Friday, November 10, 2017

The Homestead Corner: Filling the Freezer

It's hunting season which is a prime time for us to fill the freezer for our year's supply of meat.  My husband and I have become fairly proficient in hunting deer, but until recently, we hadn't quite scienced out my shooting.  Most of it had to do with not being able to put my cheek against the stock and see in the scope (fixed), a really bad case of buck fever (somewhat fixed), and a clean bore when I shot it (I need to have a dirty barrel on my rifle).  So, this year, we filled our deer tags within the first two weeks.

Two Bucks in a Row

What's weird is that we had two bucks appear in almost the same place in two consecutive days.  My husband got a whitetail spiker (yearling buck with straight horns) the first day.  The second day, I found a mule deer that was barely a fork (splits into two points at the end).  So, not only did we have venison, but we had two deer we had to dress, quarter, and butcher.  So, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning cutting up and packaging the meat for this year.  Three deer last about 6 months for two people if we don't eat venison every day.  We do have a goat wether that needs to go into the freezer, but that may be an early 2018 project, if we don't find elk or try for deer in other game units.


There's not much to forage right now with snow on the ground.  I'm hoping to convince my husband to go back to the rosehip bushes after general season ends and see if I can gather some more.

Goats, Chickens, and Turkeys

Right now, we've gone from warm to cold temperatures. We've had snow and rain, making the pens an unholy mess.  The critters are feeling stressed.  Not sure, but our llama may be having a relapse of Epi -- a very dangerous blood-borne parasite. I've started her on treatments for it.  I have one goat with mastitis -- an infection of the milk bag.  I've been trying to get Today or even Tomorrow -- a well-known mastitis treatment for cows.  There is none to be had in the entire town; everyone has sold out.  So, I have some mastitis treatment on order and need to treat her. 

Chickens seem to be okay.  I discovered the oldest turkey hen I have is blind in one eye, possibly due to a fight.  My blue slate hen and bourbon jake turkeys are doing great right now. Since I have a tom turkey in the freezer from last year, the other turkeys are safe for Thanksgiving.

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