Friday, July 31, 2009

Greener Pastures

I've wrote about this before...Penne is a pushy gal. She is all about food and the pursuit of it. Don't forget to lock, not just close, the feed shed door or Penne will be right in there knocking everything over to get to the grain. She can open the latch with her finger-like lips. This makes it very time consuming to feed the animals. I tried locking her in with the goats but that doesn't make Penne happy...and when Penne's not happy ain't nobody happy. She slams herself into the fences and gates to get closer to the feed shed. All of my fencing is now slightly bowed outward. She hums and fusses until I break down and let her out where she makes a beeline for the feed shed. She has worried the chicken coop door almost off it's hinges just to get into their feeder.
Now Koo, the other llama, likes food just fine he just isn't obsessed with it. They are the classic nursery rhyme of Jack Sprat would eat no fat, his wife would eat no lean.
I thought that in order to keep Penne here I would have to get an electric fence to restore my sanity. It really doesn't help that we have had no rain in months and my pasture is burnt to a crisp. The llamas have eaten everything and are starting on the thistles and the nettles...which is a good thing but I have also had to break into my winter supply of hay to feed Penne's habit.
Penne also has this darling way of knocking over all the water buckets. It is really very cute if it's not 100 degrees and you haven't just changed every ones water. If she can't knock over the bucket she will step in it. The goats don't like to drink water that had Penne's foot in it.
So when my aunt called the other day and inquired about goats and llamas for her farm to help keep the pastures down I jumped at the chance of sending Penne off to greener pastures. You see my aunt has a beautiful horse farm without any horses-10 acres, a 4 stall barn and a heavy duty water trough. Since she is not fenced for goats I discouraged her from getting them but horse fencing is perfect for llamas. She has seven acres of pasture she needs to keep down. Now that may be a bit much for Penne but she will be in heaven giving it a good go. She will also have a box stall when the weather gets bad. Penne fit all their requirements, safe around children and loves to eat.
Now don't go feeling sorry for Koo...he doesn't care one bit about Penne, nor her for him. They can live happily some couples. He has his goats and she will be getting some once they fence for it.
So this morning Penne went to go live in the shadow of Mt. Rainer, on a beautiful farm with a proper barn and all the grass she could possibly eat. I am happy for her and relieved for me.
sorry frugalmom, it had to be

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Never Leave A Chihuahua Unattended, Revisited

Solomon, true to his Mexican heritage, loves the sun. The hotter the better for him. As it tops 100 degrees this week there is no panting coming from this little dog. He appears to be saying, "Finally someone got the weather right."
He loves to sneak out the door and find a place to worship the sun. In years past this wasn't such a problem, this year it is a huge problem.
This picture was taken in my front yard.

Our trees are covered with the symbol of America.

At any given time my yard can have up to 10 eagles in the trees and our yard is covered with feathers. I think it is illegal to posses eagle feathers. If that's the case my lawn is in trouble.

Although salmon is their food of choice, I'm worried a young eagle might sample a Solomon snack. I can think of no worse demise then being plucked from the yard while you are sunbathing.

No longer endangered they have recovered rapidly...thank goodness.

Unless you are a little Chihuahua that lives to worship the sun.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

Jack is back. After many he saids and she saids the pictures that I had of Jack convinced the rescue group that Jack was mine and that while here was clean and in no way neglected. They were very apologetic and said they learned an important lesson. That lesson being not to let anyone turn an animal into them unless they had gone around and asked the neighbors if it was an escapee.

I paid for his neutering and made a donation to the group for food and supplies and took Jack home. Sweet Pete seemed pleased to see one of his own kind and I plan on coughing up the big bucks to neuter him as well. Then they can be in together.

I guess the moral of the story is take lots of pictures of your animals. You never know when you may need them for something other than your blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And The Winner Is........

And the winner of my copy of Goat Song is......


Congratulations. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Feel free to keep it on your bookshelf or pass it on.
Go to my profile and email me with an address.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Getting Jack Back

After reading farmgirl's comment about Jack I was inspired to check out the bunny rescue groups and this is what I found.

That's him all right but what caught my eye is the description,

"Gryffin was abandoned after being poorly cared for and was rescued by a good samaritan and brought to us for care"

"He was not taken care of in his past"

Are you kidding me? This rabbit went from my farm where he had wonderful care to my neighbor's farm where he lived in a huge box stall with all the food he could want to the bunny rescue. He has never known a day of neglect.

Is this just rescue group sensationalism?

I wrote to them (they didn't list a phone number) explaining the situation and said I would be happy to pay for his neuter but I want my rabbit back. I told them that he had never been neglected or abandoned. Just a mistake made by an 8 year old boy led him into these circumstances. Anyone here who's never made a mistake with an animal raise your hand.

As far as I can tell this group also insists that the bunnies be kept as house bunnies. Once again...are you kidding me?
I had a lop in the house years ago but for the most part have kept my bunnies outside. Rabbits are outside animals and have been for most of their existance. It is only in the last 25 years or so people have been keeping them as house pets. If I was going to bring everyone in the house why stop at the bunny? Why not bring in the goats and llamas?

Can you tell I'm mad? I am mad because they are sensationalizing. Acting like their way is best. Sure rescue groups do great things but beware they can be radical and out of touch with reality.
If only Jack could talk...he would tell them, "I want to go home."
To be continued........

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Tale Of Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit was one of the favorite animals with the kids here on the farm. Notice I said was. That's because he is here no longer.
The last time my nephew was here he was holding Jack and like most rabbits Jack started to kick. My nephew put him down and he hopped under the woodpile. Now normally that's no big deal, Jack had been loose before.

