Monday, June 21, 2010

Turkey Trot!

The 5 turkey poults "trotted" out to the "trailer park" to join the chicklets who are doing great and growing well. The turkey youngsters just seem too big to be poults any more and yet they aren't old enough to be hens and toms either. Does that make them turklets? Like I've been calling the juvenile chicks chicklets? What ever I call them, being I don't know the correct term yet, they seem to be happy to be able to stretch upwards and ruffle their feathers while flapping their wings a bit. They are growing well and are larger than the younger chicklets out there so shouldn't have trouble adjusting to new friends. There's also a young cockeral from the brooder with them who is quite feathered who has since joined them. As soon as they were out of the way in the brooder, the young cockeral decided to take on all the chicks in the brooder.

Now I need to clean the brooder out GOOD and then I can add some other young chicks to it and the current inhabitants back in until they finish feathering on their backs. The newly hatching and 2 keets need the smaller brooder (which also needs cleaning). The new hatchlings will be here soon and the first has pipped. One keet is doing great and the other not as well. I'm hoping that they both make it as I'd hate for them to not have each other being I don't have any others for them to buddy up with in a flock. I'll be BUSY tomorrow!

I have twice today wanted my camera and not had it handy. I miss too many photo moments. I would loved to have had pics of Bobbi (kitten) who has decided hub's foot would be a great scratching post when she was done napping on it. She sure has a lot of "powers" too. She kept hub's confined to his recliner until she was done napping. Cats do that kind of thing! The other missed moment was of Patty, the smallest goat kid. After helping milk her mother and adopted mothers, she jumped up onto a grain barrel that's lid had been knocked off and settled in for a lazy time of cud chewing while watching the milking proceedings and other eating or chewing cud in their stalls. She sure looked cute laying on that white mesh grain bag surveying her domain.

Oh to have another dig camera! Summer could be more fun with camera close at hand!

Have a great summer!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I hope any of you reading this who are dads have had a great day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Raquel's scab on her teat had come off since last night! The teat is still dark on the front where the cut was and there is still a thickness where the cut was. However, it sure looks GREAT and what a relief to get it healed up so quickly. Lesson learned thru this is that betadine is wonderful BUT betadine ointment isn't the best on a doe's udder and teat, especially if they self milk! Boy, that went thru her badly so was a one time thing and never on a teat/udder again.

Cinnamon stood quite well considering and I got to milk her most of the way with both hands tonight! Last night I had to tie one foot to the stand and today was a big improvement. She also only thought of laying down 1 x and was on her knees briefly and gave up. When she does that I've been jamming the coffee container up under her at her belly button front udder area and pressing my other fist (still holding on to that teat) up into her gut firmly. She doesn't like that and stands right back up. :)

I've changed my routine for chores, feeding, and milking. I've been feeding their grain early so they have taken the edge off their hunger or are done eating in their pen before milking. Then when I bring them out to milk there's a bit to nibble on but they aren't really hungry and are willing to stand and chew their cud or at least not be in such a "panic" to gobble their feed and my milking being secondary importance to them. It's really working well. Plus, Cinnamon is the lowest in the pecking order of the 6 milkers in that pen so she doesn't get all her eating done before milking but at least gets some and then has time to finish up on the milk stand. She's coming to the stand calmer and not ravenous and not having been pushed around while waiting for her turn. I've switched their order around so the 3 yearlings/FF's get milked first and can go back in their pen and have some peace and quiet for a bit while I bottle feed and milking the older does who are the top of the heirachy. This way the 3 get a better chance to enjoy their grain and some hay quietly. It seems to be working much better.

I suspect I have an unintended breeding done. Daisy (Boer X and dam of the triplets who are all well into weaning) came in heat. She's having some problems with her feet again and the kids really drug her down so she's pretty gaunt looking (more like a dairy doe and she is 1/4 Alpine). She's been hanging in the the barn aisle and my milk area (I only milk for us and don't sell, give away or do shares with my milk as it's illegal here.). Buckley, yearling buck managed to break out and break in to the barn. There's a chainlink gate at the barn door with an ornamental piece that has a vertical piece in the center that seems it would have got him but he managed to clear it! Also, his horns splay out to the sides and IF he's fertile (being it's summer and not his rut time as he's 100% dairy) then she'll be due mid November. I hadn't intended on her being bred until Spring. She has time to get her weight back up and I'll take back over her hoof trimming as hubby has been doing hers as she's his favorite of the goats.

