Archive for ‘buck kids’

August 23, 2014

August

Moisture has been few and far between the last month. Yesterday the thunder started to roll but the storm past us to the west. I took the kids up to the pool about 2 and peak heat was 103. UGH!!! Yesterday evening the thunder was close again and I brought the clothes in off the line just in time for the sky to open up! The turkeys, being turkeys, couldn’t figure out where to go so I ran out to the barn and opened the small roving coop for them for shelter. I don’t know if they ever did end up going in the silly things!

We lost power at 6 and headed to town for a bite to eat, came home to a tree down in the front yard and debris that had plastered the front of the house even under the 6 foot roof overhang which I have never seen happen! Our favorite local weather people said there were 50-70 MPH straight line winds, that’ll do it! I have not checked the rain gauge but I’d say at least a good 1/4 inch if not 1/2 and bow howdy did we need it, every little bit!

Back to the turkeys, of the 4 we ordered, 3 survived past their 24 hours mark and have grown up! We have 2 toms and a hen and they have got to be one of the most entertaining animals here! They are also the best bug catchers which is great because the grasshoppers, like last year, are horrendous again. It was a very wet August last year and the mosquitoes were so so bad last year, not the same this year. Last year at this time Jeremiah was spending evenings and early mornings sitting still camouflaged behind a tree trying to call in the fox that had been eating our chickens. One morning it came in close enough to get a shot off but was just dark enough that he couldn’t for sure tell what it was and the chance was gone forever. They are hard ones to call in and catch, so they say. We have not seen that fox, knock on wood, nor have we lost any chickens this year!

Say hello to Tom and Tom! I just love these guys, so very talkative and they follow under foot like puppies. Just the past few weeks they’ve become very intent on trying to impress the hen who doesn’t seem to notice one way or the other. I find something interestingly beautiful about them. Normally their snoods (the piece of skin hanging off of their nose) is shrunk up above their beak and their necks and heads are a pale pink but when it’s time to impress, their snood grows and hang over their beak and their heads and necks turn bright red and blue.

 

A while back I was assured by a hunter we had over that we’d have a hard time keeping our turkeys from mingling, if not taking off with, the wild ones which are in great abundance here. In fact, we have 2 resident hens who hatched out 15+ poults between them and we often see them all in the back yard. They like to hang out in the pig’s pasture too in the tall grass. Two years in a row our turkeys haven’t seemed to pay any mind to the wild ones and visa versa so who knows. These guys have done well growth-wise and have been 100% free range since leaving the safety of the roving coop back when we butchered the broiler birds t 8 weeks old. They cost us next to nothing and really are so fun to have around! They spend most of the day hanging out with the pigs in the shade trees, most evenings they bed down in the middle of the barn yard in the grass. I am thinking maybe we ought to keep a tom and the hen over winter and see if she won’t set a nest in the spring. The poults aren’t too expensive to buy at all but it would be fun to have brand new baby turkey poults hatched out here.

Like I said, the fox hasn’t been around this year, thank goodness. There’s still time of course but so far so good. Two more hens, at lest, have hatched out more chicks since the last time I wrote. At about 4-5 weeks they leave the hen to live life on their own and we’ve lost some to hawks. I consider putting them in the large roving coop we use for the broilers but in the end, the survival of the luckiest plays out. The one Australorp whose nest I never did find has managed to keep all of her babies alive by sticking to the treed areas in the pigs’ pasture. Most of her babies are Australorps and hopefully got her good safety sense!

We’re down to 2 dry yearling left for sale who will be bred fairly soon here. All of the spring does have sold or are pending. I considered keeping one junior buck a a new herd sire but I can’t justify it keeping his sister, sire, dam, grand-dam etc. He’s leaving for his new home today in Northern Ks. We’ll have a few more older bred does for sale closer to the end of the year once they are dried off. Milk customers are keeping them here for now and with the up coming 2 year olds who will freshen next year and our new baby on the way, we have to keep our #’s down.

Our older sow is close to farrowing within the next week. I need to get her moved over to the farrowing pen to get settled in. She and our gilt will won’t be bred again until December giving the gilt a few more months to grow out to a good breeding age and our sow 3.5-4 months to recoup from this last litter. Normally I give her  a 2-2.5 month break between breedings which seems to be plenty for her but winter piglets proved to a lot more work than warmer weather piglets! It’s just a whole lot easier to raise piglets without the threat of cold weather.

