Category Archives: Animal Husbandry

Pepé Le Pew

It seems Kitty is in heat. She has had a nightly caller who serenades her with love songs. Only Kitty believes she is human and is horrified at the attention. She looks exactly like that cat who endlessly tried to escape Pepé Le Pew’s amorous advances.

She hides in the deepest recesses of my garden when her would-be-suitor comes calling. Sometimes she comes right up to the screen door and mews piteously to be let in.

We’ve had Kitty three years now and although we think she has been pregnant, we’ve never found any kittens. Maybe, believing she is human, she just abandons them since they don’t resemble her. Who knows?

Only time will tell if Monsieur Pepé Le Pew will steal her heart this year and we’ll have kittens. I think I’m probably the only one excited by the prospect. Meanwhile, the caterwauling continues.

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Gimping Around

We have two males gimping around the place this week, my husband and Puppy. So here’s what happened.

Puppy barks at everyone as they go by the house, even if they are on the other road. That’s what he does. He’s gotten better about chasing motorcycles since he was run over, but if a motorcyclist kicks out at him or throws rocks, he goes ballistic.

We let the puppies out in the morning for a romp and walk around the block with me. About noon, the shade is gone and it isn’t fun to be out anymore, so we let them in the back. They enjoy the time outdoors but the barking is non-stop unless they find something dead to roll around in. That’s always a treat.

This particular morning, some jerk on a motorcycle decided to go down our road. Our road is the center road and he actually had to go out of his way to come down our road. In fact, the opposite road that is a straight shot to the main road is in much better condition. So it was with evil intent that this guy went down our road.

Anyway, this guy goes down the road, slows down in front of the house and kicks out at Puppy, sure to get a reaction. He then drives further and turns and starts chucking rocks. Rocks that he had already collected and had ready to throw, mind you. Puppy naturally gives chase and the guy runs over his foot, probably with the idea of squashing Puppy.

Now Puppy’s poor little foot is injured. He’ll be fine, but he is sure milking his injury for everything its worth. Maybe he’ll learn not to chase jerks on motorcycles, but probably not. My son had a stern talk with Puppy about chasing motorcycles and he just moaned and sighed with big sad puppy eyes. Then we accidentally got the wrong dog food, the ones with the green pieces, and his day was totally ruined.

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Now for my husband. He is currently working on a remodeling job. The owners are going to put a new floor in. Before that can be done, the old floor needs to have a myriad of holes hammered into it so that the new floor can be installed. My husband figured he’d speed up the process by using a drill with a disc on it.

For two days, this was working well. Then that morning, the disc broke off, flew up and sliced his knee. When he looked down, he could see all the way to the bone, so he decided he needed some medical attention.

He came all the way home for me because it’s mid-week and he didn’t have any money. We went to one of the consultation offices next to Farmacias Similares. We could have gone to CAISES and been covered by Seguro Popular, but you know how long that takes, and the blood from the gash was flowing.

We waiting about 10 minutes until the doctor could attend him. The first thing he said was that to stitch up the wound, the cost was $250. Ok, fine. A little steep, but not impossibly so.

The doctor went next door to the pharmacy for his supplies. As he was cleaning the wound, cutting the pant leg off and then stitching and wrapping the injury, he regaled us with all sorts of medical stories.

First, there was this guy who had gotten hit with a baseball. The area swelled. Someone told the guy to put warm water on it (which goes against everything I ever learned in first aid classes, but what do I know?). Anyway, the guy figured the warmer the better. So he boiled a pot of water and then poured it over the swollen area giving himself third-degree burns in the process. That’s when he decided it would be best to go see a doctor.

Then there was the accident that happened just a few weeks ago during Semana Santa. We have a shrine in a little town called Soledad to the Virgin de Soledad that people make pilgrimages to during Holy Week. So a mother and her three children, ages 3, 6 and 10, were returning home after visiting La Virgin. It was just starting to get dark.

A driver who had been in Huandacareo all day, lounging by the pool and drinking, was also returning home. He didn’t see the family. The mother managed to get her children out of the way but was hit by the car and killed. Our doctor at the clinic was the attending physician.

Then there was the little boy who had to have his fingers amputated. He was playing at Los Areas Verdes, a park with a small zoo. Apparently, there was a slide where one of the metal plates was bent up, fairly common on playgrounds here. The little guy was unattended because his parents were arguing. He was zipping down the slide too fast and tried to stop himself but sliced his hand. There was no way to save two of his fingers.

My husband has a huge fear of needles, so these stories distracted him while the anesthesia was administered and the wound sewn up. He needed 5 stitches. The doctor then wrote out a prescription for an antibiotic, antibiotic topical cream and some ibuprofen. Altogether, the medicines were nearly $200 pesos.