I'm am really bummed that my feed store is going out of business the end of this month. I got another load of goatie granola mixed and brought home today and will get another order next weekend. That will have me ahead for a while and with a few other items I'll get, I will only need cracked corn and some shell corn for the rest of the summer. I hate the thought of driving so far to get feed. That being, I'm going to cut back on my Boer goats. I know hubby will want to keep Daisy and I'm not sure how many does we REALLY need to have. I hate making this decision but it's time. I've sure enjoyed the convenience of having my goat feed mixed and bagged for me. It definitely improved milk production and the molasses has made it much easier for the amonium chloride stick better for the bucks' UC prevention and extra vits or such I wanted to feed anyone too. It also made it harder for the does to sift out what they prefer. Daisy, for one, will pick out the grains and ignore the protein pellets. I can't get good alfalfa hay for the dairy does and Boers with kids nursing so alfalfa gets added to the granola to keep their calcium balance in line. I'm really going to miss the owners too.

I had banded Becca's little horns and the 2nd fell off tonight. There was a small amount of blood so I doused it with some baking soda and it did the trick. Unfortunately her horns grew some from the time I banded them so she has some nubs sticking up. This is my first attempt at banding and I don't know if they'll continue to grow (scurs can grow for the life of the goat) or what will be. I need to "catch up" with the people who have done this more and see what they say. I had also banded Raquel, Danika and Cinnamon. Raquel has lost her bands over the last few days. I'll have to do a better job of super gluing and re-do them. I'll add a 2nd band below the first next time. I've heard and read good and bad about this procedure and have decided research is what helps medicine progress so I'd only know by trying it myself. There's definitely pros and cons of banding and there are also pros and cons to disbudding. So far I don't have a problem with it but need to improve my method or technique.

I'm due for another hatching in the incubator and the young turkeys are about to move out to the horse trailer with the "chicklets" out there. We've had a few days of low night temps and some storms so I wanted to wait to make the move after we are back up to higher night temps so they transition easier. Then I need to clean the brooder out to put the chicks currently in it back in and the chicks from the other brooder in with them. I'm also going to change the top to make it easier to get a water jar in and out without slopping so much in doing so. The wet can cause mold that is bad for the young chicks. One wouldn't think there would be so many details to putting some eggs in an incubator and then chicks in a brooder and tending them! There's more too it than I had expected! And, being addicted to this, I've got more eggs saved to go into the incubator as soon as this hatch completes!

I'm "addicted", but I could stop and just don't want too! I'm having fun with these little chicks and watching them develop their little feathers and wondering their adult color, pattern, etc. Most are Cochins which I'm REALLY liking, some are the Salmon Favorelles, and a few other breeds. The Jersey Giant and black Sex Linked are doing great also. They are really cute and quite a few are really inquisitive and friendly. The chicklets in the horse trailer are quite friendly also and I decided I need a stool out there so I can go in and sit down and observe them more. I've had a few jump out the door on me but have been lucky enough to get them back. I think it would be safer to just go in and sit with them. It's time for the silver laced Cochin trio to go to the barn now and then the chicklets and turkey poults can have the whole trailer to exercise in. Their tag games with pieces of grass and clover will be easier to run with more room too!

I hope you all have a great weekend and have time with family and friends!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This, That and the Other Thing


Cinnamon is FINALLY getting herself into the milking routine. She's sure a stomper though! She's doing much better and I'm having to hobble her much less. Some days I haven't had to hobble or tie 1 foot at all!


