Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day alpaca shearing

This is what I did ALL day mother's day. And it did take all day. I got there at 10 and left at 6. And there were 4 alpacas left to shear.

My friend Susan came Saturday afternoon and got Misha and Sugar to take them to her farm. This is them with the boys, waiting their turn.

                                                               Misha, being sheared.

                                            All done!I know he felt much better. And cooler.

                                                                        Here's Sugar King.

                                           He had some big fighting teeth that had to be cut off.

                                                 The boys, all done and back outside again! That light brown one on the left behind the white one, had the most beautiful wool ever. Like 3 different colors all over. So pretty and soft.

These are most of the girls, waiting their turn outside. Susan has some big girls! A few were rescues and hadn't been sheared in a few years. They had full bags when done.


                                   And here are my boys, back home again. Looking for their sheeps.

It was a very long busy day. I kept looking at the alpacas waiting to be sheared and it seemed like they kept adding more to the group! It was like a plate of spaghetti that never gets finished. I was the bagger. Susan had all the alpaca's names on baggies with 2 trash bags inside. One for the blanket, the good fiber, and another for 2nds. She had about 35 bags in a stall of hers. I wish I had gotten a picture of that. I brought home my 2 bags full.

I hope you all had a wonderful mother's day! And have a great week too!

I'll post about my new bees tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014


My 4 does, patiently waiting to get into the milk room. To eat. And to be milked. I'm milking all 4 now once a day. I also have my friend's 2 does that I'm milking twice a day. Fun! And lots of milk again. I have enough to make cheese. And to give my daughter, who's dog Daisy, had 7 of the cutest puppies 3 weeks ago. And is now pretty tired of being a mom. So she's bottle feeding them with goat milk. Silly mothers. I guess if I had 7 babies at once, I'd be a bit overwhelmed too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Much bette. Market. Bees.

Ada is much better already! After a few days away from those kids of here, her teat is getting smaller. I'm using my plantain salve on it and it's amazing! I love that stuff.

So now, I have so much milk, milking 6 goats. I made some feta Sunday that should be ready Friday. I'll cut it up and put it in jelly jars with olive oil and herbs to sell at the farmer's market Sat. IF I get to go. There's a lady coming from Atlanta to shear sheep sometime this weekend. We are hoping it's Sat. because Sunday, aside from it being Mother's Day and all, is alpaca shearing day at My Little Darlings Alpaca Farm. Susan, who I got my 2 alpacas from, is coming to get them Sat. evening to take to her farm for Sunday shearing. She has about 30 at her place and there are other people bringing their alpacas there too. So it's an all day thing. So I hope this sheep shearing lady comes on Sat.

Went to the market today. It was HOT! I had collards, kale, dandelion greens and flowers, radishes, mint and red and green mustard frills. Sold a lot but still brought home collards and some kale. Called a friend on the way home and she bought some stuff.

I'll work some in the garden tomorrow. I need to replant beans, squash, zucchini and corn. Plus cucumbers, okra and some butternut squash. I have 3 16' cattle panels that I'll use for the butternut squash and cucumbers. I want to make arches and let them climb up them. I might put a chair under it.

I've been working on a few bee gardens. I've gotten lots of blue and purple flowers and herbs for them. I'll go tomorrow and get some blue salvia. I'm going to Knoxville Monday to get my 2 packages of bees! He called and said I could come get them today, but I have market on Wed. Then he said these bees would be too old by Monday, so he'd have to get me more. That sounded kind of strange to me. I hope I get some good bees. And I hope it's not too late. My friend, who is getting Russian bees from him, has to wait til the end of May for hers. Something about the queen. So I need to get the hives set up where I want them and make sure everything is ready for them. Kind of nervous.

Off to bed. It's been a LONG day.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ada Belle

Ada was born here on my farm 5 years ago, to my doe Ocho. Can't remember right now if she was a twin or not. Anyway, sold her to my friend at New Dawn farm up the road. She's been back and forth a few times. Right now, she's back, along with her friend, Jessie Belle. They both had twin kids about 2 1/2 months ago. For the past month or so, I've been going up there to milk them in the mornings.  But we decided the kids need to be weaned. And they were really not good on their udders. Jessie had some teeth marks from her kids, but on the left side only. I was putting bag balm on them and they are both ok now. But she does have a knot on the outside of the left teat. Not hard and small. Not too worried about that.

