Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Down on Hoppes farm

We have a mare with lice.  Ah, well.  No big deal.  She got sprayed down and I sprayed the other animals just in case there is a spread.  Daily, they will be coated in d. earth.  Just to clarify, I did not see any actual lice, but I did see plenty of lice eggs stuck to the hair.

Her hooves got inspected and although a bit rough, they look good.  She is not shoed which does not seem to be a big deal around here.  The frog is in good shape.  There are no signs of trauma, injury, infection, or anything going wrong there.  She handled being haltered very well.  She also took well to being saddled and Husband getting on her back.  She had been ridden before, but she has not been handled/ridden in quite a while.  So except for the lice and a small trim needed on the hooves, she is in good shape.

Her and Davarge seem to be getting along.  There's no fight for domination or "other" interest.  He sniffed her butt and that was about it.  There does not seem to be any problems with the animals not getting along.

The pig has her own area and I have been reading up on pig birth.  It's called farrowing.  I am going to do a more hands on exam tomorrow.  I've been going slow with the sow because she is very pregnant.  I don't want to spook her.  From her point of view, she is in a strange environment around people she doesn't know and she is close to giving birth to a little or piglets.  I want her to trust me while at the same time examine her.  Today, after giving her fresh water and feed, I went in the pen with her and let her sniff me and tug at my skirt.  When I rubbed my hand down her back, she skittered away.  While I could easily over-power her (with both of us getting hurt in the process) that would not gain her trust.  Her vulva is protruding, but I don't think she is going to be giving birth in the next day or two.  I could be wrong. 

Charlotte's (the pig came with the name and the boy pig that someone else bought was named Wilbur) area is 8'x16' and will expand as needed.  I don't like animals in such a small area, but I need to be able to get to her quick if needed.

We turned down a brown swiss cow the other day and it pained us to do so.  Brown swiss is an excellent milk cow that produces wonderful cheese.  However, we need to make more pasture.  As such, we are going to be spending winter cutting and clearing under brush.  We were talking with someone about needing more pasture for the animals we are going to be getting in the future.  We were not enjoying the idea of dropping trees.  He said "Cut the small stuff, clear the underbrush.  Do this in areas that is mostly small stuff and you will have pasture while still having the tall trees for natural shade."  That is so simple it is brilliant.  Here I have been picturing the acres and acres of flat, treeless (or maybe one or two trees) pasture that I had grown accustomed to in Indiana that a pasture with trees never occurred to me.  Simplicity at its best

Tomorrow, we are going to have nine children in this house ages 8 months to 11 years.  There will be six adults.  That makes 15 people here in my 800 square foot home.  (725 when you leave out the front porch.)  I'm making chili.  It's easy and most people enjoy it.  I have the hamburger cooking up right now.  It can simmer on the woodburner all day tomorrow.

I think I am (at least for now) over my baby desire.  Practicality has taken the front seat again.  Besides, Husband would probably have a fit if I were to ride while pregnant.  And can you see me trying to nurse while riding?  It's complicated enough leaning over into a carseat to nurse sitting in the back seat while Husband is driving down the highway.

There is a board of directors meeting for the battered woman's shelter on Monday.  I need to find a sitter for all the children.  There is a new board president and he is calling a meeting.  I mentioned my thankfulness and giving me enough notice to find someone to watch the children.  He had said something about having a room with toys.  I told him "But I want you to like me and I want your building to remain standing after my children leave."  He laughed with understanding.  He has children of his own.

I'm excited and nervous about this meeting.  Supposedly this guy is some local big shot.  I'm not one to impress easily when it comes to names.  However, this guy does have connections (among his connections is the fact that he used to be mayor) and with his connections, he can make the shelter thrive or fail.  The shelter is currently failing and will not survive unless changes are made.  He is calling this meeting to try to make some changes for the better.  Since his goal and my goal is the same I am eager for this meeting.

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