For comparative purposes, my husband makes $250 pesos per day. This minor injury cost us (or rather me since I paid from the grocery money) $450 pesos. He didn’t feel well enough to return to work that day and took the next day off as well. The stitches are right at the bend of his knee and the job he was doing meant he was all day on his knees. So he rested up.

He returned to work on the third day. He says he’s been “taking it easy” but his leg is red and swollen when he gets home every night. He needs to go back en 8 días (next week) to have the stitches removed. That will be another expense. He’ll be fine, but he is sure milking his injury for everything its worth. Maybe he’ll learn to take more safety precautions at work, but probably not. I had a stern talk with him about that while he just moaned and sighed with big sad eyes.

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Health

Horsing around

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The three musketeers waiting for Lady to open their door!

Lady has been giving us a run for our money lately. She’s learned not only how to open her stall door, but the goats’ door as well. For a couple of weeks, we went around blaming each other for leaving the doors open. It wasn’t until one day we caught her in the act that we finally wised up.

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We have to run a wire through the latch or she opens it!

Lady has also been eating the eggs. My husband had been blaming the dogs. So he constructed a puppy-proof barrier and the eggs were still gone when he went out to collect them. Lady is considerably taller than the dogs, so she didn’t have any issues keeping on keeping on with her egg consumption.

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Cookie giving me the skank eye!

Cookie, who still hasn’t dropped her foal yet, has her own little circus going on. Since she is supposed to be “my” horse, I’ve been allowed to ride her, huge belly and all, for short periods of time. We take it nice and easy and don’t go too far.

One evening we decided to go just a little bit further down the road. Once we passed our normal turning around spot, Cookie kept giving me the skank eye. I tried to redirect her attention back to the road so that I wouldn’t get impaled by the low-hanging mesquite branches, but she’d just turn her head to the side and give me another look.

Her pace slowed considerably so I figured she was tired. Sure enough, when we made a U-turn, she started trotting away, no more skank eye. It certainly gave me a chuckle.

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View of the patio/animal corral from above.

I’m not sure what we are going to do when baby Cookie arrives. Already our supposed “patio” is animal crowded with chickens, puppies, Cookie and then Lady and the goats when the doors are magically opened. Time to brainstorm a better solution.

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Homesteading

Bye Bye Boys

Apparently, the birth of the last pregnant ewe on our compound was the catalyst to sell, sell them all, for my husband. Of course, the outstanding debt on Cookie, the pregnant mare, was another incentive. Anyway, Preggers had two cute little lambs, a boy and a girl, but my husband wasn’t happy. They seemed to be more Pelehuey rather than Charol, meaning they didn’t have the fluffy fur of the mama and must have taken after the dad. Not like my husband has ever sheared the sheep we’ve had now for a year, so what difference does it make if they had fuzzy wool or not?

Anyway, mama and babies went to live with the neighbor down the road. They seem happy enough when I see them occasionally romping through the underbrush in La Yacat.

So then ALL the spare machos had to go. That meant the Borrego Boys, the Chivo boys, Salt and Pepper, and Payaso the one singleton in this bumper crop of twins, were loaded up in the back of the truck and headed to Puruandiro. Although it took all day, everyone was sold, most to become the head mucky muck of their own herds, since the macho needs a’changing every few years to minimize inbreeding. Some women I know subscribe to this philosophy as well, but that’s another story.

So that left Zombeta all alone in the back corral. I convinced my husband to move her to the front area so she wouldn’t die of loneliness. Her pitiable bleats were hard on my heart. He did, onto our “patio” that is Cookie’s corral as well. Zombeta was happy.

A few days later, he found a buyer for Zombeta and we are now sheep-free. She lives now at another neighbor’s who has sheep and seems well enough. 

Then disaster struck. The mama of the triplets took sick. The whole side of her face swelled up. We went to the animal clinic who said it might be a tumor. Since it happened overnight, we thought it was more likely a bite from something. They gave us some pain medication and sent us on our way.

I suggested that it might be something the rats dragged in because boy do we have rats this year. They have even managed to find a way inside the house. No rat trap has been able to capture a single one. During the week mama goat was sick, my husband managed to kill 15 small mice, although some committed suicide in the water trough, and one HUMUNGOUS ROUS (rat of unusual size) outside, but, you know, there’s always more.

Mama goat died. We had quarantined her and the triplets to the back corral. We moved the orphans back to the main goat coral and bought some milk. Unfortunately, two days later, Spot died too.

Now we thought it might be ticks. When my husband checked animal ears, sure enough, monstrous ticks. He spent the afternoon plucking them out of the ears of goats, dogs, and horses. Then everyone got some powder in the ear and bath. That seems to have done the trick. No one else has died although this morning, it seems like Bunny, one of the triplets doesn’t want to eat. That doesn’t bode well. 

We are trying to stay on top of these mouse and tick infestations and so far are ahead of the game. Now, we are just waiting for Cookie to have her baby, it ought to be any day now.

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