Up until this summer the fencer we have for our high tensile electric has worked fine but the goats have taken a liking to going between the wires over into our neighbors front yard. Come to find out we’ve been running the wrong fencer and up until I put the rotational grazing poly wire fencing up for the goats in the woods it worked fine. However, now the drain of that poly wire has limited the distance of the “solid state” fencer we were running (thinking it was a low-impedance fencer this whole time) and was making the shock much less effective the farther away from the fencer the charge was so the goats were taking advantage of that. It was the “grassis always greener” way of thinking.  We chased that issue around for quite a while until we figured it out. Last Sunday we ran 3 more lines,  switched out the invisible fence for the dogs to the top line instead of the 2nd, made 2 of the lines “ground” wires and the rest are HOT HOT HOT! Hooked up the new fencer and boy does she pop!

What’s so nice about this fence is the lines are so quick to run. The three lines, after a trip to town for more insulators, took us as about an hour and a half. I run the wires down the line while Jeremiah insulates the wires with sleeves around the corner posts, crimps the wires and tightens the in-line strainer. Easy peasy and when we don’t overload the fencer with crappy poly-wire, it works great but when we load the new fencer with the poly wire, it’s not an issue!

Heading up for the last 6 round bales of hay today. It’s supposed to be another very hot one so I am very thankful we’re not bucking bales into the barn. It’s a little bit scary to see an empty barn this time of year! I am used to seeing it and 2 of the lean to’s bursting with small bales but they are all in rounds and we’re sticking with the pellets and with the pellets and hog feed in barrels, it takes up about as much room as 6 bales sitting in the ground and is such a space saver! I am not sure what I’ll do with the empty part of the barn but it sure is nice space to have available! =)

Man alive we had an issue with one of the does and tape worms this year! The end of June, she dropped weight like a ton of bricks, had constant diarrhea, eyelids went white and I really thought we’d loose her. None of the regular tape wormers I use (Valbazen usually) were working, I made up a special herbal wormer that helped a little, she rallied for a while but went right back after we got back from Ca. and literally, the diarrhea went on for over a month! I don’t know how on earth this doe is still alive! After finally doing a little more research I figured it had to be sort of a super tape, for lack of a better term, and tried Equimax horse wormer and WOW, WHAT AN IMMEDIATE DIFFERENCE IT MADE! That, along with Red Cell for the iron, B12 for her appetite and the other good nutrients and yogurt for the probios, she was perking right up, eating 100% better, diarrhea subsided within a couple of days and now she’s nearly back up to weight again and it didn’t take a 2 doses 10 days apart! I wormed the entire herd with that to be safe which I hate doing but as a precaution, I’d prefer it that way! Equimax also has Ivermectin and while it is a little pricier than some wormers, with it having both it’s my new go-to after freshening and for our kids as preventative!

At any rate, time to get going, lotsa work to get done today, first of which is coffee and getting that tree that fell cleaned up and cut up for fire wood. That will soon be upon us very soon and with as long as winter was last year, I’d like to have quite a bit more cut up than we’ve had in previous years. Better to be safe than out cutting wood when it’s freezing. =)

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Tags:
July 22, 2014

Summer marches on

Yesterday’s heat was unbearable an these days with heat indexes over 110 are just crippling for me. The humidity is the biggest issue, I’m not used to it and the air is just oppressive. The flies are horrible even with all the chickens pulling duty in the barn and I just HATE going out to do chores and immediately dripping in sweat! This heat is hard on the pigs and even with all the shade trees they have in their pasture, their wallow and on-demand cool drinking water, I know they are not comfortable.

One of the hogs is being sent off for processing in a couple of weeks. We’re splitting it with a friend. It will be nice to have fresh bacon in the freezer again. Our sow is due at the end of August and it’ll be about time to take a load off to the processor again for customer orders. We’ve kept a gilt from the February litter in hopes of having a pair of breeding sows as the demand for feeder pigs and pork seems to be high. Our feeder pigs’ reservations is already full for August’s litter and we’ll be keeping a few back again to raise up to process.

