Friday, May 30, 2008


I am going to try to squeak one in here before midnight, so that I will have a blog for today before it is tomorrow. I hear thunder, so I will have to make it quick before the storm hits.

Jasper and Onyx went to their new home this morning. Since Jasper had partial horn growths on both sides, I got to burn his horns again. It went very smoothly and hopefully he won't have scurs. It was the first time that I had ever actually used the iron, I usually just hold the kids while my DH does the burning.

I checked my Mille Fleur D'Uccle's nest yesterday and she had no baby chicks but when I went out to the goat/chicken shed this morning there was a little peeper looking out at me from under the hen. This evening we picked the hen up and she has three little peeps under her. Hopefully some of the other eggs will hatch out in the next couple of days but three is good if the others don't, because I was afraid that none of them would hatch for her.

I also set seven large eggs under my broody Rhode Island Red. Since she is bound and determined to set, at least now she has some eggs to set on that should be fertile.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Jasper and Onyx are officially weaned and they aren't real happy about it. Their mother doesn't seem to mind much. We milked Cinder at 7:00 this morning and got 1 1/2 quarts. We will probably get more than that this evening.

Still haven't gotten Zinc and Copper's horns taken care of. We don't want to do it when it is raining and it has rained for the last two days.

We checked under my little D'uccle hen last night and no babies yet. It did look like one was in the process of hatching. She has a ton of eggs under her, the other hens must have continued to lay in her nest after we moved her, the sneaky things, one of the eggs is from one of the big hens. I don't know how she managed to get into the nest, the door is tiny. Maybe we will have some chicks today.

One of my Rhodies has gone broody now also, I have put in a request to my cousin for some eggs to set under her.

I know that I didn't blog yesterday because I got an e-mail asking me if I was alright. For the last three days I have been nursing a kidney stone I believe. This is the first one that I have ever had and the pain comes and goes. I am currently trying some home remedies. I don't like going to the Doctor.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Let Down

I am sorry to report that I did not get to ride my horse, not even for 5 minutes. We didn't get the tomatoes planted or the disbudding done today either.

It rained for one thing, but it didn't rain all day. We did catch Ranger and since he is white we had to give him a bath to get all of the caked on mud off of him. Then I brushed him and combed out his mane and foretop. Then we washed his tail in a five gallon bucket and put Rio Vista Detangler on it to comb it out, I gave my DH that privilege.

Then we saddled him and my DH longed him for awhile, then got on and rode him off. I had the camera ready in case he did any bucking but he didn't. He was a little impatient about the whole thing and the DH wouldn't let me ride him. But we did put him in a pen close to the barn/house so that I can start handling him some.

My DH also trimmed his hooves and he was a really bad boy for that and broke my husband's best and favorite lead rope, that is something that no horse should ever do, break his best rope.

Then we went to a friend's house for hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon. Copper and Zinc enjoyed another day of not having that hot iron applied to their heads.

Tomorrow is weaning day for Jasper and Onyx, we wean in the sign. This means that we will have to start milking twice per day now, that will really tie us down.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Long Weekend

My dear Husband finally gets a day off tomorrow. I have his day completely planned out for him, but he doesn't know it yet. I have some tomato plants and a pepper plant that need to be planted and since he doesn't want me to put them in the same place they were last year, he will have to remove the sod and break up the soil in another place of his choosing. We will also need to put some type of protection around them because of my scratch happy chickens.

I am going to separate Jasper and Onyx from their mother over night tonight, so we will have to milk Cinder the first thing in the morning. Tuesday will be their official weaning date.

I also have disbudding planned for Copper and Zinc tomorrow, oh joy! My least favorite thing to do on a Holiday or any day.

Then last but not least, I want to ride my horse tomorrow. Ranger was born in 2002, he is an ApHC Few Spot gelding. I knew I wanted to keep him for myself when he was born, he is a naturally gaited Indian Shuffler. He looks to be smooth as silk but I wouldn't know because I have never been on him.

