Sunday, June 10, 2012

Birth Announcement!

Thomas T Turkey, and his lovely Tomasina T Turkey, formerly from Terre Verde Farm, are the proud parents of a couple brand new poults! My very first home raised poults!

Thom & Tomasina are Royal Palm Turkeys, which are a heritage breed.

Turkeys have NOT been an easy bird for me to raise. I tried years ago (before the internet) and treated them like chicks. I lost them all as the chicks went under cover and the poults just sat out in the rain and died. A few years ago I decided to try again as I kept seeing RP's on the net and then saw some in person. WOW, are they striking. I also have enjoyed watching the wild turkeys. When Terre Verde Farm had poults for sale I got half a dozen hatchlings (couple days old and extremely well cared for under Tammy's careful management). The first winter I lost 3 and had lost one earlier. So I ended up with 2 hens. I got another Tom from Tammy and they were doing pretty well as far as I could tell. Then I lost a hen over last winter. I've been so hoping that Thom and Tomasina could pull this off. They finally started trying to mate this spring but I never say them get the deed done. I just saw poor Thom taking a few awkward "spills" and then fluffing up to to improve his demeanor. So I thought I'd help and kept putting the eggs in my incubator and never had a single one hatch or develop! I thought they weren't fertile as I broke several open (phew)  and there wasn't any development at all.

So, when Tomasina went broody, the eggs were almost all in the incubator so I left her with the last 4. SHE was able to incubate and hatch them MUCH better than I did! So from now on, Tomasina will be hatching her own clutch of eggs and I'll probably have a lot better hatch rate!

I've seen 2 but don't know how many she has for sure. Tomorrow they will need to be released from her huge dog shipping crate that I've been locking her in to spare her the varmit attacks that have eliminated almost all of my chickens in the last couple weeks. I cherish my face and arms much more than I need to know how many she hatched. That can wait til tomorrow as there's nothing I can do to change what she does better than I do!

But, I'm ESTATIC! Maybe if I leave them to this flock expansion program it will happen.... next year!

And maybe I will go ahead and buy some Red Bourbon poults and get a slow start with them!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


How's that for a subject line?
In the middle of all the coming and goings, I have a new doeling coming. Unfortunately she half and half and but she should be able to fill her milk bucket too!

She's by a LM buck and a Saanen doe. It was an oopsie breeding but the genetics from both are outstanding so for a home milker, she's DEFINITELY coming. She's a sister to my LM doe and I love this doe so hope the new will be a lot like her!

One of my goals for this year was to add a Saanen so I'm meeting half of a goal! I did give up on that for this year as I got the 2 Angora's so that was all I was going to do for adding to my base herd for this year.

Now I'm trying to think of a name for the new girl! I like their names to be distinctive because they do learn them. I like to have them different enough that they KNOW if I'm talking to them. I've got a list of potential names for her started but need to see what fits her.
It's sure fun to be bringing home a new doeling and even if she will be a grade! I do hope she'll be able to produce a good amount of milk because of losing Kendra's daily bucket full. Losing Kendra, I've been real short on milk and have had to buy milk for the house.

I bought a couple more stainless milk buckets when the feed store was closing so I can milk everyone into their own bucket. I have a big bucket already for the new girl so I hope she'll be able to do it justice! lol More on her when I get her home (soon)!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Farm Report for June 4th

Why am I still amazed every year that the barn gets sooooo much calmer and quieter when the kids start leaving? It was soooo much more peaceful to do chores last night and milk.

I finally made up my mind on which 2 bucks to keep out of the 3 and Wrapper left. The other 2 remaining boys better BEHAVE and not be destructive. I just don't have the energy or desire to deal with destruction. If they are going to be a buck, they MUST cooperate to be lead, and ESPECIALLY if they are going to ram the gate open and knock me down! If they are going to make things difficult for me, as much as I like them, I just can't do it. I guess I'm getting too old and I can tell you, getting up isn't getting any easier either. He was not mean at all, but not easy enough for me to manage with my health and disability.

Along with Wrapper leaving, Kendra's orphan bucklings left. They've not done really well without their momma. They were pretty cooperative even though with momma and being dam raised. When Kendra passed, I left her with them and her fav bud for the better part of the day. The 2 boys didn't take it well and even though just short of 2 months, turned "wild". I had to catch then and get them on a bottle for a couple weeks. One took to the bottle right off and would suck. The other only wanted to chew. But I did get milk in them and more in the willing-to-suck boy of course. The willing boy got to the point he'd come to me and take the bottle but he had to see the bottle to come or he didn't want any part of it. They will end up being 4H show wethers and I think they should do well. They are going to be pretty striking looking boys and stout.

 Also leaving was Boomer, Jewel's first kid and a buckling. Now I get the milk! I've been so waiting for this! I love this doe! She's also Kendra's daughter which has made Kendra's death easier to handle. I've been milking Jewel some and she's very easy to milk. She does squirm a bit but I think she'll quit soon. I hope her next lactation will up her production. Boomer was doing an excellent job milking her out so I hadn't gotten much from her so I'm not sure how much I'll end up getting from her. I sure hope she milks like her momma! She does have better udder attachment and that was the one thing I needed improved. The little rascal was getting so he could sneak out and get to the little doelings. I'm not sure what he was doing to escape but I kept trying to "shore things up" to prevent it and he was still finding a way!

Two ND's also left. JuneBug's buckling and LadyBug's white doeling left. I hope I made the right decision in letting Jitterbug go as he was a striking looking boy and a real sweetie. Had I kept him I'd have been back to 3 bucks. I don't need 3 bucks for 8 does!

So, 6 less to feed, and there are still 4 kids here, Sugar still to kid and a doeling I need to go pick up. Claire has her 2 bucklings who are spoken for and will leave when they are ready to wean. JuneBug and LadyBug still have a doeling they are nursing. I'd like to get a little more time on JuneBug's doeling. Her buckling was the largest of the triplets and I lost Dinky a couple weeks ago. Maddy is still a bit small so I want to give her a bit more growing time and to mature a bit more too. The two are going to the same home so Mosey can spend a couple more weeks with LadyBug.

Sugar, my adorable LaMancha doe, needs to get with the program. I thought she was due before this. She evedentially had a precocous udder. Now she's actually getting some bagging up done.

I'm getting an oopsie half sister to Sugar. The new doeling is half LaMancha (Sugar's sire) and half Sanaan. I had a goal for a Sanaan this year. Then I got the other twin doelings and decided it would have to wait. But I got offered this "La Sanaan" or "La Manaan" and quickly said yes! Now I need to go get her! I hope she has the same disposition as Sugar. What a love Sugar is. Oh, and I hope she doesn't have the need to scale tall walls that Sugar has!

So, it's sure a lot more quiet and calm to feed and milk! I'm all for it even though I LOVE the kids! Last Winter, my core herd was down to 9. This year it will consist of the 10 following:

Claire (aging Alpine)
Jewels (FF Alpine)
Sugar (LaMancha - FF if she gets to it)
LaMancha x Sanaan doeling to come
Deliah (Angora doeling)
Daisy (Angora doeling)

JuneBug (ND)
LadyBug (ND)

Kernals (ND buck)
Patches (ND buck)

That will keep me plenty busy with the goats over the winter.