Raquel's cuts on her udder are healed and the scabs gone. That nasty cut on her teat all of a sudden started healing FAST. I'm back to able to milk that side out. Her production on that side dropped horribly but I couldn't milk the teat due to her pain and I ended up with a bloody hand after a couple squirts. I'm hoping that her production will increase some on that side and that her udder isn't permanently unequal. I'm wondering if she's going to have a bit of a scar lump or not. It would almost be to her "benefit" to have a bit of a scar visible on the outside so she can be sold and a seller believed. But she's healing and didn't infect and that was the most important thing to me. Not even any stringy bits when I was checking her teat and milk functioning.

The Other Thing....

Bad news and I hate when bad things happen, especially if there's not a clear-cut cause. Tonight when I walked into the barn to do chores, I found one of Macey's twin boys, Mutt, dead. No bloating, nothing to tell me why. The only thing I can surmise is someone head-butted him in just the wrong spot and the injury killed him. What a cutie he was. I was so hoping all those black spots on his gray head were going to be moon spots. I loved his mismatched ears too. Now I'll never know. RIP in peace Mutt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet Bobbi

Doesn't she look like one of those fluffy animal slippers? She actually lays by choice on hubby's foot like this!

No, she's not near as innocent as she looks either. Don't be fooled by a baby face!
Yes, she does have an opinion as you can see. In fact, she has an opinion about everything! She's a VERY independant little kitten!

Bobbi is a Manx. She's not 100% but she's 100% cat!

Bobbi was also born in a barn on at a goat dairy. She's now a house kitty and she took right to the litter pan. She does love her goat milk too!

She is a calico but is that marbled like calico with yellow and white on her tummy and face, along with interspersed in her body hair.

Hopefully she's going to grow up to be a lap cat! Hubby likes a lap cat and since his stroke, he enjoys the company of the cats more. The adult cats have their adult agenda and don't like to spend a lot of lap time in the summer. Hopefully she'll be a good mouser too!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Animal Crackers

Yes, animal crackers! I've had a long long history with animal crackers thru the years!

Those simple little goodies we loved as children and could be entertained for hours with, while we examined each and every animal and compared it to the others! We could play with them for hours, especially in the car on a long drive! The circus decoration of the box added to the enjoyment and play. I use to love them and they bring back childhood memories. Now, however, they taste like soap or something not so yummy!

Then when my children were young, we bought them and they played with them. Then we took to making magnets with them for their drawings which proudly hung on the refrigerator and freezers. Then they made it to a craft for girl scouts. It was determined a non toxic paint was best as occassionally one was low enough on the frig for a dog to reach and consume, leaving the tell-tale bit of magnet hanging without it's attached critter.

Now-a-days, I feed my goats (and dogs) animal crackers for treats. The LOVE them! The goats especially like the pink frosted ones. Today, I ran across this info of what animals are in a small box of animal crackers. Should I tell the goats and dogs what they are so enthusastically gobbling up or leave them uninformed?

1 lion
1 buffalo
2 sheep
2 monkeys
2 tigers
3 rhinos
5 bears
6 gorillas
(Supposedly the combination in a small box.)

I don't know why they would have sheep and them be the only domestic animal amongst the exotics! From memory, my bags have horses or maybe zebras in them and I don't remember seeing buffalo. So last night, when I was handing out treats and milking, I had to take a better look at what I was feeding my milkers (along with their fig newtons)! That meant I had to take a pic of them, of course, and share it with you!

I guess all animal crackers aren't the same! My dollar store variety combine domestic and exotics. Now my memories of animal crackers have been taken to a new level!
Who would have thought from back when I was a child that I'd someday be painting and then later writing about and photographing animal crackers?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Around the Farm Update

BUSY BUSY BUSY is a good description!

I had a doctor appt. Monday and have been told I'm pre-diabetic. Yet on tv the doctor on a talk show said there is no pre-diabetic. Either one is or one isn't. That being, I guess being my blood sugar in the dr. office was 128 and the fasting blood sugar level prior to that was high, "I am". When I had the fasting test done, I had decided that I need to really cut back even more on sugars and carbs. So when I got some candy, I got sugar free. The chocolate syrup for my morning milk is sugar-free now too. I have more tests to get done and hopefully this new doctor will decide what she thinks. Either way, bah humbug. Both of my parents are diabetic so I figured at some point I'd become so too. I'm just glad it decided to wait til I'm 60 and didn't kick in when I was 20 - 30.

