Sure is hot! We have just barely started July here in Arkansas, and already we have tolerated 10 days that topped out over 100 degrees. Rain would sure be nice, too. I am glad we already have our hay in the barn for the year.
I thought you might like to meet a couple of my favorite animals.
This is Daisy, our Jersey milk cow and Huey, who thinks I am his mama. Huey is a Border Leicester/Shetland wether. His mama is Naomi, my favorite animal on the farm. When she gave birth this year, Huey was born first. One of the sheep dogs apparently thought Huey belonged to her, so she attacked Naomi as she was cleaning the baby up. After she had the second one, she abandoned Huey, so we wound up raising him. Now he follows us everywhere, and even loves to ride in the truck - up front in mama's lap, of course.
A couple of years ago, when my oldest son hit the teen years and began inhaling food, I started noticing how much milk and butter we were going through. I mentioned it to my husband, and we added it up and realized we could feed a milk cow for less than I was spending at the grocery store on dairy products. The added bonus was the calf would be destined for the freezer each year (but not this year's calf - she is a beauty!). Daisy has lived with us since she was 5 months old. We use a small home milking machine each night to milk her, and here is what is usually in our fridge:
I have learned to make butter and yogurt, and am learning to make cheese - not lot of success in that area yet. I have figured out the fastest and easiest way to make butter is to shake the cream in a jar for about 10 minutes. The butter forms almost like magic! We don't use near the cream that Daisy produces, so much of it stays in the fridge until it gets good and thick, then it goes to the chickens. We call it "chicken candy". If they were large enough, they would knock me over when they saw a jar in my hand!
Speaking of chickens, this is Gonzo.
He loves to eat grain out of my hand. He also likes grasshoppers and other various bugs my 12 year old catches for him to dine on.
Gonzo is an Araucana rooster. He has just learned to crow. Isn't he handsome?
And this one was just too funny not to include. Remember I mentioned the sheep dogs? Well, hubby gave one of them, Ginger, a haircut. Scarlett is waiting until we make a trip to town before she gets her haircut. Apparently Ginger's fur dulled the blades, so we have to get another set.
Almost looks like Scarlett is saying "Who are you?" It is hard to believe there isn't more dog than that under all that fur.
By the way - there are more fleeces for sale on the Diamond B website , and new dyed fiber in the Etsy shop. July contest has started in the FIX group on Ravelry , with this month's prizes being good sized boxes of fibery goodness. Any purchase from the participating shops earns you an entry, and there is no limit to the number of entries each month! Come join us!
Till next time!