Duke and Meyla

Duke and Meyla

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Farm Update: August

 A lot of stuff has been going on lately, but I haven't been taking very many pictures of things other than Jinger-hence the majority of the following post being of Jinger.

I'm very relieved that Kate likes Jinger, as she can be very picky about whom she gets along with. 

Jinger testing the waters. She gets awful upset when I go in the water and piles in after me, so I have to take a pool floaty out when I swim, so she can relax a little. I don't know if she just wants to be with me, or if she's concerned for my safety. 

 When I defrosted a freezer, there was a big chunk of ice in the bottom that had some meat juice on it. Kate loved her popsicle that hot afternoon. 

This is Eclipse, an Ebony/Everest doeling that I'm keeping. So far she is a sweet little girl and nothing like her headstrong, aggressive dam.

This is Hassie, a Bunny/Everest doeling. I'm buying her from Mom because I need another doe that I can breed to Mr. Black. Other than the above Eclipse, my four does are all Mr. Black's sisters.


Hassie is a very nasty piranha at feeding time, but is a monkey otherwise, and loves hanging out in the mineral feeders.

One night Mom texted me and said all the baby girls were out. Fortunately, they only broke out of their little pen and not the main pen. They were just running, playing, and eating weeds. They got out a different way yesterday, but got caught in the new pen we are building(see further down in post), and were easy to put back home. 

That heifer had a calf last week. It's a small bull. Unfortunately, I can no longer work Kate as Mama is, understandably, too protective for a young dog who lacks confidence like Kate, to work safely. That means she'll probably not work them again until spring. By the time this cow gets moved, the fall rains will probably have come and the pen turned into the normal slop mess. I guess she's gonna have to learn the herd the goats and bottle calves. 

This is the new pen we are almost done building. It's in the old horse area, and will be our buck/bottle calf pen when finished. Should be a nice size for working Kate...

  My last hatching of ducklings which disappointed me by only producing 7 out of almost 40 eggs. I'm gonna need to mess with my incubator settings if I try again.

This little guy squeezed out a little hole in the brooder and into the main chicken pen when he was 2 days old. He got badly injured and remains deformed. He's a lot smaller than the others, but otherwise doing great so far. Even though I referred to it as a male, I don't actually know what gender it is. If it's a male, it'll be culled, and if a female and is able to take care of itself, I'll keep it.

Some of the does. Almost time for (early) fall breeding-I'm already envisioning and anticipating the kids next spring!  

Kate looking lazy because it's so hot. 

A fellow goat breeder recently told me about a feed store up in Sunnyside that has grain for $11.50 per 50#, vs the $21.99 per 50# that we get anywhere nearby. It's very nearly the same exact nutrition and ingredients. It's easy to get enough bags to cover mileage and time expenses with the savings, so I have now switched to that. I'm very thankful for the recommendation. 

Brittany's rabbit had babies a couple of weeks ago. Her sister, my rabbit Spruce, is due this Saturday.

Jinger's growth chart. She has gained almost four pounds since I've had her, and her ears are starting to stand!

Look closely at her left(your right) eye and see that evil twinkle in it. Yeah, that illustrates how the last month has been. Just kidding, she's the best puppy I've had yet, though really crazy and tough. Mom says it's because I've learned to relax a little and not to expect so much from a puppy. 

 Working on self control. She is so incredibly smart, but I'm not doing a ton of training with her yet. Argh, I forgot to upload the videos! I'll post a link to her playlist on my channel you can keep updated on it. 
That playlist is for the "fun" side of raising Jinger. I'm starting another channel where I will post educational videos.

She's also getting better and better at waiting until I give her the cue before running out her cage door. So good, in fact, that when she has a leash on, she won't cross the threshold, in or out, even if I tug on the leash. I have to tell her "alright" and then she'll scramble out and race away. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Is She Pregnant?

There is a little dispute going on over here that I'd like my readers to weigh in on. 
It appears that we have a pregnant heifer in the butcher calf pen. If so, that means she got bred when she was around seven months of age, and not yet weaned. She wouldn't be the first one to have done that to escape slaughter. The last one that did is now around 13 years old and has raised a nice calf every year since she was a year old. 

Here she is. 

 By herself.

 Another heifer in the pen, same age.

