Thursday, March 31, 2011

A House FULL of Goats!

Today was a good day. It got to 43* today and was sunny, but windy. It sure didn't feel 43*, but was a pretty nice day regardless.

It was a good day for getting a few things done outside.

It was a good day to open the front door and let the inmates (kids) run in and out a bit to get some fresh air.

It was a good day to clean up the play-yard kids' pen I have at the front door and get some fresh air. All the while the kids ran in and out and were in the way of course.

It was a good day to count all my goats. Someone asked how many I have and all I could say was less than 20!

It was a good day for a kidding. It's NOT a good night for newborns in a cold barn though - ESPECIALLY tiny ND kids! Lady Bug kidded twins this evening! Lady Bug kidded twin BUCKLINGS from Nipper! I was hoping I'd get a nice buckling from either Lady Bug or June Bug. Instead I got 2 VERY nice, VERY cute bucklings! The first born (Uno) is brown, the color of the chamoise, but has a tan underside. He has lots of black trim on him too. The 2nd (Dos) is a loudly-marked, belted, spotted, chamoise boy! He's smaller than Uno. Both are VERY CUTE! I wanted a Nipper boy and now I have 2 to choose from.

As cold as it is out, I had to bring them in for the night. I'd decided to let Lady Bug have them for now. After her accident and managing to save her life, she's quite spoiled. She also LOVES her babies. I think Betsy and Domino were her reason to pull through her injuries. She kidded at supper & chore time, so in they came after she cleaned out. I'm soft and I've spoiled this goat.

And, I have a house full of goats! Six in the living room at the door in a child's play yard and Lady Bug with her boys in the kitchen, gated at the back door keeping them in place. As with all things, there is the exception! Wattles thinks he's a free-range house goat so keeps climbing the pen and getting out.

The solution, had it been my way, would have been to wait later in the season for my does to kid! The plans were for the standard sized does to kid the first of April/end of March and the NDs to kid in May. But Bandit bashed in the barn and he and Nipper had a good time with the does in heat.

Hopefully by next week the weather report of warmer nights will come true. Then I'll be moving a bunch of them out to the barn. I'm more than ready for it!!!

Oh, they aren't all mine, but there are now 19 being Lady Bug kidded. There are 5 more to kid. The 2 LaMancha boys, Wattles and Munchie, need to move to their new home. That will help.... a little! After all, Wattles is the free-ranger!

I wish I had and I really do need an enclosed back porch that could be heated if needed. Or a garage, preferably attached, would be wonderful. As it is....

My house has no more doors to accomodate goats!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Goodness, I am so busy right now and I know it's going to be worse as soon as I have more kids and does to be milked! I don't have near enough energy to keep up with all I'd like to get done right now!

I have a couple does I'm watching closely. I bought a cam for the barn a couple years ago and it's now obsolete due to the monitor being a combo tv and monitor. It's not up to the digital tv signals we now have. It didn't work well in the metal pole barn before so it's a lost cause that I could dearly use.

Since Spirit kidded and one buckling didn't make it and Buster almost didn't, I'm afraid to not be checking on them much more frequently. That entails doning barn boots and a coat and high-tailing it to the barn. Being goats, one can't just walk into the barn and take a quick peek. EVERYONE expects to be greeted and to get their scratching. The 3 and 5 am checks are getting to me already! What do I find when I make those checks? 2 pens of sleeping goats. Sometimes they have laid down in a different direction after I leave and I find they've moved since the last check. It was horrible to lose the buckling and I just can't have it happen again.

I'm trying to get feet trimmed, which I'm behind on. My nippers are too dull and I can't find the whet stone. So I bought some cheap ones to "get me by" and they aren't going to do much trimming. Maaaayyybe for the ND's but not the standard sized goats!

Bandit is being a bad buck right now. He's gotten an attitude and doesn't want to cooperate. He does one to bash everything he can and flip it around, relocate it, etc. I haven't got a pen I can keep him in at the moment. He's just being horrible. This has all started with him since Nipper died. They were penned together and I suspect it's got something to do with not having a head-buttin buddy to help keep him occupied and entertained. I've tried putting him in with the herd queen and her buddy and he was stressing the two of them beyond tolerable. He totally terrorizes the ND does. I also have to wonder if he head-butted June Bug causing her aborting her quads. I just don't know. I do know Bandit is being a total jerk at the moment and none of the does want to be near him but he wants to be with them.

