Archive for ‘doe kids’

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 8, 2014

May already

Is it nearly May already? May 6th 7th 8th! I figure some day I may get this post up! It’s sad to say I started writing this the last part of April! About a week ago I was probably sitting by the wood stove keeping warm on a below average temp. day and yesterday I was sitting by our kitchen window drinking (eating?) a smoothie trying to keep cool!

One day has turned into another, as it usually often does. It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here!

Our (human) kids are almost out of school, it was one field trip or assembly or end of the year project(s) and goals to be met along with regular chores and kiddings and cold weather turning to warm.

We are done with kidding this year and all of our fresh does are milking well. We had 3 does kid in a single Saturday giving us 6 kids between them. Dawn had triples boys early one Saturday morning followed by Mags with a very good size flashy buck and doe out of Storm and Mischief ended the day with a single buck kid out of Andy.

Mischief and her buck kid and Morgan went on to their new homes the week before last. Several of the buck kids have found new homes and there are several individuals who are currently up for sale. The doe count wasn’t high this year but there are several that I would very much like to keep.

The count was:

Em: triplets (2 bucks & 1 doe)

Pejamy: twins (1 buck & 1 doe). Sadly Pejamy passed away one cold night. From what we are unsure, but given how quickly she went it’s probable it was pneumonia.

Flicker: twins (1 buck & 1 doe)

Ann: quads (3 does & 1 buck)

Apricot: twins (1 doe & 1 buck)

Dawn: triplets (3 bucks)

Mags: twins (1 buck & 1 doe)

Mischief: single (1 buck)

Melody: triplets (2 bucks & 1 doe)

Granite: single (1 doe)

March and April had us building a milk machine for a customer and dis-budding a lot of goat kids!

All but 2 of the piglets have gone on to their new homes. The smallest piglet developed a naval hernia and completely weaned herself from the sow when she was being offered a bottle twice a day, that turned into 3 times a day once she decided the bottle was better. I tried fixing the hernia several times with a few methods I read about online to no avail, she was just too small for it to work well. She was gaining weight but the amount of bottle feeding necessary was a lot of work. She habitated with the sows and her siblings fine but in the end, I felt she’d do better with more frequent feedings so she went to a home with lots of kids who could give her more attention than I could devote.

We’re keeping 2 piglets to raise up to butcher this fall. One’s for us, the other will be sold. Having piglets in February was a challenge and a learning experience but we got through okay. The hay usage for the goats was quite a lot more than usual and that tells me quite a bit about how “bad” the winter was. May 1 I had a fire in the wood stove to take the chill off Last year it snowed on May 2! However we’re in to thunderstorm season two Sunday’s ago it was sure nice to lay in bed an listen to the thunder roll through and the rain pour down.

The skeleton for the new milk barn was delivered and the metal roof went on the weekend before last (right after a storm and the sky offered the most beautiful backdrop!) . We were fortunate in that a neighbor (and master carpenter) generously helped us put up the trim pieces and what a hoot to watch him work knowing where to cut and bend the metal in all the places so it fit like a glove. It’s amazing how much faster the work goes when you’ve done it a time or two (or 500)! The work they got done in half a day surely would have taken Jeremiah and I at least 2!

 

Our bee hives are almost finished! Jeremiah and I built two beautiful top bar hives. Picking up the bees, however, has been put on hold. Apparently with the cold winter, separating the colonies has been delayed about 4 weeks which is just as well. I put a nice coat of linseed oil on the outside of the hives on Sunday to protect them from the weather.

Top Bar bee hive

 

We had a hard freeze come through about a week in to April which was about the same time last year as that ice storm we had that killed some of our newly planted fruit trees.  Those have since been replanted save for the apricot tree which we cannot find any locally! We put sheets around those that had blossoms this year and they seemed to fair very well. The pear and plum trees were loaded with fruit, I picked most of them so the tree puts nutrition into growth. We want big strong trees and not a lot of fruit the first couple of years.

I bought some heated seed mats in March to try out and suffice to say I wish I had gotten them sooner! What a difference in germination time they made! After using both cold frames to keep plants and the greenhouse we put up last year, I will say starting seeds in the cold frames had much better results. It may have been because the winter I used the cold frames were a lot less harsh than the past 2 (particularly this past winter), but it probably also had a lot to do with area. The cold frames did not loose the heat near as much as the greenhouse.

The greenhouse does a great job once the seeds have germinated. I started half of the seeds in the greenhouse this year and half in the house. Of those I started in the house, the 2nd half (mostly melons, squash, herbs and a few tomatoes and peppers) were started on the heat mats and compared to everything else seemed like light years faster. From now on I’ll start everything on the mats and move them out to the greenhouse at a few days old.

