Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Arctic Blast

We hope everyone had a great Holiday Season.  Now we are awaiting the Arctic Blast.  It has been real cold all this week and we have had several days of 18 and 17 degrees at night.  The mud is all frozen and we are having to deal with frozen water buckets and troughs, which is my least favorite thing in the world.  We had been breaking ice for the livestock to drink and yesterday the temps went above freezing so we could thaw the hose and  fill the troughs.  I pulled out the ice and refilled.  We may end up ordering warmers if this weather keeps up.  We have not had to deal with this before.  Usually it is cold at night and warms up during the day and we just wait to refill water.  It has been almost a week where temps are not getting much above freezing.  We are some 20 degrees below our normal temps.

We have had several kids with snotty noses and our buildings are open, not equipped to deal with the cold north and west wind.  We have put up some tarps to cut down on the wind chill.  Deep bedding and extra feed is about all one can do.  We have lost a few kids due to chilling at night.  We do not use heat lamps due to the fire hazzard.  It is better to loose a baby, then loose the entire herd due to a fire. Our well is covered with a light to keep it from freezing.  We have underground pipes to pipe water out to the pastures, but that is all turned off for the winter.  This cold would only bust them.

We have had several Nigerian Kids born and my Nubian Raisen is due to kid shortly as well.  She will more then likely have a purebred Nubian sired by Blake, my huge black Nubian Buck.  Brat had twins by Mr General, a buck and a doe.  Thundersnow had twins, a buck and a doe by Mr General.  Blue had triplets one cold night and lost one of the bucks.  She was acting strange and did not want to take care of her kids this year.  I guess the quintuplets did her in.  I pulled the kids and one went to her new home as a Christmas Angel present for Christmas. We still have a buckling available who is Blue eyed, sired by Bubba and very colorful.

We sell a lot of babies for Christmas.  They are great gifts and easier to deal with then dogs.  If they are bottle babies, they are very tame and follow one around like a dog.  Some folks put diapers on them and dress them like children.  I have put oneseys on The Rock, when he was a Boer baby with a diaper.  Oneseys are like a tea shirt with bottom snaps.  You put it on back wards and snap over the back.  It will hold the diaper in place to catch urine.  When the diaper sags a bunch, you know it is time to change.  The Rock is over 2 years now (200 pounds) and is as tame as any dog and knows his name.  Bottle babies are the best...  If the baby is for a child, they learn to feed them and care for them like a baby.  The goat bonds to the caregiver like a child and will even ride in a car and learn tricks.  There is nothing cutier then a baby Nigerian Goat.

We have set eggs from our chickens to try a hatch.  A friend of mine has a fancy incubator.  I have never had much luck with the incubator I have and will let her try to hatch some.  I would like more Ameraucana's and as soon as I decided to collect the eggs for hatching, they stopped laying all of a sudden.  Before, there were eggs everywhere.  What is with that???  Maybe it is the cold weather.  I am a good detective and have found all their laying spots.  We did get some and will hatch them and the Ameraucana mixes.  I have two Ameraucana Roosters.  The Ameraucana are the chickens which lay blue and green eggs.

Got to go for now and will try to get pictures of the cold snap.