So, what do you think? No or yes, and if yes, what will she have? Leave your responses in the ballot box on the sidebar, and I'll keep you updated. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Border Collies: Big or Small, I Love Them All

Back in December, I placed a reservation on a puppy from a well known breeder known as Satus Stockdogs. I planned on getting a male to start my breeding program with. When I got Cash in January I didn't cancel the reservation just in case he didn't turn out. He didn't, but I had also decided that I didn't want a male anymore. I don't like them as much as females, and I didn't think I'd give them the work and time they needed if they had to rival for my attention over a female, who I liked better. 
When the planned litter was born, there was only one male anyway, and there was someone on the list ahead of me. So I went ahead and got a female from, actually, a different litter than I originally had a reservation on. 
This is Jinger. So far, she is very high strung, a talker, and thinks she's tough. She's already starting down the goats and jumping to nip their noses. Kate doesn't like to bite anything that's standing still, and that's not good. Stuff I've read has always said it's better to have too much bite than too little, because you can train a dog to calm down, but you can't train it to bite. 

Anyway, she's a whopping five pounds right now. An online weight calculator says she's only going to get to 17.8 pounds as an adult, and it was accurate with Bonny and Kate, so boooo! I hope it's not right this time otherwise she may only get the herd rabbits! 

Edit: I double checked and I was wrong. It said Kate would be 31 pounds, and she is 37, I believe, and on the thin side. It said Bonny would be 27 pounds, and she is over 50. It's waaaayyy off, so I don't know why I thought it had been accurate!

Goofy Kate with her ears inside out from rolling around like a monster.  

She's very skilled at entertaining herself for a long time with one toy. In the picture below, she somehow got the toy on her back leg and is rolling widely, trying to get it off. She'll also sling toys and play fetch with herself, or throw them up into the air and catch them as the come back down.

I'm gonna try and get a weekly picture of Kate and Jinger to have a growth timeline for her. I'll probably share the monthly pictures on here. 

Here is a video of Kate's herding progress, taken last night. The object was to get the calves into the barn. They didn't want to go because the videographer and his assistant were perched on the fence next to the barn. She did great-I'm still smiling about it. She really needs to bite more and teach them things a lesson though. As you can see, she is content to just hold them and not have them move, so I have to come and get the moving. It doesn't help matters that they aren't "dog broke" and don't respect her-expecially a certain black one who is always trying to get her. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Great Goat Escape

So as you have probably gathered from recent blog posts, we bought a few goats in the beginning of June. As the more discerning of you may have noticed, both from my saying that there was a funny story, and the comment asking for the story, something happened when we bought those goats that I'll always remember and laugh at. 

I should preface this story by saying that the breeder dam raises all his kids and they are not handled much until they are entered into the milking string. They are curious and friendly and most can be stroked, but grab ahold of one or try to restrain it in anyway, and the game is on, buddy!
I'll jump right in. The following picture was taken right before the storm came. You can see Serrano on the left looking relaxed and eating a piece of straw. Clare looks slightly bug eyed, and Robbie just isn't quite sure what to think. "So", says I to my mother, "I will go in and put a leash on this guy(indicating Serrano who wasn't yet named) because if he get loose we'll never catch him. Someone can carry the other (Robbie) and we'll come back for Clare." 

