This afternoon, Mrs. Yeoman Farmer spotted an enormous wild turkey. We were standing in the living room, looking north toward our back acreage. The thing was quite a ways off, but there was no doubt what it was: big, black, and moving in a waddling motion.
Me, pulling on my coat to return to my office anyhow: “I’ll go take a look.”
Eight Year Old Homeschooled Farm Girl (HFG): “Get your gun, Daddy!”
Me: “But it’s not hunting season.”
HFG [look of indignation]: “Well, tell them you were hungry.”
Laughing, I jogged out toward the back acreage. Unfortunately, the dogs were out with me and ran ahead toward the turkey. It began running for cover, but I made a mental note as to its location. Because someday it will be hunting season…and I will indeed be hungry.
…ewes just pregnant!
Maybelle is always our first to lamb, and she’s looking increasingly ready to go. We’re just wishing that the weather would warm up a bit.
Her five deliveries have all been twins. This year is looking like no exception.
I spent most of yesterday in Chicago, on a work-related trip. It’s a 3.5 hour drive from here, which is just close enough to avoid an overnight stay.
As my client meeting wasn’t until 11am, I figured I had time to make some farm deliveries to old customers who’d appreciated our eggs. Once the details of the trip were set, I contacted those customers by email and made arrangements to meet.
My first stop was a four-star restaurant in Lincoln Park, where the chef is one of our eggs’ biggest fans. (He’s gone so far as to carry our eggs on a plane to take them places for cooking demonstrations.) He’d have bought 30 dozen if we’d had them, but our flock had only produced a little over half that over the last week. Still, it was wonderful being able to deliver them all to someone who likes them so much. He also took 6 dozen of our largest duck eggs, which I doubt he’s been able to put on the menu for some time.
My next stop was the most important. As mentioned in a post last year, we have a customer who is allergic to chicken eggs — but who can eat duck eggs. As our kids also have severe food allergies, I’m very empathetic to this man and make sure I contact him whenever I’ll be in the area with duck eggs. Our ducks hadn’t been laying since late last summer; needless to say, he was very excited when I emailed him with news of this trip.
As his building is just a few blocks from my client, I ditched the car near the client’s building and then walked to the egg customer’s place. It’s hard to describe how bizarre a feeling it was to be dressed in a jacket and tie, laptop computer slung over my shoulder, walking up and down the busy streets at the heart of Chicago’s Loop, elevated trains roaring overhead…while carrying 4 dozen duck eggs in my hands. Yes, I got some funny looks. But the best look was the expression of joy on my customer’s face, as he met me in the lobby of his building and then told me about what he’d be cooking and eating in the days to come.
Remember those old Peanuts cartoons, where Snoopy perches on top of his dog house like a vulture?
I was just sitting here in my office, when Tabasco (our red healer mix) sudde
nly scrambled onto the back of the couch and assumed the same position, gazing intently out the window. The window in the background screwed up the lighting, but I couldn’t resist snapping a photo anyway.
Never did figure out what she was so worked up about. But I love being able to work with dogs in my office.
Remember the bummer goat kid? Turns out, he’s actually a male (was a bit unclear the first day in the darkened barn).
Anyhow, Mother Doe still won’t let him nurse; we go out a few times a day and hold her still so he can get a good meal. Homeschooled Farm Girl has made this her special project, and the goat kid is thriving as a result.
Yesterday, I was working around the barn and then heard a terribly loud, distressed, bleating noise from the goat pen. Stupid Bad Mother Doe had managed to get her head caught in gate; don’t ask me how she was able to do this — the holes were very small. In other words, she had to be trying to get her head through that space. And then she couldn’t get it back out. Upon closer investigation, I realized that Stupid Bad Mother Doe had presented her bummer kid with a prime opportunity: she couldn’t move. He could nurse as much as he wanted to.
Except…stupidity seems to have been passed along in the genes. He was just standing there, giving her a dumb look. MYF and I figure he must’ve concluded that he only gets to nurse when a human is in the pen, so he’s given up even trying at other times — no matter how good the opportunity is. Once I jumped into the pen, he went right at the doe’s udder. She protested, but couldn’t really go anywhere.
Interestingly, the kid continued nursing like a fiend even after I climbed back out of the pen and returned to work. Got quite a good meal.
I eventually returned to free Mother Doe from the gate, but it took a remarkable amount of effort. Thankfully, she hasn’t tried that stunt again since. But hopefully if she does, the kid will realize that he’s got himself a prime opportunity.