Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Books, Clover In the Corn, and Tools

First off I'd like to suggest you read my wife Lindsay's blog, it is mainly about books and such, so if you like books and music you might get a few good suggestions to add to your reading list. She is just getting going on it so there is definitely more to come! Also, I picked up a book today called Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting. I'll let you know how it is, or click here to read about it yourself.

Next off I'd like to pose a question. Has anyone ever sewn a "cover crop" in between your rows of corn? Josh and I were discussing sewing some clover in between our corn since it is suppose to be a nitrogen fixing plant and doesn't grow that high (and since corn is a nitrogen sucking plant). Since we aren't going to spray or probably weed the feed corn field we were thinking this might be a good alternative. Just curious about what my fellow country folk think...

Goat update: Midnight has the scours again... They kicked in after the last rain. His eyes seem to be getting a little better with the puffer, and he is still up and moving around and eating. I called the vet today to check on taking them a fecal sample to get it checked. The nearest one that deals with "large animals" is about 30 minutes away (maybe more, it is in Leighton). I told them I would bring a sample tomorrow. What do they do if it is ecoli that is making him sick? Lindsay said she thought they couldn't do much but ride it out... We'll see how it goes; he's hanging in there pretty good so far.

Another question: what is the earliest your does start going into heat? I was wondering if one of mine had started the other day. She kept trying to mount all the other goats...

I'm going to do an instructional post in the next week or so about building a compost tumbler. I should have all the parts I need now since I picked up the casters today. Maybe someone will find it useful.

Here is a tip for anyone who might need some tools and has a shoestring budget. Harbor Freight is a discount tool store where you can sometimes get some pretty good deals. You have to be careful though, some of their stuff is pretty good, some of it is not so good. It is reasonable to say that you should have success with the basics: hammers, screwdrivers, etc. My dad has been using a couple of big drills he got from there for years. I have bought an air compressor hose that has done me well there for about $10 - $20 cheaper than I could have gotten it at Lowe's. Some of the pneumatic tools are shoddy though. I bought a paint sprayer that I never got to work, and a contractor friend gave us a framing-nailer he bought from there that we never could get to work right (to be fair though, he'd left it in the back of his truck for 6 months in the weather...). But if you pick and choose you can find some pretty good stuff there. I mention this because I got to take a trip there this afternoon and came away with a basket full of stuff: Some garden stuff, a few air compressor attachment things that I lost, a big speed square, a leather punch, a veggies slicer, a bag of little paint brushes (36) for $2, some nail sets, a machinist's apron, some work gloves, and all kinds of other stuff that I can't remember. I wouldn't have gotten as many of the little things that I did, but I only get to go by there about once a year since it is out of the way.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Afraid I don't know anything about the clover, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. That stinks that your vet is so far away. If you can find a used school microscope you can learn to do your own fecals. I picked up a used one for about $30 and it works OK for fecals. (I would like a little bit better one though). Can't wait to read about the compost tumbler!

  2. E coli can be treated with anitbiotics. Also, we always planted our cover crops in the fall and let them sit on the garden all winter then tilled them in in the spring. On heat, probably July is about the earliest, but goats don't read books so who knows? Is she waggling her tail and more vocal - to the point of being too loud? The tail waggling is the biggest indicator. Mounting will be a problem too, but that can also be an indicator of 'king of the hill' behavior - you know, pecking order?

  3. I agree with Jennifer, I taught myself how to do fecals too. Ecoli, from what I understand, can be treated with antibiotics. Scour Halt (I believe Spectramycin) can treat that condition, ask you vet about it.

    As far as how young the does go into season, they can start pretty young. It is unusual for a boer or large breed dairy doe to go into season before 6 months old, but it happens. It is not unheard of for a 3 month old doeling to become pregnat, not a good thing. It sounds like she is in season. My girls are all mounting each other, and being obstinate, head butting, and flagging the bucks.

    I am of no help with the clover!

    I'll check out your wife's blog now...

  4. See if you can find some scour gel to help with the diarrhea. Have you treated for coccidiosis? I'm trying to learn to do my own fecals, but haven't see anything yet that I can identify. I'll have to read about the clover in the corn. That might keep me from getting so many weeds in the corn.

  5. I was going to answer some follow up, but I'll just do a new post. ;)


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate the input and will do my best to respond quickly if need be. Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,
The Crowsons