Murphey's Law-all that can go wrong will go wrong. 
I crawled inside the hot, stinky canopy, slinked up to Serrano, and reached for him with the leash. As I entered, his eyes grew wide, the straw dropped from his mouth, and as I got closer, he stiffened, his chin lowering and drawing towards his neck. As the slip knotted leash settled over his head, he blew up. And I mean BLEW UP!! Yelling and screaming, thrashing, bouncing, crashing, giving me a leash burn on my palms, (mind you I'm not letting go unless I die) and finally running out of air and stopping stiff to cry chokingly until I loosened the leash. 
At the same instant that he made his first lunge, Clare was gone. Just like that. Gone. Shot like a missile for the tailgate where Mom was, crashed into the half opened canopy door, sailed over the tailgate, Mom ducking down to save her head, and ran around the corner of the barn. 
I got Serrano halfways subdued, Mom grabbed Robbie and we put them both in an empty pen, then went to look for Clare. She was halfway to the pond already, and still going. I headed towards her, thinking she had just had a scare and would be calm now, knowing that she wasn't actually scared of humans, because she'd been fine since the time I'd first seen her. Well, I guess she was still scared because I couldn't get within 40 feet of her and the missile would find some more fuel and reignite. So, I gave myself an "away to me" command and made a wide outrun to the south and got her started back in the general direction of the goat barn. She started heading that way and looked like she'd turn by the shop and head east to the barn, but changed her mind and headed up the driveway. She was moving too fast and I was too far behind to get around in front, so I just stopped by the grill area and watched her trot out the driveway and across the road before disappearing from sight altogether.
I went back down to the barn and told Mom that we might as well go in and eat supper while we figure out what to do, because she wasn't gonna be caught anytime soon. So, we took the rotisserie chicken that we'd picked up and the way home and headed in. The recurring thought of the sight of Mom's new investment of hundreds of dollars waltzing out the driveway was just too much. We traded covert smiles and chuckles all through supper, and I busted up laughing when Brittany asked something about the new goats. She couldn't figure out what was so funny, and I couldn't stop laughing. 
Eventually, I figured I'd better suck it up and ask for help. I addressed Dad, Luke, Mark, and Jeff by saying, "This is going to make us the laughingstock of the house for sometime, but we need your help. Our new goat is across the road and we can't catch her!" After a bit of explaining as to what had happened, Luke, Jeff, Brittany and I went out to fetch her. Jeff figured he'd lasso her, though I didn't think that'd work because, as he can't lasso, he'd have to get close enough to drop it over her head. Eventually, Mark took the 4-wheeler, Jeff hopped on the back, and they scouted out the territory, trying to find her. After searching the whole property across the road, and finally deciding she wasn't up there, they spotted her, taking a snooze, in the far, southeast corner. They alerted Brittany and I, and we started closing in on her, as a streak of tigers closing in upon a water buffalo. 
She took one look at us and did exactly what a water buffalo being stalked by tigers would do-and what I was very fearful that she would do. She went through the barbed wire fence and onto the road. Once through, she began burning keratin, heading east, away from our driveway. Mark quickly took the 4-wheeler back onto the road and sped up, and got in front of her before she'd made it too far, and got her turned back the other way. Jeff again got off the 4-wheeler and started helping to herd her home, heading her off when she tried to turn around in the ditch and make a break past the 4-wheeler. At one point, she tried going through the barbed wire fence again, hit it square with her chest and neck and bounced off. I could soon see the blood spurting from where she'd run her jugular into a barb. A big trail of blood was following her down the road as she moved my way... As she got closer, I realized that my imagination had gotten the better of me again-she was not bleeding at all.
We'd made it about halfway back when Clare suddenly tired of all the trouble she'd given us and the fun she'd had. After a bit of deliberation, she waltzed up to Jeff with the air of a Princess returning from a party, (howbeit very exhausted and panting) and let him drop his rope of her neck. She wasn't leash trained and threw another fit when he tried leading her, choking off her already precious and limited oxygen, so I ended up "wheelbarrowing" her most of the way home and back into her pen. At one point, somebody brought her some dirty dog water bucket,(anyone who has goats knows how picky they are about water) the contents of which she gladly drank, she was that thirsty. The rest I dumped on her back. The cloud of steam which arose obliterated the trail we were following, and we had to stop and wait for it to dissipate before continuing. 
We eventually made it back to the barn where she was supposed to be, and threw her in the pen. Once in the pen, she was as docile as any of our goats. We could pet her, etc. and I even milked her shortly afterward with no trouble at all. (The fact that she was so exhausted she could barely move may have had an impact on that.) 
Now she's safe and sound in her pen, and has been introduced to the other does and integrated with no issues whatsoever. She's a nice doe, but I hope she never gets loose again!

P.S. The marks the barbed wire left on her? Zip, zilch, nada! I never found any. This girl must have the skin of a rhino! 

