|pasture mix in the bottom field|
I mentioned we had put a metal roofed "car shed thing" in the top field last year because it gets exactly zero shade, no matter the time of day. We had lost a nice young doe in the summer before that, and we assume it was to heat as she was the only black doe in the group and the temperatures that day had been over 100 degrees with miserable humidity. One of the complicating factors in this part of the country, of course, is the humidity, and I don't know any way to combat that, but we did spend a day last week when it was a little cooler giving booster vaccines for pneumonia to almost all the mature does. That's about as much as I know how to do to prepare them for the heavy humidity that defines summers in the South.
|the bozos better use these shade structures|
I often mention how overstocked we are, and the problems this can create. I know we sound like idiots to be doing something we know is dicey, but this farm had no infrastructure save an old tobacco barn on it when we started this little venture. Now, we do have our "used" main metal barn and four fenced main pasture/paddock areas. And one of those has the car shed thing in it. The goats are paying their way and building their farm. We have to have a certain number to sell so we can cull some, keep one or two, and sell the rest and make enough to put back into the farm to grow it some more. The goats are buying themselves barns, fences, and feed towards an eventual level where we are no longer overstocked for the amount of animals we plan to run. Or at least that is the plan. Not sure when we'll get there.
|picking up the straw bales|
As an aside, I got a call from the man at the feed store who had told me he wouldn't be able to get the minerals I wanted. After announcing who he was and from whence he was calling, he said, quite dryly, "a miracle has occurred." As it turns out, the miracle was in the form of the arrival of said minerals. I stopped by a few days later to pick them up, and they loaded up my two bags. Of course, when I stopped in to get them, the feed man said, again, just as dryly, "they're expensive." Fine time to tell me, buddy. Well, I figure if they really do provide something the goats aren't currently getting, then they'll be worth it. I've been reading my Pinkerton book again, and am always struck by the notion that a goat's total performance is limited by the one element that is deficient (or, I assume, provided at toxic levels or to the exclusion of something else). So even if everything else is right, they will never perform to their best if one thing is lacking severely enough. I know I can't fix everything, and wouldn't even know where to begin, but that idea really bugs me.
|mineral tag, with chelated minerals for supposedly better absorption|
|Big bale of sericea lespedeza|
|water on wheels, which equates to life made easier|
One thing the author mentioned was that if the cows "play" with the water or the float valve in an automatic waterer, they are trying to freshen the water because it isn't to their liking. I remember horses doing this when I was a kid, flipping the water and stirring it about with their lips, and I just thought they were playing. Maybe there was more to it than that. Something to think about, for sure. We've spent years making "good" water for our koi, meaning highly oxygenated, low dissolved organic content water with a high ORP (how oxidative the water is) and stable pH. Maybe we should think a bit more about the water quality for the animals who drink it, although I'm not quite sure how we could fix it barring access to the fast flowing stream at the back of the property. Of course, a farm pond with a windmill for aeration would be nice, too.
Virginia napped for a lot of the time we were working, which was just as well, considering the heat. She stayed in the car with the air conditioner running for part of the time, as environmentally unfriendly as that is. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We were able to put her in the stroller under some shade trees for her second nap, and the breeze made it quite bearable. I've noticed that Bo sticks pretty close to the children, wherever they are on the farm. He seemed to appreciate a bit of shade, as well.
|Virginia at lunch. She has a good time pretty much anywhere she goes.|
|Bo agrees it is mighty hot.|