We had him broke almost two years ago and my DH has only been on him twice since we got him back. So he is just green broke at best. The man who broke him for us actually broke him using old traditional methods, he just got on him and rode him, he said that he bucked and bucked but when he stopped bucking, he never bucked again. He told me that he starts out like a ball of fire and that I would think that he is very spirited but he burns out quickly and rides slowly and quietly. Both times that my DH has been on him we have found this to be true.

I have only been on a horse a couple of times since I injured my back and each time was just for a few minutes. If I can ride Ranger for five minutes tomorrow, I will be proud of myself. My DH will ride him first, of course, and hopefully he will be able to stay on him for more than 8 seconds. Keep it tuned to this station for a full report tomorrow evening.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Horse Auction

I haven't been to a horse auction in quite some time, so we went to see if it was all as bad as we had heard. It was as far as the number of horses for sale, there were only eight. They included a mismatched team of mules, one foundered pony, one two year old gangly, skinny sorrel filly and four riding horses. The unbroke mules and the pony brought around $50 apiece. One very pretty registered palomino mare that wasn't ridden in the ring for some reason, they said she was broke but no one volunteered to find out, brought $580. The other riding horses varied in prices none of them were anything special just run of the mill sale barn horses.

The killer buyer was there but as far as I could tell he only bought the skinny, gangly two year old for $30 and one of the riding horses that kept rearing up for $300.

They had some very nice old saddles that brought fairly good prices.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Horse Sense

Here are another couple of horse articles that are stirring the debate. The second one listed below has several really good comments from quite a variety of opinions.

Horse neglect on the rise

New Scientist Environment Blog: Eat horses to save them?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Poor Horse

I have been reading many horse articles lately, I have a search set up through Google that brings up the hottest horse topics. It is so sad to see some of the stuff that I am seeing. The animal rights people are calling for an end to horse racing, rodeos, trail riding, and horse ownership.

The anti-slaughter people want all breeding stopped to control the horse population. I have written other blogs about how I feel about end of life issues with horses, so I won't go there again. But it certainly is a sad day to be a horse, the horses haven't won any victories here. They have just lost their value.

We received a questionnaire from the Appaloosa Horse Club of which we are members, wanting to know why we didn't register a foal or foals that we had sent a stud report in on. I don't know which foal this is talking about but it must have been from last year, probably one that the mare just came up empty.

We do register all of our horses that qualify. But many horse owners have stopped this practice. The foal crop from last year and probably this year as well, will consist of many pure bred horses that will just not have their paperwork done or fees paid.

I can fully understand not registering a foal, because when a weanling will only bring $10 - $25, with or without papers, and you have already paid out lots of money to feed it, plus Stud, Vet and Farrier fees, it doesn't make much sense to spend $50 to $80 to do DNA and registration papers. Unfortunately we have arrived at a time when registration papers just don't add much to the value of the basic horse; that is, the horse with no training or with mental or physical problems.

This survey asks if we would register these foals if registration fees were lowered. Then it asks several questions about the reasons why we aren't registering our foals. Some of the answers that you can check is "Cannot afford at this time" and "Waiting to make a decision regarding foal's value".

When the basic horse has no value and all breeders stop breeding, which is already happening because of the price of hay and grain, has anyone thought this through to an end conclusion? Well trained horses still do have value even if it is somewhat deflated, but young stock, old stock and horses with problems are facing a bleak future.

A foal in today's market has to be really special to have any value at all and breeders have to keep their foals at least three years, train them and find a buyer in order to even hope to break even. It is little wonder that horse breeders are becoming a thing of the past, an endangered species. That should make the anti-slaughter people happy.

Since the Government is getting so good at breeding and selling Mustangs, maybe one day all horses will be raised on factory farms just like cattle, hogs and chickens are now. All small farms and ranches will be a thing of the past, like the decaying wooden barns scattered along the countryside, just a memory of when you played in the loft as a child.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Finally Named

In keeping with my precious stones and minerals theme this year, I was having a hard time coming up with names for my two newest kids. My good friend "Punky" finally came up with the names that stuck. So my new babies are Copper and Zinc. Copper is the little copper colored buckling and Zinc is the black buckling.

