Sunday, June 29, 2008


Finding time to blog is getting difficult. My Husband, bless his heart, has decided to make me shoulder the whole load of taking care of my goats with no help at all from him. He thinks that I will realize that they are too much trouble and I will get rid of them.

Little does he know that I still enjoy them and the only real problem that I am having is that I keep falling. I fell again yesterday. I have been turning Cooter out of his pen to eat, instead of feeding him hay that we don't have at this point. So he spends most of his day in the yard eating my blackberry bushes and strawberry plants. He also makes visitors quite uncomfortable by his pleasant aroma and peeing on them and their cars.

Yesterday he had been out all morning and had taken to eating what hay we do have in the barn. So I went to put him up and as I was coming back down to the house I ended up on my back again, right on level ground. It was muddy from the previous night's rain but this was so unexpected. As I struggled back to an upright position, I began to think that this was not all together my fault or the fault of the slippery mud. It must be my shoes.

I love Crocs and have several pairs, they are just comfortable and easy to clean. But I don't think that they are the proper foot attire for goat/chicken farmers in muddy environments. So I am in the market for an easy to slip on but well cleated barn shoe. As for my Husband, I am hoping that he will give up this plan of his and allow me keep my goats. After all, I don't spend endless hours shopping and/or spending his hard earned money. I also don't run all of the gas out of his vehicles because I don't go anywhere.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back Home

I'll bet you thought that I was never going to blog again or that I had lost my typing fingers, that is almost what happened.

We have been staying at the neighbor's house while they were gone on vacation for the past three weeks. They are home now and we are moved back home. Running back and forth, taking care of everything there and everything here has nearly disabled me. I am down in my back for the most part but am getting better, I think.

I have mentioned the neighbor's parrot whom I adore before, but this is the rest of the story. She is temperamental to say the least, very moody. She will flirt with you until you fall for her cute ways, then when you try to touch her she will take off your finger.

She loves my husband and responds to him better than to me. She says "hello" every time he walks into the room. I can be with her all day and she does very little talking but the minute he walks in, she won't shut-up. However, when he puts his arm into her cage she quickly jumps on board but always ends up biting him at some point for no apparent reason. Her bites to my husband have only resulted in bruising.

She had only bitten me once when I first met her, but I have handled her a lot since then with no problems. When I walk up to her she will lower her head and press it against the cage for me to scratch her head. I get her out of her cage quite often if all of their dogs are outside or in their pet taxi's.

One night, I can't remember which one but it was right before the neighbor's were scheduled to fly home. My husband was on the computer in their computer room and I was sitting on the couch in that same room. All of their dogs were in pet taxi's for the night, my dog was loose in the house but I had shut the door because I had Lolita on my shoulder.

She walked down my arm and buried her face against my chest. I was scratching her head and neck and pulling on her feathers and she was purring like a cat. We had been doing this for some time and each time I tried to stop she would find my hand and put her head under it again.

My husband got up to leave the room and left the door open. Chloe, my dog, came in which wasn't a big deal but I didn't want her in there, so I yelled for my DH to please get her out and close the door.

Well, when he came back he raised his voice at Chloe because she didn't come out as soon as he asked her to and Lolita nipped me but it really didn't hurt that bad, so I didn't react. He yelled at Chloe again and this time she went out and he shut the door loudly. Lolita bit me again and this time she took a hunk of flesh off of my index finger's knuckle.

My reaction was to push her backward off of my arm and onto the couch but she managed to stay on my arm and grabbed the hand of the arm that she was standing on in the webbing between my thumb and index finger. Then she bit me twice more on the thumb. This time I put her on the floor and she walked off calling me names and mumbling to herself.

She finally walked back over to where I was sitting and I put my arm down for her to come back up on, but she wouldn't do it. I was bleeding anyway, so I yelled for my dear husband again to get the hand held perch and come and get her. He stuck his head back in the room and seen that I was bleeding, so he went after the perch and got her put back into her cage and bandaged me up.

I was very upset because I didn't want her not to like me. So he got her out of the cage with the hand held perch and he brought her over to me and she came onto my arm as soon as I offered it. We didn't have any more problems after that and I managed to control my fear.