I have the 6 kids in the house and the 3 LaManchas are big enough to be outside now but it's still too cold out for them without a heat lamp. I can't do a heat lamp at the current time as the wood chucks burrowed and chewed the electric line to the barn. This falls under that category of "if it's not one thing it's another"! Fire code now requires that a barn have it's own circuit box and electric hook up. So it's not a cheap fix. :(

Anyway, these 6 in the house are a hoot and they are fun. BUT it's not fun to have 2 who have found they can jump out and run thru the house screaming for me. The 2 mini Aussies are fine with it and just tule along with them but the 2 corgis are older and don't like it. They have the opinion (as do I) they have a place they belong so they should be where they belong. That is not going into the dog crates, jumping on beds, jumping on the couch or chairs, etc.

Buster and the 2 ND boys are doing fine in the house and don't cause the commotion the LaManchas do simply because they are younger or smaller or both. Tiny Tim is so tiny we keep saying he could stay small and stay a house goat. He's considerably smaller than the cats, so SMALL.

I've lost a few hens to varmits again. In 3 days I've trapped 2 opossums and a huge racoon. I hope that's the end of it for some time but who knows. I do know I've lost a couple good hens that I'm not happy about. :( No offense to anyone, but out in the country, one has to either allow predators to help themselves or trap and dispatch them. It's illegal to transport them for relocation due to transporting illnesses and especially the potential for rabies into other areas. Most of the rabies around here is bats and feral cats. It's figured it's only a matter of time before rabid coons hitch a semi ride or such and introduce the coon type of rabies. They are very tough on anyone breaking the law due to being on the edge of the current coon rabies spreading west.

On the gardening front, I was finally able to stick a shovel into one of the raised beds. I also was finally able to pull the last of the brussel sprout plants up. I have one left to take the sprouts off of and then they are done. That's pretty good to still have veggies from last year's gardening! Plus we both love brussel sprouts so it's nice to have them when I see them in the stores for $2.99 and up /#!

It's time to do a bit of soil turning and readying the beds for planting. I'm sure enjoying having some better weather even if it's still coat and boots weather!

Spring is always a busy time with tons to do and yet I always wish Winter would get over and Spring get here.

So, I'm busy but it's a good busy and inspite of some of it being chaotic, it's productive. Soon I'll be able to get by with just a flannel shirt and skip the boots!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Buster - 2011 Alpine Buckling

This boy is NICE! I'm VERY pleased with him so far! The white on his legs and sides is quite striking. Spirit is his dam and Bandit definitely his sire and brother too.

Note how the white comes up almost to the wide, black dorsal stripe and is really even. It comes soooo close to meeting perfectly. Then he's got the V on the back of his head and the "cap" of tan hair.

Look at that face! He's really much more CUTE and pretty in structure in person compared to a photo.

He's laying on my barn jacket that I brought him in from the barn in. It seemed to keep him more content and it's washable. His left hind leg has more white than the other legs.

Hubby has started calling him Buster. I was calling him Lucky because when I found him, he was chilled to the bone and lucky to be found alive. He was even cold inside of his mouth and lethargic. He's small enough that he got a place on hubby's lap with the heating pad and a blanket. (Another way to warm a kid reasonably fast is to put them in a garbage bag, head protruding out and soak them in warm water. I've had good results with the heating pad as they are small enough to get it over their whole body and neck.) After warming, we started him on heat-treated colostrum (CAE prevention). Now he's to the point that he's finally starting to try a little bit of hip hop with his moseying around.

At this point, I think he'll be sticking around for a while as he's pretty flashy and put together really nice - not to mention that he's got that over all "look" of elegance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Race Is On!

Spirit kidded a GORGEOUS buckling this afternoon. She also had a plain buckling who didn't make it. We have the survivor here in the house warming up and "coming alive".

I'm not sure about who's next. Claire and Kendra are coming on like gang busters and could easily join in the race. Claire looks like she could even go tonight or tomorrow so I'll be doing some late checks on her. Lady Bug (ND) and Mo'Nique (BoerXAlpine) are both coming on good and could do a big bang finish.