In early May we had a couple of broody hens who eventually hatched out 19 chicks between them. We’ve lost some to hawks but there are still quite a few who will be good flock replacements for a culling I hope to do this fall of the older hens who have been here nearly 2 years now. When we arrived home from California, another hen (an Australorp I didn’t even notice was setting and still I have no idea where she was) had hatched out 8. Mostly all Australorps but a few Orpington mixes thrown in to break up all the black. Gosh, I just love the Australorps dark dark eggs!

With all this rain, the wildflowers have been amazing and the bees are busy busy busy working like crazy! Upon our return from California the grass was so thick and tall it left huge swaths of mulch in the mower’s wake. It almost looked like a hay field and leaving for near 2 weeks made our yard look like it hadn’t been touched in months! We’re thankful for the moisture!

I had an individual contact me before we left for Ca. about some buck kids I had for sale. He was looking for meat and eventually the conversation went to Halal butchering, something that I’ve been wanting to learn more about since reading a few studies and research on Halal/Kosher butchering in general. I hesitate whether I should mention this subject at all since it seems to be such a heated topic here and there but suffice to say it was an eye opening experience and one for which I am very thankful for. We met an interesting and intriguing individual and  were enlightened, neither of which I consider bad things at all! In fact, it seems as though it will probably turn out to be a gainful business opportunity as well, a win-win situation!

All of our buck kids have now been sold, I’ll be looking to move an adult buck on here in about a month or two and we’re down to just a few individuals for sale (mostly dry yearlings as I kept entirely too many kids back last year!). I am probably keeping more doe kids this year again but I’d really like to see how they grow out and develop. I’m really happy with Agent’s kids this year, all with great length of body and wonderful general appearance. We may be replacing an adult buck with a new jr. herdsire out of Melody and Agent, a beautiful blue roan dripping with dairy character. I am also keeping his litter mate sister as well.

Before we left for California we took a few days to process all of the meat chickens. The turkeys need more time to grow out but I have such a hard time saying goodbye to them. They are so personable and are the first to greet me with their noises when they see me coming to the barnyard. We started with 4 and lost one within a couple days of bringing it home. We were refunded for it but by that point the farm store was sold out which is just as well I guess. We’re down to three and just within the past week I’ve been able to determine we have one hen and 2 toms, or Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, as it were =).

Brome is baled now, wheat harvest is still going on and we’re waiting on the right cut of alfalfa to come in. With all the rain the alfalfa prices have been steadily dropping and I’m considering going back to hay again and going off of pellets. The  last round bale of alfalfa we got there was so little waste and the quality was excellent. I know there is always a min. guarantee of protein on the pellets but it’s most often grinding quality and some of the milkers either get sick of them or something is in them they just don’t prefer, either that or they are just picky which may totally be the case because everyone else devours them.

I have put off hanging out laundry long enough I suppose. It’s definitely not getting any cooler outside. That said, I’ll end for now. Life on the farm is pretty mundane most days although there is usually always something to liven things up just about the time when it seems sleepy. One such event happened 2 days ago when we were getting ready to run errands and Jeremiah heard a very strange noise coming from the woods. I had put the does in the temporary fenced off wooded area and one of the spring kids had gotten her head stuck in a plastic pumpkin that had apparently been taken off by the wind last fall. Not being able to see she freaked out naturally and was making some awful cries. Jeremiah saved her from a most certain horrible afternoon, she rejoined the herd and all was right with the world. She went running back her dam for sympathy, of which she got none. Silly creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 21, 2014

A week in photos

It was such a busy week! I managed to finish Rachel’s quilt for her 10th birthday, a project that’s been 2 years in the making. I fall into UFO (unfinished object) funks and quilts in particular fall to the wayside unfortunately but finishing it has given me renewed vigor to finish a few that have been on the back burner.

This was a sentiment I heard at one time. I don’t know the author to credit but suffice to say, these are borrowed words.

101_1307

King and Snow doing what King and Snow do. The sun’s out and it’s day time which means they snooze and relax and keep watch.

king

snow

Sunday was gorgeous and the goats were thoroughly enjoying the sunshine. We finally got the round bales off the trailer. The girls had pretty much eaten one entire bale down to 1/4 of what it started as. We unloaded it into the barnyard so they could munch on it. Most of them just turned in into a cozy bed . Most of the does are bred, some further along than others. It’s a time of growing good healthy babies!