Raquel, the FF milkstand bronco, had FINALLY gotten to the point she was easier to get milked and with much less drama has injured herself! She got 2 cuts on her udder and a horrible inverted "V" on her teat. It's on the teat that she was letting me milk the easiest too, darn it! The cuts are where the teat and udder are attached on the other side. All is healing well but it's extremely painful. I can't milk it without causing her a LOT of pain and tearing it open so I'm only milking a bit to check the milk, get a feel of the teat, etc. She's drying up on that side which I hate, but I know it hurts like the dickens. She had been self-nursing and on that side. She sure quit that, which actually might have been better for her udder. We can't undo what's done! We can only fix things the best we can and deal with it. FORTUNATELY, she didn't cut deep enough in any of the 3 spots to leak milk. That's a huge blessing and much better for her of course. She does like milk so I'm also offering her her milk with hopes it is innoculating her system to hel avoid mastitis. Some folks do believe this helps with mastitis and I'm willing to give it a try with hopes it does and it helps her heal and not have problems for life from it. She's too nice a doe and with her nice-sized teats and great orifices, she milks really easy. I'm getting almost 2 quarts a day from her good side. Her dam is a GOOD and easy milker too.
I've been trying to get some good goat pics. They don't cooperate much! They are too busy trying to get me to give them treats so we are all working different agendas!

I did get this cute pic of the last kid, PattyCake. She's tiny, cute cute cute and just a sweetie! She's also been a pest when I'm milking. She decided if I'm milking that who ever is on the stand is her next snack producer! Personally, I think she had a hidden agenda. I think she decided to find out who's milk she likes best. She has given her mother up and adopted a new one - another FF no less! Her newly adopted momma likes her too and couldn't stand being on the stand the other night when her new daughter was outside and got out of sight! What a tizzy until Patty came running back to the barn door in response to the yelling! Danika had a buckling and I pulled him at birth! So this surprises me that she's decided she wanted a daughter! Patty's dam is a "NuPine" and Nipper, the ND buck, is her sire. She has a ND looking head and she's small. She also got all the frosting on her ear, muzzle and tail. Her "star" looks like a pair of wings.
The chicks are still hatching and drying off. There are around 25 chicks and 2 have died. One who is living has large eyes that bulge a bit. I have no idea why so am trying to find out. It looks like I'll have a nice bunch of chicks though. I'll have maybe 5 blue Cochins and a few blacks.
While cleaning out the other brooder, one of the little turkey poults flew out and before I could react, the 2 dogs close by grabbed him. Unfortunately, he died. The 2 dogs are still on my "bad dog list". I don't think they meant to hurt him but they did. They shouldn't have put their mouths on him at all. They should know better as they don't get allowed to do things like that ever.
I also lost my "Orpicauna" hen. She had gotten caught by the leg. I rescued her, but her induries were bad enough she didn't make it. I had her protected in the pen in one of the laying spots (hers) and was giving her milk, feed and water but she didn't eat that I saw. She's the one who laid the drab, olive greenish color I was enjoying. I have a daughter of hers from my first egg hatch who is also gold. I so hate loosing a layer!
Between being so busy and lots of rain, I've not been able to do much gardening. Everything is growing well except those raspberry plants. There was one with sufficient roots and it's doing well. I'm still hoping that some of the others can root and pull through. Unfortunately, the weeds are also trying to get ahead of me!
I also was told by my local feed mill that they are going out of business. This is VERY bad news. It means that I'll need to do 34-mile round trips to get feed. I have the goatie granola custom mixed and it's so nice and convenient to have it done locally and only a couple miles from home. I'm also going to miss the couple who own and operate it. Unfortunately it's another sign of the economy as several of their customers have gotten rid of their critters due to the rises in grain prices, economy and all. So they've had only 1 month in this year that they've been in the black. This will affect my decisions I'm looking at for the coming year and especially for winter care and numbers.
So, there's the update, as long as it is. And to think it's only the "highlights" of the last 4 days!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Surprise!