The bites weren't too severe but I did get a little infection in the hole that she made in the web area between my thumb and finger. I still love her, she is just a normal parrot, and I have started begging for one of my own but I don't think my DH will give in on this one. The neighbors did have will's made out recently and we get the dogs and the birds.

Here are some pictures that I took of Lolita taking a bath, she is a Yellow-naped Amazon.

Yellow-naped Amazon


Parrot taking a bath

Friday, June 20, 2008

Perfect Horses and Kids

What has happened to horses? They have changed, they really have changed. Most horses used to be perfect horses, today very few horses are perfect. Horses have changed because people's attitudes about horses have changed. People's attitudes about a lot of things have changed. I remember as a young person when older folks would say, "What is this world coming to?". I am the one who is saying that now.

Our attitudes about our pets and even our children have changed, that is the reason there are so many experts out there getting rich telling you how to train your dogs, horses, birds, children, etc...

Magazines, Books, TV Shows, Classes, Clinics and even experts who will come to your home and teach you how to train your children and pets now exist. Our Grandparents didn't need this type of training, why do we? The answer to this question is that our attitudes are different than our Grandparent's attitudes. We have become a nation of softies, too gentle natured, too much anger management. We hate conflict and avoid it at all costs. We also hate taking responsibility and want to push all accountability off on someone else. We aren't leaders, we are followers.

The thing that really got me to thinking about all of this was a sign in a neighbor's yard. It is next to the road and hard to miss. It has a colorful picture of a child running and it says, "Kids dart, drive smart!". They are putting the responsibility of their children squarely on the shoulders of every driver who passes their house. Their house doesn't even sit close to the road. I am just having a hard time with that sign.

I am all for protecting kids even if they aren't related to me but why can't we take responsibility for our own children. They should teach their children about the dangers of the road, stay with their kids if they are in the yard or put up a fence to protect their children. Do we really have to be careful every time we drive past a house for fear that a child might run into the road in front of us? The sad truth is, if you do hit that child who runs into the road, it will be your fault and not the parents, whether you are being careful or not.

I recently saw a picture of a roofless horse trailer, it just had side walls and the horse inside was facing forward watching the world go by. Everyone on the website where the picture was posted was going on and on about how horrible this was and what in the world was the person thinking who was hauling a horse that way. They should be arrested for cruelty to an animal.

In the first place, were any of our Grandparents ever in danger of being arrested for cruelty to an animal? I don't think so, this way of thinking has just come about in the last several years. In the second place, how do you think that your Grandparents would have hauled a horse? I suppose that all depends on how old you are. My Grandparents would have hauled a horse in an open bed of a truck and though I hate to give my age away, so did my parents and so did my Husband and I when we were younger.

That's right, though it seems barbaric now, we trail rode every weekend in the national forest, to get there we trucked our horses several miles in the bed of our pick-up truck with only wooden stock racks. Those racks would not have held a horses weight if they would have fallen over against them.

We would haul two and sometimes three horses in the bed of the truck. They most always faced forward with there heads over the roof and I cannot remember even once having an eye injury or even a runny eye. We didn't have a horse trailer because they just weren't available then and when they did become more popular and more available, it took a while before we could afford one.

It is almost comical now when you hear so much talk about whether a horse will load or not. All horses loaded back then. I don't remember any clinics, books or trainers that taught you how to teach your horse to load, you just taught them.

Teaching a horse to jump up into the back of a pickup wasn't even hard. We expected them to do it and they did it. They learned early on that what we asked them to do, they had to do. So they already knew from the very beginning that they could never answer, "No!", they must always answer, "Yes!".

The really funny thing about that time period is that when someone was wanting to buy a horse, they never asked if it would load or not, and they never asked how they hauled. If you were trying to sell a horse, you didn't advertise using "loads and hauls" as a selling point.

All of our horses were perfect, all of our friend's horses were perfect. They were perfect because they were ridden hard all weekend long and weren't pampered or babied. We took good care of them but we didn't treat them with kid gloves, they always recognized us as alpha in the pecking order. We were the leaders in their herd mentality and they felt secure in our leadership, they trusted us. They knew as long as they answered, "Yes!", that we would not mistreat them in anyway and would protect them.

