Monday, March 31, 2014

This is a first!

I woke up earlier than usual this morning because I had a busy day with mom and Mrs. T. so wanted to get all my chores done quick. When I went outside, I heard that familiar sound new momma goats make when they are talking to their babies. I looked all around the barn and saw all the goats but Sandy. Went to look for her outside.

She was under the pine trees with a little wet baby. I went back in to get towels and when I got back out, I saw feet so knew another was coming. The dark brown kid was first. Then the little blond kid came out. I caught her. Got them all dried off. It was cold, so I moved them over to a sunny spot.

I was really surprised. Sandy is always the last to kid. Always! And she didn't even look that big and her udder wasn't anything to brag about last night. So she fooled me!

AND they are both does! And they both have 2 toggles each! They are adorable. This makes her having 5 doe kids in 2 years now.

Sandy is the best mother. So I didn't worry about leaving her outside. It was a very warm day, nearly 80.

But this is where all the kids end up, under the ledge in the first stall. Aren't they so cute? I am thinking I'll name the dark kid Joanie Mitchell and the blonde kid maybe Carly Simon.  Still thinking though. Could be Judy Collins. Joanie and Judy.

It was a great day to have babies! I hope you all had a great Monday too.

Still waiting on Zarah and Zeeboo. I so hope they have theirs this week.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lambs and bee hives

It finally stopped raining and is a beautiful Sunday. Still a little nippy. We had to turn on the central yesterday, it was SO cold. And wet and just plain dreary. But today is beautiful.

So, I took the lamb babes outside to meet the rest of the flock. And their mothers. Hah. They didn't even know them. Well, Adelaide did follow Carabella and sniff her. But that's ok. They ran and played with the other lambs for awhile. Then started whining for me.

I am just feeding them 3 times a day right now. 8, 2 and 8 again. I really need to get some bigger bottles so I can give them a bit more. I have those big long gray nipples that fit on water or soda bottles. Just need to get some. Then after this week, I'll go to twice a day. I am also giving a bottle twice a day to Click and Clack the Tappitt bros. Amarillo is not the best mother. I do catch her letting the boys nurse but not for long. So for now, they get some extra milk. Plus it makes them more friendly.

It's hard to get good pictures of these guys. They are either running to me or turned around!  Right here, they were still interested in the bottles!

But they are having fun outside. I might put them back inside tonight. It's going to be cold again. But Tuesday, I'm going to get a new sewing machine. So the room they are in will be turned into my sewing room!

And I went to the bee store and got another hive plus 30 frames and these wax things for the other old hive. That's a lot of frames we have to put together. 60 I think. That'll give the old man something to do while he's awake and sitting in his recliner. The would care doc told him to stay off his feet because he has a diabetic ulcer on his ringt foot. Darn it. But he can put some hives and frames together sitting down, right!

Hopefully, these will be put together and painted and in their spots ready for 2 packages of bees the first of May. I'll keep y'all posted!

Would you all please send up some prayers for my sister Heidi? She's my younger sister and has so many medical issues. Friday, she had to be rushed to the hospital. Her left lung had collapsed.  So she found out this morning that she has emphysema. Plus she's allergic to dogs and cats. And she has 5 dogs and several cats in the house! She's agreed to get rid of all the dogs except her oldest dog Duelly who she's had forever. I don't blame her. And she's got a lot of healing to do. So please send up some good healing thoughts and prayers for Heidi. Thanks so much!

Friday, March 28, 2014

1st milking!

I milked Penelope this morning and got a full qt. It was so amazing, hearing that milk hit the bucket again. And see it fill up with good warm goat milk. Both dogs were right back in their spots, waiting for their squirts of milk, just like they'd never had a break of nearly 5 months. It was great! I sure did miss milking. And Penelope is a milkers dream. Just to be back in the milking routine again is just great. I'll milk her again tonight. She's so big and needs to be milked. I do not want her to get mastitis.

Isn't that just a beautiful sight? I'll be feeding this to the lambs. I never liked goat milk til after 2 weeks. It has to be just right for me. And I know the lambs will love it. Straight goat milk now for the little ladies!

Oh happy days again!

