Category Archives: Animal Husbandry

The Great Goat Escape

The other day, my husband sold one of our nameless goats to his buddy. He made sure there was no mix-up with Jolina, his princess. Nameless goat was taken away and we went about our afternoon and evening activities.

We were awakened at 2 am by goat bleating. My husband went out to investigate, but all the animals were sound asleep. I happened to peek out the front window and lo and behold, there was Nameless goat clamoring to get in. 

My husband went to open the door, but it since it opens outward and it must have scared Nameless because she ran up the hill. It was a moonless night, so chasing her around in the dark wasn’t an option. We settled back into bed and hoped she’d return.

About an hour later, we heard some goat screaming and were sure she’d been eaten by the coyotes. However, in the morning, she was waiting by the door again.

The fact that she returned troubled my husband greatly. He was sure his buddy was dead or had an accident. He even sent a search posse of other buddies who were unable to locate the guy. 

All of that worry was for nothing. Two days later, the buddy showed up at our house demanding the goat he had bought and paid for back, as if it was our fault she jumped ship. And that’s literally just what Nameless had done. Apparently, good buddy was already three sheets to the wind when he loaded her up and didn’t properly secure her in the back of his truck and she escaped.

He didn’t notice until he got home but couldn’t come look for Nameless because he had to recover from his overindulgence or continue with it, which was also the reason the posse couldn’t find him. 

Nameless is now safely housed in buddy’s goat shelter. Since he has a habit of leaving his critters unattended while foraging for long periods of time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nameless makes another break for it in the future.

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Mid-month Updates

2020 has been a rough start, but nothing we can’t handle. So here’s the latest from the Flores ranchito.

Vehicles

January 1 my new-to-me motorcycle decided it wasn’t going to start. It was something electrical, but what it is specifically had him baffled for two weeks. It turns out, the previous owner had done some electrical “upgrades” that crossed some wires. Taking those out and replacing the box where all the wires meet seems to have done the job. It still needs a new front light and gas gauge, but it runs yet again.

January means paying for the “contribución materia vehicular impuesto” or vehicle tax. In comparison to last month, this month was a walk in a park. All we had to do was take our tarjetas de circulacion to the Institute de Seguridad Social del Estado de Guanajuato (ISSEG) pharmacy. Each moto costs $135 pesos this year and the truck was $487. It goes up every year.

Inflation

Speaking of things going up, the garafon (jug) of water from Santorini now costs $36 pesos, 2 pesos more than December and 6 pesos more than last January. Those refillable water stations that are springing up all over town are looking more and more attractive at 12 pesos a refill. However, I just don’t know how filtered the water is and where the water comes from in the first place. Is it hooked up to the town water supply? Because that water runs through miles of hot copper pipes isn’t drinkable at all! 

The internet also went up with no notification whatsoever. That meant we had to make two trips to town to pay the bill since our payment didn’t cover the increase the first time around. Our Blue Satellite internet fee is now $399 pesos. The satellite internet is under a 2-year contract, so theoretically it shouldn’t go up until the end of that period, but who knows? 

Stores in town are charging for plastic bags now as well. It’s nominal, at the most $1 peso per bag, but I wasn’t prepared my first day shopping of the new year and hadn’t brought my own. I’ll know better for next time. Some places, like Mexico City, have prohibited the use of single use bags, which is a good thing overall.

Gas has gone up. Soda will now cost 1.26 per liter. Alcohol prices will go up an estimated 4.5% excluding beer, aguamiel and pulque. It will cost more to ride the bus and leave Mexico by plane. But it’s just how things work–the hike in the daily minimum salary to $123.22 pesos ($6.50 USD) has to be balanced out somehow. 

I’m not an economist but speaking from experience, it’s awfully hard to manage on $123.22 pesos per day.

Animals

The last baby goat of this batch was born the first week of January. The moms of the kids born in December have gone into heat, at least if Stinky Chivo’s romancing is any indication. So we expect another crop of goats in June or so. 

We still have too many animals. Terry and George are still not friends. My husband didn’t prepare as well as he normally does regarding food during the long, dry season, so that’s been a weekly expense. 

Health Care

As it is now a new year, I needed to go and make an appointment at the hospital to see my doctor in May. I’m not sure how things will go when it’s time for my appointment since INSABI took over for both IMSS and Seguro Popular on January 1. There have been reports of formerly covered individuals needing to pay from everything from gauze to surgeries once covered by the national healthcare policies. 

If it comes down to it, I’ll be able to piece together something by getting my own lab work done at a private lab and having the doctors next to the pharmacy write me a prescription if I need a dosage change. Otherwise, I can buy my medication over the counter at Farmacias Similares. It will add to expenses, and we’ll have to cut other things out, but I’ll make it.   

So I’m feeling a bit frazzled and it’s only mid-January. I’ll need to take some time out and set up a more restricted budget for this year. How are things where you live?

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Driving Hazards, Economics, Health

The Last of Elvis’s Love Children

The last of Elvis’s love children, a set of twin boys, have arrived. While we have other goats that are pregnant, they aren’t due for a month or so yet, so their conception was after Elvis had left the building.

All of Elvis’s kids have the longest floppy bunny ears. Several have the distinctive black stripe down their backs like dear old dad. None are the lovely dark brown of Elvis though. 

While we were still celebrating Elvis’s fecundity, one of our other goats gave birth to a premature and sadly, short-lived kid. The rest shouldn’t be ready to deliver for another month or so. Since they are younger and smaller goats, we don’t expect any more twins, which is fine by me.

On other animal news, Lady is now nearly fully recovered from her hoof staking incident. She and Red even went for a short ride up the hill and back with my husband this week. Red has figured out how to open the goat pen to Jolina’s delight.

George and Terry have yet to become friends, both are extremely jealous of my son’s affections even though he tries to give equal time and attention to all three boys. Their neediness has prompted my son to declare that when he marries and has children, three are too many.

My husband had a scare with Jolina the week after Christmas. The neighbor down below had planned to serve birria when his son came to town and needed a smallish goat. He and my husband decided on which of our goats was to go. However, when the neighbor came to pick it up, my husband was working. He insisted that my husband had sold him Jolina and my son let her go.

In the morning, when my husband was feeding the goats, he noticed Jolina was missing. When my son told him, he panicked. He jumped on his moto and without even a helmet, headed to the neighbor’s house on a rescue mission. Fortunately, Jolina hadn’t been slaughtered yet and was brought back to the fold safe and sound. Whew!

Other than that, things are as quiet as they can be in our still overcrowded animal situation. Who knows what delights or tragedies 2020 has in store for our own animal kingdom?

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