In Like a Lamb

The old-timers say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, or comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion.  It’s been pretty lambish all month, so we might be in for a drastic change next week.  We took advantage of the cool, foggy morning to do a little gardening before the sun got up and going.  In July an 80 degree day is pretty nice.  In March, it’s a bit too hot for comfort.

The first part of the day was spent weeding the strawberry patch and spreading moldy hay the goats didn’t eat over the winter as mulch.  Weeding shouldn’t be such an ordeal, but last year we quadrupled the size of the patch in early spring, then never mulched or weeded it the rest of the year.  Lesson learned.  We pulled all the weeds, moved a couple of strawberry plants, and put down a thick layer of mulch.  To keep Tank from burying his bones and pieces of chicken in the refreshed garden we put up an electric fence around it.  While the fence does nothing to keep goats in, we can at least use it to keep dogs out.

Speaking of the goats, we’ve been moving them to fresh pasture every couple days.  As a hoarder (I prefer the terms scavenger or collector) I have a few pallets around.  Pallets make pretty decent fences with the addition of a few boards and a handful of screws.  It’s a bit of a job to move the pen, but only has to be done every couple days.  Good fences make good neighbors, but my neighbor is furious about this one.

The wire fence on the right is on what she considers the property line.  It’s roughly in line with my driveway, which at the front of the yard is a foot from the edge of her property.  Somehow it was determined that the wire fence delineates the properties’ boundaries.  The actual line is about 12 feet to the left of the wire fence, clearly marked by a 6 foot tall railroad tie complete with a surveyor’s ribbon tied around the top.  I left room to drive around behind the garage when I built the fence, not realizing by doing so I would be causing problems down the road.  Now I have a pallet pen there containing two happy goats, causing one unhappy neighbor.  I’m starting to understand why the Great Wall of China was built.

A while back, we had a rabbit give birth to a litter of 8.  She stopped taking care of them and they all died.  I don’t think we mentioned that on the blog.  Anyway, about a week after that, another rabbit had a litter of 8.  They’re all doing fine and are starting to venture out of the nest.  If anybody is interested, they’re purebred New Zealands.  I’ll sell them for $15 each.  Otherwise, they’ll be dog food.

The third doe had a litter of 5 last night.  It’s her second litter of 5, so if her litter size doesn’t improve by the third litter she’ll become dog food and we’ll replace her with one from a litter of 8.  We’re attempting to line breed, since it can reportedly work very well with rabbits.  As the saying goes, “If it works, it’s line breeding.  If it doesn’t, it’s inbreeding.”

We’ve started working on the garden even though we won’t be doing much planting for almost two months.  More on that in another post.

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