Checking in

So for starters my laptop is in working condition finally, thanks to an IT friend I’ve made while at AFW.  AFW is Anime Fest Wichita, which is rather irrelevant for most of the time in this blog.

I am going to try to be posting more often, I’m finding more and more useful material concerning goats and other science related things that I could write on.  I’m also contemplating starting a short fictional series to write in parts and post, but I have no idea on that yet.

Today has been rather long and a spectrum of incidents.  The thesis I am writing for college is finally starting to take shape but I have a lot more work.  I’m currently working on a section that is about the ancestry of goats and how they have been part of ancient cultures.  The problem being that some of my sources and research is contradicting each other so I’m having to do more footwork again.  That was the mildly positive part of today.  The not so positive: we had to put down three of our older does today.  The oldest, one of the Kikos has been going downhill in health rapidly since it got cold in November.  We were able to get her back up to decent health once with a lot of input and coddling, but since then it would seem she’s had at least one stroke.  Her features became lopsided and she forgot how to do basic things, such as not tangling herself in a lead rope…she was a smart doe so staying untangled was never a challenge for her.  Putting her down was in her best interest over letting her freeze to death or something tragic out in the pasture while we weren’t around (This is well and truly a last resort, not just because she got old and we didn’t feel like helping her).  We treat all our livestock with respect and try to provide them with the best quality of life we can.  The other two were two of my founding Nigerians, over a year ago they contracted some sort of virus that we have been fighting trying to cure them.  We succeeded in curing their niece but when she got it we’d been fighting it long enough to know the very early stages–when it was still curable apparently.  The two older does never cleared up and the one who had it first was to the point she was suffering, the second wasn’t far behind.  Those two were the much harder part of today, if they hadn’t gotten sick (and we still don’t know what exactly caused it or what it was, our vet couldn’t figure it out) they would be in with the buck now and having kids in the spring and staying around for years to come.  Disease is so frustrating, and this is one I will definitely continue trying to find answers for.

This leads to my next little rant I guess.  The last couple days I have been seeing on Facebook these various verbal attacks on people who raise livestock for human use or consumption and attacks on people who eat meat.  Posts that are saying how horrible people are for raising livestock and how we treat them cruelly.  You know, I almost feel sorry for the people that are so deluded that they believe farmers and ranchers as a whole are horrible and cruel people.  Some of the nicest people I have ever met are farmers and ranchers, and quite frankly if you want to deal with someone who has a heart and is caring, find a farmer or rancher.  They may seem callous and bitter, but that comes through years of pain and no reward.  The smile on a farmer’s face when the rain comes in and waters his crops or on a rancher’s face when a cow comes across the field with a healthy calf on her heels is something worth seeing.  They know pain, but they also know the joy of seeing the rewards of their efforts.  And you know, they don’t do what they are doing for the money.  The people who gain a little bit of knowledge on the agriculture industry and then decide it’s all horrible and attack it need to stop and spend a while on an actual farm.  I don’t mean like the animal cruelty videos you find, but actually working, actually trying, and truly learning about the animals.  Sometimes how a cow is handled looks rough to an outsider, and sometimes it kind of is, but I can also guarantee if they were handling that cow they may take some interesting measures themselves in order not to get run over or squished.  Maybe if people could slow down and look at both sides before belittling and attacking others and other ways of life…

Eh, that’s human nature though so it’s not likely to change.  Anyhow, I’m getting ready to start my fourth semester at Langston University in a few weeks.  I’m studying Agricultural Business and some Accounting.  My plan is essentially a dual degree but I’m not entirely sure if I’m still going to do that or just finish the Ag and Master in Accounting at WSU afterwards.  I’d be closer to home, be able to get a better paying–more consistent–job, and help with the goats at home.  I have big plans for the home farm, not really size wise, but like setting up a working garden, start soap making to sell goat soap (I can mail that too), set up  a decent size chicken koop, and maybe set up a few more pens to split out the herd as needed more effectively.  Big plans need money though so they’ll have to wait until after college.  Meanwhile I’m writing for the Dairy Goat Journal and working on the Langston campus in the Agriculture department.  This last semester I was working with a researcher on a red cedar project and was even put over a sub-project that I wrote the plans for and everything.  Cool.  I’m hoping to gain an internship at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge this summer, or some sort of internship…really want the Refuge one though. On top of the job and college I’m selling crochet items every once in a while too, anything from amigurumi creatures to full size afghans.  I’m getting better at it and have added clay to my crochet hooks to help support my hands some.

I’ve ranted enough for the night I imagine, I need to work on my thesis some more.  Tomorrow I’ll be going to a movie with my friend so maybe I’ll write up a little review just to start a pattern or something.  Who knows?  Until next time.

“A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” Proverbs 1:5

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