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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mama, farm plans, work

Mama is still feeling sickly. She has begun to take some meds to help her deal with the fever and aches but she continues to trade being too hot for being too cold. Normally each morning she and Victoria take the cage the young chickens are housed in out of the garage and place it on saw horses set up under the carport. For the past several days the chickens have stayed put in the garage pooping on my table saw. By the time I get home there is no point in taking the cage out of the garage so I will have a mess to clean up some time later this week.

I inadvertently put Mama on high alert by telling her that I had seen a coyote on our road when I was on my way home yesterday. We have the two big dogs that stay constantly on guard but their focus is the front of the house. They spend the majority of their time running down trucks and cars that come to the gate at the outside edge of our property. They do not seem too concerned about the animals we have in back of the house. But, to their credit, we have not lost any chickens or hogs in the time we have been living at this property.

Now we are seriously talking about getting sheep. With the failed experiment we had with sheep in Bowie we are making preparations to fortify the sheepcote and the pasture we will keep the sheep in to prevent any scavenging by the coyotes we continually hear howling in the distance. It is a risk but there are quite a few people around us that have successfully raised sheep – and do quite well at it.

Grandpa and Norman are poo-pooing the idea before we even get started but the reality of our situation is that we do not have the room for the cattle they so earnestly desire to raise. Nor am I in the market to acquire more land. I need to constrict financially not expand. So given the area I do have available we will try to maximize our land use by minimizing our animal size; at least, that is what we will try.

Having said that, Mama found a rancher in Fredericksburg that she wants to buy a couple bred heifers from in the very near future. We can probably keep three to four heifers on the portion of the property I have set aside for that purpose if I continually supplement their feed. There is not enough grazing for four head and their calves but if we put out hay all year long they will get enough to do fairly well without us having to get more land. Right now we are waiting for prices to come down to a more reasonable level before we buy.

Things at work are getting very interesting. Plans are shifting, org charts are changing from one day to the next as outgoing managers and incoming managers debate the merits of individuals they are considering. From the looks of things, unless there is a specified skill set the cut off age is 50 to 55 for consideration within the new organization. That’s the starting point of discussing individual merit. From there, it is anyone’s guess.

It will be a long couple weeks as we wait.


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