Tag Archives: homesteading in Mexico

Big Mama Steps Up

Big Mama, despite her enormous girth, only gave birth to a singleton. Interestingly, the little guy looked EXACTLY like Brown Mama’s boy twin. (The girl has a white “toupee.”) Big Mama is extremely overprotective of him. Cocoa, who barks at everything, has made himself a mortal enemy here. How DARE he bark at her lamb???

Things were going well for about a week when suddenly Brown Mama died. The small flock was out foraging just on the other road and left unattended for about 15 minutes tops. When my son when to check on everyone, he found Brown Mama keeled over and swollen to twice her normal size. We think it was bloat that killed her. She might have eaten a poisonous plant, or the kid visiting with his parents on a nearby lot might have given her a handful of corn, or even the few kernels my husband doles out to everyone in the morning might have caused it. 

So then we had two orphans that weren’t old enough to get all their nutrients by foraging. They refused to be bottle-fed by Papa Chivo (my husband), and we despaired of their future. 

Thankfully, Big Mama decided to adopt the twins about three days after their mama’s demise. She’s a hefty sheep and seemed to have more than enough milk for her own and the two twins. The urgency has passed now that everyone can forage, although we are keeping a close eye on everyone since the rash of poisonings. It wouldn’t do for the lambs to lick something that could kill them.  

Other cloven-hoofed news: Fuzzy Mama still hasn’t given birth, nor has Jolina, although both are mighty uncomfortably pregnant. The other nameless goat miscarried, and my husband sold her. 

Then the Questgiver has been sent along to another realm to carry on his important tasks, whatever they may be. My husband didn’t like the way his testicles hung. Something about how that trait would be passed on to daughters and their udders would be uneven. I’m not sure that’s true, but I have no say on which animals stay and which go. 

I’d really like for him to stop with the animals. They aren’t getting the care they need here anymore, and the outdoor area is riddled with fleas making everyone miserable. Be that as it may…

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More Mexican homesteading stories can be found in the Animal Antics South of the Border Series. Now available on Amazon!

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Roosters on the Roof

We have oodles of roosters currently. Six of the seven chicklets were gallos. Then somehow or other we had TWO quiquiriquis machos, that I called Alpha and Beta. Additionally, we had a regular-sized rooster who avoids the quiquiriquis like the plague, well mostly Alpha because he is a badass. 

Full-size rooster in my garden!

Anyway, the three grown roosters have decided in turn that my rooftop garden was a good place to hang out and poop. I am not pleased with this situation and take every opportunity to squirt them with the hose and flap my arms at them to get them to fly off. 

Then we need to talk about the noise factor. Contrary to popular opinions, roosters do not just crow at dawn. Rather, they start a call-and-return musical rendition whenever they feel like it. It could be 3 am or 3 pm. Not only do we have 9 roosters on our property competing for song dominance, but the two closest neighbors also have chickens who want to be the earliest songbird in town, which riles up ours and so it goes on and on.

Quiquirique Alpha in the bushes

Not all of the roosters have perfected a harmonious crow as of yet. Their off-key singing more often than not riles up the dogs. Fred starts with some howling. George comes in with the bass. And finally, Cocoa is the soprano of the group. This lasts for several minutes. Not to be outdone, the roosters start up again as soon as the dogs start. Over and over again, multiple times throughout the day. 

Last-minute update: Finally, three buyers later and our crooners are down to a manageable number. We still have one chicklet and the normal-sized rooster who is DEEE-LIGHTED to be the biggest cock in the compound. He reves up with a manly flapping of wings and let’s loose, now assured that no little quiquiriqui bully will clothesline him mid-crow.

3 of 6 chicklets

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Enjoy the ongoing animal adventures of one family in central Mexico as they try to figure it all out in Animal Antics South of the Border

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End-of-Year Triplets

Our mightily pregnant nanny goat finally gave birth at dawn on December 12, el Día

 de la Virgen de Guadalupe. She had TRIPLETS spaced about an hour apart. My son took one look at them and declared them “unremarkable”. They are white, with no real distinguishing characteristics. 

Since they were born on such an auspicious day, the smallest, of course, had to be named Lupillo, in honor of La Virgen. It’s still a common practice for babies born on a particular saint day to take on that name in our area of Mexico. All of my husband’s siblings were named that way. However, we couldn’t name all three the same. 

December 12 of this year will go down in infamy as the day Mexican icon Vicente Fernandez died. So it was no stretch of the imagination to christen the other two goats Vicente and Fernando in his memory, shortened to Chente and Nando. 

Chente was born with weak ankles. He had a set of pipes on him that let everyone know his frustration when he couldn’t keep up with his brothers. My husband crafted a set of splints to shore up his ankles and Chente was up and around in no time. After about a week, the splints were removed and I’m happy to report that Chente’s ankles seem much stronger.  

This birth wrapped up the fecundity of the Flores Ranchito for 2021. It was a particularly difficult year on all accounts. I am hoping that 2022 will bestow blessings on our animal kingdom (and human inhabitants) beyond our wildest dreams. Or at least I hope we manage to muddle through again like we do most years.

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Looking for some feel-good animal stories? Delve into one family’s animal antics south of the border adventures!

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