Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tool, looking back and looking forwards edition

It's been a busy few weeks here at the farm.  There has been a lot of tool use going on...which has precluded sitting down to blog about tool use.  I have an hour of breathing room, now, so here we go:

Two weeks ago, the Tuesday Tool was the Makita 18V cordless 6 1/2" Circular Saw. 

This tool saw extensive use making a new shelter for our goat does.  Their old shelter was falling apart, difficult to clean, and way too crowded.  They now have plenty of room and protection from the coming rain, not to mention access to a pasture full of brambles yum yum. 

Last week it was the drywall lift. 

The addition to the house is finally getting some work done--it was left more or less as a shell, with the siding and trim and windows all done and some insulation in the walls, but no drywall or ceiling or floor.  Thus it stood for over a year, with the only changes being that some of the insulation was removed by our cats, who found it enjoyable to claw at.  Now, with much help, insulation has been topped up, a vapor barrier installed, and the walls and ceiling drywalled.  And, if you want to put  twelve-foot panels of 5/8" drywall up on a ceiling, you will need a lift.  Roseburg Rentals has them, along with scaffolding. 

Which brings us to today's tool, the CIDR and its applicator.

The CIDR (pronounced like the tree) is a little widget of plastic impregnated (pun intended) with progestin.  The applicator is used to insert it into a doe that you wish to breed, and the hormones diffuse out of the plastic and into the doe, swamping out all other hormonal signals and effectively resetting the doe's cycle.  After a dozen or so days, it is removed, the doe gets a shot of another hormone, and comes into heat like a ton of bricks.

The farm imposes on us an odd relationship to scheduling.  Day to day, there is very little in the way of a schedule.  It does not matter if it's Tuesday or Saturday, the chores need doing, and there is always the miscellaneous backlog of work to be done as soon as possible.  Most of the time I am unaware of the day of the week.  I become aware of weekends only because the Real Doctor is home, and if she's home on a weekday or away on a weekend, I'm utterly lost in time.

The flip side of this is that we do make some plans, set in stone, about a year in advance.  There are some events--fairs, shows, the violin workshop, and conventions for the Real Doctor--that occur on specified dates known years into the future.  These events dictate our schedule--we want our lambs to be of a certain age by the Black Sheep Gathering; it would be nice to have some does in milk by the RDGA nationals; it would be nice not to have to milk during the violin workshop; it would be nice to have some kids weaned by county fair; and so on.  So, sometime in the summer each year, we sit down with a calendar, decide what we want to do and attend, figure out the gestation period for our animals, work backwards, and say that we want them conceived right then.  The CIDRs allow us to make it so that the does and ewes are very willing and able to be bred on that date--and so, in a couple of weeks, there will be a frenzy of mating going on, and five and a half months from now, we will have a long, sleepless week of lambing and kidding. 

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