Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Sometimes there are weeks that are just great. Well, this week was not one of them. It started off very exciting with the hatching of our first homegrown, naturally-incubated chicks, and pretty much went downhill from there. Here is my attempt to show that, despite all the happy posts I share about the wonders and joys of farm life, not all weeks are sunshine and roses. In fact, things are pretty imperfect around here this week. We are, after everything is said and done, human just like the rest of you.
The week started with the hatching of a few of the eggs that our Golden-laced Wyandotte hen was incubating. I was over the moon that it had been successful and we had our first LOSA-born chickens! Unfortunately, this week I had a very heavy workload off the farm, and was not able to be out to monitor them as frequently as I would have liked. Two chicks hatched, and a third was in the process of hatching. Yesterday I found one of the hatched chicks had died, the chick in the process of hatching had died before it fully hatched, and the remaining chick was not doing well. The mama hen was not interested in the remaining live chick very much. I did what I could for it before having to go off to work. I thought I could follow the hen's lead and let her incubate eggs when she felt up to it, but in the future I think it will be best to force her to wait until spring/summer. The hen was keeping them warm, I had a heat lamp on them, and had surrounded their area with hay bales to keep it warm. I don't know what the problem was, but at least waiting until spring would eliminate the weather issue.
My promising doe Azazel California Poppy has been having issues with growth, and I did not know her G6S status, so my mom and I drew blood to determine if she was G6S affected and that was causing her slow growth. Thankfully, she is not affected, but she is a carrier. Being a carrier does not affect her at all (having 'normal' goats is best though) but it means that, if I want to be a responsible breeder, I will have to test all of her kids and only offer for sale the 'normal' kids. My buck is G6S Normal by parentage and any future animals I buy will only be Normal so I don't have to continue doing G6S testing, as the test is NOT cheap. But, that means an additional expense each year for her offspring.
Then, there is the snow. AND the cold. We continue to see below zero cold spells that last up to a week. The animals are doing fine in it and I am able to keep my barn closed on extreme days. But, the animals are getting sick of it, and although I love winter, this year I am getting sick of it too. Why? Well, because of the extreme cold snaps, we have heard that the frost line is not 7' below ground (normal is 36"). That is all fine and dandy until your water hydrant freezes in your barn and you now have to cart 20 gallons, give or take, back and forth from the house to the barn 1-2 times/day. For the rest of the winter.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
I saw the Maremma pup yesterday! So much to tell you I don't know where to start! Long story short, I will be bringing him home on Saturday; I'll be fostering for a few weeks and then make the official decision after that. The reason for that being because he was a little more energetic than I was expecting. I am sure that will mellow out after he gets away from the high energy shelter, but just to be sure. He did mellow out when it was just me and him though.
I spent almost 2 hours with him. We were told that when we were in the little room (in the pictures) he would not come near us at all. We spent probably 45 minutes in there just standing there not facing him or looking at him. Within a few minutes, he had already sniffed my brother. After that, he came over and sniffed my hand. I had the guy he trusts (pictured standing next to where pup is laying) give me some treats. Pup came over to sniff my hand again, but this time I had a goodie! He came back several times for more treats from my hand :) He did have a barking fit when my brother lifted his foot (he and the other guy were talking about the football punter who only had half a foot), but it was a sudden movement that might have scared him.
Next we went on a walk. The guy he trusts held onto him and we walked with him. He tried to go for my hand a few times, but it was the same hand that I gave him a treat from, so I think he was partly looking for something. It seemed more in play that anything else. Then we were walking and he gave the leash for me. We all walked together for a while, and then they stopped and it was just me and the pup he kind of wanted to go back to the guy he trusts, but was playful in walking with me and did come towards me when I bent down to his level.
Then we let him off leash into the play yard. He was running around a lot and then starting digging in the snow/eating it.
They told us he was good with cats (although we didn't see an interaction) and he is good with dogs (which will be nice when we add lgd #2). There was a dog leaving the shelter when we were outside. I was holding him while he was leashed and the dog passed by him maybe 2 feet away and he just stood there looking at him wagging his tail; didn't bark at him and didn't make any advances toward him.
About his lymes/anaplasmosis- no treatment has been started for it, because he is showing zero symptoms. The only reason he was tested for it was because he was from a farm and they test all dogs that come from farms. I am glad that his immune system is stronger than I thought it was going to be, and (since I have a natural farm) I'm glad he hasn't had any drugs to compromise that. I'll start natural treatment when he gets here.
He does have double dew claws, so maybe there is some GP somewhere, but I did read that some other lgd breeds can have double dews also??
His name will be revealed after the foster time is up.