Sold, For Sale, and Rabbits

We sent Emmy and Tor to the auction in May, and then I brought Ebony and Lad in June. I was pleased with what we got for them.  The auction is usually our last resort, after having advertised the goat for several weeks and getting no bites. It is also where we send all our real culls, (i.e. Emmy who had CAE, or Ebony who was starving herself to death) and, due to the high population of Mexicans in the area, I surmise that most go for meat.
Everest was sold to a nice local family who is just getting into goats and has two does that she wants to breed so she can have milk.  
Ebony's buckling, Echo, who, by the way, was an exact "echo" to Ebony in looks, and bossy attitude, went to some local lady. She came to get two white rabbits and left with two white rabbits, two black rabbits, and a goat. I'm not complaining though! :) 
Marigold, Ivy, and Lass, went to Idaho for a commercial goat dairy and brought the highest price I've ever gotten for any goat not in milk! Marigold brought twice what I was asking for her on Craigslist! 
A friend who we've bought three goats from contacted me and told me to call so-and-so because they were looking for weaned and dry yearling does. I had to rush home from our appraisal session, skip lunch and load the aforementioned goats and rush to Hermiston in 95 degree weather with no AC to meet the fellow, who waited for me for an hour to pick them up. After dropping them off and getting my check, I was about faint with hunger and went into the truck stop and bought a.... salad!! Most of you know that I don't eat salad(though I'm trying harder to these days)but, as they say, hunger is the best sauce! I think I ate a whole, half of the thing before admitting defeat. 

Here's who we have left. 

Robbie, a very nice buckling(though a tad skittish) from great lines, who came with his dam Clare. He is unregistered and is priced at $100.

Hassie, Bunny's doeling, who's DNA came back showing that she is an Everest kid, meaning our AI failed-not surprising. She is a sweetie overall, but is very bossy and mealtimes and gets her head smacked a lot for trying to shove everyone else off of their bottles. $200

 Finn is about exactly the same as his sister. (Above) His dam, Bunny, is nice looking but doesn't give much milk. He can be sold registered for $200, or unregistered for $100.

Eclipse, Ebony's doeling, who is not for sale at this time.  Looking at these three pictures, I think I can say that Everest throws kids with huge ears!

Also for sale but not pictured, are:
 Skitz's buckling, Avery-unregistered for $100
Bluebelle's buckling, Toby-unregistered for $100

Below is my out of control rabbit project. For sale at $10 a piece with group discounts.
Juniper has weaned her litter except for these three who are a lot smaller than the rest. She and most of her litter will be butchered, if not sold, because most of the litter appears somewhat unthrifty and she was a bad mom.

Carmella had another litter on June 6th, which she again had all over the floor of her cage. I was gone but Brittany rescued four of the kits, who had gotten out of the cage and were on the barn floor. The cat was mooching around looking smug, so we think she had more kits that the cat ate before Brittany got out.
I had raised this litter by holding Carmella on her back in my lap and placing the blind, naked, pink babies on her abdomen to eat, twice a day. After a week, Carmella suddenly stretched her neck out and started licking a baby while on her back in my lap. After that, I put the box in the cage with her twice a day and she would hop in and feed them. I didn't trust her enough to leave the babies with her 24/7. At about 2.5 weeks of age, Carmella decided to stop feeding them twice a day, and only feeds them once a day now. Yesterday I forgot about the babies and left them in her cage after they'd eaten, and she didn't kill them, so now  they are with her. They will all be butchered for their bad genetics as well.
Big, fat monsters!

Spruce's and the rest of Juniper's litter in the growout pen. I lost my Rex buck, Rexy, last week, so will likely retain the solid black buck in the front for breeding.  He is fair sized, friendly, and a Rexy son. He is also a Juniper baby, but oh-well.

These are both Spruce/Rexy does. I plan to keep one but I can't decide which. 

I would keep this one, but he's a buck and I can't breed him to his mom, aunt and sister. If I keep Juniper's buck he'll only be related to his half-sister. 

I never know how to end a blog post, so adios amigos!

All About Goats

I hope the title wasn't misleading-no, this post is not a tutorial or a "Goats, 101." Maybe a better way to word it would be; "A Whole Post About Goats."

So here are all our junior goats(except the May babies), in order from youngest to oldest, including bucks.

Our newest buck, Missdee's AR Serrano


Pudasjarvi Black Sand 

Below is Flicka, at six months old. These two were cast in the same mold.

Pudasjarvi Flicka's Minx

Tide Land Salient Sam 

Tempo Aquila  TTLY Spaced-out. (Li)

Treasured Sunrise MP LilJazmin

Tempo Aquila Wild Rose Sonnet

Treasured Sunrise MJ Simcoe Mt

Pudasjarvi Little Miss Molly

 Pudasjarvi Isabelle Pink

Fall breeding plans are currently underway, so stay tuned if interested in reserving a kid! Hopefully, there will be 11 does freshening next year. That is way too many goats for us, so we will be selling most of next year's kids and several milkers as well. We'd like to get down to 4 or 5 milkers. Feel free to get on the list to be notified as soon as we make our decisions as to who stays and who goes!