Unfortunately, our kitchen window is north facing and if not moved out fairly soon after germinating, even when rotated on the shelf, they can get “leggy” but once they germinated I’d move them into the greenhouse within a day or so. As long as the nights didn’t fall well below freezing, the greenhouse does very well for us. On the vry cold nights, I cover everything with additional plastic and sheeting right over the top of the plants. Additionally, it’s really nice to be in the the greenhouse when it’s chilly (and windy) outside. I found myself at times stopping off on the way to the barn to step inside and warm up! Planting seeds in there early spring is really nice.

Not knowing what the germination would be on some of my seeds, I over planted putting 2-3 seeds per pot. You’re supposed to pick/pull the smaller of the plants and allow the more growthy one to continue to grow in single pots but I can’t bear to sacrifice plants like that so the tomatoes and the tomatillos I  separated and transplanted. I completely forgot to even start tomatillos last year. This year I planted 40 seeds hoping to get a few (the seeds were 3 years old and last year I wasn’t all that careful about how I kept my seeds), 36 germinated! There’s a lot of tomatillos!!! I always go overboard with the tomatoes too. My Mom send me home at Christmas with 3 heirloom varieties to try I planted those along with several of my favorites including Kellogg’s Breakfast (a HUGE meaty yellow tomato).  The jalapeno seeds must have been no good because not a single one germinated so I started some from new but I don’t think they’ll be big enough to plant for a while. Everything else looks great though and I am really excited about the lemon grass that I started from seed. I’ve never grown lemon grass.

It’s almost time to put the majority of the plants in the ground. “Back Home” in Northern Cal. we aimed to have everything in by Mother’s Day. I aim for the same here see as how the last frost date is 2 weeks in to May. Nevertheless, the spring onions are ready for picking anyway and that has made me feel less like I am “behind”. Just this morning I got the entire garden tilled. After a few scoops of some compost that’s been “cooking” for a year and another till, we’ll be all set to plant Saturday.

We’ve decided to put drip irrigation in the garden. We’ll plant the entire garden and then install the hoses and drippers/sprayers so we’ll know where to place them. We really ought to do something like that for the fruit trees too. I water every Saturday as it is. I think the drip irrigation would save a lot of water. We get some pretty high winds here and I don’t always have the time to water everything by hand when the wind takes the sprinkler water and waters everything BUT the garden. It should be such a time saver!

The “meat chicks” arrived a week ago Thursday! They’ll be out on pasture in about 2 more week!

Well, I am sure I could go on and on about the goings on around here but I’ll end for now. Happy May!!!

 

 

 

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.

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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

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

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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

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back

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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!

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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.

May 3, 2013

Land of milk and eggs

challah

Challah braids

It’s that time of year, we’re happily wallowing in milk and eggs! What better way to put it to good use (other than making piggies and doggies happy)? Why, make those around us happy too! I love sending yummy goodies to friends, slipping soap samples in with bags for locals who visit for farm fare or hiding little rounds of eventual lather-y goodness in with shipments of cloth diapers to my customers.

Using milk and eggs to make Challah, lard and milk to make soap, pouring gallons of milk or dozens of scrambled eggs into the pig’s trough and dog’s bowls are all ways in which we use the extras!

Cha cha chai & tea tree camomile

Cha cha chia & tea tree chamomile goat milk soap

Citrus hibiscus  & natural

Citrus hibiscus & natural scent goat milk soap

shampoo bar

Last week shampoo bars came out of the mold (above), a light lime scent and full of extra Vit. E. for shine, mild but cleansing which will effectively remove oil and dirt from scalp. Nothing artificial in these bars, they do not contain petroleum products or carcinogenic chemicals such as glycol distearate. Healthy oils for healthy hair!

May soaps 021

Also, fresh outta the mold, lime & sea salt (above) because at least there has to be some sense of tropical paradise around here…with it snowing on the 2nd of May and still freezing overnight, we can pretend to be somewhere warm while using it.

We’ve lost two fruit trees to the cold. I won’t even think about putting any delicate garden plants out until I am fully sure we are not in for any more freezes, it’s just not worth it, they are happy in the greenhouse and growing well. I do have to transplant some of the tomatoes and peppers though, they are outgrowing their digs!

A few goats have gone to new homes. One of Mags’ triplets was wethered a couple of weeks ago and Pejamy’s spotted doe kid along with Bear went to their new home in Mo. today.

