Fall has been very dry here in Georgia. Usually we can squeeze by in the back pasture if I don't cut the grass just before it starts to go dormant. This year we had very little rain to give the grass that last boost and so there is little left to eat out back for Derby, Boggin and Dolly. They still browse, but it was time to buy some bales of bermuda hay.
I called my neighbor about five or so minutes away that has really great quality barn kept hay, but the army worms had taken over some of his fields and so he didnt have the supply he usually has. I bought his last four square bales. Now all he has are the big round bales. I would love to buy one, but I have nowhere to store it where it will stay dry and that is important. Moldy hay can kill a horse. I don't think it would do a llama much good either. I have a couple of local hay farmers phone numbers out of the Market Bulletin I will be calling soon.Right now one bale is lasting a week for the three of them.
The pigs don't eat hay, they eat fresh grass, but not hay, so I have switched them over to sweet feed. I was giving Boggin an Dolly some too, but it got expensive fast, so they are strictly on hay now. I have blocked the llamas from an area only the pigs and emu can get into. Its funny how I have to organize everything and be strategic to feed everyone. The emu that is out, Pacer, he has a feed dish that sits right outside the fence so the pigs can't eat his food. He sticks his head through and reaches it easily with his long neck. The llamas want the sweet feed, but can't get to it, so they hum longingly as the pigs smack and drool and eat their sweet feed.
Winter time is expensive to feed animals. There is no grass, no bugs, nothing much out there for anyone. I have so many chickens now (guesstimating close to 200) it is a big financial burden at this time of year to feed them and the big animals that are free to feed in the summer because of the green grasses being abundant. We get by though, we always do. I don't have to have any of these animals. We choose to have them because we wanted them, and we love them all very much. Lucky for them and for our pocketbook our winters are short compared to some other parts of the country.
Speaking of feeding, its time to get out there and do just that. It is pretty cold early in the morning so I wait for the sun to take the edge off before I venture out. It also gives me time to have my coffee and ponder the day while surfing the internet. I see a patch of rain moving through on the radar this morning so I thought I would wait that out for a bit. I am ready for the sun to come on back on this morning please!
I know my last entry seemed doom and gloom and pretty harsh. I do feel better after getting it out of my mind and onto the screen. It doesnt change the way I feel, it just doesnt feel like its poisoning me anymore. You can't keep that kind of intensity going inside, its not good for a person.
I hope everyone is having a good week. The weekend is almost here and I am hoping to get some things done outside. I have been trying to do some cleaning up out in the yard and around the outside of the house before winter really does come knocking on the door.