Mother Daughter Flicker and Bourbon

Mother Daughter Flicker and Bourbon

hay bale free for all

Granite

Granite

While there isn’t a whole lot to eat from the looks of it, the pigs enjoy nibbling the grasses and rooting up tasty things. Ann is due to farrow around February 14.

Ann

IMG_20140119_154433

101_1268

The chickens still range in the winter and find tasty tidbits to eat, there was still a little snow on the ground last week.

101_1254

Sunday Jeremiah and I finished the greenhouse by installing the back window and the plastic on front and back. we also put pipe insulation over the end of the panel and maybe that will cause a little less wear and tear. The strips of lumber that the plastic is rolled up in seems to be doing a good job. We had some pretty forceful winds last night and all it all looks good.I am so eager to start seeds. I went through what I saved from last year and what was left over. I hope to start a lot of flower seeds this year along with all the veg.

Front

101_1323 Front

101_1321

back

101_1324

greenhouse window from inside

Em kidded on Sunday while we worked on the greenhouse. I checked on her every so often. The first kid (boy) was totally breech but he delivered fine. The 2nd kid (doe) was still encased in her sack. I am glad I was there. Usually they are not delivered in their sack and there is no obstruction. When they are, if the doe is not attentive or there isn’t anyone there, they generally suffocate. The 3rd kid (a buck) was delivered about 20 minutes later without incident and Em looks fantastic. Shes enjoying a stall to herself to get to know her kids. I’ll post more photos later, these kids are super flashy!

101_1340

The following photo was not taken last week, but it is a reminder that we have our nuc colonies ordered from Butler Bees. Jeremiah and I are going to tackle the top bar bee hives and leave the langstroth hives to the construction class.

Well, there it was. We were at an auction Saturday and managed to bring home a pretty decent haul of lumber, a huge miscellaneous lot of trim/moulding/baseboards, 125 sheets of sheet rock and 13+ new bundles of shingles. I haven’t yet decided if we’ll shingle the new milk house, I’ll have to chew on that some more. We’re trying to stay somewhat color & material coordinated, the shingles on the house are brown, everything else is metal. We’re going with metal.

February 25, 2013

Triplets for Pejamy

This is Pejamy’s 3rd set of triplets. As a first freshening 2 year old, she had triplet girls. As a 2nd freshening 3 year old, 2 bucks and a doe (who, incidentally, just had her first set of kids as a 2nd freshening 2 year old =) ), 3rd freshening 4 year old twin does and as a 4th freshening five year old (and looking gorgeous!) 2 does and a buck. This girl sure does know how to throw the girls, even out of a buck who has been a heavy buck thrower. They say the female has nothing to do with gender given “x” & “y” chromosomes of the whole scenario, but considering a few of my does and their tendencies, I tend not to agree entirely on that and wouldn’t bat an eye at body Ph or minerals playing at least a small roll.

The buck kid was hogging a lot of the groceries in utero  it appears, but that is generally the case. All three are a very good size and Pejamy sure does now how to grow some lovely kids! The first doe she barely on the ground when I showed up. I had been ding barn checks all morning and knew the night before it wouldn’t be long. She looked pretty content to stick it out over night though which I was thankful for because I think it dipped down to single digits. Saturday was beautiful enough. The sun was out, it was just at freezing much of the day but when that sun comes out, it feels pretty warm! There is still quite a bit of snow on the ground.

I moved her into the kidding pen around 5 AM and gave her a heat lamp. She was pretty happy to get alfalfa all to herself and after about 4 barn checks by 1 o’clock, she decided the time was right. She was cleaning the doe kid -a pretty brown roan- when the 2nd kid was at the helm. I could see though she was having a bit of a problem. She’d lay down and push but nothing, get up, readjust. Finally she had him in a good position but one leg was bent incorrectly (back) and so he was much bigger through the shoulders than what’s “easy “for them to deliver. I didn’t help much. I knew with a little more effort than normal she could get him out that way and his head and one shoulder was already delivered anyway. He’s a flashy robust buck kid and while mama tended to him, the first little doe kid was trying to stand. Those doe kids sure are vigorous. The buck kids seem to be pretty laid back so far, taking their sweet time to decide to get on with walking and eating and such.