1st kids of 2014

I know this is gross, but if you enlarge this photo you can see the bucks rear end. It's nasty! And a pale yellow color and runny. He was a mess when I went to check on them this afternoon. The little doe is pooping the orange normal color and seems fine. He also had a runny eye. I got a bucket of warm soapy water and cleaned the poor boy up and he looks much better. I just wonder if he's getting too much milk or it's too rich? I keep checking them to see how he's looking. I don't know if I have ever seen this before and I've been doing this for 14 years now.

Here he is all cleaned up and frisky. He's so cute. I'm naming the goat kids this year after '60's and '70's folk singers.

                                                        His name is Woody Guthrie.

                                                  And this little lady is Emmy Lou Harris.

I need more suggestions for names. I have Joanie Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, (I hope I don't have that many bucks though!) Bob Dylan. My brain is frozen right now and I can't think of any more. I'm going to Google it now.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

1 down, 3 to go!

Yay! Penelope had twins just awhile ago!!!!

The one that looks like her and John Henry is the first born and a buck. The little black one is a doe! She's so small. They both have little tiny Gopher ears too. So cute.

So yay, we have goat milk again!!!! I am so happy! And all is well. They are in that back stall, all warm and away from the March wind that's blowing like crazy out there today.

And in a few days I can start milking her for the lambs too. She has so much milk.

Hopefully, the other 3 will follow and we will be done with babes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What a crazy day!

Tuesday is my time with my mom. We go have lunch and go shopping and do errands. Sometimes we miss a day here or there. But I look forward to my time together with her.

Today, she wanted to take both her cars in to the Dodge dealer in Ringgold. She's had her eye on a new Jeep Compass. We got there and we test drove a dark blue one. She loved it. So we went in and talked. She wanted to trade both her cars even for this new Jeep. It didn't quite work out the way she wanted, but I do believe she's a happy woman tonight!

She got a totally black Jeep Compass. I mean all shiny smooth cool black, even the wheels. Really nice vehicle. The interior is tan. And the best part about it is that it has HEATED SEATS!!! And believe me, we sure did enjoy those babies on the way home way later.

Because it SNOWED most of the afternoon! Really snowed like crazy snow. It started about 1 or so. We left the car lot and did a few things while they were getting her the black Jeep. They didn't have one there so had to go get it from another lot. And they got it all clean and shiny for her. And a full tank of gas. So while we were in Chattanooga, it was snowing so hard we couldn't see Lookout Mt. Then it would stop. Then start again. All the way to Ft. O and then there was nothing. Blue sky and sun. Then on back to the car lot and it was like a flippin' blizzard! It was coming down so hard and fast, we couldn't see up the road. It took about 3 hours to get all the paper work done. By that time, the sun was back out. But it was freezing. So those nice warm seat warmers felt wonderful. My butt was quite toasty. I want seat warmers now.

And my husband lamb sat for me. He even gave them their 2 o'clock bottles. He love them. They follow him around. I had taken them all outside before I left and had to call him to put them back inside because it had gotten so cold. He's good like that. I think I'll keep him after all. By the way, his left ankle is completely healed and the right ankle that's been giving us so much trouble, is almost healed. Just a very small spot now! He's been going on motorcycle rides on Sat. with his "boyfriends". And he has a Wed. night guys night out thing with some other friends. I enjoy this, believe me. So he is still around and doing great.

I got home about 6:30 and had to move sheep back over to the stalls for the freezing cold night. Supposed to be 24. Good grief already, winter. You can go away anytime now, ok? I am over this. I sure hope none of the goats decide to have kids tonight. I've told them all to please wait a few more days. So far they have.

Wed. I start the Main St. farmer's market again! I made dandelion jelly tonight. I hope it jells so I can take it. I'll also pick dandelion greens and flowers in the morning to take too. Also want to try to get some herd shares.

I have had several people stop when they drive by. They want to know what I have here. Some buy eggs and a couple got one of my chickens I butchered last fall. So we really need to get this place cleaned up. We have been gradually clearing off the fence along the driveway. Just need it to look inviting. I also mentioned to my friend up the road about an "open farm" day. We will be working on that for maybe April and have several farms out here involved. Like on a Sunday afternoon. I am excited about that. One couple came out because of a local magazine that has info about local farms. So this is exciting to me. Lots going on now and a busy time here.

