It was an action filled day yesterday here on the Neophyte Homestead. So much happened that I will be making two separate posts to talk about all of it.
Good neighbor arrived mid afternoon to go with my husband to pick up a bale of green wheat, and promptly got stuck in the mud. We got him out, but decided to wait on the wheat, they worried that the truck would get stuck out in the farmers field. We chatted for a bit, and decided on a project to do together. This will be the topic of tomorrows post. After Good Neighbor left, my husband and I walk over to the neighbor across the ways house. You know the one that was for sale, then not for sale, then for rent and now. . . now they are leasing the land for sheep, and will be renting the front acreage and house soon, maybe. I digress, the husband had told us that we could have the wood rack and the cinder blocks. We carried the wood rack home then went back for the cinder blocks. As we were leaving the wife showed up to feed her chickens. We talked while the biological mother of the wife's adopted son went to check on the birds. She came back to inform us that one of the meat birds was covered in blood. We went back to look.
The bird had a chunk of her wing missing. The woman put gloves on, she was freaked out by the blood and didn't want to touch it. I went in and grabbed the injured bird without gloves. We looked over her, and I said that she should be fine. The bleeding had stopped. As it was a meat bird and they planned on eating it soon, I suggested going ahead with the butchering. If it got ill, they couldn't eat it, and if they gave it antibiotics, they would have to wait longer to butcher it. They decided to go ahead and butcher. The woman and I brought the bird over to my home, where we had everything needed to do the job. The woman wants to learn how to do all of this anyway, so it was a good learning experience for her. We got to the hanging part of the event.
The wife's kids and my boys were all playing at the house across the way. Suddenly I looked up as 3 sheep came booking out of the pen. One of our 4 year olds had left the gate open. I hollered trying to get the wife and the woman's attention. The woman came running. Are you serious? She really thought that running after them, she would catch them. All she did was get them more spooked and running faster. I asked the wife if she had a bucket of feed, all they had was some hay. Grrrr...I grabbed some feed, and told her to walk up slowly and shake the bucket. The sheep were not use to this, and with the woman running. . .well, I decided it was time to put some of my herding practice into use.
I went and brought Sunny (horse) from the field, and saddled him up. Good neighbor was there and showed me a better way of saddling than what I had been taught. I am so glad to have him around. I digress. I mounted and rode off to find the sheep. Sunny can go where their truck can't, and with the wife being in her 60's and not in the greatest of shape, having a horse to help with the round up made things much easier. I found them down the road, they had the sheep up in the front yard of the horse neighbor's.
I sauntered up with Sunny, penning the sheep between me, the house and a hot fence. The woman charged in, thinking she could quickly slip a lead around one of the sheep's necks. Her action caused Sunny to startle, and the sheep got past us. I rushed out, to get them out of the road and back onto some property. The corner neighbor saw all the action and informed us that she had an empty pen the we could try to get the sheep into. I circled the sheep with Sunny, then kept us between the sheep and the road, and walked toward the corner neighbor's.
Unfortunately there were too many obstacles for Sunny and I. The sheep slipped away, and Sunny and I ran around the lagoon toward the second road. FENCE SUNNY FENCE! Corner neighbor had chain link fencing laying on the ground. It was obscured until we were on top of it. Sunny managed to maneuver it with out getting hurt.
Sunny loved this. He was more then happy to chase down the sheep, he was actually responding better in this situation than he had on normal rides, he can be stubborn. We had to go back and forth around the backside of the lagoon 3 times, before the other's allowed the sheep to get past them. Sunny and I ran down the road, full throttle. We changed our approach with the sheep and ran them down, they were getting tired. Sunny and I chased them straight back into the neighbor across the way's yard, penning them until someone could come up and open the gate. I don't know why it was closed. While we waited, the sheep spooked into the garage, and one of the wife's kids closed them in.
Sunny and I were thanked. Sunny got some lovin's from the women folk and I was rewarded by being allowed to keep the chicken we had begun to butcher. I brushed Sunny out and rewarded him with his treat. Suddenly I hear a pre-teen girl, well 3 pre-teen girls start giggling screaming. That is the best way to describe what they were doing. Turns out that while we were chasing sheep, our calf, Urth's Umbra, had popped through a weak spot in the fence and was roaming with the horse neighbor's horses. Urth was simpler to get back, we shook a bucket of feed at her, and she came running back.
The neighbor across the way came over to retrieve her 4 year old. As we waited for him to get his shoes and coat, we stood at my gate and talked a bit. She said she was ready to borrow the good neighbor's rifle and shoot those sheep. I laughed, that was something the good neighbor had suggested before I took off on Sunny. The 4 year old made it out to the gate, and then across the road when I saw our new neighbor (the ones that treat their horses badly) running across the field straight at us, screaming. What? Suddenly hooves hitting the road got louder. Horses! We yelled at the 4 year old to run! RUN BOY! RUN TO THE TRUCK! Three horses, who were spooked out by the owners own dogs, came running down the road. ( this is the same dogs that bite at our horses when we ride past) The wife looked at me, and I told her not to worry, horses are easier than sheep. Just as I said that, the horses had turned around and ran straight home. See?
It was a day full of escapees. And I was tired.
Here is your WARNING. I don't want to hear that I didn't give you any warning. Tomorrows post will be about butchering and dressing out a meat goat. This was what we were doing before all the above happened. One of the things that brings in a lot of new readers, is that do post about this part of the homesteading life. New readers, you have been warned, tomorrow the discussion will be graphic and there will be pictures. Skip tomorrows post if you don't want to see or hear this talk, and I will see you back here on Thursday.