Homesteading Diary, Monday October 28

Husband and I: completely wore ourselves out putting up fencing this weekend, eight hours of manual labor.  We also went ahead and put the hay out.  Timing was pretty good, we’re getting frost warnings this week, and my husband wanted the hay out with the first real frost or a little before.

Goats and sheep: Now that we’ve got the fencing in and electrified, neither the goats nor the sheep have tried to set themselves free.  So in all likelihood the goats will stick around until spring and lambing season.  But it’s only been a couple days, we’ll see where the week takes us.  The goats were sad, but they get to eat hay during midday while the sheep hang out in the pasture being relentless in their consumption.  The sheep eat a bit of hay in the very early morning and later in the evening.  Due to exhaustion and not knowing where the trimming shears are, we didn’t get the hoof trimming and wool trimming in, but Shaft’s wool has in fact almost all the bramble I was really worried about.

The girls are calmer around Bucky and Shaft.  Shaft has not gotten the memo that he is too immature to breed and keeps trying to make it happen.  We will have a ram pen and stricter breeding protocol next breeding season.  But it is highly unlikely that Shaft at 4mo is going to father anything this year.

Ducks: Cayuga still not laying, greatly hoping it’s not a drake.  The other three lay just fine, but cannot decide whether they should lay in their nest or in the mud, so I have to walk carefully when taking care of their food and water to avoid stepping on the egg(s) they lay in the mud before I gather them.

Kids: They enjoyed a recent visit to one of the local pumpkin patches and acquired two adorable little pumpkins.

General local stuff:  We ordered more fencing and price-shopped a little and found a better deal with a local branch of a megachain of farm stores.  Said branch also has more reliable delivery than the co-op.  We’ll still use the co-op for hay and some other things, their prices are good for a lot of basics, they just have elderly delivery truck issues right now and can’t do the big stuff deliveries we really need this year.

Also, cattle panel fencing is ugly and this makes me sad, but it would make our neighbors sad if our livestock kept getting out because we chose prettier fencing that was less reliable.

Well, off to find those shears so we can get our hoof maintenance and condition checks on.

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4 thoughts on “Homesteading Diary, Monday October 28

  1. Re: eggs in the mud: It occurs to me that one might be laying in the mud because the other is on the nest at the same time. Maybe a second nest will help? I have a friend who keeps several ducks and geese, I have asked her if she has any advice.

    • They make nests in the grass. It’s just there’s always 1-2 eggs in 1-2 nests, and 1-2 eggs in the mud. This morning was pretty typical. 2 nests made, 1 had 2 eggs, 1 had 0, and the third egg was in the mud. We will probably have to make nests when we move them in from the cold, though, so thanks for the helpful link!

  2. Male Cayuga ducks will have a noticeably curled tail feather. If it does not than it is a female. Our Cayugas laid wherever they happened to be at the time when they were younger. When they got older they started using the nesting boxes more often, but it was never really consistent..

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