill them on, campsites have been prepared in the meadow across from our house and all is in readiness.
My chicks were supposed to arrive on Wednesday with the mail carrier who only comes 3x a week, but they didn’t arrive.
He called me Thursday to let me know they made it to Princeton Post Office which is 80 miles away and “did I want to go pick them up?”
Of course, I had no choice as they are day old chicks in a box without food/water/heat. I drug myself out and drove the nearly 200 mile long trip to get them. There are 52 of them. I’m not sure why, as I only ordered 30 meaties and there are a good many chicks that are NOT what I ordered. Only one had died in transit. I guess the guy threw in all his extras to make up for being almost 2 months late.
I put them in the bathroom with the heater on full blast as the trip home wasn’t very warm. A storm has moved in. Randyman was still working on the big chick brooder. Since we raise our own chickens every year for the table now, we might as well have a permanent facility for them to grow in and feather out. It’s huge and has an enormous top on it, that will eventually be wired to keep the junk birds out of their feed. We got 3 different heat lamps in it, put in their mushy food which they promptly got their feet stuck in, although they loved eating it, replaced it with dry chick feed and they settled in nicely, having found their food and water. I had already fed them some mashed up hard boiled egg on their arrival, which they consumed with gusto.
We awoke to find it was snowing and the electricity was out. That meant the heat lamps for the chicks went out. Randyman got up and got a generator and got the lights in the brooder going again. So far, it looks like we only lost 2, from being crushed when they all huddled together for warmth. Not sure if they will all rally or not.
I had covered all the tomatoes and peppers last night, and they will stay covered today, because it continues to rain hard, then snow. What was sleet is turning to just plain old snow now.
The bottle calves were all hunched up and shivering. We fed them then shoved them into the goat shed again, where they could get dry and warm. I hoped the goats are not ready to kid yet, as there is no place for them to do it. The pups are out consoling their wet livestock. Annie and Stinky were under the tent trying to stay dry as goats do not like getting wet. They don’t have the heavy coats or wool of other animals. EmmaLou, I am sure hogged the dry spots under the Octopus tree.
Things warmed up so Randyman put the leppies back out in the pasture. I told him that is good, because my goats are going to be kidding real soon.
We made bottles to feed the leppies that evening and as I passed the gate to the sheep pasture, I noticed all the sheep and goats were in except for Prissy. I went out and around the corner and there she was...with her new triplets.
Priss does not have a good udder, her teats are ‘blown’ and the babies can’t really get ahold of them to nurse. I brought them all in, gave the babies some SeleniumE, got Priss on the stand and milked her into 3 bottles to make sure the kids got colostrum early. I will have to keep stripping her twice a day until they figure out the whole nursing scene and are able to keep her milked down. Meanwhile...I am able to go back into Goat milk soap production.
I have CucumberMelon and Goatmilk Oatmeal&Honey soap on the racks curing, will make another plain Honeymoo this week, and keep a close eye on Oreo, Freckles and Just Plain Joe.
It’s gonna be quite a week.