Thursday, 24 March 2016

STRESSED ME???? ........Yes I am!!!!

17th March
By the end of the day Lobby's Kennel Cough was much improved; she was hardly coughing at all, only with exertion, excitement and stress.
Piglet is visibly putting on size, he's looking positively rotund (though compared to his siblings he's still scrawny!).
The goats are milking well

and giving us a good litre of milk a day
..... So what can I make with it?

18th March
An enforced day off, as it was cold and rainy; I spent time on Amazon and ordered a butter churn and butter paddles - then watch videos of people making goat butter and cheese.
We had several people due to visit, today and over the weekend, cancel due to Lobby's malaise (and I completely don't blame them, I would do the same myself).
Ahhhh, I caught piglet asleep with Lili on the (filthy) dog bed - he woke before I could take a photo.
Lobby is so much better today; such a relief, this evening she was lying in her favorite position (on her back with her legs spread!), yesterday this would have started her coughing, but now .... just relaxed.
I found a brilliant blog (and videos) today, when I was looking for butter making from goat milk, I put some goat milk out to start my cheese making culture ....

19th March
Lobby didn't cough at all overnight ........
Haha, Crackling ate his biggest meal ever, at 08.00; then went to sleep - on the dog's bed - Lobby was not amused!!!
Brett convinced me to let Crackling run around loose, outside (I acted like a mother hen!), he of course loved it.

We had hail and rain today, I did some work in the polytunnel.
The cheese culture wasn't ready this morning, I just left it (it will happen).
My goodness Crackling is an angry young pig; 19.00 tonight he started demanding his food (due at 20.00), he was squealing, climbing up my legs, biting (soon stopped that!) and it went on and on until he got his way.

20th March
The third miserable day in a row! We decided to leave the goats in, so we had to move the kittens from their hayrack; we made them a lovely nest in the hay shed, rehoused them and less than two minutes later the cat comes back into the goat shed carrying one! She wasn't happy with the move; however she was better when I put her food in with her.....or so we thought until we put the goats away, and there she was, on the floor in the corner of their shed, with her six kittens - so we picked them up, put them back in the hay shed and locked the door of the goat shed so she couldn't get in.
My homemade cheese culture didn't work, so I reluctantly (I wanted to make it the traditional method) made the decision to buy a mesophilic starter from Amazon (thank you Steph x); I don't want to waste litres of goat's milk by being stubborn. But until it arrives we can still have a go at making halloumi.......
And now I'm looking at a dehydrator .......
Lili was coughing this evening!

21st March
And I heard my first cuckoo of the year .....
We went into Fundao and bought some chicks (Frango) and turkey poults (we've never had turkeys before), we think they're Bronze Turkeys.

We met up with Nicky for coffee (she and Rich are back for a while); she brought us over some bits from the UK - including tea bags, golden syrup, elder, horseradish (to plant) and a flat iron.

22nd March
We're overrun with animals; they come onto the decking and into the kitchen, completely uninvited!
The kids stress me and the nannies (does) when we're doing the milking, jumping on things, knocking stuff over, generally being a nuisance .......
The quinta opposite us has sheep on it atm, this morning two dogs got in with them; one was Pig/Paddy (Chris & Di/Gary's dog) and we thought the other one was Alfie, but Chris denied that when I phoned him. We ended up going to the village shop (Pimenta's) who deduced that it was the owner of the other shop's flock, so we went and informed him. He immediately went off to sort the situation out - we don't know what happened to the dogs or if any sheep were injured/killed.
Piglet is so funny; straight after he's eaten he has a pee and poo (we take him outside for this in an attempt to house train him), then he goes to sleep - on the dog's bed!
He started limping this afternoon; I hope to goodness it's nothing serious.

23rd March
Poor Crackling is still limping or holding his foot off the ground; we can't see any damage to his foot or limb, Brett says he's got very narrow hips and could have a deformity - I'm hopeful it's just a knock.
Alex & Katrina came over so that Alex could help Brett install our new super duper batteries - I gave them lunch and the batteries are working!
Our old batteries are on the decking waiting for the studio/workshop to be completed. Brett tested them - they were all fully charged!!!! We want to see how much they discharge over 24 hours.
Andrew is coming to lunch on Friday, we're going to Lola & Vince Friday evening and M&M are coming to lunch on Sunday (they invited us, but because of animals they're coming here and bringing the meat); so I made some of the easy peasy peanut butter fudge
and I made a chocolate version (with crunchy peanut butter and drinking chocolate).
I'm going to make goat milk ice cream tomorrow, I'm going to try to concoct a Fudge Sundae.
Brett read the batteries when it got dark and again when we went to bed - they had gone down by 30% (just like our other batteries); so now he's thinking it wasn't our batteries at fault, it was something draining them - perhaps the electric fence? Very perplexing ......

24th March
What a shitty morning .......
The dogs were back in with the sheep, this time Alfie WAS with them, and they were terrorizing the sheep. Brett drove round to chase them off,I phoned Chris, who turned up, and went off through our vegetable garden to find his dogs (haven't seen him since).
Georgia didn't want to milk last night and again this morning, she wasn't even particularly interested in her food (and, because she wasn't milked fully last night, she was FULL); so we were worried that something was wrong with her, or that the milking machine was hurting (she had been so good). But I worked it out - she's on heat! So in a couple of days she should be back to normal (and probably pregnant). Despite this we got a whole litre of milk just this morning.

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