I'll have pictures next post. Sorry this is so long. I am going to bed now! Good night all.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Goat time. And stuff.

It's been a busy weekend for me. I started farmer's market Sat. morning at Brainerd. Right now it's still 11-12, which is great for me with all I have to do in the mornings. There weren't very many people there. But I did get to meet one of my FB followers family. She was not there, but her husband and 2 little girls came right straight over to my table. He told me his wife follows my FB and saw I had eggs at market. So he got a couple dozen. So that  just made my day right there. Then that afternoon, I had to go to a friends to get his 4 goatie kids to take them to my friend who dis buds kids for me. That took several hours. Long day.

Yesterday, the family came for hot dogs and we had a good visit. My mom got to bottle feed Campbelle, one of my bottle lambs. And a cute little couple with a young baby came by to see if I had chickens for sale. They've just moved right over the ridge on Hog Jowl Rd. and just finished their coop. They ended up buying a few dozen eggs and a frozen chicken. And might be interested in a herd share for goat milk!

So now that all the sheep are finished with lambing, I am into goat kid watch! Hubby and I got the goat barn kind of ready. I still want to go get about 8 more pallets to make some separate stalls for them. I'll take you on a tour of the goat barn.

This is it. It was a cow shelter back in the day. There are 2 big sections that open to the South. One is completely open and we have a cattle panel across it. And the other has an old door.

This is the open part with actually 2 sections, with the stalls to the left.

This is the first stall, with the old door, where the goats eat when dry. I started a few weeks ago feeding them in the milk room. So I need to put fresh straw down in here. We had to fix this gate-door yesterday. When I had the 2 pigs in here, they really did a job on it. So that's fixed now and I can actually shut it. I don't know what that ledge to the left is for. But when there are kids in here, they always end up under it. That's where they sleep. And when I had hens back here, they'd lay eggs as far back in there as they could get.

And this is the back bigger stall where I want to make a few smaller stalls to the left. I can also keep the kids in there at night to milk the does in the lorning. Behind the blankets is the cattle panel and the pasture next door.

And here are the very big, ready to pop, does. This is Zarah Belle. This will be her 2nd freshening. And I have been faux-milking her to get her used to it and her teats are a bit longer now! I have the little hand milker that I got to use on her last year. I hope I don't have to use it.

And Penelope Jane. Her 2nd too. She's so sweet and the best udder ever. I love milking her.

This is Zeeboo. I got her 2 Christmas' ago and she did not get bred then. She's making up for it this year! Wonder if she'll have triplets? What do y'all think? And I thought she might go first, but then saw Sandy this morning.

I know some people don't like to see this end of a goat, but right now, it's like THE most important part of the goat. It just about tells me everything I want to know. Like udder size, tail pins, goo, as in Sandy has a string of goo right here. And Sandy is ALWAYS THE last goat to kid. ALWAYS. And usually several weeks after all the others have had theirs. But she could be going soon. I will be watching this one. She's really not that big. But last year, she did have triplets. So if she has a  single, I'll be ok with it. It took a lot out of her having 3 kids. And she dried up not long after I sold them too.

I sure hope they do wait a few more days. It's supposed to be in the 20's and low 30's the next few nights. I can wait a few more days.

So if anyone would like a few kids and wants to bottle feed, I would love to sell these kids as soon as possible so I can start milking. I also need milk for my lamb babies. Next year, goat kids first, then lambs. That way, if anything happens like this year, I'll have goat milk for them. Right now, I am getting the milk replacer and raw cow milk. I'm getting one more gallon, then hopefully I'll have goat milk this week.

And I am seeing green things in the garden! It's been sunny the last few days and all the kale and collards are popping up! I love this time of year. I am feeling SO much better and really want to get this garden started. BUT, I am not going to rush it like last year. It's fine if I'm late. I just want everything to make it the first time. I'll be out there this afternoon tilling and planting some more radishes and lettuce. And Swiss Chard too.

I had an e-mail from Kristin checking on me. That's so sweet of her. I am fine and have not had any more episodes like I did. I am trying to watch what I eat. And drinking dandelion tea. I also found some dried nettles. So have had nettle tea too. That sure gives me energy! Maybe that's why I'm feeling so much better.

I sure hope you ALL have a great week and get a lot of gardens started!