Many perfect horses crossed my path in my youth, some were perfect when they came into my life and some were perfect after we came to an understanding. I never minded a high spirited horse and in fact preferred one. Spooking every now and then was not what I considered a fault, but running off after spooking was. I get startled every once in a while, so why should I expect my horse to remain calm in every situation.

In order to have a perfect horse, dog or child, you have to take the responsibility to do the training and that includes discipline and teaching the meaning of the word, "NO!". You can't be afraid of conflict. If you want your horse, dog or child to feel safe with you, you have to be the leader, they have to know that you are strong enough to keep them safe by having confidence and not being fearful yourself.

I may have told this story before but here it is again, we had a horse who was always calm and didn't spook at all until someone who was looking to buy him walked up to him. All of the sudden he was looking all around for the monster that was getting ready to pounce on him. The lady was so scared of horses that he picked up on her fear immediately. He was only used to being around confident people. He trusted humans and so he just knew that there had to be a monster somewhere that had this lady so scared, he didn't know that he was the monster. As soon as she stepped away from him and someone confident stepped back to him, he calmed right down.

I know people who have never been around horses in their lives but they are not afraid of them and they can interact with horses without any problems at all. Then I know people who have been around horses all of their lives that horses just react negatively to because they are so fearful.

I plan to write about some of the perfect individual horses that have come into my life in coming blogs, so stay tuned...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chick Update

I lost count of how many chicks that my first little Mille Fleur D'Uccle hatched out, but with some drowning and some just dying for unknown reasons, she ended up with five chicks. Then two more died the other day, so now she has only three live chicks. The rest of her eggs we put under the other little Banty hen and she has hatched out five more and hasn't lost any so far.

My broody Rhode Island Red hen was sitting on seven eggs originally but one egg disappeared and we think that a skunk got it. The goat/chicken house smelled strongly of skunk on the day that it went missing. My LGD (livestock guardian dog) isn't much of a defense when it comes to skunks, I'm afraid.

The Rhodie's eggs started hatching today. I don't know how many have hatched but I did see a yellow head and a black head peeking out from under her wing at me this morning.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Perfect Horses

We currently have a large herd of horses, and have had many horses pass through our gates in the last several years. We have not had very many perfect horses, some have gotten close but just didn't reach the level of what I would consider a perfect horse.

Several years ago we purchased an appaloosa mare and an ugly sorrel gelding along with everything that went with them, even the trailer. The family just didn't have time to mess with them anymore and had lost interest. They did a lot of trail riding and camping with friends but they weren't really horse people.

They told us that the mare was wonderful and that the gelding was good too as long as you didn't separate him from the mare. He would follow her on the trail but that was about all he was capable of. Well, the gelding was just impossible and we were lucky to find him a home but the mare was nice, she just didn't seem to have any flaws. We advertised her as a great trail horse because that is all that these people did with her.

We only had her for about one month. A lady contacted us from a therapy riding facility and we talked about her a few times by phone but she was being careful and we ended up selling her to a young local girl to show in 4-H, just in time for the season to begin. Her 4-H leader was just overwhelmed by this mare and called to tell us so.

The lady from the therapy place called me back when she seen that the mare had been sold to ask me is she was as good as we had said that she was. I told her, "No, she is much better than we thought she was." She asked me how much we sold her for and I told her $1200, which was fairly good at the time for an unregistered horse. She wanted us to call the girl who had purchased her and offer her $2400 for her. We did and she refused.

This girl went on to win every class that the mare was entered in that year and every year after. She was passed down to other girls after her owner was too old for 4-H and got interested in cars and boys. She is an old mare now and is owned by the 4-H leader's timid daughter.

I am going to talk some more about perfect horses that have passed through my life in coming blogs, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thief Strikes Again

We were without phones and internet service all day again yesterday. The copper thief struck again. I had to take the neighbor's other two dogs to be groomed and I passed the crime scene. There were only a couple of AT&T trucks there this time and one police car. They were all sitting around laughing and taking a break while my phone lines were lying there shredded and my contact with the outside world was disconnected.

The problem is this; I realized yesterday that they are not replacing the lines with anything new, they are replacing it with the same old copper wire. The reason that I know this is because this is the third time that this stretch of line has been stolen. The lines hang down close to the ground in this spot and it is on top of a hill in a secluded area with no trees to block their view for a couple of miles, so they can see a car coming very easily in any direction.

