My Idea of Civil Disobedience!

Remember that Amish farmer who the FDA has been treating like some kind of drug lord? His customers are fighting back:

Four weeks after the government moved to shut down Amish farmer Dan Allgyer for selling fresh, unpasteurized milk across state lines, angry moms who made up much of his customer base rallied on the Capitol’s grounds Monday to demand that Congress rein in the food police.

The moms milked a cow just across the street from the Senate and served up gallons of fresh milk, playfully daring one another to drink what, if sold across state lines, would be considered contraband product.

What a terrific protest idea! If we still lived in the DC area, I would’ve shown up and joined them with one of our goats.

The video these moms put together is terrific:


And, as one of them points out, just look at those kids and how healthy they are!

When All Else Fails

Try duct tape!

Seriously, that’s the lesson you learn pretty quickly on a farm. We bought a large bulk pack of it at Sam’s Club some time back, and I’m glad to never have a shortage.

It proved itself particularly handy a little over a week ago. About two weeks ago, Puddles the Goat Kid somehow managed to break her left rear leg, down close to the foot. I tried splinting and bandaging it, but the whole thing came off in fairly short order. She didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain, and was getting around well on three legs, but I didn’t want to leave the leg untreated.

So, a week ago Tuesday, I took her to the vet to have it done “right.” I figure we’ve spent enough time and effort (and milk) bottle-feeding her, we might as well invest a little more in getting her leg correctly set. Puddles was a huge hit in the waiting room, and got lots of attention from those with dogs and cats. It took a long time for the vet to get to her, but he splinted and bandaged her leg beautifully. I left his office confident that Puddles would heal nicely, and that our $60 was well spent.

And then, last Wednesday afternoon, the splint was off. Yes, the whole thing had simply slid off her leg. I took her and it back to the vet on Thursday, waited for a long time with lots of dog-and-cat people, and he re-splinted her leg but with more bandages and tape. And only charged me $10.

And, by 6pm, the whole thing had slid right back off her leg.

Rather than spend my Friday morning back at the vet’s office, I recruited one of the Yeoman Farm Children to help me splint Puddles’s leg myself. I’d watched the vet enough times now to understand the general principles — and watched Puddles lose the splint enough times to know I had to do something different as well.

And that something was DUCT TAPE. I splinted and bandaged the leg much as the vet had (fortunately, her leg was already starting to fuse, so it wasn’t necessary to align the bone). Then, I basically mummified the entire thing with duct tape — and didn’t stop at her knee. I kept wrapping her, all the way up to mid-thigh. “Just try slipping this thing off!” I told her, as she limped across the floor of my office.

Guess what? Nearly one full week later, the splint is still in place! This isn’t the greatest photo, but it was a dark corner of the barn and she was a perpetual motion machine (every time I knelt to take a picture, she’d rush toward me). But this gives some idea of what her leg looks like:

And Puddles is doing much better. She’s actually trying to rear up and place weight on both of her rear legs. I’ll keep it on her for the next week or so, to make sure it’s healed, but I’m very optimistic.

And now an even bigger believer in the power of duct tape.

TYF Had a Little Lamb

To farm is to embrace a lifestyle of great joys…and great sorrows. And, more often than not, the joys and sorrows are intertwined and inseparable from one another.

Recent posts have detailed the great sorrow our family experienced with the decline and death of our sheep flock’s matriarch, Dot. But wrapped up in that sorrow (in fact, arguably, the cause of it) was a great joy: Dot’s lamb, which we named Ellipsis.

The little Dot-Dot-Dot has not only survived. She has thrived. And she’s clearly adopted me as her surrogate parent. She lives with the other sheep in the barn, and plays with the other lambs, but when I appear she drops everything and runs to me. Because she knows what I’ve got.

Even after the feeding is over, she finds ways to squeeze through fences and gates to tag along as I take care of the other chores. Sometimes she’ll even follow me all over the property. I don’t really mind, as it’s some consolation after losing Dot. And I know she’ll grow out of it.

Most amusing was Saturday evening. We had some friends over, and had planned to grill a big platter of lamb chops. Ellipsis spotted me as I fired up the grill, and broke out of the barn. She followed me all the way to the house, just like the dog did. And then, once I had the platter of chops, she and the dog followed me all the way back down to the grill.

As I put the chops on the grill, I assured her that this would never be her fate. She gets to stay with us as a breeder for the rest of her life.

Which, we hope, is as long and happy and productive as her mother’s.