This time I couldn't catch him. Still that didn't alarm me because he stayed very close and my property is all fenced. I had to get to work so I left Jack out figuring I would get him when I got off. When I got off work he was hopping around the pasture only to dive under the woodpile again. I figured that the next time I saw him out I'd block the hole he was diving into.

I never saw him again.

I knew he had become the victim of some predator looking for a meal. I felt very bad because he was such a good bunny and probably one of the prettiest rabbits I'd ever seen.

The other day I was talking to my neighbor and we chatted about the coyotes and their pups that lived on the hill. She was telling me that the coyote pups had a ball that they were playing with. How cute is that. So I told her that I thought that the coyotes had eaten poor Jack Rabbit. A strange look came across her face. She asked what he looked like. I told her he was the most beautiful bunny with gray symmetrical spots all over his white body.

Her reply, "Well you didn't look very hard for him."

Apparently he had hopped across the street to her farm and thinking someone had dumped him they put him in one of their fancy horse stalls for two weeks all the while feeding him carrots and hay and asking around if someone wanted a rabbit. Since she had no takers she took him way out to the Puyallup Bunny Rescue where he was sure to get a good home. While I am relieved he wasn't a coyote dinner I am sad that he is not mine anymore.
I just assumed that he had been eaten so I didn't look....and you know what they say about assuming.

The strange part of this story is that being a craigslist junkie I saw Jack advertised on there several weeks after he disappeared and before I had talked to the neighbor. I thought to myself that that bunny looked just like Jack but since it was across the Narrows Bridge it couldn't possibly be my bunny. Assuming again....and you know what they say about assuming.

Missing a bunny and wanting a lop I found a darling bunny (on craigslist) not too far from home and brought him here just in time for my nieces' and nephews' visit today. He was a hit. Kids love a bunny.

So meet Sweet Pete. Sweet because his mom's name is Sweet Pea and Pete because his dad is Peter. And sweet he is. It took him a few days to wake up... it's been hot hot hot here but he is becoming very friendly and funny. Maybe not as flashy as Jack but oh so sweet.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Goat Song

I love to read. As a matter of fact, just give me a good book and nothing gets done around here. One day, years ago, my father-in-law came over and seeing a sink full of dishes smiled sweetly and said, "Awww, goatgirl must have a good book."
Then he rolled up his sleeves and started doing the dishes.
I walked over and opened up the cupboard under the sink and said, "Could you do these too?"
I love this story about him and miss that sweet man every day. So Bumpa (that's what we called him), goatgirl had a good book.

I am never one to read a book twice (except for A Tree Grows In Brooklyn) and think a book is meant to be passed around for many to enjoy so I want to share my copy of Goat Song with one of my readers. It is the story of one man's journey of buying goats and making cheese. It is full of goat herding history and if I were to fault it at all it would be that it was a bit quotey...if you know what I mean. As a good friend once said, a little Gandhi can go a long way. I tend to skip over those parts to get to the real life experiences. All in all it is beautifully written and a good summer read for anyone that loves goats. It will make you want to leave everything and head for the hills with your goats in tow.
So leave a comment and you will be entered. I will pick the winner next Sunday.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Monkey Do

Alice discovered some tasty crumbs on the bottom of a bucket. She received a right good head butt from Cora Belle for discovering this first.

Cora Belle gave it a try and discovered a few morsels for herself.

Filbert, not to be outdone by his sister and the pesky new interloper, gave it a try and was rewarded with a few morsels as well.

It didn't work out so well for Riot.

Eye Candy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Died And Went To Heaven

I died and went to heaven today only to be sent back to where I came from. Heaven is a 400 acre farm on the shores of the beautiful Puget Sound. I went there to pick raspberries for jam.

A couple of weeks ago while getting hay I traded one of those street-sweeper brushes that cows and horses like to scratch on for raspberries. Hubby (the collector of junk) brought the brush home thinking I would like it for my animals. I might of if it wasn't the color of a bright blue tarp and an eye sore. I am trying to rid my place of eye sores and every time I turn around he is bringing another one home. It looked like something an inquisitive goat could poke an eye with...and get an eye sore.
So I jumped at the chance of getting it a good home and getting my berries for jam as well.
I had really wanted to take goldilocks to pick berries and teach her how to make freezer jam but it didn't work out. It was raining on the day we had made arrangements to go so we decided to go to Forks and look for vampires instead. Now there's another story! We never got back over while goldilocks was here.
I went today and was in heaven....for about 2 hours. The farm is 400 acres of pristine forests, pastures, ponds and proper barns all cozied up to the beautiful saltwater that is part of a network of waterways called Puget Sound. Bought during the Depression for $4.00 an acre for the waterfront and $2.00 an acre for the back lands it is now owned by a very wealthy businessman well known in this part of the country.

I was met by the woman who's family manages the farm. I asked if I had died and gone to heaven. She said no. If I was in heaven I wouldn't have to pick my own berries and she sure hopes in heaven she doesn't have to weed or prune. I have news for her. I think that God thinks that weeding and pruning is good for the soul.
I picked a bucket full of berries while I listened to the hens in the hen house announce their laying of eggs. The roosters crowed and the birds sang. Every once in a while a cool breeze blew in from the water to refresh my sweaty face.
To this farm girl it was truly heaven on earth.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Alice And Her Mother

Baby goats should always come in pairs. They need a sleeping buddy. But when you get only one it makes life difficult for the little one. They are always odd man out and it can cause them a lot of stress. So when Semi-Sweet took Alice in it couldn't have worked out any better.
When Cora Belle and Filbert rejected her I was worried about where her place would be in the herd. Not to worry. She is Semi-Sweet's baby. She loves her new mama. And she loves me too. The best of both worlds. I feed her and Semi keeps her company.

Life is good!

photos by goldilocks

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Here Are Her Ears, Marigold

That's really all the ear a goat needs.