I didn't feed any hay in October thanks to the warm weather/pasture growth. Last week as I was feeding the goats, baby in a front pack, I noticed that Barry's hooves were in bad need of clipping. Ugh. I had put off clipping them while I was pregnant, not wanting to deal with his bulk, have him kick me, etc. But now that I had the baby, there was even less of a chance that I'd get it done. I'd have to get my husband out to help me lift him onto the stand, and then we'd have to have someone else watch the baby. Furthermore, there were 100 other things I'd rather be doing with my baby-free minutes than clipping goat hooves. I realized then that I didn't have enough time/energy to devote to the goats' care beyond basic feeding chores.
The choice to sell was spur-of-the-moment... kind of. For the past year or so I noticed that Adi's milk supply was declining to where it was just enough for Hubs and I, and it only lasted four-five months. She was still paying her way though, and not a lot of work to keep, so my plan was to keep her for the rest of her life and then re-evaluate getting new goats when she died. I seriously considered selling Barry this fall, but just never got around to it.
Before baby was born, it was easy to do stuff outside. Now that she is here, I can still do stuff... in 15 minute increments, with her strapped to my chest or hanging out in a stroller nearby. I can still do things, but it's a lot harder. And it makes me think twice about everything I do. I realized last week that it would be better to sell both goats NOW before I spend more money on feed and hay. I also won't have to deal with kidding in the spring, selling goat babies, milking, washing jars, etc. Furthermore, we can be a little more free to travel if animal chores are only once a day year-round. I always dreaded pawning off my milking chores onto friends or family. Last year Adi kidded while we were in the Dominican Republic. Not anymore!
The new owner has her own goat dairy and I'm confident she will take great care of my goats. Also, not having the goats will free up the time I do have, so I can focus on caring for my chickens and strawberry patch.
My only expense this month was the purchase of two new ducks at $15.00 each. I'm 100% that one of them is female... not sure about the other one. As far as I know, neither of them is laying eggs yet. They should start laying soon, though. Right now I am only getting two chicken eggs per day. Obviously this is *just* enough for our own use with not an egg to spare/sell. I upped their daily feed ration by two pounds to see if it increases production, but so far I haven't noticed a difference.
We mostly finished up garden work in October. I dug up/harvested all of the remaining edibles and Hubs tilled up my annual beds. Because I had so many unused raised beds this year, I think I will eliminate growing space in front and just let that go into grass to be mowed. Corn will grow where my old strawberry patch used to be.
I had a free hour one Saturday to clean out the chicken coop. I put all of the dried up chicken poo on my raised beds. Some of the poop came off in "sheets", which was really convenient actually. Usually I do lasagna composting with my raised beds (carbon layer alternated with nitrogen layer), but this year I'm just going to dump the chicken manure on and leave it at that. I bed the chicken coop with pine sawdust, so the rotted mixture of wood (carbon) and manure (nitrogen) should provide the same effect as layering carbon and nitrogen materials. Plus I don't have time for layering this year.
We tilled in between the strawberry rows one last time. I'm hoping to get the rows covered with straw sometime in late November/early December. I was also hoping to go through and weed the patch one last time before it got cold, but that just didn't happen. Oh well.
We used leaves fallen from the property to cover some of the strawberries. This was nice because they were free.
Profit & Loss
$270.00- Goats and goat tattoo kit
Total income: $254.00
Expenses: $30.00- Ducks
Net profit: $244.00
Year-to-date net profit: $325.36
Since we sold the goats, I won't be buying hay or restocking the goat feed this month (November). The chickens are set for a while in regards to feed. November should have a really boring report!
Til next time,