They are doing great, they have discovered the rock.

Copper and Zinc on the Rock

When they get tired of the rock they can always play on mommy.

Copper and Zinc on mommy

Or chew on ears

Copper chewing on Zinc's ear

Angel loves the new arrivals

Copper and Angel

So they don't feel left out, here is a picture of Jasper and Onyx enjoying the sunshine.

Jasper and Onyx enjoying the sunshine

Monday, May 19, 2008

Still Setting

Or is it still sitting? My faithful little Mille Fleur D'uccle hen is still warming her eggs. I just hope that she gets a reward for her suffering. We had to move the nest and there was some confusion about just whose nest it was there for awhile. Two different hens were fighting for possession. The eggs were sometimes abandoned for half a day at a time. Also with the bigger hens trying to slip their large eggs into the little nest, those eggs have been through some tough times. If any of them hatch out it will surely be that the good Lord watches over little eggs.

Jasper was back to his playful self today, moving around much better. The pain from the banding is usually only bad for one day. Both of Jasper's horn caps have fallen off from when we disbudded them and one of Onyx's has fallen off also. It seems like they stayed on much longer this year than they usually do.

When Jasper and Onyx move to their new home, I am thinking about what I am going to do with all of that extra milk. I have discovered that you cannot legally sell raw goat's milk in Indiana, but you can sell shares in a dairy goat. Then feed, care for and milk that goat for the shareholders. This may be something that I have to look into more carefully, because I don't want to have a bunch of extra milk sitting around. Another possibility that we are considering is getting a pig to fatten out.

Goat Advice

My good friend Karen is adopting two goats and Andrea is buying two of my kids, since I know that they both read my blog, I thought that I would give them some advice.

It is always better to stop at two, although I would never suggest having just one. But that doesn't matter since no one can have just one. Two is a nice number, if you can discipline yourself enough to stay at that number. You must be very careful to resist urges to run out and get a couple more.

Goats are the sweetest, funniest things you will ever find. They show love and affection to you, they do funny tricks and they have attitudes and moods. All goats should have a playground, they need things to climb on and jump off of. They love slides and teeter totters. If you have big rocks to put in their pen they will serve two purposes. They can spend time playing king of the mountain and they will also file their hooves down some.

If your goats have horns, you must be aware that they can hurt you without meaning to. You must also be aware of things in their area that they might get their horns caught on. Horned goats stand a risk of tearing a horn loose or off and that is a real goat emergency, that will probably require a Veterinarian.

While on the subject of Veterinarians, you need to know who a good goat Vet is in your area. Not all Vets know the first thing about goats. You also need goat friends that you can turn to for advice if needed, sometimes they know much more about goat illnesses than Vets do.

I personally have my very own senior neighbor lady who is a goat expert, that I can call at anytime before 6:00 in the evening, that is when she goes to bed. You can also join goat message boards online to discuss problems that might arise, you can glean a ton of information from people who have raised goats for years there. My favorite is

Goat's hooves must have regular attention, they grow long and must be kept trimmed, it isn't a hard job but you will have to have someone to help you. You can use a regular horse hoof pick and small pruning shears to cut the extra growth off with someone restraining the goat.

Another lesson to learn is that goats are obstinate, it is just a goat thing. Some days you will love them so much that your heart will feel like it is going to burst. Then the next day you will feel like you could strangle them with your own bare hands.

Here is the key phrase that you need to remember: "Goats will always do the exact opposite of the thing that you are trying to get them to do." If you can remember this then you will be prepared for handling goats by always trying to get them to do the opposite thing from what you really want them to do, then they will do the thing that you wanted in the first place. But goats are very clever and will sometimes know your evil plan and will mess with you mind by doing the wrong thing perfectly. If you completely understand this last paragraph then you are not ready to own goats, but if this paragraph has you confused then you are the perfect goat owner.