Right now, I am really concerned about Ada. This is the back view of her teats. You can see the left side is much bigger. I noticed yesterday, that side, on the inside, was hard. I was able to milk her and she did ok then. But this morning, it's much bigger and harder. And she raised her leg each time I tried to milk her. I know she hadn't let the kids nurse on that side at all. I had to use my left hand to milk this side and hold her leg with the other hand. I know it has to hurt bad.

Then, when I was finished, I decided to take a picture. Then noticed the blood. I didn't have blood on my hands. It's on the inside, not the back, where kid teeth would do this. So now I am wondering what it could be. I had put peppermint oil on the teat and udder a few times today. When I saw this, I just put bag balm on it.

What could this be? I have never dealt with this before. My friend seems to think it could be a clogged milk duct. I can get milk out and it looks fine, no blood or clumps. Could it be something serious, like CL? I have no idea. Just trying to see if anyone knows or has seen this before.

They are both here at my farm now. I'll be milking them twice a day. Kids are fine. Old enough to be weaned. When mine are old enough, they'll go down there.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Help!

My mornings...

For the past month, I've been getting up at 6 am and milking goats. I have 4 of my own. Then I go down the road to New Dawn Farm and milk 2 of their does. But that will be changing today because I brought one home this morning and the other will come tonight. Their kids are 2 1/2 months old and are really doing a number on their poor udders.

I park down the hill and walk up to the gate. I love this old house. My friend's family owns all this land here. This was her grand parent's home place.

The does are usually waiting here at the chicken coop where we milk at the top. Jessie is first. She has horns and she knows how to use them!

Then it's Ada's turn. Then we go up the hill some more to let the kids out of the little shelter stall. They are always excited to see their mommas! Some mornings I have a few helpers, but mostly just Jennie. This particular morning, we had to spray kid heads, where they'd been a little rough with the head butting and their heads were quite nasty.

Then it's back home to bottle feed the 3 lambs with the warm milk I just got from these goats.

                                                           And feed the hungry masses!

Then it's inside to fix breakfast for me and the husband. Then do it all over again the end of the day. It's a never ending cycle, here on the farm. I did get to finally make some feta yesterday, because I'm going to once a day bottles for the lambs! Yay! Still feeding the doe kid 3 times a day though, but she just gets a baby bottle still. I hope to be selling most of the kids. I'll be keeping 4 doe kids this year. I'll probably take them to New Dawn Farm when they are ready to wean. They have a summer camp full of kids that love the baby goats. They'll be just weaned when camp starts. Then all the kids will be down there and I'll have all the mommas here. Making lots of cheese I hope!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Practice pictures from new camera...

This past weekend was the Springamajig at the main St. Farmer's Market in downtown Chattanooga. I got to bring my 3 bottle lambs. They were a huge hit with everyone, young and old. After awhile, I started letting a few kids at a time inside the little cage with the lambs. They got plenty of clover and loving from all of them. But poor girls were just worn slap out after a few hours and ready to go back to our peaceful farm.

I brought the camera with me to Mrs. T's Friday. Sat in her tv room with her, snapping photos of her. I got several really good pics of her hands. I love her hands. For 96, nearly 100, that woman has nice hands. She used to make the most beautiful pottery with those hands. And painted as well.

Some pics of Mrs. T's yard and sun room/ Just playing with the new camera.

Yesterday, my friend Julie and her grand daughter, came to shear some sheeps. This is Darla, the first to get sheared. She was SO happy to have all that heavy hot wool taken off. She was so good. Then we got Adele up on the stand and only got half her back sheared. Her wool was so think and full of lanolin, the machine kept clogging up. So we had to stop with her halfway sheared.


Last night, I went out back and took night time pics. Got some really good ones here.

Then awhile ago, went outside with the goats.  This is Aslan on the rock, with her sister Jewel and I think that's Woody. You can really see Sandy's ribs here.

So finally got the camera installed in the computer, so I can get pictures on my blog and my FB page. I think I like this camera, but really would rather have a small, not so intricate, confusing camera, just to take quick shots and be able to carry it in my pocket. But so far, it's a good camera. I would love to find a class some time to learn more. I learn more by doing, rather than reading.

Hope y'all are having a great Sunday! It's beautiful here. Making some feta cheese with goat's milk! I'm going to once a day feedings with the lambs, so now have extra milk to drink and make cheese. And for a few customers!