The third kid (a doe) was in much the same position as the buck with the 2nd leg completely facing back.  She was smaller and easier to deliver that way though I did help pull just a tiny bit. I actually was going to try to see if I could easily bring that leg around but she ended up pushing past the largest part anyway but then stopped with the kid half way out and just stood there looking at me holding half of this wet kid like, okay, can I have her now? I told her, “Sure, FINISH PUSHING HER OUT, please.” Out with a plop and a mahogany spotted beautiful thing. Three new babies to fill Pejamy’s coffers. What a lucky mama!

The mahogany doe kid’s spots should lighten to white or a mocha brown within a few months.

One of the doe kids and the buck will probably be for sale. When, I am not sure but one of them within a couple of weeks on the bottle, of course. Pejamy has successfully raised triplets before, but she does tend to put a lot of herself in to milk and it can be hard to keep weight on her. I just LOVE this doe. She’s so quiet and easy on the stand, an absolute dream to milk and does a good job putting it in the bucket, so to speak. She has the perfect size teats and good orifices. She’s really just a very nice all around doe scoring well on appraisal, she showed well and she’s proving that patience is a virtue in regard to maturity…slower to mature but worth the wait! And in 4 of 5 freshening years, she’s given us 11 beautiful kids!

1st doe kid

1st doe kid

buck (left) & doe (upper right)

buck (left) & doe (upper right)

3rd kid (doe) spotted (spots should lighten to white or light brown)

3rd kid (doe) spotted (spots should lighten to white or light brown)

does

does

flashy buck kid

flashy buck kid

Em. is next with a due date just a couple of days away. With the weather today (blizzard warnings), she can wait. March will be pretty busy with 4 does due, then a couple in April, a break in May and the rest in June.

January 27, 2013

Dawn’s kidding (graphic)

Dawn (a first freshening 2 year old) was uddered up quite well on Saturday night but I felt confident she’s wait until Sunday so I did not bother doing a barn check late Saturday night. She still had some ligaments left and had not hollowed out. Though, this is NEVER sure fire, I read all the signs and make a decision from there. Generally I am right, though a few have slipped past–Mea and FD who quietly had two dry kids on the ground before my rounds.

By Sunday morning she was not eager to join the herd for breakfast and obviously that was a good sign something was up. Her udder was “tight and shiny” and she had hollowed out, so in to the kidding pen she went. I did the rest of my chores and went up to the house to do dishes and that sort of thing, meandered down about 11 and she already had a kid out and was working on drying her off. A brown doe kid WITH spots and a lovely Nubian head and ears…how fabulous. I walked up the house to grab some towels and heating pad and to let Rachel know her doe (who she’d raised on a bottle) was finally kidding!

It had not warmed up too much but the sun was out and a simple heating pad under a towel works really well to keep the chill off the babies for those chilly kiddings. Dawn did a wonderful job, only a small tear to her vulva and everything was textbook. Love those!

I’ll include a couple photos I was able to snap. This is a classic presentation of a kid. Head flat against the forelegs. One leg slightly ahead of another…and the tongue sticking out, that’s common too =).

Dawn's first kids

dawn's first kids 1

dawn's first kids 2

dawn's first kids 3

The black kid has very long legs, white topknot, frosted ears and a few white spots here and there with a right white side splash. So far the count is 2 does and 2 bucks.

Iris’ bouncy buck kid went to his new home yesterday with a lovely family near Winfield, Ks. He’s going to be their up and coming jr. herdsire.

Now we have about a month long lull before several others are ready at the end of February. I can only hope we’ll get the same lovely temperatures for both of these kiddings!

April 13, 2012

Just photos

March 25, 2012

Babies

These babies don’t have time to stand posed nor do I have patient enough helpers to make them stand nicely so candid is what cha get =).

Photobucket

Toddy’s 1st born boy above (C1). You talk about flashy and fancy! He’s got it all, brown, black, white, roaning, splashes, frosting, splotches, AND spots!!! His sire is Andy our spotted buck and boy did he throw fabulous heads in Toddy’s 2 boys, strong muzzles and those nice Nubian noses!  See those 2 splotches on his hind end? Those will lighten so he’s just all sorts of colorful!