Now I am not that smart but I have noticed that they only steal these lines on weekends but they do switch it around from Friday to Saturday or Sunday nights. But they are basically hitting the same areas each time. We have been without service on around six different occasions since this all started.

At least this gives the AT&T repairmen something to do, so maybe they won't lose their jobs to downsizing. Job security is good thing, I guess. How's that for a positive attitude? I do know all of these guys pretty well, since we have had a lot of phone problems in the last several years. There was a time that I talked to them at least twice a week. But other than the stolen lines, they did finally track down and fix our problem after I talked to a nice man at the Utility Regulatory Commission. Maybe I should give him another call, at the very least our phone bills should be adjusted for all of these outages.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Easy Goat Milker

I milk using my own hand milker made with a good quality spray nozzle with a stream setting, standard aquarium 7.62M tubing and a 20 ml syringe barrel, this size syringe fits my doe perfectly but my neighbor is using the same size on a doe with very small teats and she says it works great.

I wash the teats and get them good and wet before applying the syringe, this not only cleans them but the wetness helps speed up suction.

I have a stainless steel pan and a lid with a small hole in it, when I am done milking I don't even have to strain the milk, it goes right in the refrigerator. The pan never gets close to the doe, so we don't get any contamination.

I do one side at a time but from the same side. This milker only breaks suction when the teat is empty. My doe gives a gallon of milk per day and this is quicker than hand milking. I do hand milk to strip the bag out occasionally after I am done but I always get less than a cup which goes to the dog, cat or chickens. Chickens love goat's milk by the way.

We run cold water through the milker as soon as possible, then hot water with a little detergent added, then rinse. It isn't hard to clean, all you have to do is hold the syringe barrel under the tap and start squeezing the nozzle.

The best part is that my doe hates being milked and is a kicker but she stands still for this method. Today for the very first time, I opened the gate and she went to the barn and jumped up on the milk stand all by herself. This is real progress!

This picture was taken before I got my stainless steel pan.

My husband has always enjoyed milking by hand but he really likes this, we kinda fight over who gets to milk now. This has taken all of the worry out of getting the milk dirty and I can sit down beside the milk stand and relax for a few minutes. I switch hands back and forth, so it isn't as tiring as hand milking. Even my young grandchildren can milk with this.

If you want to make one for yourself, make sure there are no holes in it anywhere to break the suction and having a good nozzle is important, you have to have a nozzle with a stream setting.

Zircon Update

For those who are concerned, Zirc is doing fine, his legs will straighten up within a few days. We have never had one with legs quite like this before but we have had foals that were "over in the knees" and one who just flat had crooked legs due to a thyroid problem, who went on to become a winning show horse. So crooked legs in new foals aren't a great concern to us.

Zirc is doing a lot of sleeping and we are keeping him stalled and confined until those legs gain strength. I know that there are horse experts out there who would say that he needs exercise and room to run for his legs to straighten up but that has not been our experience, foals "over in the knees" need exercise and room to run but this guy needs to stay off of his feet as much as possible. I have argued this point with a know-it-all elitist horse expert before and the owner of the foal listened to the other person and ruined the foal's legs.

I don't know why horse people are always horse experts with nothing more to learn but they do tend to be that way. Goat owners aren't like that at all, there aren't many Goat Snobs out there but there seems to be a whole lot of Horse Snobs.

To those who think that he is ugly and that includes me. I can assure you that he will be a beautiful animal in no time. His dam has never produced an ugly baby, no matter what we have bred her to. To those who think that he is beautiful or cute, thank you for your love of horses. We have taken horses in before who were just plain ugly but with the right personality they are gorgeous horses no matter what they look like. We have also taken in beautiful horses who have attitudes that can completely overwhelm their good looks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I took care of things at the neighbors this morning, then went home to find Quizzy just walking to the back of the dry lot that she was in. I thought that might be a good sign. So I went into the house and did a few things, then came out to see what she was up to, she was just laying down. I went back into the house, called my Husband's cell phone and told him that things were in progress. I grabbed some towels and headed for the back of the lot.

