Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet Alice


As you may have suspected, Semi-Sweet did not produce kids this year. She had a full blown false pregnancy though just to get me going. She had all the symptoms of pregnancy and the start of labor....just without the kid part. I was a bit disappointed but had decided to get a Mini-Mancha like the wonderful Jammies that produces the tastiest milk I have ever had.
Enter Alice...she is Cora Belle's (and Jammies) half sister. You can see the resemblance around the eyes:)
I brought her home on Friday. She is two weeks old so I am bottle feeding this sweet little goat. By that evening though I was wondering if I had made a mistake by not bringing her brother Walker home to keep her company. I had intended to keep her with Cora Belle and Filbert. They were most unwelcoming. They had that look on their face. You know the look. The one when your mother wants you to play with her friend's kid.....that you had nothing in common with. Poor Alice. I had to put her in a crate inside their stall so she wouldn't get butted into next week.
The next day I noticed that someone had taken quite an interest in the new baby. Semi-Sweet. She had her eye on that baby.

So I gave her Alice.
I said, "See what you did Semi-Sweet." She looked amazed. Wow...I could hear her thinking....that didn't hurt a bit.

Everyone should have a baby goat. They make you laugh.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's A Girl!

After all these years I finally get my girl! Last night my son asked the beautiful Goldilocks to marry him.


She said yes!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Loved This Goat's Life


Yesterday was a sad day for my friends at Herron Hill Dairy and all the fans of This Goat's Life.

Baby Belle died.

I knew this was coming when I learned of her cancer a couple of months ago but I was hoping that it wouldn't be this soon. I started reading her blog a couple of years ago when I came across it looking for a local Nigerian goat herd. And as anyone that has come across the writings of Baby Belle, I was instantly hooked. Her sense of humor and interesting point of view was something I craved. I checked everyday for a posting that made me truly laugh out loud.
But now she's gone and I am feeling so sad for the people that loved her. Loved her enough to let her near a computer to treat her fans to a view of the farm like no other. Sure there are lots of goats out there, even lots of very nice goats.
But there will only be one Baby Belle. The goat that could write.

I have loved all of her posts but this one is stuck in my mind.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Speaking of Nest Boxes......

The chicks have been hatching for about 24 hours now with not such a good success rate. I didn't realize how many eggs broody hen was sitting on until she got off the nest with two of her chicks, leaving two in the nest box to fend for themselves along with a few dead ones. Many were part way out but didn't quite make it. One little one was part way out but still alive. Yes I know you aren't suppose to help them. Yes I know that if you help them chances are they won't make it but what did I have to lose? So I helped it out of the shell and set it under her on the floor. When I left it was tucked under her wing. But when I went back tonight it was lying cold dead on the floor of the chicken coop. She had left it. I picked it up to throw away when darned if that little bird didn't move. Just barely. So slight I wasn't sure. Sure enough it had a bit of life but was stone cold. So I did what any self-respecting mini farmer does...I stuck it in my bra and went on with my chores. After a few minutes it started to chirp, then a few minutes later it started to kick. I took a peek in and one little eye stared back at me.
Will it live? Probably not. It was on the ground all day today, but I couldn't just do nothing. So now it's in the "green bathroom" under a heat lamp. Hubby said, "Oh you might have saved his life."
Or prolonged his death...we shall see.
So speaking of nest boxes...we were weren't we? Pam and Farm Man over at Life on a Southern Farm are making and selling wonderful nest boxes right and left and are having a contest to give one away. I want one! My hens want one! They are tired of their hand-me-down recycle bins. Well really they will lay their eggs anywhere so it really boils down to me wanting one.
Bad.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Imagination

Have you ever looked at something so long you can't tell what's real and what's not? That is what is happening to Semi-Sweet. If she is bred she is due starting yesterday. Since I haven't been able to tell, the goatfarmer came out to take a look. After some prodding and poking, she was a bit optimistic. But would really only give her a 50/50 chance. I don't like them odds!
But....last night I was watching her once again, when she, I swear, looked like she was going into labor. I swear.
So I took a chair and sat it in front of her stall watching her, once again, by the light of my lantern. The cats kept me company while I tried not to think about vampires. Twilight...get it?
She, I swear, acted like she might kid last night but after she fell sound asleep I went back home knowing that for sure there would be a kid in the stall the next morning.
I got up when Hubby did at 5:30 and raced down to see if anything had happened during the night....while I didn't sleep.....and tossed and turned.
As I walked up to Semi-Sweet's stall and looked inside, I jumped, there was a small figure under her belly.