No fence is goat proof unless the goat does not want to escape. We were under the false impression that our four strands of electric fence was good enough to keep goats in, but what we didn't realize was that they just never had a reason to want to get out. Our queen doe was satisfied with her surroundings and she is a bit lazy, so the fence held her. As long as the queen was happy the rest of the herd was happy too. But when we started taking the queen out of the pen to milk her, we soon discovered that it was only the queen who was keeping the rest of the herd in the fence. They just simply went under or over it without a second thought.

There is much more advice that I could give but I am tired of typing right now. Goats are not the sturdy animals that they appear to be or are portrayed to be. They have a lot of health issues, diet issues and parasite issues. You will need to learn about the rumen and its function and care.

The other thing that you need to know is that no one is a goat expert, even though I told you that I had my own personal goat expert neighbor earlier, she actually calls me for advice as much as I call her. No one knows everything there is to know about goats. They are one of life's mysteries.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Today is our 34th wedding anniversary and I am sick. My sweet husband was going to take me to my favorite Chinese restaurant to eat today. I was really looking forward to it. But I woke up this morning with a terrible headache, sore throat, dizziness and vomiting. How nice! The funny thing is that I didn't catch any forms of flu or colds this past winter but I have been sick all Spring.

I can see the goat lot from my bedroom window and Jasper is very sore today too. He is moving pretty slow, no playing and having fun today. I do feel a little guilty for putting him through this but it is for his own good. The first day is the hardest on them, he will be feeling much better tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We got several things accomplished today. One of our Granddaughters spent the night with us last night, so she kept me hopping all day while my poor DH was at work. We spent most of the day yesterday in a Lawyer's office, so I am not completely over that yet. The hardest thing on my back is sitting for long periods of time, so all I wanted to do today was recline and rest but my Granddaughter had other ideas.

When my husband got home from work, we had someone come to look at horses, then after they left, we started the milking and feeding. We moved Calico with the new babies out of the barn stall and into the goat lot with the others. Jasper was being a little too buckish and wanting to fight the new babies, so we banded him. That is, we wethered him, he is a buck no more. I usually like to wait until they are three months old to do this but Jasper is way to mature for his age in more ways than one. Needless to say that took some of the fight out of him.

Jasper also knocked one of his caps off, that is the remains of his burnt horns. They usually fall off on their own after a couple of weeks, I was beginning to think that Onyx and Jasper's were never going to come off. He knocked his first one off fighting with Calico. Onyx still has both of hers.

Tomorrow is our 34th anniversary and my Husband is trying to be nice but he is having a hard time of it. You see, Angel chewed his hose in two again. I don't know why she wants to get me in so much trouble. I offered to buy him a new hose but that didn't seem to help matters at all. I think he wants Angel's head on a platter. She really is doing much better and we are getting close to being out of the puppy stage but I am not sure I can keep covering for her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Boys

I was standing in the door of the chicken/goat shed the other evening, just watching the goats play and some horse antics, when I realized that all of our intact males are just forces to be reckoned with.

Cooter, my buck, had been pushing his limits with me all evening. He had been cooped up in the horse trailer too long and I had turned him out with Collette and Paris for awhile to get some exercise, since his buck pen wouldn't hold him anymore. He was pushing everyone around and was just generally being King of his domain. We are keeping him separated from Calico and Cinder now because we don't want them bred back.

From my vantage point I watched Cooter strutting his stuff. I could also see Badger, our Grullo AQHA Stallion, who was busy chasing my chickens who had just happened to wonder into his pasture, he was not only chasing them but trying to kill them.

I looked off to my left in time to see Jazz, our Appaloosa Stallion making a dive at the fence that separates him from Shorty, our miniature horse gelding. Shorty has a talent for driving Jazz insane by ignoring his strength and not showing any fear of him. I also personally think that Shorty makes rude remarks to Jazz that send him into a rage. Because one moment Jazz is calm and quiet, then the next moment he totally loses it and tries to crawl over the fence to get at him.

