Saturday, January 17, 2009

Six month summary

So life got a bit crazy and the first thing to be put aside was the blog. How does one put six months into a single post? I'm guessing not very well but here goes.

Hoover is doing very well. You would never guess that there was ever anything wrong with him. The month of June was a nightmare simply because the vet's orders were to keep Hoover as quiet and still as possible. The electrodes on his heart needed time for scar tissue to form. This was the key for the pacemaker to be successful. The problem was Hoover felt great. He was back to normal as far as he was concerned and normal meant running and jumping, exactly the things he wasn't supposed to be doing. Keeping him quiet for four weeks was one of the hardest things ever. After his check-up when the doctor said he could stop being quiet and go back to being Hoover he ran like a wild animal. I think he thought we were just punishing him for four weeks and once he was set free he wasn't going to stop running. Amazingly he didn't run away. He is very hard to get to come in the house now. I think he is afraid we're going to lock him up again.

I hatched batch after batch of chickens and guinea hens. I suppose I went a bit to far. My biggest problem is that I have too many roosters. The first batch of roosters I actually have in the freezer right now. It was quite a shock to me to learn I had it in me to do that. In all honesty I didn't do the actual killing but I did the plucking and disemboweling. Friends of mine just down the road had raised a fair number of chickens for themselves and to sell. When you hear all the things about how our food is raised and what they feed to meat animals it really makes sense to raise your own if you can. So I brought my roosters to their house and in return for processing my boys I helped them process theirs. They had a great quality scalder and plucker which really made things quick. I was prepared to back out if I couldn't handle it but it was very humane and very clean. I have a feeling it was much cleaner than at a major processing plant. I know it was more humane. I do not know if I have it in me to do the actual killing. I have 13 roosters right now who are a little small but getting to be very problematic (the hens have strong feelings about this).

The garden was great. A record crop of blueberries that were so delicious. The very first plums from one of the trees we planted. I can't currently remember the name of the plums, but they were small and, like the blueberries, delicious. I have great hopes for them this year. There were more peaches than ever and each tree ripened at a different time (so rare when these things go as planned). They're the kind of peaches you have to eat outside or leaning over a sink because they're so juicy.

The apples trees were loaded. We made more cider then ever and like every year I thought it was the best ever. I really miss the apples. They're not the best keepers so when they're done it is sad and waiting for the next year is hard. But with the cider frozen that can be enjoyed and is just as good as when it was fresh pressed.

Kirby had large chunks of pasture to roam. It seems that no matter how much room we gave her she had to dig it up. I guess that is what pigs were born to do. She is a very well behaved little pig. Each morning I would put on her harness and leash and walk her out to her area. Some veggies or grains were used to keep her moving. Given her choice Kirby would take all day to get to the pasture eating every dandelion along the way and digging up the world (and the nice parts of the lawn). During a long rainy period when she didn't want to go out she refused to potty. She held her urine for over 48 hours and developed a bladder infection. It was very bad and the vet had to come and give her a shot and then we did a round of oral anti-biotics. From this I learned how to make a piggy potty. Kirby will do anything for food so no matter how hard it rained after that I would stand out in the rain with her favorite thing and after she emptied the tank she would get the food. It was shocking sometimes how much she had in the old tank. I'm guessing close to a half gallon. She can really kill some grass.

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