Homestead Update

It has been a while, friends!

The last 2 weekends in a row, we’ve had company. Which was nice. But that means that in focusing our efforts on the inside of the house to make it a haven for hospitality, we’ve been doing the bare minimum outside.

My husband spend the day Monday running errands. I say running- he’s actually been a little limpy; something happened to his knee following a tree-climbing-toy-retrieval incident with our oldest son. So frankly, the amount of work he’s been able to get done while semi-injured is super impressive.

We gave the goats some fresh straw in the barn, in conjunction with this chilly autumn weather we’ve been having. It has dipped down into the 30s(F) the last couple nights. They seemed to enjoy playing in it.

We have a couple silvo-chickens… They’ve taken to residing free range in the woods and coming back for food. I don’t know how I feel about that, honestly. I mean, on the one hand, they’re heritage breeds, adept at foraging; they’re living true to their natural capacity. On the other hand, it makes them more vulnerable to predators. In the same way I can’t expect to walk in the full protection of the Almighty when I leave His will, the chickens cannot be fully protected if they leave the shelter of the coop and run which we’ve built for them. So, I could clip their wings and keep them from flying out, or I could choose not to fight their natural inclinations. And I am leaning toward clipping wings. It’s just a matter of catching them.

We’re getting closer to AI for the goats! We have our kit and tank and we’re waiting to pick up the semen from Blue Mtn Genetics (Formerly Capra Gia) at the end of the month. That puts us having kids in May, which is slightly later than I’d prefer, but overall, not bad. We realistically could wait and breed for fall kids, but my husband said he’d prefer spring babies. So that’s the plan for now.

I’ve been able to chart their estrus cycles based on secondary signs, and I’m getting better at predicting their standing heats! So with patience and diligent observation, we should be able to successfully breed our girls.

I’ve also been canning sweet potatoes, which was a first for me this year. I had to run 4 pints through again because I used tattler lids and forgot to tighten them down after I pulled them out of the canner. But aside from the occasional user error, they work great for us.

In the meantime, I’m working on a lot of crochet, knitting, and sewing of wintery things. I cannot believe how much my littles have grown!

I finally finished the hat for Baby Bear I started while I was still pregnant with her. And it’s adorable. Or rather, she’s adorable.

And little by little, the homestead is being put to rest for the winter.

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