Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Running two households.

We've got animals (horses and the most pregnant does) at the new house and animals (cattle, chickens, cats, and the other goats) at the old house. I'm having to transition the goats and poultry over slowly since we don't have a poultry set-up out here and the fencing here isn't really goat-friendly.

This morning I brought three of my does out to our new place and turned them out. They're smart, pretty reliable, and don't test fencing without a good reason. (Of course, 'good reason' to a goat is not the same 'good reason' that a human might expect them to have.) I checked on them about every twenty minutes because I was really nervous for some reason. Their body language just wasn't relaxed, even after being out there for a few hours. I kept checking our neighbor's dogs, but they were fenced in and didn't seem to be even looking at the goats.

Finally, one of the times I looked out, I just couldn't stay in anymore so I slipped on some shoes and went out to walk the field. Right as I went out the door, I saw my goats turn and run right towards me and my neighbor's two big border collies that she'd just let out of the yard "for some exercise" came charging through the field. They turned tail as soon as I yelled and went running at them, but if I hadn't been out there, it would not have been pretty. Two untrained stockdogs who have killed before loose in a field with three heavily pregnant does. Welcome to the neighborhood!

I went and had a friendly talk with the neighbor (smiled away even though I didn't feel too friendly as I had to correct her that these were not 'just goats' and I have my own opinions about those who let killer dogs out to run in the country) and two other neighbors who live nearby and have dogs, letting them know that we have small stock here that can't be harried by dogs. If the neighbors are decent, you won't have issues, but if they're not decent and know that you've seen their dogs and know who the dogs coming into your field belong to... well, it keeps them pretending to be decent. Stock laws in Idaho are pretty strong.

This evening I lanced an abscess on Tamari (my favorite goat). It seemed to be a 'clean' infection - seeming contradiction, I know. It was a thick, cream colored pus, no green tinge or cottage cheese texture, so I'm feeling good about it healing easily and quickly. I'm keeping an eye on it and keeping it clean. I was pretty proud of myself for not needing my husband's help at all on this. I held her, lanced it, and cleaned it out without him even outside with me. Eight years ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd ever have the ability or confidence to do that. I'm also pretty proud of the fact that my daughters who watched me do it think that it's perfectly normal that their mom can take care of that without their dad around.

I wish I had some good pictures to post today (I didn't even *take* any pictures of the pus), but I haven't gotten that figured out over here yet - hopefully soon. Internet will be patchy for another two weeks at least, so that means few pictures.

I miss our solitude. We're actually farther out in the country, but now we live right on the road (instead of a quarter mile off of it) and we have very close neighbors - two *directly* across the street from us. Heavens preserve me, that's just too social for me. My older daughter's in heaven, my hermit self is trembling. We've already had some fun birding experiences here. Check out my other blog for those stories.


Cindy said...

I'm glad you were out there when those border collies came across. How scary that they have killed before and are on the loose like that. I'm sure you are missing your solitude.... that's gonna take some getting used to!

RunninL8 said...

What an interesting life! Good luck with your neighbors!!!!

Carolina said...

I would be furious over the neighbor's dogs. Have you considered getting a LGD like a Great Pyrenees or Anatolian? How scary! How lucky you were there.

I love reading about your farm life!

Christy said...

I wish you luck with the transition. It will be hard to adjust to having neighbors close. I also hope the dogs aren't a problem. The neighbor's dogs are my greatest fear here.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Wow, I need to catch up on my reading. Hope this place works out for you.

Glad you found the dogs before they got into too much trouble. Fingers crossed for no more visits like that!