Duke and Meyla

Duke and Meyla

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Animal Profiles: Marion

A couple weeks back I was telling Krista some stuff about Marion and she was surprised and intrigued, saying she never would have thought that. This gave me an idea to start a blog post series called "Animal Profiles" and give some background and little known information about some of the animals. These posts will appear during dry times of the year, when I can't think of anything else to post about.
Beings the idea was sparked with Marion, I thought Marion could be my first animal to be in this series.

Full name: Annes Alpines Marion McAlpine
Barn name: Marion
Name inspiration: Character out of the Elsie Dinsmore books
DOB: April 30th, 2015


 Marion is one of our biggest does, 2nd highest producer, and is one of my favorites. She can be very noisy, temperamental, and flighty, all things I hate, so I don't know why she ranks at the top of my list. Marion thrives on routine, and is terrified of strangers and little kids. However, as long as they aren't up near her head, she is fine. She is often used as the demo milking doe, and allows most anyone to milk her, and doesn't twitch a muscle. 
Sometimes, something will spook her after I get done milking, and she will shoot off the stand and light for the door, cowering into the corner when the door isn't opened in time for her to race straight out. She is very easy to work with-when she doesn't spook and drag me away or run into me trying to escape some make believe boogie-man-and even moves over to the edge of the milk stand when I sit down, so that I can milk her easier. She loves to be pet, but only on her own terms, and otherwise is hard to even catch.
Marion had to endure being tattooed on the tail this spring, after Kate pulled off her right ear, leaving too little left to retattoo(all registered goats have to be tattooed).

Marion is wild. She would really prefer to not have humans in her life. Her dam was pretty skittish and Marion learned from her to fear humans. When her dam died leaving behind a 3 month old kid, I thought the kid would draw more from the older, gentler does she attached herself to, but she didn't. She remained so wild into her second year, that I decided to pull her kids and bottle raise them, so that they would be as wild as she was. This also happened to be the year we had CAE, so I didn't really even want the does licking their kids-I wanted to take them right away after birth. 
We were watching on the cams when Marion was kidding, and after #1 was born, went to the barn, took it, and waited for her to have the rest of the kids. She wouldn't have them. She didn't like us there and just stopped her labor. When I pulled the kids out, they were right there, in position and about to fall out on their own. This year, though I did take her kids away, I just watched on the cams and didn't go outside until an hour after the last kid, to avoid having her shut down her labor again. 
Taking her kids away works to keep the kids tame, and it keeps Marion tame. She bonds to me, and knows that I will milk her, and is always really tame for the first few months after kidding. About 6 months into milking(like right now), she starts not wanting to come into the milk room, running from me, etc. and it will only get worse as it goes, until when she is dry, and I can't even catch her without work. Then she kids, I take the kids, and the cycle begins again.

Aww, Marionberry-you should be the first to go, but it sure would be hard to see you leave! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018


 When I posted my beach trip post the other day, I had taken the below picture and was going to say that Amelia is almost due to have puppies. However, that tidbit of information was kinda random in a beach post, and Amelia wasn't due until Saturday, so I thought I'd wait and make a whole animal post this week and put the picture in it.

 Well, she stole to march on us and had 9 puppies yesterday! I had guessed 5, and knew I was in trouble after she had 4 and her belly was still very big-still didn't think she would make it all the way to 9 though!
These pups are Golden Retriever/Bernese Mountain Dog. I was surprised that all the pups are black with white markings from chin to chest, and also on heads, toes, and maybe one belly-they look like Bonny puppies. I didn't expect any golden colored pups, though Mom did and I guess it's pretty common in the cross, but I did expect some tri color pups, like Amelia is.



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Beach Trip

 A couple weeks ago, when Krista & Jeff were in Finland, Aaron & Chad in Wyoming, and Lucas & Marcus in South Dakota, Brittany and I decided we needed to take a vacation too, and decided on the beach. After some thought, we decided we wouldn't want to go by ourselves so asked Marcus along, which then morphed into Jeff coming too. So we left after the boys got off work on Friday, and came back home on Sunday.
I left my big camera at home, not willing to expose it to the sand and salt water elements of the beach. My little camera was not up to snuff on this trip, so the pictures are greatly lacking in quality-everybody else's iPhones got much better pictures than I got with this camera.

We had to pull over and get some pictures of the sunset on the way down. 

First stop Saturday morning!

 Second stop Saturday was the new and improved Tillamook Creamery/Cheese Factory. Kaia, this picture was for you. I thought it a shame that they would put this cow's ugly mug so prominently above the main entrance, when there are cows like Guernseys out there that would fit the bill so much better. ;) 

Evidently a cow got loose when they were doing the stairs as there were cow tracks the whole way up.

Where they start the cheese making process. 

 Basically if you've been to the cheese factory, you've seen it and it isn't worth going back, except to show your friends that haven't been there. However, I was impressed with the upgrades they did to the viewing area, especially explaining everything step by step, the cheese making process, the science behind salt in cheese, etc. and they now even have signs in the factory to point out the areas that are described on the poster. 

This is the other side of the factory, where the aged cheeses get cut into the right sizes and then packaged according to what type of cheese it is. 

