Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cow obsessed...

Not the dog (though she's not far from it) but the kid. He has a serious cow obsession going on which has taken firm hold since we mvoed here a month ago. All. Day. Long. I hear about the cows and how they go moo and eat the grass which is very yummy. Repeatedly. Ad nauseaum. In the store every time we add to his plastic animal collection, he chooses a cow. Not the horses, not the bunnies, not the dogs or any of the other animals - nope, it's gotta be a cow.

He's also a bit chook mad, because he thinks they're pretty fun to feed... but even that is a distant second to the all mighty cow.

At the moment he's abducted Nic's mobile and is pretending to talk to someone (at least I hope it's just pretending and he hasn't hit the speed dial) telling them all about the chooks today said cluck cluck and the ducks said "duck duck duck" (yes, they say their name, just in a lower and more quacky voice) and somehow in the midst of this all we have, "Cow said MOO... mooooooooo!!! The cow-cow MOOOO, ate grass yum yum!" every other sentence even though he hasn't seen a single cow today.

Am pretty chuffed to say I am almost done with renovating the chook and duck pens. Now I just need to find money for building or buying a house. (Aside from the small one they are staying in that is okay for 3 small ones to sleep in but not for any more chooks than that.)

Am also pretty chuffed to say that I found a breeder of the most gorgeous silvery-blue-lilac coloured versions of my duckies I'm going to get some from when he has ducklings in spring. They are apparently very rare to the point there's only a few in the country and I just fell in love. They're the colour of a long hair Weimarianer!

You know how there's the whole "never a door closed without a window opened" saying? Well I'd been kind of bummed because Nic's looking for a job put my getting sheep on hold. Granted there are other concerns that come before sheep by far and even with that, the length of time things are put on hold is likely to be quite minimal anyhow... so it's not a big, huge, depressive funk or anything... just feeling a big disgruntled because it's a delay at a point where I'm close enough to this dream to taste it and waiting is no fun! ;-)

I told myself, well, it kind of works out because I can get better quality sheep and less expensive if I wait until the lambs are dropped and buy some ewe lambs and a young ram. They're unproven, empty and the breeder hasn't had to run them on hence the cheaper but you can go by their parents stats to get a good picture so it's not a huge risky thing really. And it'll give me more time to look into this whole cell grazing thing further and see how financially feasable it is, which promises to raise carrying capacity three-fold. On the other hand, I really didn't want to let the pasture sit that long without something grazing it. So. Today I'm at the petrol station and see a paper taped to the door. A family has sold their farmlet and is looking for another one but in the meantime they are having to move out and don't have a place for their animals: 12 sheep, a donkey, a gelding and an alpaca. They're looking for someone willing to effectively board the animals till they find a new place. They're also willing to pay for it. Hn.

It sounds good... I could have sheep here without them being mine and I wouldn't have to pay for them - instead I'd get paid for them. Even if I wasn't able to work them with the dogs I'd still have sheep here. They could even help finance my chook shed. They wouldn't officially be my responsibility, as their owners would have to take care of any vet care and arranging feed (beyond pasture) needed etc. so basically I'd get all the fun bits without the responsibility bits and get a bit more real life experience with horses and alpacas. The time frame they'd be here is about right for my getting the ewe lambs and would be well after I attended the ram sale in mid-July I wanted to see which will have a big selection of bloodlines represented.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the liability issues. I'm not sure our insurance would cover having large hoofstock here since horses are notoriously bad insurance risks. Boarding other peoples animals might mean we'd need special liability insurance above and byeond our regular policy. There's also the questions to be worked out about who'd be responsible if, say, one of the animals got tangled in barbed wire and needed care: their cost because it's their animal or my cost because I'm "boarding" them and it's my property? Also there is the issue of if they default on payment or the like. Or if they're visiting and injure themselves or an animal injures someone visiting my property. So it could potentially work out to be a big expensive mess as well.

I do feel for them though. I was in their spot two months ago with my dogs and cats and birds and ferrets all needing a place to go and it sucks.

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