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After last week's Fair schedule, I feel like I am playing a horrible game of catch-up. One great thing about this week is the cooler temperatures, we had highs only in the low-90s. It feels like summer is beginning to make plans for her departure.

On the homestead, we weaned May Mae’s boys. They are three and a half months old and the breeding season starts next month. I like to wean about a month before breeding or early August for two reasons. #1: It gives my girls time to go through the stress of weaning and recover a little before they go through the stress of traveling to visit either frozen(AI) or live boyfriends. #2: It also gives them time to bounce back a little and gain a little weight; this is called flushing. Breeding can be stressful and if they are visiting a live boyfriend, it may take extra energy and nutrients. I've seen where some females will not eat much during their cycle so milk production will drop considerably. This is another reason my Dairy girls are only bred every other year! Which is very easy to do with goats as they can be in lactation for about 18 to 24 months. Goats can also struggle with obesity which can cause fertility problems. By weaning or drying my does a month before their intended breeding dates, I can avoid this problem. Goats store extra fat around their internal organs, which usually results in hormones not being delivered properly during cycling. This was the main reason Loretta Lynn struggled to breed her first year; her hormones were so out of whack that she would cycle every 14 days and her eggs were not dropping.

As a result of weaning the boys, the goats spent a week on hay in their night pen. May Mae was close to her boys but not too close to help make the event less stressful. I also ordered our fall batch of meat chickens. I can't wait to raise a batch of birds with only a few days of needing to use a heat lamp. I think this will save us about $2 a bird.

In the garden, I pulled more broccoli and cauliflower plants to make room for some carrots and swiss chard. After doing my Midsummer audit, I found I had forgotten to plant the swiss chard that was on my Spring list.

In the kitchen, I got another batch of greens canned. I also found some blueberries on sale which I plan to freeze for a blueberry muffins recipe this winter and ordered a box of pears and peaches. Canning season is upon us. I can't wait!

Lord God, you are in control of this world, you are the one that has the plan, help all those that are afraid and hate. Bring our country back to what it used to be. Bring the world into a state of caring! In your name, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.

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