By the time that I got to her I could see two perfectly positioned front feet with a nose resting on them, so far, so good. She gave a push and more of the legs and nose presented themselves. Then she got up, turned around and laid back down with her tail end right against the electric fence, I don't understand why mares always do this.

She had another contraction but made no more progress, then she rolled half way over and I decided to give her a hand. So I squeezed in between her and the fence that was turned off and grabbed the legs as high up as I could get and pulled with her next contraction. We gained a few inches and I grabbed up above the foals knees and pulled again, this time the foal's head popped out and I stopped pulling. She went ahead without me to push out the foal's shoulders and then quickly pushed out the hips, while I tore open the sack, so the foal could get his first breath.

There were a lot of fluids pooled under his head, so I just spread the towels down under him so that he wouldn't inhale any liquid. It was hot and breezy enough that he didn't need to be dried off anyway. With his legs still inside, and after checking under his tail, I left them to go call my DH with the news. Her first colt, she has always given us fillies before. We always like to leave the feet in as long as possible to keep the mare from getting up too soon. This way she will rest and not be as prone to colic. We also like to leave them alone during this time.

The problem was that he was under the fence, so I knew I had to be there when he started to seriously try to get to his feet. When Quizzy finally got up and the umbilical cord broke, he bled more than what I am used to and when the blood finally stopped dripping, I dipped his navel in iodine.

For around the next three hours I tried to teach him to stand on his own four feet. Once he started trying to get up I realized that he was nearly walking on his hind fetlocks and actually does at times. This made it very hard for him to stand and walk on his own. Finally he mastered it by leaning and bracing himself on me. After he was walking, then my next concern was getting some colostrum in him and that was not going to happen. He just couldn't balance himself enough to get in the right position to nurse.

He got very tired after falling so often and having to regain his feet, the sun was also too hot for the work that he was doing. So I had to get him into the barn stall. That was lots of fun for me by myself but I managed to get it done with only some nasty bruises on my lower legs. We even tumbled down a little embankment together once. When we finally made it, we both crashed in the straw for a rest.

After we both somewhat recovered, I went to fill his mother's water bucket and he searched for milk. I was thrilled when he finally found it. That was one less thing to worry about. Next he passed his meconium and I felt that I could go milk my poor goat who was long overdue for milking.

Well he isn't the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen but he is here and his name is Zircon.

Tattooing Eyes

When blogging about horses with sunburn yesterday, I meant to mention our stallion, Jazz. He is Ranger's sire and is also a few spot. But he does not have the dark pigmentation that Ranger has. He has a continual problem with the unlined pink area around his eyes. He suffers from swelling, tearing, burning, fly and gnat irritation, this can also lead to cancers and cataracts.

We have talked to our Vet about tattooing eyeliner around his eyes but he doesn't know anyone who does that in our area. So since applying sunscreen around the eyes isn't possible, the only thing that we can do for him is keep a fly mask on him during the hot summer months.

We have talked to one tattoo artist in our area who is willing to try it but we would rather find someone with experience in equine eyelining tattoos.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


After reading my blog about Ranger, someone asked;

"I have a question that is a off the subject, but I was wondering if you use any sunscreen on his nose? I have a palomino mare that has white skin on her nose, and every year it sunburns and blisters, I am trying a different sunscreen this year and I was wondering if and what you use?"

We have several horses that do sunburn or get what is called dew poisoning on their noses. Strangely enough Ranger isn't one of them, he has a lot of black pigment and he doesn't burn.

Ranger's mother however is a roan and though she doesn't burn on her face, she does occasionally burn on her back which is very painful for her. I do not know why she does this some years and not others, unless it is her diet or hormones. It isn't rain rot it is sunburn, her skin turns evenly bright pink along her back and she doesn't want to be touched.

We also have another roan mare that has a wide blaze and at times her entire blaze will burn but normally it is just her nose that burns. She hates lotion and we have a time treating her. I have found for some reason that any lotion will help almost immediately but I always try to treat them with something that has sunscreen in it. You don't have to buy the most expensive sunscreen or even something specifically for horses, we have had good luck with everything we have tried.

I used an Aloe Vera pump spray with sunscreen on my hard to treat mare last year and found that she would tolerate a spray much better than having anything rubbed on her tender nose. It did a great job and by the next day we saw amazing results.


