So. I have a confession. I’m a terrible goat mom, and in the two years I’ve owned goats, I have not once given them a copper bolus. Now, in my defense, my goats are pretty freaking healthy. Some of them are, however, starting to exhibit signs of very mild copper deficiency- mostly just a couple of fishtails here and there- officially making my intervention into their copper intake somewhat overdue.
When I first started with goats, I was completely overwhelmed by all the “extra” stuff that went along with goat ownership. You just put them out to pasture and they eat everything and get fat and that’s the end of it, right? Nope. While goats are relatively low maintenance, there are a few things they need, including free choice goat specific minerals and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and their twice yearly (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on your location and farm practices) copper bolus. Afraid of poisoning my goats, all this scared the crap out of me and I avoided it, until very recently.
On the recommendation of a friend, I enrolled in the free Copper Deficiency lecture by the Thrifty Homesteader (Deborah Niemann, author of Raising Goats Naturally). If you’re interested in demystifying minerals and copper and copper deficiency, click on the link above to enroll and access the brief but super informative class material.
Deborah’s lecture helped me to see there really isn’t anything to be afraid of, not even the copper boluses that I had been dreading. So I thought I’d pass the resource along, in case there is anyone else who, like me, has been avoiding this surprisingly straightforward part of goat keeping and husbandry.
Spring is spriiiiiiinging, folks! The time has come for the great spring farmstead effort to begin. For us, this means clearing all the piles of manure that are no longer frozen into rock solid heaps, organically fertilizing the pastures with llama beans and horse manure, harvesting rocks from, leveling and replanting last years pig pasture, cleaning up all the random messes we left last fall, and tilling and prepping the GARDEN!
It’s a lard load of work we’ve had going on for the last weeks and still have ahead of us, but it’s so absolutely amazing to get to be OUTSIDE again and back to the natural state of having dirt under my fingernails 100% of the time.
At the end of the growing season last year, we moved our meat hogs into the garden to finish out the plants and root around and till everything under. They made really great work of this task, and also helpfully located all the rocks that we didn’t manage to till out last year. Sighhhhh.
My Experience Hatching Chicken Eggs for the First Time
In February I made my very first chicken egg hatch. It actually went really well, considering how many things went wrong before I even got the eggs, and the fact that I was insanely uptight I was about it the entire time. Turns out, making life happen is a HUGE responsibility. Who knew?
Some of you who follow me on Instagram will know that we’ve been having trouble with our rooster. Not in the attacking people sort of way, but actually attacking some of the hens in his flock. I’m sure even someone with no farm experience at all recognizes that this is a big NO NO.
Right now, your public lands are under siege. Sounds dramatic, I know, but it’s the truth. H.R. 621 is a bill that has been introduced to the House of Representatives by Utah representative Jason Chaffetzthat will, if passed, allow the federal government to sell off 3.3 MILLION acres of public lands (which, by the way, belong to YOU and ME) all across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming to private companies, who could then extort the land in whatever way they wish- drilling, clear cutting, running out the wildlife- even just fencing it off, making the land no longer accessible to us.