Whew, I just read back over some previous posts, and man have I been in a bad mood. It hasn't been all quite as relentlessly awful as this blog has made it sound, however. Really. It helps that we have a bright blue shy at the moment, predicted to last nearly all day before the next storm front moves in. The weather man was using his "Big Storm" voice, though, so I expect it will be a bad one. Ah well, I'll just try to spend as much time as I can outside today.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I came up with an idea to make mucking out easier. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, there is no way to maneuver a wheelbarrow in the barnyard right now. And I think I also mentioned that the pig no longer lives in his pen, since he would drown in his own muck if he did. So it occurred to me that I could use the empty pigpen for my compost pile. It abuts the barn, and one of the barn windows is perfectly situated for forking the dirty straw right out. Presto: no wheelbarrow, much cleaner, dryer, less smelly barn. And there's a fence around the pen, so the animals can't climb all over the compost, except for the chickens of course.
Homero and I moved the remaining bunny, hutch and all, onto the back porch. It was quite a job carrying the hutch - which is pretty large and very heavy - through the gates and 300 feet to the house. The idea is to get the little girls more involved in taking care of their animal and to provide the bunny a little stimulation now and then, instead of letting it waste away of loneliness and boredom all alone in it's hutch. I'm fairly certain we aren't going to recover the white bunny, certain enough to bet Homero $100. He spent a half hour or so trying, and did manage to drive the bunny out from under the barn twice and onto open ground, but he wasn't able to net it either time before it dashed under the other, bigger barn. We really have to figure out a way to block up the space under the barns. During Operation Bunny Homero discovered several large clutches of eggs under there.
I also managed to get the pony into the smaller pasture with the new field shelter in it. It's much drier there, no mud at all, much better for her hooves. Homero and I attempted to get the alpacas in there as well, but no dice. I have no idea how we will ever move them, or trap them for shearing. Instead I gave her two goats for companionship, Xango and her daughter Valentine. These are the only two does I won't be breeding this year, so if I get a buck on the place I can just put him in with the other three girls and let him have at it.
Speaking of which, I am bringing Xana to a buck this afternoon. When Rowan gets home, I'll have her watch the little kids and take the van with the goat in it. I'm hoping she won't hurt herself or me on the trip. It's not very far.
I know, I'm dubious too, but I have no other options.