I stayed up all night, well, I did lay down at 4:30 this morning, then got back up at 5:30, then laid back down until 7:00, still no baby. Quizzy got turned out of the foaling stall, she is back out in her muddy, grassless lot. The DH said that she was waxed heavy this morning when he turned her out.

I will be running between the neighbor's house and animals to our house and animals all day. If Quizzy doesn't foal during the day today, I will be up all night again unless she foals early tonight, that would be nice.

The neighbor's rain guage says that we got another two inches of rain overnight. The storms passed through quickly and weren't too bad. However, after this rain, I am not looking forward to going into the goat lot, but I don't have any choice. It's a dangerous job but someone has to do it...

Monday, June 9, 2008


We are bracing ourselves for the next round of storms. Every time that I have tried to get online today I have heard thunder and have given up, our electricity was out for over an hour today before the first storm even hit.

We did get the foaling stall dried out and today's rains haven't refilled it. My Husband announced this evening that Quizzy, our last mare to foal, is ready. So I am on mare watch tonight. Mare watch isn't very hard if you can be online during it, but the storms that are heading our way now will prevent surfing the net while keeping my eye on the mare.

She is nickering every three minutes and is extremely restless right now. Hopefully she will go tonight, so that I don't have to stay up two or three nights in a row with her. Her belly has dropped and she is sunken in around her tailhead. Her milk isn't sweet but it is white and not at all salty, her udder is very strutted and she even had just a bit of wax on one side. This mare has never given us anything other than a filly and she usually goes before her due date which is on the 17th.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Indian Shuffler

This is my horse Ranger, he is registered with the ApHC or Appaloosa Horse Club, he has a 90+% foundation designation and is eligible for registration with the Colorado Ranger Horse Association or CRHA. Ranger is a gaited appaloosa called an Indian Shuffler, he does the Indian Shuffle, this is a very smooth gait but I have still not been able to ride him, maybe someday.

He is a palomino few spot although the Appaloosa Horse Club registered him as a red roan, we argued this point with them on his full brother who was a palomino leopard, he had large palomino spots and they wouldn't take our word for it because they are so much smarter than the rest of us. After many phone calls and extra pictures we finally got them to change him to a palomino, the only reason that we bothered was because he was so obviously a palomino that his papers just didn't match him saying that he was a red roan.

When Ranger came along and we sent his paperwork in, we marked his color as a palomino and again those superior, intelligent people at the ApHC sent his papers back as a red roan. Since Ranger is mostly white and we were planning on keeping him anyway, we didn't bother to argue.

This past year we had a chestnut leopard filly born, her spots are dark chestnut with no white hair in them, she is out of a chestnut AQHA mare. The ApHC sent her papers back as red roan, we called and argued, they let us know how color blind we are. They have never seen this filly but it is us who do not understand horse colors. Even our Vet agreed that she was a chestnut with no roaning in her spots.

We had a similar problem with the AQHA or American Quarter Horse Association two years ago with a line backed, red dun colt. They sent his papers back to us as a chestnut because it was impossible for a chestnut stallion and a gray mare to produce a red dun foal. We called and talked to the man who takes care of this sort of thing and he looked at the pictures and the bloodlines and said that those bloodlines did produce red duns, so he changed his papers to match the colt. This colt's dam was born a grulla and turned gray as a two year old, so to say that a grullo and a chestnut could not produce a red dun was ridiculous. The AQHA treated us with respect and was reasonable.

You would think that since Ranger's dam has produced many palominos and our leopard filly is out of a chestnut mare that the ApHC would be reasonable too. But the end result is that we have two registered ApHC horses whose papers do not match them.


I haven't had time to blog for several days because I am trying to take care of a neighbor's house and pets while still trying to take care of my own. They have four house dogs, a cat, two cockatiels and a loud mouth parrot that I just adore. The horrible storms haven't helped much either. My computer has been shut off most of the time recently. It seems like there is a new storm moving through every few hours.

We only got 2 inches of rain here on Friday night, but central Indiana got 10 inches and from what I have heard it is nearly impossible to get to Indianapolis from the southern part of the state. Bridges are out and roads are under water.