My Roosters like to find a high place to crow, they will also stand up to almost anything that threatens their hens, it's a guy thing. The testosterone driven males on this farm will take on any challenger. They can be quite annoying at times but are to be admired at others.

We did get a hot wire installed on top of our buck pen. So I don't have to deal with Cooter's posturing anymore. When I go into his pen now, he is just glad for some company and I don't have to deal with his buckishness, he is just a friendly puppy dog.

The icing on the cake for me when I was pondering these things, was when my little buckling Jasper got shocked by the electric fence. He yelled and jumped straight in the air but didn't run away like a doeling would do. He pulled himself up to his full height and marched right back over to that fence to let it know that he wasn't afraid of it and would fight it if necessary.


Butting Buck

Cooter at play

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sanity Returns

Calico's sanity has returned. She must have been traumatized by her labor and delivery because she is letting her babies nurse now. Thank the Lord! She isn't walking all over them anymore either. They are both happy and healthy, they are still a little wobbly in the legs but they will straighten up in a day or so.

Bottle Babies

Two mostly Nubian bottle babies for sale, 12% Boer. Both from very good milking stock. $25 for the black buck and $45 for the brown spotted buck. Located in Southern Indiana.

I haven't named these kids yet. I need names in keeping with my precious stones, minerals or metals theme. Their Mother is still rejecting them at this point, so it would be good to sell them as bottle babies now.

Bottle baby for sale

Nubian Buck for sale

Monday, May 12, 2008

It Just Figures

After staying up with Calico last night and worrying all day because we had an appointment today at 3:00 in a neighboring town that couldn't be broken, she delivered without me.

We left here at 2:15 and returned at around 6:00. She was all done and the twin bucks were dry. I don't know how the labor went, how long it took her or how old the babies were, but they had quit trying to nurse because she just would not allow it. They also have crooked, wobbly legs. I gave them some Selenium get with Vitamin E for their crooked legs but we had a time getting them to nurse.

She seems to like them but not enough to feed them without being held and forced, she is also walking all over them and lying on top of them. We may have to separate them, we will have to see how it goes tonight.

One is mostly black and the other one is brown with white spots, both are for sale as either bottle babies or weaned. We may be forced to sell them as bottle babies.

Late Night

I set my alarm to wake me at 2:00 am and went to bed. I woke up at 1:00 am and went out to check on Calico. She was just doing what she is always doing when I go out there, lying there chewing her cud, breathing rapidly, grunting occasionally. The only thing new this time was that she maa'd softly three times. They sometimes do that when they are in labor, they talk to their babies, her udder is tight now and strutted. Everything is ready for those babies to come and boy do I ever wish that they would hurry up.

I would love to get this one behind me because this doe is worrying me so much, she is going to have multiples, she looks like she could have a rectal prolapse, so someone will have to assist her in delivery. The worst part of it all is that we have a busy week scheduled with some things that can't be canceled. I may have to find a goat sitter, someone who isn't afraid to help deliver kids and perhaps fix a prolapse.

I have the coffee pot ready to brew, just in case she goes tonight. The first law of kidding or foaling is to have a fresh pot of coffee prepared. Calico is a first freshener, which means that I don't know what to expect from her because she has never had kids before. Cinder always gives very clear signs of labor, her udder is strutted, she talks to her babies, paws in the straw to make a nest and has a large amount of discharge right at the beginning and throughout labor.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


And just why am I doing this? I seem to have lost sight of the reason that I bother with these animals. After having Collette and Paris show total disregard for boundaries for the whole day yesterday. Then having them get to the point that I couldn't catch them for love nor money, I am asking myself this question.

The Rhodies continued to run the banty hens off of their nest, so that they could deposit there own eggs for them to hatch out. To solve this problem, we tried to move the nest with eggs and both banty hens to the barn and into a large pet taxi that we could keep the big hens out of. However, the banties just left the nest and ran back to the goat/chicken house to find their nest that was no longer there. So, the nest and eggs had to be moved back there also.

