Saturday, June 30, 2012

Condition Critical

It has gone past the critical point now.  The heat is incredible and the lack of rain since last year is unimaginable.  Some guvmint entity (I don't know which) says that the ground is dry down to 5 feet.  This explains why electric fencing is not working the way it should as it needs moisture in the ground to conduct the juice.  There is no grass-even the weeds are dying.  The leaves on the trees are turning yellow and falling off.  Animals are suffering, we lost one rabbit to the heat and we are praying that we don't lose anymore.  I have decided to sell our heiffer after she calves in August as we can't afford the hay bill.  It is getting very bad around here.  My lovely wife is on the edge of giving up the garden and there is a slight concern that the well may not hold up, so we may let the garden go in an effort to try and conserve the water.

Last year was bad enough, hot and dry, but the drought has carried on through last winter into this summer making things critical.  Folks are telling me they are losing their ponds (drying up) and the creeks are low.  Many cattle folks are selling because, they too, cannot affor to feed hay.  Consequently, the market is flooded right now driving the price of beef way down.  That's good news for the consumer (maybe) but I am sure you have seen that prices at the store rarely fall anymore.  Like the price of gas, once it goes up it stays there.

I have some followers in this area, share with me your trials this summer.  I'l check back later, we're heading to the river to cool off.


Carolyn Renee said...

Luckily, we reduced our small herd of goats to just three now, two milkers and the wether. The mule and mini-horse and the goats are our hay burners around here. I've been really considering selling the mule and mini, and may have to if our "promised" hay doesn't come in to us in the next few weeks. The equines are basically pets, and as much as I like them, we may not be able to feed them without taking a big financial hit. It would be a LITTLE different if we had more pasture, but given the conditions, even what pasture we COULD have would have been worthless now with the weather like it is.

We're still religiously watering the gardens and the fruit trees, which takes up a LOT of water. I'm having to water twice a day sometimes and I'm also getting concerned as we're on a well. We don't have any live water or pond on the property, so all our water comes from that well. I'd let the garden go without water before I did the fruit trees; too much time and $$ invested in them to let them dry up and die. No grass left so to speak, and even the deeper rooted weeds are starting to die. The older oaks/hickories haven't shown too much stress, although I can't see how much longer even they can take this weather.

I was very close to getting rabbits this year, but now see that it probably would have been a mistake; I can't imagine how many losses we would have had.

The two turkey poults that hatched a few weeks ago died from what I'm guessing is heat related illness. The goat's are only milking out about 1/2 of what they normally do and our daily egg average of 12 went down to only three or four.

DH's job has him working outside on the county roads all day and I feel badly for him, or anyone that has to be working outdoors in the daytime. DD and I go out in the early morning, then just to check on the critters during the day. Otherwise we're inside trying to stay cool. It's even too hot to go to the city pool. Maybe we'll try the river in the evening when it's "cooler" out.

Take care.

Scott or Pam said...

We went to the river and found the water warmer than we thought, but still very refreshing. I talked to Lakey and Lakey hay dealers today (located in Ava) and they sold every lick of hay they had last week and were totally empty. Which is a very big deal because they are very big hay dealers. They told me that they can't even promise me a price on hay when they get more as the price was rising every minute. This is BAD. Hang in there Carolyn, we are praying for a weeks worth of rain.