I can honestly say it has been a true pleasure keeping a few of the pups on here for further training. It’s been amazing to watch them learn from King and Snow and watch them interact with the other animals. One of our visitors today said it was like Noah’s ark here the way everyone cohabitates together, even the dogs like the cats and the chickens can be in the pig pen without fear of being eaten and the cats don’t go after the chicks! Minus the rooster, who will meet his fate one day when he’s gone after me one too many times, everyone is family.  I took the goats out to the far woods today and Eddie followed right along, he comes when called and he’s leaning to sit. I am sure he will be a bit sad and lonely without Bear to play with but I think he is starting to mature in the fact that while it’s still fun to be a puppy, there is usually work to be done and that’s OK.

We’re thinking about attending a show next weekend a couple hours away. I’m still not sure I want to wake up as early as I would need to to get all the chores done and be out of here by 5:30 AM to be to the fairgrounds on time. Oddly enough, even though a dual ring show to include bucks seems like a lot to pack in, and it is, I much prefer the single day shows than the long drawn out weekend shows, it’s just too much and doesn’t turn out to be a whole lot of fun waking up early two days in a row, staying late to keep pens clean, feed, milk, etc. then to have to go home exhausted and do all the same at home before crawling into bed, etc. and it’s hard on my animals, I won’t speak for anyone else. With the weather, I wouldn’t have to do much but winter clip…who can’t appreciate that =)! However, the single day shows are hard to prep for in the milking doe dept….getting udders to fill up on hauls under stress…there’s always pros and cons =). We’ll see.

We’ve been getting good rain about once a week for at least the past 4 weeks. Several weeks ago I noticed the oats coming up in the eastern pasture. I was glad for that. I saw some brome coming up but not what I thought should be there so I was a little disappointed but after this past cold storm, wow (!), boy is it really coming in thick and well!

The strawberries we planted in barrels a few weeks ago are looking fantastic. I covered them up 3 weeks ago with straw when we froze overnight several nights in a row with that ice storm and it’s done them well. We just planed potatoes a few evenings ago, a little late maybe but I was later in getting them in last year. We got some lettuces & beets planted outside as well. I have some in the greenhouse but figured with as cool as it’s been, I may as well see how they do. I am sure they’ll be just fine. Kansas is much different than Northern California for planting times and it’s taking time to adjust to that.

We have chicks popping out of their shells this evening. I think we may do one more round and put the incubator up until later in the year when I can get some pure Wyandottes. Right now the new roosters just aren’t old enough yet but give them a few more months and they’ll be old pros =). The girls have been laying super super well, no doubt do in part to all the yummy bugs out they are getting and the fodder that we’re still growing.

I’ll leave you with a couple of photos from here and there =). Have a great weekend y’all!

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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.

February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: babies

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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!

January 23, 2013

Newsy news

Where to begin? Knowing where I left off would be helpful. I think it had something to do with fodder (imagine that) and then it seemed everything went to hell and a handbasket and I’ve had little time to update my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marmalade-Hollow-Nubians-and-Soaps/185935851450937?ref=ts&fref=ts) let alone the blog!

A brief summary of life here the past couple weeks. One Sunday (2 weeks ago??), Iris started showing symptoms of pregnancy toxemia and went down hill real quick. Injections of CMPK seemed to do little good and with several injection sites required for each treatment, I felt so bad for her I put her on oral CMPK.

Delivery of the kids is the best treatment for this but because Dawn had still not kidded, I thought for sure I had messed up January breeding dates altogether. As it turns out, Dawn was not bred before Iris at all but another dry coming 2 year old who was sold last Fall. I did not figure that out until the doe’s owners emailed me to say that the doe had delievered a healthy buck and doe…a day after “Dawn’s due date”. OH, WHOOPS!!! I could have induced Iris to kid 5 days prior to her due date, but with due dates up in the air from my mishap with the breeding dates of does, I did not want to risk loosing the whole bunch to prematurity! So, I induced her on her due date and she delivered a healthy set of twins (1 buck & 1 doe) on Jan. 16. A lovely day it was too.

Meanwhile, I was still drenching her with CMPK (for a while there every 2 hours round the clock!), injecitons of B-complex to try and help stimulate her appitite, Nutradrench and immune supporting herbs, etc.