The food area is now much bigger and more organized, with I guess, more options of actual meals-we did not go check it out. 

The dairy product part of the gift shop.

 They now have another barn across the parking lot, called the Farm Experience. It is actually pretty realistic, fake bottle calves bawling and all. 

 I don't know why Jeff got into the Baby Loaf Bus, but I hastily got a picture just as he realized what I was doing and scrambled to get out. Ha! 

 We swung by Fred's for something, and this dog was super upset that we looked at her Jeep! The owners came around the corner just as I took the picture and started going on and on about how nasty she is, how old she is, and how she's super nice everywhere but in the car-nobody, not even the owner's son can get into the car when she's in custody of it. I wouldn't stand for that from a dog, but different strokes for different folks...

 The dairy-free rage is even reaching the far corners of tiny little markets in Cape Kiwanda! I was supes disappointed that they didn't stock single bars in their front ice cream box. :( Jeff and Krista both told me I could easily eat all four before they melted, but I knew that'd be a bad idea!

It was foggy on Saturday, hence the following pictures being gray and sad. 
The beach was crowded, and people were getting stuck every 5 seconds, seemed like. Even fancy cars were down there, trying their luck, finding out they didn't have any luck and getting as stuck as anybody!

 Look at this! The beach has been changing the last few years I've been here, but this is crazy! The tide pools have almost completely disappeared under the sand. 

This is from the other angle, to show how many rocks are left visible. 

Of course we had to conquer the sand hill!

The fog periodically lifted and settled back in while we were there. This was taken during one of the "lifted" times. 

 We thought about going to Mo's for supper, but found something else after seeing this. 

 The others remembered some tide pools in Lincoln City from last year when they'd stayed down there(I didn't go last year), so we went there to look at them and watch the sunset.

Sea anemones.

These tide pools are mainly made up of mussels. 

There were lots of these little sand fish, which according to Google are called Sculpins. 

 I only found two or three small starfish.

We confirmed that this flight of stairs contains 131 steps. 

The cool walkway lights.

It was much better weather on Sunday! I didn't feel like climbing the sand hill again, so Brittany and I just sat and waited for the boys.

With Marcus's bright shirt it wasn't hard to keep track of their movements! 


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Babies and More!

 My cousin and his crew started work on the island in the middle of the lawn, and redoing the retaining wall out front. This was yesterday-they have much of the wall for the new raised bed done, as of today. 


 One of my does, Hannah, had a litter of babies last week. When I first checked them, it looked like I had 4 solid gray like the sire, and three brokens. The other day I took a closer look and I actually have 2 chocolate, 1 black and 1 gray! These are the first chocolate ones born here, and were totally unexpected! I plan to keep one if it passes my requirements otherwise.

 Coastal had fall chicks, and they were all specialty breeds, so Mom and I got some. I got some more Lavender Orpingtons(they are supposed to be pullets, so have a better chance than with the unsexed ones I got this spring that turned out to be 1 hen and 4 roosters), and Mom got some Sapphire Gems and Crested Polish. The single duckling was one of two that a hen hatched, and one died when I forgot to turn the heat lamp on one night. 
I butchered a few old hens and extra roosters a few weeks ago, and Brittany and I did about 20 ducks yesterday. 

 The kittens are 4 weeks old now, and starting to be fun and cute. I took them over to the lawn for a photo shoot yesterday. 

I haven't named the kittens as I will only be keeping one, but there are a few that have some sort of call name.
This one is Mike Mulligan. I didn't get a good picture of it, but his black markings on his back, over top of his ribcage, look like a pair of lungs-Mike Mulligan is the name of the surgeon who preformed Brandie's lung transplant surgery. 

Nothing for this one, but he is the biggest and fluffiest of the litter.


The one on the right is a female. 


This one is called "Moosestachio"-Marcus tried calling him Hitler, but I don't like that name! 


Look who's back!! We had a couple setbacks and the whole healing process took longer than I had hoped, but now she's all healed up and raring to go! 

I love how good she is with other animals! Kate was always super aggressive towards everything, and often inflicted injury to unsuspecting critters. 
She wasn't 100% sure about these kittens, but was comfortable enough to hang around and put up with them-for a time, and then she'd get too excited and have to launch away to do a few laps around the lawn to calm down. 

This is the kitten I plan to keep. It is a female, and I'm still working on a name for it. I have a name idea that keeps coming back, but it seems to me like it's more for a husky, solid kitten, not a dainty little thing like this one is. 

Pippa cut up her shoulder last week and had to get a few stitches. She probably would have been fine without stitches if I'd been able to bandage it, but without a bandage it would have been sure to get filled up with fly larva. She earned a lot of points on that vet visit-she is a dam raised kid and fairly wild, but when she was on the exam table getting stitched, she made no noise and didn't move a hoof once, much less fight. Temperament is so much more than tame-it is a goat that can accept the strange things that humans will do to them throughout their life without an undue fuss every time.

That said, after her first shot of Penicillin, she didn't want caught anymore. I chased her into an alleyway and caught her once, and then got Jinger out for the next two injections. She was so focused on Jinger she didn't care much about me anymore, and was simple to catch.