In my escapee notes from last Fall, I had Spirit on for Saturday as the early possible kidding so this is 2 days early and that's "nothing". I have Kendra and Claire for today but didn't expect it to happen. I think I have them on for Monday or Tuesday as possible, along with Mo'Nique and Macey. I have Becca in there but she's not got much of a start on her udder and still looks like she's at least a month away. I also have a notation that Bandit and Nipper escaped and got with ALL the does making them all due Monday or Tuesday.

I also have Becca down for possibly April 2nd, and Macey and Mo'Nique for the 6th and then Mo'Nique and Nipper the 10th. I'll be surprised if Mo'Nique goes that long but would expect Macey to. I'm not putting any bets on them though!

So, the race is really on and most all should kid shortly and most look it. Claire's big big belly has dropped and she's hallowed in her flanks along with her udder and teats now shiny and positioned. Mo has NO ligaments and a floppy tail to handle. I'm going to hope they don't do anything over night but will do some barn runs anyway.

It never fails that the coldest nights hit just when it's kidding time! Today's buckling was dry but VERY cold (to the bone like) when I found him. He's warming nicely on hubby's lap and finally started looking more alert.

And I can't wait to get better pics of Spirit's surviving buckling. He is nicer than I would have expected. Being this is a mother x son breeding (not what I wanted!) I'm especially pleased so far. I may have to keep him around for a while.

I'm sorry this is such a discombobulated post. Between fixin' dinner, the 5 kids in the house screaming, Spirit's kidding, heat treating Spirit's colostrum for this Lucky Lil Bucky, hubby, get firewood in for the night and early am, etc..... I'm lucky if I'm right-side-up. I have to do a barn check now so I can watch Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Naming a Herd Sire

With the arrival of my new bucklings, along comes the naming of them! If they are a pet, it's easy as that's the name and it "goes" no where else. But with livestock and males, the name is going to go on and on "for eternity"! Those registered names are going to be important and a nickname that is somewhat babyish or cutsie may not be the thing for a grown male animal. They also don't usually lend themselves to being used for generations. That registered name for the male may well become part of every offspring's name! It also should be something that one can take the animal to a show and be proud of hearing on a pa system! A good name can add to the impression of the animal favorably. It can make or break the sale of the off spring too!

Tiny Tim is most likely going to keep his barn name. I'm calling him Timothy though because he IS going to grow up. He's just not going to be a big ND. His name will be started with Irish Whisper Farms Tiny Tim. The only thing to add is do I want to add something after the Tim that would be more of a theme type name for carrying on if he stays a buck.

Do I want Irish Whisper Farms Tiny Tim's ___? Tiny Tims Trouble(s)?

Or Irish Whisper Farms ___ Tiny Tim? Justa Tiny Tim? What adjective would work well and be fluent to speak out loud? Maybe I want Scandal of Tiny Tim or Scandalous Tiny Tim? And then we have this cute fella (below) who has been going by Sugar Ray at the moment. I need a name for him! A GOOD name. My problem with the Sugar Ray is I would love a name to carry on through his offspring AND, I brought home Maple Sugar who is a LaMancha. She's now going by Sugar. I'd rather not have 2 Sugars! Plus, I can't see calling a buck Sugar during rut or when he's self-gratifying himself (which bucks do a lot of during rut)! Maple Sugar fits very well for the LaMancha doeling.

Sugar Ray is cream/creme and white. He reminds me of peaches & cream sweet corn. Does that make him Sweet Corn Kernals or Creamed Corn and call him Kernal? Get the play on words with Colonel? Should he be Irish Whisper Farms Creamed Corn or Golden Corn? I could do quite a bit with goat names related to corn and even be corny with some! He'll be bred with Maple Sugar so maybe "Sweet" shouldn't enter into his name! So, maybe Irish Whisper Farms Kernal of Corn or IWF Golden Corn Kernal? Is Niblet a good barn name for a buck and incorporate that into his registered name? Being he's a Nigerian Dwarf, he won't be huge. I can see calling an ND or 150 wether Niblet, but not a 150 buck. But then maybe I'd rather use Niblet for a doeling I'd want to keep. That would be cute!

So, maybe Irish Whisper Farms Kernal of a Scandal? I don't want Scandal here and in Tiny Tim's name so maybe use it here and use Justa for Tim. Then the names can be adapted to go the different breeding directions. I have ND's to name, Alpines, Mini Alpines, and now Mini Manchas.