Fast forward to a week later and the kids are bouncing bundles of fluff. Iris is still with us, though she is pathetically thin and still does not seem to want to eat very much. She came down with a horrid snotty nose so I am now giving her LA-200 every evening and double blanketing her. She picks at her food but going on 2 weeks now, she’s obviously eating enough to keep her alive and drinking rather well. She is locked up at night alone with her kids with enough hay of every kind of I have to feed a threshing crew but she’s not real eager to get to it as any of it like other does would be. So, we are just taking it day by day and hoping she regains her will to eat. I know she’s got it. I am supplimenting her kids with a bottle. A lot of people have mentioned taking the kids away so they are not “draining her”. I know Iris and if I were to do that, she’d give up her will. So, she keeps her kids and they have lots of forms of Mom that come out to feed them several times a day and this seems to work. I’ve told Iris she just has to decide what she wants to do…I have stopped with the CMPK and so we’ll just see what happens…if 2 summers ago is any indication (when she just adamately flat out refused to eat much of anything for 2-3 months), she’ll just up and decide one day to eat again and that will be that. She’s a strange one that one…but strong despite it all and bull headed…fine! Me too.

I would post photos of the new kids but if you can imagine this…both of our home computers are on the fritz. The main computer is barely limping along and will have to be replaced but I am least thankful to have it sort of working though I cannot have any more than one tab for the internet, nor any other programs open at any one given time, it will crash. So, posting photos will have wait. My laptops charger cord is fried and so I am waiting on a new one. There are photos of thekids up on the FB page (address above), if you’d like to visit and see them.

The fodder journey is going very well. I have ordered enough tubs to give me 3 tubs a day…all of the girls are more than happy to eat it every day, even though right now it’s barely more than a snack when divided out between  them all. I’ve added in sunflower seeds as well…ther germination rate is okay, but not great and some of the girls turned their noses up at the fodder with that in it so I think I may just stick to leaving it out.

I found out I can get 3 different varieties of field peas at the local co op so that’s great news. They are somewhat pricey but would certinatly calm any fears I have about the girls getting enough calcium, especially the milkers.

I have comissioned Jeremiah to “build” me a fodder trough. I need nothing more than a piece of rolled stainless steel to make a trough long enough for everyone to eat at and then just attach the trough to a couple piece of 2×4’s in an “X” shape at each end for legs. As it is I have to stand on one side of the fence and feed each doe a biscuit individually because there is not enough to go around for a full meal and if I left it up to them to decide, the faster eaters would get a full meal and the slower eaters would get none but that’s because there’s not enough for a full meal. Plus too…I have to cut the biscuits up small enough they can eat it in a mouthfull otherwise they try to flip the biscuits around to chew some off and end up throwing them all on the ground and then won’t touch them, of course so that’s totally wasteful. So, I find myself cutting up the biscuits really small to begin with and that seems to work very well.

With the mishap on Dawn’s due date, we’re now looking at the end of the month/beginning of Feb. for her. She’s filling her udder nicely and so we’ll see what becomes of all that.

We’re supposed to be in for a nice 55 degree day and there’s lots that can be done with that! Jeremiah and I removed the cattle panels that made up our back yard fence. Now that the dogs are finally staying where they belong, we no longer need a fenced area for any dog and I have several good uses in mind for more panels! A person cannever have too many of those!

One of these weekends I’d like to finally get a panel hoop greenhouse put in. I’ve gone through countless photos of what I want and I think I’ve got a pretty good plan in my head of how it will look and should not require the purchse of too much more than a piece of plywood since we have everything else.

Speaking of dogs, if Snow settled her pregnancy back in Nov. we should be expecting pups here fairly soon after the first of Feb. She started digging a new den under the stock trailer back when she was in heat and did not work on it for a long time but the past couple of days I’ve seen new earth being dug up so she’s back at it and looking rather plump these days. We’ll see what becomes of all of that. What’s very odd is that she cycled twice in 2 months time…dogs don’t generally do that. We were expecting pups in Jan. as of last Oct. until she cycled again which pushed it out a month more but she’s doing all the thing she should be doing so here’s to a healthy litter in about 2-3 weeks.

With the new baby goats coming and being expected, I think the dogs really sense this and are hanging back at the barn more and more or one will be at the barn full time (usually King) and one is the patroller (usually Snow). One of the cats came out to say hello this morning and keep me company while I fed and did barn chores and King was none too happy about her coming close to the new goat kids. It’s rather comical. He had to be gently reminded that other creatures are not always out to harm “his” animals. Normally the cat is more than happy to rub herself up and down the dogs but I think she was a little put off that the dog yipped at her. She’ll get over it, I’m sure, and I am sure King now knows she could care less about some goat kid, she just wanted to see what the new black things were.

That’s all for now and all until I can get a computer up and running and not just limping!

 

 

April 13, 2012

Just photos

April 2, 2012

Dot & April

Fd kidded quickly without me even knowing it yesterday to twin girls,  Dot and April- finally some girls out of that boy throwin’ buck! And spots to boot, look how flashy! The spots will probably lighten to white, if my experience says anything. Both good size girls too.

April with a white side splash

 

April left side view

 

Dot (or Dotty) right side view, more spots