Our barn did flood again on Friday night and I did fall again yesterday in the same place that I fell the other day. This time I didn't have time to try to catch myself, so I am not quite as sore. I walking into the goat/chicken house and all of the sudden I was laying flat on my back looking at the sky trying to catch my breath. The good news is that only my backside was covered with mud and manure this time. I have told my DH that I am not going back in that lot unless the ground is dry.

Our last mare is getting ready to foal. The foaling stall has an inch or two of water in it, so we are hoping to get it dried out before she decides to foal.

I will probably blog more than once today if it doesn't storm.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Results are in

My Mille Fleur D'Uccle hen has left the nest, she offically hatched out 11 chicks. 2 drown, 4 were killed by the big Rhode Island Red broody hen, who got confused because she heard the chicks and thought they were hers and run the little Millie off to set on her nest instead of her own. We took the nest to the barn/house to protect it from the Rhodie and the Millie stopped setting on the remaining eggs and at this point has 5 live chicks, probably all roosters with my luck.

Several of the Millie eggs that were left are at different stages of development because my other two banty hens continued to lay eggs in her nest after I set the original eggs under her, plus one big hen slipped an egg in there also. We took the remaining unhatched eggs and put them under the Rhodie and are watching them closely, if any of them hatch we will put them with the other chicks. When moving the remaining eggs my DH broke one of them and it had a live chick in it but it did not survive.

My Husband brought home four new banties that someone gave him, two roosters and two hens. One pair appear to be the same breed, they are very pretty. As soon as I get some time I will try to do some research and identify them.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Today just wasn't my day. Things were going along fine until I started doing my morning feeding. The sky was overcast but after the dreadful storms that we have had for the last few days I just wasn't expecting what happened.

I started feeding as usual, I had turned Cinder out to go to the barn/house to be milked and fed Angel and the other five goats outside of the shed instead of inside because it wasn't raining and I wasn't expecting it to.

I grabbed ahold of Calico to drag her over to a big dog cage that we feed her in because she gets some calf manna mixed in her feed that the other don't. As soon as she saw her feed in the cage she took off on her own and as she jerked away from me, my feet went out from under me also.

It is just so sloppy and muddy right now in that lot after all of the rain that we have had. I hit the ground with a resounding thud and kept sliding in the mud even after I hit the ground hard with my left side.

When I got back on my feet there wasn't a spot on me that wasn't covered with manure and mud. I went to the house to try to clean myself up some before I milked. But by the time I got to the house the sky erupted with a vengence, high winds, thunder, lightning and pouring rain.

I couldn't leave Calico out in that cage and I didn't want the rain to get into all of the grain that I had just put into their feeders. So I went back out there and it was raining so hard that it hurt. I didn't mind getting some of the mud and manure washed off of me but this was ridiculous.

By the time I made it back to the lot that I had just left, there was already two inches of rain in their feed pans and the grain was just ruined as far as my picky goats were concerned. I released Calico and put both of the feed pans in the shed but they wouldn't touch it with that water in it.

I made it back to the house/barn and washed up enough to milk. While I was trying to milk poor Cinder the storm just raged on and the sound of the hard rain, high winds, thunder, then large hail on the metal roof made her somewhat nervous. I was nearly finished when I noticed that the water was getting pretty deep at my feet. Our barn flooded worse this time than it has ever done before.

There are still severe storm warnings out tonight and a tornado or two touched down in some areas around us yesterday. So far we haven't had any damage and for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Disbudding Disaster

We finally got Copper and Zinc dehorned, but it was a very disturbing event. We have disbudded several kids, so this wasn't our first rodeo. This time it was totally different than what we have experienced in the past.

We got everything prepared on Friday evening, put Copper in the box first, he fought so hard that I was afraid that he would hurt himself. Both of us together couldn't hold him still even before we started the burning process. It was difficult but we finally got him finished, he was whimpering pitifully when we took him back to his mother.

Next it was Zinc's turn, he was ten times worse than Copper had been. He struggled so badly that the iron slipped a couple of times and we had to start all over again. When we were finished with him, he was bleeding from both sides, we had never had that happen before.

Both kids continually scratched the burns with their hind hooves, they whimpered and cried all night long, we had never seen this before either. Normally the kids just start playing and acting as if nothing had happened. Jasper and Onyx started running and chasing each other as soon as we released them back to the mother.

