Here is another fall update….
The little piglets have been moved into the garden to forage and rototill. I am keeping Abra and Avidor in their summer digs for a bit longer to allow the babies to grow a bit faster without the competition of their parents for food. We figure we will be butchering at least one in December and perhaps the other in February.
We had our first hatching success and have 12 little Light Brahma chicks. Our success rate was about 50%. I don’t think that was too bad for our first clutch. These baby chicks are so friendly compared to the ones I have purchased via mail or at TSC. I have another 30 eggs going into the incubator this weekend.
The Guinea fowl have been banned into the horse barn for the duration of the winter. They don’t like the chickens so they can’t stay in the chicken coop and they can’t free range because they like Greg’s truck as a daytime perch. They were doing well up there until they found the cat door……sigh, they are NOT the smartest birds, but they sure do know how to get into trouble.
I finally found something at which I can rival an Amish woman. I found a superb recipe for a pumpkin log that tastes JUST like one made by the Amish (and maybe better). A few notes: 1) I did not use any nuts. 2) My jelly roll pan was larger than the required size so the cake batter didn’t cover it; I had to make an additional ½ batch to fill out the pan (but didn’t use ALL the batter). 3) I’m pretty sure they are wrong on the amount of servings; there were a few less than 8. J
¾ cups granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup oil
1 cup chopped pecans
Grease and flour a 10” x 15” jelly roll pan; line with wax paper or parchment paper and grease again. Preheat oven to 360 deg F.
Mix ingredients together in order listed, excepting nuts. Spread into prepared pan; sprinkle with nuts. Bake 15 minutes. Turn out onto dampened towel. Roll up lengthwise in jellyroll fashion (including towel and paper). Cool
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Combine all ingredients, beating until smooth. Unroll cooked cake and remove paper and towel. Spread with filling, re-roll, and refrigerate.
Makes 8 servings
My dearest hubby hooked up our dishwasher – what a wonderful help. I had (sort of) forgotten how nice it is to have one.
My dearest hubby has been such a busy man, since he also finished up the new goat barn and his farm equipment storage shed. After we had a week of heavy rainfall, they were happy to have this extra space during the next rain. This barn actually has height enough for me to very comfortably stand in it. With an additional 200 square feet of floor space I know I’M going to be happy with it. I’m now storing quite a bit of hay in the goat feed room adjacent to this new living space; this makes it even easier this winter as I won’t have to trudge through the snow nearly as much to put hay into the feeders!!
Powder, our Satin doe, has finally come of age and we attempted our first breeding. Not quite enough proper action from our buck, Fudge, the first couple of tries. We put her in with him and the third time was the charm. We are due for our first babies around November 20th, 2012!!
Speaking of bunnies, I picked up two more rabbits yesterday. They are two young Checkered Giant/ New Zealand cross does. One will be heading to the dinner table while the other will be a kept as a breeder. I am seriously on the lookout for some nice size angora does. I’m doing some research into them and found I can use them for fiber (when not bred or rearing young) and for meat.
The goats are growing wider and wider and wider. Got the baby monitor fixed and set up ready to alert me to babies (in a few months).
As I get deeper into this world of quality goat breeding, I find more things that are hard for a softie like me. While I believe that my stock is of pretty darn good quality I concern myself with the small (or maybe not so small) things. For instance, if I have stock that is of very nice confirmation, good feet, decent worm resistance, good meat to bone ratio, fast growing, has large litter sizes, friendly and of amazing color but for some reason seems to be more prone to unknown illnesses and/or nutritional deficiencies. Are those the first I should cull? Or would it be better to cull a family line that is slower growing but that is NOT prone to any illness or deficiencies? Or perhaps the family line that has EVERYTHING but only gives me single births? Currently I haven’t had these specific issues or choices to make but I tend to make mountains out of molehills sometimes. I don’t want to cull anybody to be honest, but I’ve been thinking more and more about currently having 9 does bred and only space to keep 3 more goats!! I know I would like to keep one Myotonic doeling and two are most likely already sold. I am hoping I get at least one SUPER colorful and built doe from Nitro and would like to keep that one. I’m not sure however if I want to keep any offspring from Demon. He is growing wonderfully and I’ve bred him to Berry and Fiona, but I don’t like his scrotal conformation. If he throws that trait to his male offspring he will be culled. I do know that before closing our herd I need at least three bucks that I am extremely happy with or my herd won’t be that constant improvement that all (okay hopefully at least most) new breeders strive for.
I will be getting gift baskets together soon for this year. However I wish they could be as full as last year, but unfortunately I didn’t do the canning this year that I did the previous year, so my cupboard is almost “bare”. However without as many home canned goods, I hope to add a few craft projects, maybe some homemade soap or body scrubs and maybe a few homemade mixes!!
I’ve put Icee and Reign back together to guard the girls pen as a team. Icee finished her first “season” at 11-1/2 months of age. If all goes well, she won’t be coming into heat again until spring; at which point I will either separate them again or allow them to produce their first litter. I have been extremely impressed with the guarding ability, temperament and intelligence of these two. When kidding season hits this spring however I think I will keep both Reign and Icee with the boys until the dams and their kids settle in. I’m just not sure I want to trust ANY dog with my newborns at this time until they prove themselves (supervised) with little ones first!!
There has been one sad departure since our last blog entry. Monte (aka Monkey) has moved to live with children. I think the change was most likely sadder for me than it was for Monte. I’m sure he will be very happy with a couple of kids to dote on him!!
There have been two additions since our last entry. Jasmine (aka Jazz) is a gorgeous 10HH pony mare. She will need a lot of work on trust issues, being a bit head shy. We have had her here about three weeks now and she has come a long way, if the weather would cooperate I’m sure I could work her more often. She is my new cart prospect and hopefully by spring we will have a harness on her.
The second addition to our homestead is 10 acres surrounding our current 2 acres. We have put in the fencing for a two acre horse pasture and will be planting pasture grasses and a few trees in the spring. The remaining acreage will be planted for haying. Hopefully in the spring I will be also doubling the size of the both the buck pen and the girls pasture.
Well, until next time…..