Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Final Four!

Well, we are down to the final four goats in isolation. Only one of the does in isolation is from the original group. It's been two out, a new one in, one out, one in, et. al. since pink-eye first appeared in the herd. Over the last few weeks, no new cases have been noted. I think we may finally have it licked!.

The weather has improved, also. We had two good rains since the last entry: 0.5 inch and 0.3 inch. Enough rain to start greening up the pasture, but a long way from making a dent in the drought.

Fall weather has arrived. The temperature has not broken 95° since the middle of last week. This is great news for our electric bill! (Yes, Wisenheimer, we do have air conditioning here on the ranch!!)

Speaking of energy costs. The price of gasoline appears to be in free-fall!. I bought gasoline for $2.089 yesterday evening!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Baaaaad Joke of the Day

Well, the head count of goats with pink-eye is down to five, one male and four females. We had dosed the male and three of the females. We were looking for the last one. My son cornered her in the barn and, with an exasperated tone, shouted "You..." I immediately replied, "No, that's not a ewe. That's a doe."

Since the last posting, we got another 1/4 inch of rain. The ground is still extremely dry. The weather has gotten a little cooler and more rain is predicted for the weekend.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It Finally Rained!!!

Good news! We received 0.8 inches of rain since last night! This is the first rain we have received in MONTHS!

I know, that small amount of rain is just a drop in the bucket. It is, however, enough to dampen the dust and get it to begin to adhere together again to form soil. The entire top layer of the ground turned into a sticky mess. Much more rain, and that stick mess would start to flow downhill and erode away. Tonight, the water should seep deeper into the ground. If the next few days are not too warm, the next rains, which are currently predicted for the weekend, will soak into the ground instead of running off.

We are trying to sell the remaining six puppies from Spirit's litter. Until recently, there were too many competitors listing Anatolian/Great Pyrenees puppies. We did not think it was worth the cost of an ad, if there were too many other sellers. Wish us luck!!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

We are winning the war against pink-eye. Yesterday, it was two goats out and only one in. We are down to eight goats in isolation. Two are almost ready for release, probably by Tuesday. We hope that two or three more will be ready for release by the end of the week.

Good news! We may have finally found a home for Max. That means we will have our isolation compound available. It will be a little too late for this pink-eye outbreak. However, there will be other sick goats as time goes on. That is as inevitable as rain in Florida. We just do not know whether it will be next week, next year or five years from now. All we can do is try to minimize the opportunities for disease to strike.

Recently, we bought my wife a new chain saw. The old one, a Sears Craftsman, had served us for a number of years, but it had died. The Sears repair center said that the cost of repair was almost the cost of a new saw. We took their advice seriously and bought a new one. After reviewing the options available, and doing a little Internet research, we decided on either a Husqvarna or a Stihl. Price and availability of parts tipped the decision in favor of the Husqvarna. My wife wanted an 18" chain bar. Two local stores, both of which we shop at regularly, stocks Husqvarna chain saws. Tractor Supply Company and Lowe's Home Improvement Center were within just a few dollars of each other. We chose Lowes's to save about $5.00!

The new Husqvarna saw has the 18" chain bar and a 3.5 cubic centimeter two-stroke gasoline engine. Among the safety features is chain brake that is activated by tipping the hand guard forward. The on-off switch is located right under the operator's right thumb when they are pulling up on the throttle. A quick flick of the thumb turns off the engine.

My wife finally got the chance to use her new saw today. It works much better and faster than the old one. Partially that is due to the larger engine. My wife says the Husqvarna has a better "feel" to it than the Craftsman. We worked on clearing some fence line for about two hours. The heat forced us to quit after that.