Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Post of Two Thousand and Twelve

So, the first year has been already for 10 days and of course heaps has happened again. Somehow my wish for a quiet and slow year has not been registered.

So, where to start?
The animals of course:
in the last 6 weeks I have had a lot of bunnies die from the RabbitCaliciVirus, and for a while I was worried about keeping enough for future breeding. Fortunately both my future breeding buck and doe, Werner and Wanda ( large NZ White look alikes), and our original pets, Silver and Brownie (which had been vaccinated, but the revax had been due 6 months ago) survived. In total I lost 9 out of 24. One doe intended for the freezer is getting a second chance, and I've got 5 other boys who will go to the freezer this and next week.

Then Poppy was just not looking right.
I had been milking them, getting approximately 500ml each every day and Kara was really enjoying our own fresh milk.
Despite me feeding her heaps she was looking tired and quite overwhelmed by the boys' constant feeding.
A lot of other people had their animals literally drop dead over night. So I decided to get a FEC (fecal egg count) done, and lo and behold it came back with astronomical numbers: Tui 2500 and Poppy 3200. Anything up to 400 is manageable.
I gave the vet the samples on Tuesday morning and by Thursday lunch time had the result!
I had the drench, but I didn't know their weight. Giving them too much will kill them, not enough and it won't kill the worms. We have a hanging meat scale up to 100kg, and I borrowed a block&chain set from the neighbours, but still needed a sling to lift them up in. So, I spent the better part of Thursday afternoon making, trying out and adjusting a makeshift sling. And in the end it worked. Well, I won't know it worked til I know that the dose I gave had killed most. But anyway, weighed them, Tui 58kg and Poppy 63kg and gave them the appropriate dose.

Another item on my to-do list was ringing the billy goats. I had hired an elastrator and the vaccination gun from the vet. On Tuesday I grabbed the boys and gave them their first 5in1 shots,which includes a tetanus shot, and in 4 weeks the follow up.
And today I just had our very nice and helpful neighbour around and, at 5 weeks old, the goat boy kids have been ringed.
And here they are in their still youthful innocence.

And as for the rest of the menagerie?
The chickens are all still there, all 30 of them! I will isolating some of the pullets, to see who is laying and who is not, and then decide whether to sell or butcher the rest.
And the ducks are still growing. They had started to moult, but I still can't say for sure who's a boy and who's a girl. Except for one. So I will have to wait til the boys have their adult plumage, I don't want to accidentally butcher a girl!
The weather has been very changeable, hot and wet, which has been blamed for the recent outbreaks of all sorts of nasties-related diseases in livestock, and I'm hoping it'll settle again, and we can get on with properly managing the animals.
To tired to have to deal with any more emergencies, but I suppose I will if I have to.

peace and sleep and out.