I've used Scandal in my horse names and I really like it. Summer's sire was McScandalous and her name is Sheza Total Scandal. Total came from her dam. It gives a lot of leeway with making up good names that one can be proud to hear on a PA System at a show. It's been fun to use.
Also, I have the ND does who are IWF "bugs", Lady Bug and June Bug. I can have buggy corn or a buggy scandal!
Sugar Ray's and Tiny Tim's sire is Iron Man. That's not getting me anywhere. And this naming registered animals is more of a challenge than naming my daughters was!
Got any neat ideas?

My Goat Addiction

I've sure got it and I've got it BAD - REAL B A A A D!

Want to go on a road trip with me? I'm guaranteed to lead you astray and maybe get you in trouble! When it comes to goats, I can easily lead myself astray!

I LOVE Irish Whisper Farms and the goats are just awesome! Sue has Saanens, LaManchas, and Nigerian Dwarves (ND)! QUALITY goats and goat herder. Make sure to look her up if you're looking for goats or just looking to be lead astray! Yes, she'll sell you a quality goat, but she'll also "be there" for you after the sale and later! She's more than fair and she cares. (I don't know if she'll read this, but if so, I'm sure she'll be "blushing".) She's an enabler too but wants your acquisition to be healthy and enjoyable. We all know we need more good people like this!

I tell you, there were a WHOLE lot of goaties being Spring and kidding season! I could have loaded my mini van full and still wished I had my trailer along! I saw SEVERAL (ok, quite a FEW) really nice doelings I'd have gladly bought! In fact, I didn't see any I wouldn't have bought! Sue has done some heavy culling of her high quality stock and it shows! She has a barn full of beautiful udders and desirable teats! You won't complain about the teats on ND's! She knows her goats and she knows breeding! She's also a wonderful person and goat herder who is doing a wonderful job! Her goats really like her and are definitely glued to her hip! When she goes to walk across the yard between the house and barn, a good 20 goats or more come waddling or running and fall into line. Off goes the parade (which is pretty cute from behind with the swaying bellies!. Being a large herd, they could just go on their merry way and do their own goatie things. But, no, they relish and honor the time they have with Sue with desire to fall into place and mosey along. I wish I lived closer!

I only (you feel sorry for me here of course) went to get the new buckling (ND) and I had gotten forewarned he had a buddy who needed to come along with him. (I can't say no to Sue!) Tiny Tim was doing great along with "Sugar Ray" but the rest of the boys are LaManchas and he was having trouble getting lost in an amongst sooooo many goatie kids and the piling up they do to sleep! Plus, he's sooooo tiny he has to really REALLY reach for the lambar nipples with the bucket on the floor (instead of the stand). He can and does walk right under the YOUNGER LaMancha kids! (Plus, I think Sue likes to send kids off with a buddy as this isn't the first time I went for a buckling and came home with buddies!) He's also so tiny he squeaks instead of crying!

While there, playing with and admiring the kids still in the house, I instantly fell in love with Tiny Tim and his tenacity! What a cutie and hoot he is. In spite of being shorter than the underbelly of the LaMancha kids in the house it's no problem though. If he needs to head butt someone to get his point across he only needs stand on his hind legs and go for it! They drop their heads to listen. Sugar Ray knows his place in the herd to - BELOW Tiny Tim! The kids in the house were all just ADORABLE, being newborn kids, BUT the ones in the barn are every bit as adorable. Plus, they are all GORGEOUS little goats with a LOT of good promise! (Lots of doelings too!)

I wasn't a whole lot of help, but "we" got in a goat feeding (kids on the lambar), a lot of goat visiting along with human visiting! Here I'm going to confess that I've never been much of a "BIG" fan of LaManchas. I have a hang up over loving LONG ears like on Boers and Nubians. I absolutely LOVE those long ears that hang lower than their chins. I love the flap of them in the air behind them when they run. It probably came from my childhood with watching Dumbo the elephant. (Do you remember him?) I also have a thing for Eyeore and his long ears too! LaManchas have always just looked like they are missing a vital part of themselves, an appendage. Then I first met Sue's LaManchas a couple years ago! I was, then and am now, very impressed with their gentle, calm demeanor and they didn't seem to get in a tizzy for anything. They even included visitors into their world and asked for a good petting. They had the "life is very VERY good" attitudes that exuded a personal confidence and comfort from within.