While I was putting the nest back in place, Cooter was cuddling up beside me, he had been a pill all day trying to escape and trying to fight me each time I tried to block his way, but now he was being his sweet self and wanting me to pet him while he urinated all over my leg, Billy Goats are special that way. This is the first time he got me, he has peed on my DH's rubber boot before and sprayed my daughter-in-law, I was starting to think that he didn't like me!

Calico has what appears to be the beginning of a rectal prolapse, so she is going to have to be watched very carefully and not allowed to labor too hard or long, she will definitely have to be assisted. Which means that I am going to be losing some sleep until she kids. Now why was it that I enjoy these animals so much?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Separation Anxiety

I did a lot of separation today but most of the anxiety was mine. I took Cinder and her kids out of the goat lot, so that I could put Cooter back in there to get some exercise and sunshine. He has been living in the horse trailer because he has learned to escape from his pen. As soon as we have time to put a hot wire around his pen, we hope to resolve this problem.

I put a rope halter with lead on Cinder and took her through the double electric fence gates and with much coaxing of her two babies and trying to keep the other two does from getting out, I succeeded finally but this was difficult to say the least. I was about half way to the barn with Cinder and babies when the other two does jumped the gates and caught up with us.

I turned Cinder loose and she joined Calico in the barn eating from an unopened bale of Alfalfa. Why they want to eat hay with all of the tall green grass, flowers and weeds that we have growing out in the yard is beyond me.

I haltered Cooter and took him to the goat lot, then went after the two escaped convicts. Catching, haltering and dragging the unwilling Paris and Collette was annoying but having Cooter waiting just inside the gate didn't help much either.

Next I found a kid halter and haltered Jasper for the first time, he did pretty well. I put him in the dog kennel and went after Onyx, she did very well also. I fed and watered them and turned around to find that Paris and Collette had escaped again. I struggled to put them up again, then again, and again. I finally managed to keep them up long enough to get a piece of webbing up higher than the top wire. Hopefully they won't be able to jump the gate now. They never knew that they could jump before. I had hoped that they would never discover this.

I also had to move my Mille Fleur D'uccle hen's nest, because two of my Rhodies kept running her off of the nest so that they could lay their eggs in it.

We went to a Graduation Ceremony last evening and when we came home I found one of my Barred Rock hens dead, I am thinking that it was probably that stupid Fox. I am getting paranoid about leaving home.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Setting Eggs

On Sunday evening my cousin who has Mille Fleur d'uccle hens like mine, told me that one of his hens had gone broody. So he came to my house and I gave him the 6 newest d'uccle eggs that I had to put under his hen. Then on Wednesday one of my d'uccle banty hens went broody. She had only 3 eggs under her, so on Thursday I set some more d'uccle eggs under her that I had gathered and had in my refrigerator. I took eggs right out of my refrigerator last year and they hatched out without any problems.

So, we now have a nest of 11 eggs with all three of my Mille Fleur d'uccles taking turns setting on it. Even my d'uccle rooster takes his turn, to let the hens go for a drink and a bite to eat. That's real teamwork. They should start hatching out in 21 days, which will be on the 27th or 28th of this month.

Calico looks like she is about to pop. We feel so sorry for her, but the weather has cooled down some and that will help her, those hot, sunny days were hard on her, she just laid in the shade and still panted like a dog. I have her turned loose in our yard and she can come and go as she pleases but she is staying inside in her stall today, she isn't wanting to move around much. I wish she would hurry up and kid. I am getting concerned about her, she may have triplets. or very large twins.

The mule foal died, his mother just didn't have any milk. When we were there on Sunday we couldn't catch her to see if she had milk and she doesn't belong to us or we would have pursued the matter. Now we feel bad because we didn't, he probably wouldn't have survived anyway without colostrum and no one was sure when he was born, but we could have tried to save him.


