The bull arrived to breed the boarded cows. He was not supposed to come here. The cows were to be bred prior to arriving. The man did not read the ad, but that is typical of people here. I have two heifer calves and a bull calf that do not need to be injured by the 3 ton Charolais bull he brought. Also, when he brought his cows, he did not close the gate and all the cows, his and mine were running together. He did not speak to me before bringing the bull, so I told him to take it home, come back and round the cows up, separate mine from his and close the gate this time and then bring the bull back. My cows are with the rams now and they will be fine, hopefully. I watched that monster of a bull talk to the bull calf, smell the heifers, then walk on. Whew!
We butchered the ram lambs from last year. They were right around a year old and one was smelling like a ram already. Of course we did not know that until he was butchered. I cried for every single one, all four of them. Each time the life was given up, I cried. I think we are somewhat barbaric raising animals to kill them. In a city we are far removed from the death and cutting the meat part and many do not even think about it. Here, on the farm, it is a different story. I watch the babies being born, I cuddle them and love them and speak to them every day, then I kill them. Well, I did not kill them, but it was the same sort of thing. It is not an easy thing to do, not for me. And then I have to reconsider how this farming is done.
I am not allowed to sell meat and selling a live sheep does not bring much money. The rams are byproducts of the fibre industry, which has yet to earn me dollars because I cannot keep the hay out of the wool. This year I have hay nets and that should do the trick, or I give up. This is not the place to have a fibre farm. With the closure of the bed and breakfast, my income was lost too, so the number of animals needs to but cut way back. There is a drought in most of Alberta and hay will be astronimically expensive this year. I have enough to get through summer and fall, but not winter. The farmers were telling me thy have paid as much as 125 a bale plus transport. Ouch!
The farm store is open, sort of. The flies get in there and they drive me crazy. I have stickly fly traps and a different trap and still they get in in huge numbers. Gross. I bought more spray foam to try to ensure the space where the walls meet the roof is sealed. I hope that helps. I need that store to sell the things I own over the next number of years. I said 5, but the wind is out of my sales somewhat and maybe it will be 3 or 4. Selling things here is not in keeping with the timing. Over 4000 people have left the area when the oil crashed and those who were around to buy are gone.
There are so many ducklings running around, well over 100. I really like them and the ducks keep hatching the little ones. People do not want to buy them, so their fate is food, but wow, I will have to eat duck two or three times a week! There are still more ducks on nests.
The pen clean up continues too, now that the heat is drying the mess up a lot. In a few days, the skid steer will be able to maneuver without getting stuck. In July, I plan to move 10 boxes over to the other house every day until all is gone, then in August I will paint and ready the house to rent. I will not have a chance to unpack until winter most likely. When the little farmhouse is rented, I will feel a bit of stress released because of a source of much needed income.
And that is the farm update. Internet is up and running, new cell phone, same number, store almost underway, moving begun, yard cleanup begun and onward I go!