Note: if you are not an omnivore, please note this post might not be for you …
Did you know that if given the opportunity, turkeys will consume 50% of their food as grass? We herded ours to/from pasture every day.
We harvested 18 turkeys so friends can have fresh, pasture-raised turkeys to feed their families for Thanksgiving.
This year’s harvest team was awesome: David’s mom and aunt, friend Heather, WWOOFer Michael and the Gallion family.
Here we all are (except Heather) taking a lunch break:
Left-to-right: David, Neil, Chris, Ruby, Michael, Candace, Gladys and Charlene. Photo taken by Corin Meester who was here with our friend Veronika to pick up their turkeys.
Gladys and Heather took a few photos and video to document the day. Here they are:
Turkey last day. The heaviest one finished out at 36 lbs.
The turkey plucker
The next three videos show David operating the plucker, Michael learning to operate the plucker, and David working with his mom and aunt to finish the plucked birds. I’m still recovering from rotator cuff surgery so no bird-plucking or lifting for me this year.
We are grateful for all the help and thankful for this year’s harvest.
Early this morning (2:00 a.m.), Star, our 1.5 yr-old Nubian doe, started bawling her head off … her sign of wanting “boy goat”.
Then, later this morning, Daisy (our matriarch Alpine) went looking for the alpha male, Guru. Unfortunately for Daisy, Guru is neutered.
Both of the does are in urgent need of “boy goat”. Their tales are wagging constantly, and the neutered boys are acting like real “boy goats” by nuzzling and going for rides.
I put “boy goat” in quotes because some of you know that a man showed up at our gate last Fall with what he called “boy goat”. The man told us his name was Jose, but his English was limited, so he emphasized “boy goat” by cupping his hands in front of his midsection and shaking them as if he were shaking his own balls — to ensure that we knew “boy goat” meant an INTACT boy goat. At that point, we didn’t want another “boy goat” so we declined the offer. But around here, since then, “boy goat” is often accompanied by laughter and a gesture which could be interpretated as male genital shaking.
ANYWAY, we want a purebred Nubian buck for Star and a purebred Alpine buck for Daisy. Both are milk goats, but the milk is strikingly different between the two, with Daisy’s milk being sweet and non-goaty, and Star’s mother’s milk a more traditional-tasting goat milk. We are also wanting Daisy’s next doe to be a purebred replacement for Daisy when the time comes.
So, this morning: the mad dash to find “boy goats”. We have a 4-H/FFA girl in Chico that provides buck service with her Nubian, and we can take Star there, today.
Alpine bucks are harder to find than Nubians, but we found one on Craigslist with a broken horn about thirty minutes north of Chico. Unfortunately, we have to buy him and bring him back to Daisy. Since it looks like we’ll have another “boy goat” on property now, we’ll keep him around for all of Daisy’s clan (Rose, Gigi and probably Boon).
Here is one of the Alpine’s sale pictures:
The lady says he’s a “goof”. I see that.
If all goes well, within five months, we should have around seven new goat kids on the ranch. (IF we can keep the goof “boy goat” away from all the other non-dairy does).
Note: In the three hours since I initially wrote this, Star and her “boy goat” have already approved of each other. Mark your calendars: March 25, 2023!
Note2: Smoky (pictured above) arrived at 4:15 p.m. He’s 1/2 done with his job already at 6:10 p.m. Daisy and her daughter GiGi are all over him (and he them). So, two more due on 3/25/2023. That leaves Rose and Boon yet. I had to take Chocolate away, she was about to go over the fence for Smoky. He’s their hottie!
This week, we were happy to have Heather and Franck join us for a variety of ranch projects. If you’ve been following along, you know Heather has been here helping us a lot since she retired. We were joined by Franck, one of our former WWOOFers in 2020. Franck was on a vacation from France and came up for a few days from where he was staying in San Francisco.
We made apple cider, racked hard lemonade, hung cabinets for the outdoor kitchen, gardened, processed a lot of food, ate a lot of food, watched movies, drank wine and pomegranate margaritas and even worked in a couple games of Spicey Farkle. I jumped into the pool a couple times, but it’s getting down to 70 degrees now.