Ok, I fell for it. So now you can probably guess just what is happening here, can't you?

The LaManchas managed to "grab me"! I'm now wrapped around their hooves! Sue also convinced me that I WANT and NEED a LaMancha! And thus, the "Why don't you take her!" with a point to this ADORABLE little girl standing in the kitchen with us. "Her", a cute light brown and white doeling with a face that sucks you in, quickly becomes "Maple Sugar" of course. After all, I had a house gift along and it had a bottle of REAL, LOCAL, pure maple syrup in it and it's Maple Syrup weekend here near me. I'm too easy. She got me, and now Maple Sugar was coming home with Sugar Ray, Tiny Tim, hubby and I too! And we kept on talking all through the disbudding, which I watched extremely closely and learned more from. Even little Tiny Tim got disbudded. (Nothing to fear, within moments he's back to head butting! I couldn't believe it! )

While visiting all the goaties in the barn, I got to see a MINI LaMancha doeling and ohhhh what an adorable little thing! How exciting that I'll have them next Spring! After all, Maple Sugar is a LaMancha and I don't have a LaMancha buck. I have the ND bucklings and have been working on mini Alpines. She can join in the mini part of my breeding program!

Later it was time to leave and to start loading up the kids, formerly 1 and now 3! But, it wasn't over yet! I wasn't gone. We needed to disbud one more LaMancha buckling. He and a brother are coming along too and will be wethers for a friend of mine. Diane wants a couple of pet goats who can also do some brush work in her pasture with her 2 horses.

So I headed home with not 1 buckling, but 5 kids! After all, Sugar Ray had to bring Tiny Tim along for a companion and then Maple Sugar got in on the deal. Then somehow Maple Sugar had to bring along 2 of her paternal brothers and it quickly turned into 5! Sue said she had 80 some goaties but she sure didn't by the time I drove off! I wonder if she noticed 5 less? I bet she did in the house! After all, 4 of them were house inmates! But then, there were still a few does outside who were quite wide and obviously nearly kidding.

My goats haven't started kidding yet, but I have 5 little goaties in my house in the kid pen I'm bottle feeding! I'm sunk. I'm addicted! I won't even TRY to deny it!

I was really a good guest though. I took a house gift, AND barn gift with me. Sue's rooster had lost his life over the winter so her hens didn't have a suitor to help find them juicy tidbits and keep them protected and "happy". She wanted one roo. I decided I'd take 2 and let her take her choice as I didn't know what breeds her hens were. I took a pretty blue splash Cochin who is a NICE bird and another roo who is part Cochin and part Americauna. He's also attractive as he's blue with some red trim. Hubby came up with the good one and said Sue needed both as the one needed a buddy! Being it works for goats, it's to work for roosters too! So Sue now has 2 roos for her hens!

So, there is the latest story of my goat addiction. I have a new buckling and another. And I now own my first LaMancha. I was debating on adding a Saanen doe this year - if I could come up with the money. That won't happen now, because I now have Maple Sugar who is as sweet a goatie as could be and I'm getting to get over my goat ear fettish! Sugar has already attached herself to me and I've sure fallen for her! I'm addicted!

And that, my friends, is my story and I'm sticking to it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Road Trip

Today's agenda:


We went to Irish Whisper Farms to pick up the new buckling who is 10 days old.

It was a beautiful day for a road trip. I'm not one to enjoy a lot of freeway driving and I DO enjoy seeing the "countryside". So we headed across the state via local roads and saw a lot of farm land along with the usual housing developments, small towns, etc. The snow has JUST melted off and all that is left is the large snow banks which are now black and yucky looking. The farm land and yards aren't green yet but there were a few spots that "show promise". There were some farmers in their fields already working. It's time to make sure the hay fields are in tip top shape to grow and produce well.

It was a nice day and I enjoyed the trip other than I came home TIRED. I also came home late for chores. I was duly informed I was late and there was no reasonable excuse so get the food distributed NOW! There were screams from the barn informing this when I was getting out of the van! I gave them hay before I left! One would think that would account for something! They prefer the hay over grain on a normal day! Not today though! It's not like I'm milking yet so no one was in "udder" distress and hours late for udder relief!

