Monday, March 25, 2019

Cow Supplement

During the colder weeks of the winter when not much is growing, the cows need supplemental minerals in addition to the hay bales that are set out.

In the past we used a supplement called 2-in-1, that our local feed store mixed up, which was cotton seed, molasses, salt and other minerals. Remind yourself here. They came in 50 pound bags that had to be put out, one a day, on most days. The cows love it. As soon as they saw us coming with it, they would almost stampede to get to the troughs. But it was labor intensive and needed to be purchased and picked up every week or so. Each bag cost about $11, so over the winter we might spend $1000.

This past winter we tried a new kind of supplement which was more of a "lick" in a huge bucket. Each bucket weighed about 250 pounds and had to be delivered to the house by the supplier, and then took two people to set them out in the field. The cows liked it, but were less anxious since it couldn't be eaten too fast and was always there when they wanted it. The buckets were pricey, at about $375 a bucket, but we only needed four to get us through the winter. So even though it cost more, it was a superior supplement and ended up being much easier.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Missing Bowls

Since the goat dogs are roaming, they seem to find it a fun game to move all the bowls around the property.

The cat's bowl from the back porch was the first to go missing. We couldn't find it anywhere. Usually if the wind has blown it, we can find it somewhere nearby. She doesn't eat much, so we substituted with an old yogurt container.

Then the dog bowl on the front porch went missing - the one we use for food. So we dug out one of the old ones in the garage, laid aside when we bought new bowls a few months ago. And then it went missing.

We were running out of bowls.

Lastly the large water bowl went missing from the front porch. It had been full of water. The two dogs and the cat drink from the bowl.

So one day when we had to go out to gather up the goats and lead them back, we went on a quest to search for all the bowls.

We saw one out in the field, and once we went to get that one, we spotted another, and another. All three out in the middle of the field.

And we even ended up finding one metal bowl that wasn't even ours!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Ice patterns

In a few places around the property where there was standing water during a freezing night, there were pretty ice patterns formed. So I had to take a few photos.

Monday, March 11, 2019


The daffodil bulbs we planted last November came up nicely. There were several varieties that bloomed at different times over about a month. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Friendly Stray

When the white stray dog first showed up on our property, out in the field or by the front gate, I assumed it was one of our white dogs - out roaming because the goat fencing is down. From a distance it looked the same color and size.

But then one day I thought I was going a little crazy because I thought I saw THREE white dogs. And with closer inspection, found that, yes, it was a third white dog. Male.

Anytime we have an extra dog around the property it causes chaos. Even when our own two white goat dogs come near the house (which they do frequently when they get out) - or when the house dogs get near the goat dogs. But when it's a strange new dog, they all go crazy. Our dogs will venture well out of their normal areas to investigate. The constant barking gets annoying. They are protective.

Stray dogs are fairly common where we live. People are constantly dumping dogs out here. I would guess we get one every month or two that we need to deal with. Some are nice, some aren't so nice. After our experience with the pack of wild dogs and our chickens, we are even more cautious. 

But this dog was friendly, too friendly. He was passive and was never provoked by our dogs, even when all four could gang up on him. When you said sit, he'd sit and roll over waiting to be petted. He liked to water our plants frequently when he was around the house. He liked to eat and always seemed hungry, eating the cat food on the back porch or out at the workshop. He liked our house especially at meal times. He liked to sniff. He liked our girls.

I should say at this point that our female goat dogs were never meant to roam the countryside. They were always meant to be in a fenced area to protect the goats, and thus would be protected from advances from male suitors. 

But he was your typical unwanted guest. Friendly but unwanted after a few days. Just one too many mouths to feed. We can't keep all the strays that come our way.

I contacted our local animal shelter after it appeared he was here to stay and not just passing through. Unfortunately, it is the only one in our county and is usually full. So I was put on the waiting list. After about two weeks they finally phoned to say they had room. Then it took us a couple of days to catch him before we could load him up and take him into town. We get charged $25 by the shelter. We view it as a donation.

We should know by the end of the month if we're going to have puppies.

Monday, March 4, 2019


The fireplace in our house has never seemed to emit much heat into the room. So in an effort to make our fireplace more efficient, we had a steel panel made for the back walls of the fireplace.

One of the few successful businesses in our little town is a welding shop. It's actually owned and operated by a woman. Go women welders! She came and measured up, then went back to her shop and cut some 1/2" steel panels the right size to fit in the tight space. A few weeks later, she came and welded them in place.

By the time it was completed, we were at the end of our colder weather, so have only tried it out a few times. So far it does seem to heat the room better.