We wanted to be able to let the two little boy goats graze and mow down the garden area where we will be putting in an orchard. They evidently like the vegetation because they have absolutely mowed down the little pasture they are currently in, goatheads, bind weed and all! In order to do that we needed to make one part of the fence a bit higher to dissuade the little jumpers from jumping, and mount a gate so they couldn’t push it over and escape. This is almost a two acre enclosure with all the best salad bar fixin’s so they aren’t likely to want to leave, but the worst things always happen if you leave it to chance. Luck favors the prepared, so we prepared. Of course it took most of the day. The day is done. Dozer and Tank are loving their new job…. eating anything and everything. They will be left to their devices throughout the summer. As the orchard progresses we will just cordon off the areas I don’t want them to be in with portable fences.
The broiler chickens are coming along well. They have been pretty easy this year. We are looking at moving away from the Cornish Crosses (aka Frankenbirds) to start hatching out our own heritage birds. We have primarily Buff Orpingtons for layers and they would double well as meat birds but we are also going to try Jersey Giants that were bred to be broilers. They take longer to grow, but that will free us from having to order chicks anymore. At this point we have the stock to breed our turkeys and layers. The heritage broilers will come later this year.
Our newly born turkey babies are getting their wing tips and starting to become a bit more sure of their legs. A couple more weeks and they go out to their grow out pen. We are incubating about 18 more. Turkeys lay seasonally and we have seen a marked decline in egg laying. This last batch in the incubator is probably our last turkey clutch until fall.
The little oinkers are getting less and less scared everyday. Today they came outside the hut to eat and did a few laps around the grounds to see the new big world before running back inside, falling down and taking yet another nap.
So spring is in full tilt. All of the garden beds are ready for planting. I need to install the remaining drip irrigation, but that’s pretty easy. We are expecting cool weather with a chance of rain everyday next week. I have to teach a tomato growing class next Saturday and that will be the end of my professorial tasks for the year. Oh ya, we suspect our little doe, Ginger, is with child. Maybe we will have babies in the fall!
goats have been very useful for clearing vegetation on the embankments of a few of the freeways through Los Angeles. The work of assembling a temporary fence is apparently less work than clearing the vegetation. (I think I would rather cut out the vegetation than put a fence around it, but I know that they know what they are doing.) Anyway, the goats even eat the palm seedlings, which are not only very thorny, but are not digestible by many animals. Unfortunately, goats were used at one of my job sites in Alameda County, and stripped the bark of off a few oaks that were not protected.
Dozer and Tank, I love your goats
Thanks!! They are very sweet. They are also like giving a three year old a hammer!