So, I left my new goat herd in the van while I quickly went to feed the natives... before they all dehydrated and blew away, or worse yet, caused a major uprising that would need military intervention! Only Lady Bug was interested in a petting. Of course that's because she is DEMANDING that she return to her normal quarters.... living in the house. She no longer feels she lives in the barn, nor should she have to be subjected to camping out there. She believes she is a princess and therefore in her mind has the elevated belief she has needs that can only be satiated by living inside.

Here's the cliff hanger! Are you ready for it?

Be sure and come back tomorrow and I'll introduce you to the new inmates! The new buckling had to bring a friend home with him. The friend had a friend who had a friend who had a friend...........I said new goat HERD!

I need to get the fire going so be sure to come back for the rest of the story - tomorrow.... baring unforeseen uprisings of the goatie kind!

Friday, March 18, 2011

National Poultry Day

Tomorrow, March 19th, is National Poultry Day.

I think I'm celebrating a day early. I filled the incubator today so will have chirp chickies about the 8th of April. I can't wait!

Hopefully tomorrow Thomas T can figure out how to mate with the hen who patiently lays in wait right next to him while he's turning circles and displaying his beautiful feathers!

I moved 2 goats out of the pen so that he has more room and less interference. It also will give MoNique more peace and quiet to kid. I suspect she's going to be first.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thomas T Turkey

And here he is! Totally bewildered....

Above Tom is getting his first peek at the T-hens who were needing a suitor. I don't think he was sure of what to think. Maybe it was the look of the goats being in there. Either that or he wasn't impressed with my driving and the long trip home! By night he decided he'd rather spend the night in the barn rafters. Of course he could get a birds-eye view from up there!

Then late this afternoon he finally decided to come down from his perch aloft and strut his stuff and dance for the hens. As you can see that hen in the background was more interested in the goats' feed. The other hen has been very submissive acting towards him and circling around him.

I find being up close to a tom who is in the act of strutting to be an awe-inspiring sight. He sure is regal and impressive up close. He can sure elevate thos back feathers along with the display of his tail and the dropped wings. I so hope this fella is happy and I don't loose another. I was really bummed over the other losses.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Drawing Blood

WOW! I did it. Finally! It was my first time to draw blood from goats.

I've been studying up and asking a lot of questions. Now I just need the vials to do my goats. In the meantime, a friend needed to get her goaties tested again asked me to help. I went and turned into the goatie vampire!

It really is different from goat to goat. Some have fleshy necks that the vein can just up and disappear. Some the vein just stays right there for you and you can get them quick and easy! Then the rest all fall somewhere in between.

I had a VERY hard time with the ones I ended up sticking more than once. A couple I was trying to not let put me into tears or I wouldn't have been able to see what I was doing.

I'm glad the first time is over. I only wish I hadn't had to stick some of them so many times. Goats are sure stoic when the going gets tuff. Poor goaties.... having to teach me a necessary method of a vital function.

Some of the Boer show folks have some grooming stands that would sure be awesome to have for blood testing too. They have a "cup" for the goat's jaw area to rest on and a strap over the back of the ears to hold them in that spot. That would be a WHOLE lot easier than a milk stand as the head gate is in the way of accessing the goat's neck easily with some of them.

I need a new milkstand and I need a grooming stand!

Now I need to find the vials so I can get mine tested too. Some have been tested but it's time to test them again and get the others done. It's the responsible thing for me to do!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Poultry Talk

Isn't this a handsome Royal Palm tom turkey?

I've found a suitor for my 2 RP hens being our toms died over the winter. One of the hens is incessantly wanting in the pen with the roosters. When I let her in there the other day they fought over her and she laid there in the mating position with the squabbling roos. Hopefully getting them a new romeo will keep them from deciding to run off with the wild turkeys. I never realized that would be a problem but am now told it definitely is!

I got a 2nd Hovabator incubator and have one started up. I've been saving eggs for a couple days to put in and I'm ready to start. I've been looking forward to it. I still want a new Genesis 1588 but ran across this Hovabator and could save over $100. I'll get a Genesis some day but at least oave 2 good incubators to use for now. This 2nd one has a fan which should be very helpful. It's supposedly new and does look it so hopefully it'll do me well. I couldn't decide whether to keep the Little Giant or sell it. I thought it might be handy for a back up or parts so will keep it for now. Also if I just HAVE to have eggs in both Hovabators, I might use it for a bit of hatching. I guess we'll just have to see.

