A Day in My Life by the Season ...
Homesteading and living on a farm is a busy job. Usually, you know which big tasks are coming up and you can anticipate them. (Then there are the dozens of things you don't anticipate or can't schedule the keep you on your toes!) What I am busy doing changes by the season. Weather and seasons mean a lot more when you homestead or farm than knowing what outfit to wear or if you should bring a jacket or umbrella. We also realize that the weather forecasters are often wrong, but for some reason it's hard to get over being disappointed each time they mislead us. I find they are often in the ballpark with regards to rain versus sun ... usually.
I preventatively treat my cattle, sheep, and goats for coccidiosis, also known as bloody scours. This means I add a coccidiostat such as amprolium (CORID is my preferred brand) to their drinking water without them even showing signs of the illness. While I do vaccinate and don't give antibiotics for weight gain or without illness present, my one exception is that I treat preventively for this protozoal infection. It's mortality rate can be high among lambs and kids, and calves are miserable. Amprolium is also very specific in its action.
Coccidia (protozoa) are naturally occurring in the environment and adult animal immune systems usually combat them without problem. When there is a upward trend in temperatures and snow starts to melt, there seems to be an explosion of these protozoa in the environment. Younger animals (or weak elderly) do not have as robust of an immune system and can not fend off the protozoal attack. I have seen one of my healthy young bucks show early symptoms, so I view them all as at risk.
Recipe: Pickling Eggs
When I was first offered pickled eggs, it was at my uncle's home ... he's my husband's uncle or I would have probably been offered them as a child. I thought they were bar food, which to me means not real food. I also thought they sounded gross. However, I have been proven wrong and am willing to try most things. I've tried tripe, brains, and cartilage and am not really interested in eating them again. I've tried raw fish, sweatbread (thymus and other glands), and super-stinky cheese and liked them. Pickled eggs fall into the second category - tried them and liked them.
When we've had groups of animals, there is often one that has a knack for getting into trouble or giving me headaches. Among our Lowline Angus, it's a little heifer (soon to be cow) named Easter (because of the day she was born and not because of any religious qualities). Of our horse's, it's my daughter's mare, who happens to be a very good horse but a bit boy crazy at times. Among our dogs, it's also my daughter's - Link.
We acquired him as a puppy when we were building our house the first time where we homesteaded in Oregon. He peed on everything, slobbered any hand hanging low enough to reach, and liked to unload our laundry basket and chew up dirty clothes, then sleep on them. He also has a sensitive stomach but is the first beast to eat unholy things he finds outside - often after rolling in them - and then gets diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. Horses, cattle, and even sheep and goats are treat vending machines constantly leaving treasures for him to eat and perfume himself with. I don't know how many times he came back from a "quick bathroom break" outside with green stinky smears from shoulder to shoulder. But hey, he's a dog.
Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.