It wasn't all my fault, I would have blogged yesterday but some loser cut our phone line. Not just ours but the whole neighborhood's, they stole 150 foot of it. I guess it has value somewhere. I hope that they don't get in a habit of stealing it in our part of the woods.

When we finally got our phone and internet service back yesterday evening we were in the middle of a little birthday party for two of the Grandkids. Then of course, I was too exhausted to blog and went straight to bed. Now that takes care of the excuses for not blogging on Thursday.

On Wednesday, I was busy all day making halters that I am so far behind on, I am getting tons of e-mails from people wanting to know where their halters are. My poor hands can only make a few per day without cramping up on me, I have callouses on my callouses. Sometimes I even bust blood vessels in my fingers. Spring is always crazy like this, right when I am my busiest with foaling and kidding, I get tons of halter orders and people wanting updates on their websites because they have new foals as well. I haven't even had time to put my new foals on our website yet.

I worked hard to get caught up on halters on Wednesday, then the rain started and it rained and it rained. Our house/barn is sitting at the base of a hill and we do not have any guttering on it yet because we haven't been able to save enough money, all of our savings went into our horse's bellies this winter. So, we spent most of Wednesday evening trenching and sandbagging. Actually my DH spent most of the evening trenching and sandbagging. I just stood out in the rain with an umbrella trying to figure out where the best places would be for a trench. We did have some success in rerouting the water but it seems like every time we get a downpour like this one it takes a new direction and we have to change our strategy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Goat's Milk

Onyx and Jasper are getting old enough now that they are eating some grain, grass and hay, so we have started separating them from their mother so that we can get enough milk for ourselves.

I enjoy a great big glass of cold goat's milk all by itself or with some brownies or cookies. I am having a glass right now while I am typing this.

I have been separating the kids at around 2:00 in the afternoon, then we milk Cinder in the evening right before dark, then turn the babies back in with her for the night. The amount of milk that we get varies but we have enough for the two of us.

Cinder is not a good milker, she has a large udder and produces plenty of milk but she hates being milked. You would think that after awhile she would get used to the idea but it just never gets better.

It is a struggle to get her on the milking stand. We have a bale of straw beside the milking stand and her feed is right on the other side of the stanchion waiting for her to stick her head through. She doesn't mind standing on the bale of straw and putting her two front feet on the stand or even sticking her head through the stanchion to eat her grain but she just won't put her back feet up on the stand. So my poor husband has to lift her up there each time.

Then we have to put hobbles on her hind legs above the hocks because it is the only way that she can be milked. She will kick, stomp and squirm without the hobbles, she will put her feet in the bucket, along with hair and bits of manure. So, hobbles are the only answer for her.

We clean her udder before milking begins and my husband does all of the milking, he is very good at it. Just as soon at the milking is over, the bowl of milk is hurried inside and strained quickly through a metal, permanent coffee filter that we purchased at Walmart. Speed is important because the sooner that you can get the milk into the refrigerator the better. Cooling the milk quickly is the secret to really good tasting goat's milk.

We do not use the milk right away, we wait until the milk has been in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours for the cream to rise to the top, then I take a large tablespoon and skim the cream, I either save it to make butter with or use as a creamer in my coffee or it goes to the dogs and cat. The remaining milk is placed in a pitcher or clean milk jug for drinking.

Monday, May 5, 2008


We keep some of our horses at a friend's house because she has more grass than her horses can handle. She also keeps a large pony for another friend of hers. We stopped by there yesterday to trim one of our yearling's hooves. Our friend was mowing her yard, she and my husband were discussing changing oil on her lawn tractor.

I was listening and looking across the field occasionally at the horses who were at the back of the property. Something seemed strange about what I was seeing, so I tried harder to focus but at that distance and with my elderly eyesight, I couldn't make a certain object out. So, I finally said, "What is that?". My husband and our friend turned around to look. My husband said that it looked like a foal. I asked where our friend's German Shepherd was and my husband said that it's legs looked too long to be a dog, as he sprinted across the yard to the gate.