AND, it's time! It's FINALLY TIME!

I have the eggs sitting for hatching and some will be mix or cross breeds. I have them marked better this year as the chicks hatch out from the center of the egg and the top where the air cell is. I've marked them low near the point with BP, BI, OP, HT,and the day they were collected. This way I'll have a good idea of what is hatching and some about fertility. The BP (barn pen) is mostly Cochins and 2 of the blue Cochin roos. The BI (barn isle) consists of some excapees from the barn pen which are mix breeds and a Brahma hen. Then the OP (outdoor pen) are the sex links and an Americauna. The roos are mix breeds, a couple Cochin boys and the Jersey Giant boy. The HT (horse trailer) are the Bantams which are Cochins and Favorelles.

I'm most likely going to put these first chicks up on the feed store bulletin board and see if there's a market for chicks here as most will be cross breeds. It's a very small rural town and the economic situation is really bad. So it's another "we'll see". I did sell a black Cochin trio a couple weeks ago. I've not been able to get the roos sold though. I need to part with some! I also badly need the pen they are using!

I'm looking forward to hatching again this year. It's addictive!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan's Disasters

My thoughts and prayers are with the folks in Japan and also their friends and relatives who may not be in Japan at the moment so are left worrying about their loved ones. I pray that the nuclear power plant problem doesn't add another disaster on top of the existing ones.

I'll try to get something interesting posted tomorrow! I spent too much time outside today and a lot of that sitting with the goats and checking them out.

I hope you all have a good weekend and your weather is good too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm Published!

Some time ago I shared a pic on a goat group and Ellie Winslow, author, emailed me to ask if she could include it in her book which had just gone to the publisher. I agreed and her book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Raising Goats, which is pictured above, just came out!

Unfortunately, the publisher, who contracts Ellie Winslow to write their books, doesn't pay for use of photos so I'm not paid, but I am published! Ellie has sent me a copy of the book though and my pic is on page 54.

I spent hours looking for the photos on my computer and I can't find them. I suspect they are on the non working computer. Bummer! I'll have to get more pics this Fall when we go back up North. The photo was of a goat "playground" that goes up and over the top of a driveway and then down into a grassy paddock. It's pretty neat and it's HUGE HUGE HUGE. The goats there seem to enjoy it as there are usually goats on it, some playing and some snoozing.

It's really neat to have a published photo! Since then, I've had another photo published in a goat calendar. If I find the pic play yard pic, I'll share it with you all. Above is the photo of Chelsea, which was used on the goat calendar.

I sure wish I could afford a $800 camera and then sell some even better pics too! Even "if", the first published photo is darned neat and exciting! Getting a copy of the book is really neat too!
It's a good book and would be great for anyone who is wanting to get into goats and for kids who have goats for pets, 4H, etc.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


It's another day with LOTS that needs done. It's 32* though and misty rain. The snow is melting! YAA! We still have about a foot of snow but with the melting it's compacted down and easy enough to walk on. It's also easy enough to pull a loaded sled with warm jugs of water without it tipping over. Our road is a dirt road and it's now slick ice, making the curves and turns a challenge. We now have flood warnings as the rain combined with melting snow is raising the water level in the rivers, etc. That being, it's almost MUD season!

I'm having a terrible time with the TSC chick order form. I'd LOVE to order 10 chicks of each of the 3 Brahma colors and 10 of each of the Cochin colors, excluding blue and black (have those!). I can't afford that many chicks and I have the "want it now" syndrome! Getting some this year and some next year is the more sensible way, but when it comes to chicks, common sense is a challenge for me! Which I want most is not getting me far at all either! What a conundrum!
Pictured above is a Brahma hen (white with black trim) and a blue Cochin roo. Would some buff Brahmas in that pretty buff/gold with black trim be gorgeous? YES, of course they would! I do have about 20 birds for sale so there will be room!
One of my goals is to have my purebred birds so that I can sell some hatching eggs from to help pay for feed. I'd also like to have some chicks to sell from my own hatchings. The Brahmas and Cochins are very calm and friendly so they are popular breeds.