Photobucket

Toddy’s 2nd born (C2) boy above.

Both of Toddy’s buck kids are for sale. They will be available at weaning, please see “Kids For Sale” page for further info.

*****************************************************************

Photobucket

Photobucket

Apricot’s 3rd born (c5), “Dale” short for Clydesdale! He’s a brute of a boy weighing in at nearly 12 lbs. at birth (and his sisters were good size too!) and with his fuzzy huge feet, Clydesdale was only fitting, we thought. Wow, this boy…he’s just handsome! He looks like he’s going to be one powerful buck & LOOK at his neck!  He’s a little squished up in this photo but he’s quite long too and a real nice top line! Just a real nice kid and with his mama’s udder, or dearly me! Moon has been so consistent with his level top lines!
Photobucket

Photobucket

Apricot’s 2nd born doe kid (C4) – Marmalade Coconut Meringue, “Coconut” for short. Such a sweet thing!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Apricot’s 1st born (C3) Marmalade Butterscotch Puddin’- “Puddin” for short.

March 13, 2012

C 1 & 2

Toddy’s buck kids.

 

April 23, 2011

Kid Photos

I’m real happy with this year’s kid crop. I got more power this year and less dairy-ness than last. I can’t help it, I like the dairy look but that can go a bit too far for sure. Got lots of nice rumps and top lines and wide escutcheons, some great leg sets and heads too!

Breeding Granite to Price (by her choice, she wouldn’t let the other two near her) made for some HUGE kids…big bones and wide! Man, they are just tanks. I was really happy with her breeding last year (that gave me Mea and Andy.) Mea’s more refined, smoother blended than Granite, not as nice of a top line but nicer overall I think. I wanted to breed her to Moon who was of the same lines as the Mea and Andy breeding but she wouldn’t have it. Getting buck kids from the Granite x Prince breeding was great. I wouldn’t be too impressed if does came out like they did- too masculine-but who’s to say they would? I’m just as happy they’re bucks…nice buck they are too!

"SPOT"
Lovely head, wide muzzle and nice roman nose. He has a nice top line too when he’s standing up straight.

I will definitely be repeating the breeding on this one! (Toddy x Moon)
Agouti
Look at how wide I am and look at my lovely ears! (Toddy buck kid “Agouti”)
Agouti bod shot
I’ve got a fabulous top line, rump and rear leg set too! (Toddy buck kid “Agouti”)
Turkey shoot, Easter and Goat photos 062
We’ve got more dairiness than some of the others and look at our lovely ears! (Ariel’s doe kid “Pie” and Fleur’s doe kid “Dawn”)


Ruby Thewes
I’m one of Amanda’s favorites. My Name is Ruby Thewes. I have a great top lone and nice rear leg set. I’m not as dairy as my sister both we both have nice rumps! (Mea’s doe kid)

Ada Monroe
Because I’m so petite, I’m Rachel and Drew’s favorite! I’m Miss Ada Monroe. I’m more dairy than my sis, but even with our differences, we’re both outstanding I think! (Mea’s 2nd doe kid).
Turkey shoot, Easter and Goat photos 041

Dawn
I’m Dawn, one of Fleur’s doe kids. I think I will be long and dairy like my dam but maybe I got a bit more power from my sire. Time will tell I guess. We’ll see about my roman nose though, it doesn’t look so Nubian right now huh? My sire doesn’t have the most roman nose but sometime it can take a while. I have a lovely long neck though!

March 30, 2011

Ug. More Boys!

Granite's 2011 Buck Kid #1 

Granite kidded at 7:20 this morning after laboring all night long with 2 spotty buck kids! The up side is that her 2nd freshening udder is fantastic! The downside is, not a single doe! Though, the other upside is that I don’t have many options as to who to keep :o).

And thankfully it wasn’t nearly as cold as what Bonnie kidded in in negative 4!! I was cozy enough sleeping in the straw in the barn.

Granite's 2011 Buck kid #2
Buck #2 says please excuse the fact that I looked smooshed up. It will take a few days to unsmoosh myself.