It was the cat.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We Got Milk!


After just telling Heide in my comments that I don't think Semi-Sweet is going to kid I went down and put her in the milking stand. I sat with my hand on her in a couple of places and waited for a kick. There were a few small jabs and a few rolls but nothing that I could specifically say was a kid kick.
But she does have milk. Don't get too excited because she did last year as well and wasn't pregnant but I do have a plan. I plan on waiting until way after her due date and if no kids come I'm going to start milking her. This should encourage her to milk more.
If I can just get enough every day for my coffee I'll be happy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Redemption


Today was the day! The end of the Farm unit in kindergarten was punctuated with a trip to my farm. We walked out of the building and down the side of the road, practicing getting out of the way when a car came. We even had the little boy that cried wolf...I mean "car" just to see everyone jump to the side of the road.
My little farm is a hop, skip and a jump away from the school so it is a natural for a field trip.
First I handed out handfuls of grain to the kids and then let the chickens out to eat what they threw down. The hens took one look at that line of children staring at them and ran like chickens with their heads cut off. Especially the blond ones. I'm just sayin'. The Americauna hens acted like they'd never seen a person. After a while things settled down and one by one the kids went into the chicken coop, past the broody hen, and gathered one egg out of the nest box each.
Next stop, the pigs. All the while we are feeding the chickens the pigs have been squealing and vocalizing like only a pig can. We got the pigs out of the pen and I showed them their one trick...sit. Everyone was so impressed. It was a teaching moment for pigs everywhere. I showed the kids how clean pigs are and how they keep their pen clean if they have the chance. The pigs were the favorite by far of all the animals.
Then came the goats and the mini horse getting their share of carrots and animal cookies (which the poor teacher drove to 3 stores to find and I told her later that saltines would have been just as good).
But to get back to the title of this post-Redemption. That involves Penne. You see Penne is a pushy llama. She is all about the food. I am constantly pushing her away when I am trying to do something because she is sure food is involved. She sticks her feet in the goat's water bucket..or rubs on the fence by the bucket so that her hair falls into it. She leans on the fences until the post snaps. She is just a tad bit annoying.
Until today...
I put her halter on her and let 16 kindergartners lead her around the pasture. She was very patient and when she had enough she'd just lie down.
She was very gentle and well behaved. Each child got his or her picture with Penne for their kindergarten book.
All was forgiven when I saw this.....

Which really isn't so remarkable when you consider that all sixteen had given her a carrot.

And after an impromptu game of Farmer in the Dell it was time to go back to school. Don't look now Mrs. H. You have company.

No wonder the pigs were the favorite.

It's not every day you get to see a pig run.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dog Days of Spring


What do you do when it is 90 degrees? Go to the Shetland Sheepdog Specialty at the beautiful Argus Ranch where all the contestants are wearing a heavy fur coat.
In one of my previous lives I showed dogs. Mostly in obedience but I have shown a bit in Sheltie conformation classes. I also raised, trained and socialized Sheltie pups for a few of my friends. That was really fun. Because Sheltie pups are very cute and smart. My vet described them as "mature" pups. This is one of the mature pups I saw today.

It was one of these pups that I went to see in his obedience classes today when my friend invited me to tag along...for old time sake. He came to me as a show prospect several years ago so I gave him to the daughter of this friend of mine who was involved in 4H and agility. She wanted to socialize him and train him. And if you have ever been involved in 4H you know what a good life a kid's 4H dog can have.
Well he never did make a conformation dog....due to one crucial missing part. That turned out to be a good thing. He has achieved the highest levels in agility, his first love, and obedience which he loves too...just not quite as much as flying over jumps and running through tunnels. Most of all he excelled at being a girl's 4H dog. But like most girls, she grew up and moved away to college. This little working dog still needed a job so her mother took over his training and showing and they are well on their way to an Obedience Trail Championship. Which in layman terms means, a whole lot a work!

Today was another great day for this little dog, in their Utility class (whole lot of work, again) they received a 198 out of 200, which is very hard to do. And in the Open B class (a lot of work...not quite as much as Utility but a lot more than most people would do) they got a second place...I forgot the score on that one. They also got a huge rosette for being Highest Combined score.
Let me tell you it is much more fun when you come home a winner..no matter what anyone says.