The does are making some "serious" changes in their pregnancies. I'm wondering if Monique will be the first to kid. She has a "whole" udder and teats are separated. It just needs to fill up now with all that rich colostrum. I'm now sure who will kid next as they are all so closely due. Spirit is filling up a bit faster than Claire and Kendra isn't as far along but has had the most kiddings. While doing chores last night, I thought that I probably should have looked for a few sweat shirts or sweat pants at the Good Will Last Chance Store for cutting the arms and legs off for kid coats. I need to get a few extra bags of shavings for extra bedding to sop up the wet spots. I'd like to get a couple bags of the pelleted bedding too at that works wonders in wet spots. I like to bed with the pellets and then the shavings on top. Then the pellets contain the extra fluids in a smaller spot and are easier to fork it up and then fluff the shavings back over the top and waalaa, dry bedding.

The ice has weighted the chicken wire down in the outside pen. There's another reason that Susan's idea of cattle panels being a good idea. The cattle panels would also support tarps for covering part of the pen for protection from the rain and wet snows. I've got a job to do there to fix that up! I don't have the money for cattle panels right now (and yet I want to buy chicks - I think I have a priority issue here). I'd love to find some 2nd hand ones! There are 4 trees in the pen so I think I'll try lashing some trimmed branches between the trees and help support it with them. I also have a bit of field fencing that should help. I do need the center to be elevated to get it too high for Bandit to reach. He's being destructive with his horns.

Yes, there's a lot of post Winter work now needing done! Guess who's going to get to do it!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So Hard to Resist

It was very VERY hard to resist those cute, fluffy-little, feather-legged, ADORABLE Bantam chicks and a couple of the CUTEST ducklings.... not to mention all the others but mostly those at TSC!

The only reason I was able to resist was I had more errands to run and it's toooooo cold to have them out and about before the long drive home. At this time of year I'd want to take a warm pack so they didn't chill badly anyway. But oh, how hard it was to resist them...... And it feels soooo like SPRING standing there in the middle of TSC talking to chicks and checking out those little feathered feet!

Of course I was only there to "run in for a second" to grab the chick flier that one can order chicks from the TSC program. I heard that they have Brahmas and Cochins in it this year so I had to get one and see. This is another that is nearly futile to try to resist as they have LOTS of colors/patterns.

Did I tell you all I JUST bought another incubator? I was going to get a new Genesis 1588 which I'd LOVE to have. But I got a chance to buy another of the Hovabators that is unused but an older 1602 1629 model for a good price.

Unfortunately I just don't have the money to buy a lot of shipped eggs. The postage is horrible and the USPS seems to play soccer with the packages.

Now I need to figure out if it's cheaper to buy chicks or obtain hatching eggs. It might be an idea to get some of the Cochins and Brahmas via the TSC order rather than shipped eggs. Decisions decisions....

What ever I decide, I can't wait to start hatching and having chicks to visit with. I guess I should call it a visit because I can't really play with them, right? Nurture.... that's the term!

But resistance is still most DIFFICULT...

It's so down-right near IMPOSSIBLE that you could just say I'm pathetic if you want!

I guess I better set the brooders up...... I better have one ready to turn on quickly because I have little ability to resist Spring chicks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Outhouse Races and a Little Outhouse Lore

Yes, you read that right!

Did you know they have the Fur Rondy Festival in Alaska, and one of the activities is an outhouse race?

This year is the 76th year for the outhouse race so it's definitely something that has enough interest to carry on! It's a "FUNdraising event" to help pay the costs to send UAA students to New Orleans to help with Habitat for Humanity housing.

Unfortunately, we've missed the race as it was February 26th, in Anchorage. The Rondy runs Feb. 25th - March 6th, so you might be able to rush or mush your sled doggys on up there to join in more fun. The world sled dog races are also run during the festival.

Did you know that the crescent moon cutout on an outhouse means it's for women and a star designates it's for men? Or that the cutout is the lighting source? Women's outhouses usually far outlast the men's outhouse.

There was a hotel in Montana at one time that had 12 seats in it's outhouses! Is this why public facilities came about?

If you enjoy reading this, you might want to go outhouse surfing on google! I was blown away by the number of websites and info on outhouses! I even ran across a site with a cursor that is an outhouse, a forum, a newsletter, and the list really goes on! I never knew or could have dreamed this was such an extensive amount of info!