It has been a quiet week here on the homestead. The daily chores are much easier now. We are in between garden season..waiting for the winter crops. We have let the okra go to seed and only a few lone pepper plants remain. I am craving greens!
It is time to start thinking about breeding plans for next year. Actually, I am a bit behind and even if the goats breed now it will be March before we have fresh milk again. I am milking one more week and freezing it all for soap and cheese. The girls have let me know they are done, their milk supply dwindling daily. One older girl is being retired. She has battled arthritis and hoof issues all summer. She is most unhappy living with the youngsters. I have caught her staring longingly at the buck pasture on more than one occasion! That leaves only 5 does being bred this year, 4 alpines and 1 saanen.
I have the cashmere goats for sale but will go ahead and put the buck in with them. My plan was to sell them in order to enlarge our Icelandic flock but with the parasite issues this year, those plans are being reconsidered. I think some of the sheep that suffered the most will be allowed to regain good health and rest for a year. If they show no improvement the following year, I will cull them. This year has been the second most challenging for us since we starting raising Icelandics five years ago. That being said, I am not sure how many we will be breeding this year. Certainly a few but definitely not all!
Luke is home for the weekend and said he would love to work since he is a starving college student (not!) and I have a very long list for him. I look forward to visiting with him and "the dog"!