The next day Copper had recovered and was fine but Zinc still cried most of the day, he got under the goat/chicken shed and wouldn't come out. I don't understand what caused this and why this time was so different, we did everything the same as aways. We have done them younger than these two and older.

On Saturday a friend stopped in and helped me get Zinc out from under the shed and one of the burn sites was infected. We sprayed it with blue lotion and by Sunday he was starting to act some better. On Monday he was completely himself again.

I started this blog this morning but severe storms hit our area and I had to close the computer down. I was glad that I did because our electricity went out for quite awhile after that and then came back on long enough for me to wash some dishes then went out again. All is quiet at the moment but I think that we are still suppose to get more storms tonight.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chicks and Foals

I went out to check my chicks after Sunday School and found two had somehow gotten in the waterer and drown. I had considered it a risk but really didn't think that they could get up that high. So I went from seven chicks down to five. I haven't been out there yet today to see if anymore have hatched.

My husband has been working a lot of hours and hasn't had any time to spend on the things that require his attention, like fences, mowing, hoof trimming and horse training. He decided to spend some time with Badger our grullo stallion yesterday and that somehow turned into an all day fiasco that left us both in pain.

Badger is five years old this Spring and has never been broke to ride and we have never used him as a stud yet. He is a beautiful animal and a real sweetheart to handle.

The DH had groomed and saddled him, longed him and worked with him for awhile. He then decided to turn him out in the lot that we have the mares with foals in, so that he could run and get some exercise. We have been keeping him in a small lot where he really can't run and play. In order to do this he had to put all of the mares with foals in Badger's lot which should have been a simple thing to do.

The three mares and two of the foals went right in when he opened the gate, but Ruby was not going through that gate. We spent three hours trying to get her in, she is getting old enough to have some independence, so just following her mother was something that she didn't feel compelled to do.

All of the foals should have been handled more than we have had time to handle them. When my husband carries hay out to them he always tries to spend a few minutes petting the babies but Ruby has never let him touch her. She sees him rubbing and scratching Sapphire and she is curious, she wants to be brave and walks up to him but so far he hasn't been able to pet her. He would have liked to just given her time to warm up to him but she forced his hand yesterday.

We tried everything to get her through that gate and believe me when I say it was hot and she can outrun either of us. Which is pretty easy on my part because I can't run at all. But I could keep her moving and we finally just exhausted her. When she was hot, tired, out of breath and longing for a drink, we brought her mother back out and she followed her through a different gate. She actually won that round, because we never did get her through the gate she was suppose to go through but we will make sure she goes through it at some point.

By keeping her mother moving and not allowing her to nurse we managed to get her into our round pen that isn't actually round right now. Then with gloves and a lasso, he roped her. She is one big girl made of nothing but muscle, and by this time she thought that she was a wild mustang that had never been touched by human hands. We did handle her a lot when she was born but she has forgotten all of that.

She fought hard and long. She is very strong willed and for awhile I was not sure who was going to win. He finally got a halter on her and we brought her and her mother to the barn/house and that is where they still are this morning. We didn't get our feeding and milking done until after we got home from Church last night, when all of that was done, he brushed her all over and we petted her but she still doesn't like it.

I am going to spend some time with her today, as soon as she loves us as much as Sapphire does, we will turn her out and go to work on Garnet but I don't think he will be much of a problem.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

No Phone

I don't know if our phone was down because of thieves again or if it was something else but we didn't have phone service when we got up yesterday. If we don't have phone service then we don't have internet service, because we live out here in this third world country with no modern conveniences like city water or high speed internet options.

Someone is stealing our old phone lines for their copper content. This is fine with me because if they continue to steal it then we will eventually get all new phone lines and maybe better service and maybe even DSL. It is pretty annoying because it is happening so often and we are without service for the whole day. They told the people who called it in that we wouldn't have service back until Monday but they did have it fixed yesterday evening. I hate not having a phone or internet but I can live with it if it is for the greater good.

When I took feed out to my Mille Fleur D'uccle setting hen, she got off the nest and I counted six babies and two more that were in the process of hatching. The problem is that the little tiny chicks are jumping out of the nest and they can't get back in. I had to rescue them several times yesterday by putting them back in.