It was time to tend my incubators and I almost ignored the one on lockdown but changed my mind. After all, maybe there just might be an egg starting to pip. Of course I'm telling myself that is expecting too much as they aren't due to hatch until the 7th!


I shine my light in and cheep cheep cheep.... No, not a pipped egg, but a dry and fluffy chick is already hatched and waiting for it's little life to get moving along! What a surprise!

And, no, no pipped eggs yet! It's still a bit early. If it weren't raining I might have to go find this early bird a worm!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Goat Trauma Awareness Month - June

Sometimes there are things that one can read and be waiting the whole time for the punch line and it never comes! This is one of those situations!

You'll have to let me know what you think after reading this.

National Days for June 4th

Today is National Frozen Yogurt Day, Cheese Day and National Donut Day!

"Friday, June 4th's sugary celebration is actually a real holiday. In fact, since 1938, the first Friday in June has been celebrated as National Donut Day. Its beginnings were sweet and meaningful...and its modern-day meaning is pretty sweet too.... The holiday was initiated by the Salvation Army as a nod to the women who served donuts to soldiers during the first World War." Source unknown. I think this is a neat history lesson!
June is also:

National Candy Month
National Dairy Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month
National Seafood Month
National Turkey Lover’s Month

We can't hardly go wrong can we? Plus these are just the one's I've run across now and I know there has to be more! So find something that suits you to celebrate and have a family doing enjoying it! If there's a little fun history with it, all the better.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reuseable Grocery Tote Bags

Do you use these? I sure do and they've gotten pretty handy other than just shopping too.

So far, my favs have been the blue and black WalMart bags and the green Spartan Stores bags. The Walmart bags are great for most all things. I like the Spartan bags better for canned goods though. The Walmart bags have a bit longer straps which are handy. The Spartan bags are a perfect design and sturdy for canned goods. The cans stay standing nicely instead of tipping and "spilling" onto their sides. So they are easier to carry without cans jabbing me.

Today I got one of the new TSC "green" tote bags.

It's a pretty tan on the front and back, black straps and black side gussets. A really NICE bag and I'm going to use it for my personal tote bag instead of just using it as a shopping bag. It's really sturdy looking and I like the size and shape. It has their advertising but it's note something I don't want to be seen carrying, etc.

This one is definitely going to be some tuff competition.

It's a bit taller than the Walmart bags (which I see are now even smaller) and the Spartan bags.

As you can see, it's passing an inspection! It seems it would also suffice for a kitten scratching bag. Enuff, Bobbi! I do think I better be careful. I may find I'm leaving home with more than I intended!

If you like tote bags, you might want to check this new one out at your local TSC or other farm store!

So Little Will Power!

I took hubby to the dr. today and had to also make a quick run out to TSC while in town. That was to be a FAST trip in and out of TSC. I alllllllmost made it fast! BUT....they stopped me in my tracks!

I sure wish those chicks would quit calling me to their tubs! I have done so good all season with just looking I was getting proud of myself for having such restraint.

Alas, TSC had a new shipment of chicks today. They were VERY nice looking chicks! They were very alert, active and just had that "doing great" look to them (ALL of them). I could also tell they really wanted me to bring them all home - especially that tub of the black sex links. They are all pullets of course! I was talking to them (yes, I do stand in stores and talk to the live critters) and they were just begging to be rescued of course! Ok ok, you don't believe that... but at least I don't stand in the stores and talk to the stuffed animals! lol

Needless to say, that dire need of a new brooder lamp and red bulb also included 6 black sex links who captivated me and I'd like to have some experience with. Plus, it's the end of the chick season for them and even though they just came in this am, they are already a reduced price! I got them for $2 each. And, yes, I need more egg layers. I got 0 (yes, ZERO) eggs again yesterday.

After all, what's 6 more chicks? Just because I have an incubator due to hatch Monday? I'm addicted to fluffly little chicks, young feathering out chicks and my chickens!

There are a couple good coupons on the chick box too! One is for $2 on chick grit which I'll need more of at some point!

Plus, just think..... next spring I can have another hatching experiment! I can see what these 6 produce when I hatch some of their eggs from my current roos. Will they produce black sex links or loose the "link" all together?