By the time that we arrived on the scene the "foal" had found it's mother and was nursing. My DH yelled to me that it belonged the pony. When it took it's head out from under it's mother and peeked around at us, we both started laughing and my husband announced that it was a mule.

The man who owns this pony had bought her at an auction last summer and had no idea that she was pregnant. We had been there about a week ago and I had made the comment that she looked pregnant but ponies tend to look that way, so we didn't investigate further.

It took awhile before our friend who owns the property got back to where we were. We didn't say anything about it being a mule to her and she was talking about how surprised her other friend was going to be. When she was finally close enough to see it she had the strangest look on her face. She said something about it having long ears before she realized what it was. I wish that I had had my camera with me, it was so funny!

It is just the cutest thing you ever saw. My husband finally caught it and we all got to pet it. It is a dark bay boy with a dorsal stripe, a curly mane and tail, very long ears and a light tan nose. You can't look at it without laughing. It's mother is a large bay pony with two blue eyes, she is real pretty and seeing her with this ugly little duckling is so sweet. She loves him no matter what he looks like.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Perfect Angel

Angel, my Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dog or LGD for those who have never read my blog before, is doing just great. She hardly ever carries stuff away or chews on things that she isn't suppose to anymore, I think the whipping that she got with the garden hose that she chewed in two really helped. I did catch her with a coffee can the other day, she had taken it into the goat lot, I explained to her that it doesn't look good to have tin cans in a goat lot because it causes people to stereotype goats as tin can eaters. She understood and hasn't done it since.

The main reason that I am so proud of her this morning is because she barked and barked until I finally went out, I looked around and didn't see anything but she insisted that there was something out there. Finally a fox ran out from behind one of the buildings where he was hiding. I didn't have time to get a gun. I don't know when I will start remembering to take a gun with me when I go out. Angel got a big "Good Girl", a pat of the head and a hug around the neck.

The only problem that I am having with Angel at this time is that she wants me to play with her and I am just not able. She is always bouncing around me trying to entice me to play. I told her that I was going to have to hire someone to rough house with her but the problem is that she doesn't much care for outsiders. She is only friendly with my husband, me and our little Granddaughters. She is friendly with our Grandson but only enough for him to pet her, not enough to really play. She doesn't really want to play with my DH either, she sees him as the big, bad alpha male.


Enough already, Hillary, I got your messages loud and clear. I have received three phone calls from the Hillary Clinton Campaign. Plus all of the mass mailings in my mailbox. I am surprised that she doesn't have my e-mail address. The first two calls were from live people but the one that I got today was just a recording. Hillary herself will probably be calling me on Monday or Tuesday.

The last piece of mail that I got was all about where Barack Obama really stands on guns, that just struck me funny because it didn't say anything about where Hillary stands on guns. Then the recorded message that I got today was the same message about Obama's stand on guns, paid for by Hillary Clinton for President.

I get the feeling that I am being profiled here. A little paranoia is setting in, what makes them think that I am a bitter person living in a rural place or small town who clings to guns? Now while Barack Obama may have made this statement, it is the Clinton campaign who must really believe it or they wouldn't be targeting me with this ad and this recorded phone message.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Free Ranging

In case you don't get the Mother Earth News magazine and I don't but a friend passes their copy on to us when they are done with it. They had an article in their fall issue about Real Free Range Eggs, the article pointed out that real free range is being allowed to roam free on pasture and feed on the things that they find there. What it doesn't mean is chickens that live outdoors in a pen or that live in cages with the barn doors open.

I hate to tell you what I have seen my chickens eat but my chickens are true free range chickens. They actually eat a lot of grass and plants, they love worms, insects and grubs. They like Angel's dog food and will even eat some stuff that buzzards find appealing. They pick and scratch through the manure piles as well.

The magazine article says that after their testing of free range eggs and factory produced eggs was completed, they found that Free Range Eggs had the following:
  • 1/3 less cholesterol (some that they tested even had 1/2 less)
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
Now if I can just find where the silly things are laying...