its not yet 4 a.m. but I’m awake and listening to the pitter patter of raindrops hitting the roof. I really should be sleeping considering I was awake until midnight but the body has a mind of its own.
It has been a busy couple of days here on Two Moose farm with butchering a couple chickens, building a farrowing pen and feeling helpless when a neighbor needed helped. Let’s start there as that is a sad event I want to share.
I have friends I have never met except online both near and far. We interact via Facebook and they become very dear to me. One such friend just happens to live just a few miles out from where we are and are also homesteading.
Ann has a couple goats she purchased a few months ago and they are very young. No one told her the little doeling was bred but they suspected based on her appearance. After she went into labor it was a few hours into it they knew she was in trouble. Ann called me and I could hear the distress in her voice. I know she and her husband love their animals as I do mine and felt immediately the kindred spirit us homesteaders feel for each other. Having experienced difficult births with many different animals including goats I attempted to give a shortened version via phone on how to assist the birth. Sadly the kid goat didn’t make it but I am happy to say the momma did. Yes, we all understand it is part of being a homesteader/farmer yet that is no comfort when it’s one of your animals that is in pain or you have lost. I felt helpless and wanted so badly to reach through the phone to give her a hug and let her know I truly understood the pain she was going through. Homesteading is a wonderful life but it has its bad days too.
Needing to get my mind on other things I started on my farrowing pen. Charlotte missed the due date I expected so I figure that she will be due in about 2.5 more weeks and I want to give her a bit of luxury. I know it sounds silly but she is my baby even if she weighs well over 300 pounds. Using scrap lumber, some slabs and a few trees we thinned out we managed to get about 90 percent done before it was time to get supper on the table. The cloudy skies had me nervous so we covered it with a tarp that will keep it dry until I can shingle it. Charlotte moved across the yard with relative ease into her new “birthing suite” and seems quite happy with her new place.
The 2 chickens we finally butchered were very large-scratch that they were huge! They were Cornish cross meat birds I acquired in an assortment of chicks back in February and has grown to mammoth size. I slow roasted them all day packed with herbs to season and they turned out amazing. Cooking a bird this way does not produce a very pretty roasted chicken but does produce tender, juicy and flavor filled meat. Try it sometime. Pull skin away from the muscle and poke herbs (fresh or dried) in between the skin and muscle. Put a couple cups of water or broth in the pan with the bird, rub some olive oil on it and cover. Slow roast 4-5 hours and I promise you will love it. By the way my herbs of choice were Rosemary, savory and sage but you can use whatever sounds good and I have even sliced lemons or apples and inserted them.
Dear Hubby was working at the saw mill today and first thing he calls and tells the kids to send me over. I get there and he points out some bear tracks right in the sawdust pile. After getting a few pics and inspecting more closely it appears to be the tracks of a momma bear and cub or Cubs. They rolled around in the sawdust and left prints and bits of fur so looks like a black bear.