Quiet Sunday

It’s a quiet time right now, ranch-wise. Animals to care for are at their minimum, the young and adult chickens are consolidated into one area, most of the puppies are gone and the weather is steady. All this is particularly noticeable after an event like the Mayhaw Festival.

The number of people to care for them are down to the core group. Charissa and Mimi are off visiting relatives for the weekend, so it’s especially quiet today. Just me, Mom and Dad.

So, even though we can holler out at each other, “Did you feed the big dogs?” I print out our “Daily Animal Checklist,” and keep it marked up. It helps me learn the different ‘departments’ we keep. And on a lazy morning, helps me remember to do each thing.

Daily Livestock Checklist with guinea egg

As these “Rancher’s Journal” posts are meant to actually be a regular journal, and not high entertainment or product promotion, I’ll just go through each segment with my notes. Some days will be boring, some exciting and hopefully, they all be educational for other ‘rookie ranchers’ like myself.

Chickens

I fed and watered the chickens first this morning. They all came to greet me at the fence, so I knew they were out of feed. That’s not so unusual, and they won’t starve. There’s plenty of bugs, grass and daily kitchen scraps for them to munch on.

I used up the last of the store-bought feed in the small bin we keep next to the coops. I thought we were down to our last bag until I found out we also keep them in the regular feed room. I thought we only kept them in the barn feed room.

Guinea Hens

We’re all on the lookout for Guinea Hen eggs. They lay large clutches, low in the ground, and are really hard to spot. We want to find them and raise them for sale, but haven’t yet.

There are a couple of white ones in with the chickens and have used the chicken nests to lay an egg or two. They’re small and tear-drop shaped. Someone found one and didn’t recognize it, so it got refrigerated with the chicken eggs.

Goats

We currently have mini-myotonics in pastures #4 and #5. They were all accounted for and healthy looking. The mix of large girls are in #10, also all accounted for and healthy.

I did kind of sleep through the feeding this morning, so I’ll have to go back and check their water and minerals during the day.

Out in #11, where we keep the males, one of the young, white ones, with curled horns, was stuck in the fence. It wasn’t difficult at all to get him out, though.

Sheep

We keep the males out in #12. The two forever-sheep were there, healthy and active. And we currently have five young males out there. All present and accounted for.

The females have been staying out loose in #13, the easement and our young orchard, but right now, they are close to the house because we have one girl with an odd injury we’re keeping an eye on. If we have to bring her into the barn, it will be easier with them closer. So far, she’s active and eating, and not in distress, so we’re just monitoring.

I’m not sure how graphic I should get about the details, so I’ll just say this injury, or ailment, or whatever it is, is affecting one of her teats. Mom’s sheep colleagues say they’ve seen this sort of thing on occasion and although the sheep loses the teat, it’s otherwise okay.

Livestock Dogs

We’re down to our core group of Livestock dogs again. Roper, Honey and India in the pastures close to the house, and Rocky out with the male goats in #11.

Honey, who’s recovering from her litter of puppies will join Rocky soon. India’s in the barn with her three puppies. And Roper, who is supposed to be in #10, has found an easy place to get out, so he’s up in the main yard at the house all the time now.

Sketch of pasture locations on Golden Acres Ranch Florida

That’s it for today. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and I wish you all a fun, safe and memorable one.

Christine

About Christine

Daughter, Web Developer & Ranch Hand

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