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Posts Tagged With: goats

White As Snow

Recognize this?

Lizzie's all grown up!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Yah, that’s Lizzie, the “little” lamb we brought home–wasn’t it just yesterday?!

Lizzie's all grown up!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Last time I think you saw her she looked like this.  I can’t believe how much she’s grown!

The thing is, its spring time and I have baby fever.  Baby animals that is.  I’m posting these photos to remind myself next time I see a cute bunny or whatever that they don’t stay little for long because, yeah, this happened last week.

Not so "little" animals on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com}

There are just three.  And they’re for the kids.  I promise.  Because I know that baby animals grow up all to quickly.  I really do.

Then again, they’re pretty amusing as grown animals too.

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For example, here’s a photo bomb by Harriet.

And this is Harriet and Fanny as I was leaving their pen.

Not so "little" animals on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com} Not so "little" animals on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Don’t leeeeeeeeave us, Mom!

And Lizzie again, trying to eat the camera’s strap.  So adorbs.

Not so "little" animals on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com}

So maybe not so “little,” and a long ways from “white as snow,” but know what?

Pretty fun anyway.

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Categories: Animals | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Why I Gave My Goat a Pedicure

My goat is currently styling the latest in white painted hooves and my lamb is showing off a french manicure.  I’d like to tell you it’s because I follow all the current fashions, or maybe because I’m using some great home remedy to protect against disease or something.  But actually it all has to do with the black mold in the bathroom.

Why I gave my goat a pedicure.

This color really goes with her outfit.

Our back bathroom has been disintegrating since the mid 60s, so the surprise was from the shock of actually falling when the shower tiles I was leaning against collapsed into the wall.  This led to the discovery of black mold behind the tiles and the complete destruction of that bathroom.  After much sanding, scrubbing, and bleaching we began replacing everything from the wall studs on out.  We put in a new shower, flooring and tile, added wiring for more outlets, and put up bead board.

Why I gave my goat a pedicure

The finished result!

We picked bead board that needed painting.

Yup, wait for it, it’s coming.

On one of the rare, few days that has felt like spring my mom and sister came over to fly kites with the kids.  There was lots of going in and out of the doors with Fanny, Harriet, and Lizzie leaping for joy to have company in the yard.  My mom and I were talking in the front yard when Brett came bursting out of the house to tell us all three animals were inside!

Why I gave my goat a pedicure.

Don’t let that innocent face fool you.

We followed Brett through wide open garage and back entry doors, to find Lizzie the lamb standing on my newly tiled bathroom floor, front hooves in the still-wet paint tray.  Of course as soon as she saw me Lizzie jumped up from her half-finished spa day, scattering newspaper in all directions.

I managed to get ahold of her collar, but this “little” lamb weighs close to what I do.  The best I can do is to pull her as quickly as I can off the back entry and out into the garage and slam the door behind her.

The goats were nowhere in sight, but I finally discovered them at the other end of the house by the bedrooms. They, too, were rather skittish so it didn’t take much to convince them to move.

Why I gave my goat a pedicure

She thinks she’s cute.

Moving in the right direction was a different story.  First we ran the circle that is the office and living room.  Next mom and I had to take opposite sides of the island to get them back to the entryway, and then, if you can believe it, we hearded them right into the closed back door and on into the bathroom!  Fanny managed to avoid the paint tray but Harriet not only stepped both front feet into the deepest part, she also skidded enough to slosh paint all the way up her hooves, completely covering both of them in primer.

Why I gave my goat a pedicure

She did such a nice job. I always think its harder to paint the right hand…

Thankfully Harriet is smallest of the three animals and I was able to pick up her front end and walk her to the re-opened back door and deposit her in the garage before running for a rag.

Fortunatly, all’s well that ends well and the back bathroom as well as the animals are all fine.

But the garage will never be the same again.

Why I gave my goat a pedicure

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Brrrr!

Right now my phone tells me it’s 7° outside. It’s supposed to be 0° by 8 o’clock tonight, with an final low of -7 by the time the day is done. The irony of having livestock is more extreme the weather the more time you have to spend out in it.

Despite a canceled church service yesterday and no school today I got up early to check on the animals first thing both mornings.

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We have a heated waterer for the dog, cats, goats, and the lamb, but it still has to be checked because in these extreme temperatures not even the automatic heat works every time.

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They also eat a lot more food in extremely cold temperatures!

The back entryway is a mess! The chickens waterers must be brought in and thawed so I can exchange them throughout the day. Lizzie takes her bottle twice a day by the back door, And the rest of it is littered with mud boots, scarves, hats, gloves and old towels to soak up the melted snow.

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It took me 30 minutes this morning and will require another half hour tonight to make sure that all of the animals are fed and watered. But just imagine if instead of a handful of backyard animals you had a whole farm full of livestock that your livelihood depended upon!

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Today in this freezing cold weather many farmers and ranchers will be outside almost all day providing for their livestock. They’ll do this today, tomorrow, and even on Christmas morning!

So thanks to all the farmers who provided my Christmas ham, yams, and eggnog!

And Merry Christmas!

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Chicken Palace

*Sigh*  Sometimes it really is the little things!  Actually I think my husband would argue that this really was a big thing, but either way,  I’m excited about it just the same.

Chicken fence {DaddysTractor.com}

This… is the new chicken fence!

When we I first ordered our baby chicks I had these quaint visions of happy hens pecking and scratching about the yard.  I would shut the birds up in the coop at night, but during the day I opened their pen and they would run like first graders to recess out of that little door.  Then they would meander about the shed and backyard during the day and put themselves to bed when the sun set.  It all worked very nicely… for a while.

Free range chickens

Our formerly free chickens.

First it was the neighbor’s dog.  Apparently he liked chicken dinner as well as anybody.

Then it was the rye grass newly planted in the field by the house.  I guess it just kept calling them to explore further.

Next it was my garden.  Which was fine as long as they were fertilizing it, but not so much when it came time to plant seeds.

And when they discovered the dirt bath under the bushes and began to fertilize the sidewalk up to the front door, well, then Daddy had just about enough of the “picturesque” birds.

But the final straw was loosing three birds in three days to an unmannerly coyote.

The chickens needed a fence.

Actually, the girls are loving their new space.  Its more than 500 square feet, but I'm pretty sure they're also grateful not to be eaten...

Actually, the girls are loving their new space. Its more than 500 square feet, but I’m pretty sure they’re also grateful not to be eaten…

Which is easier said than done, of course.  It took Daddy nearly a month to complete this project, squeezing it in between his other farm jobs.  But when Daddy does something, he does it right.  We live in tornado alley, and the fence was designed to be as Brett-proof as possible, which means it should hold up to the tornados just fine.

The new chicken fence on the farm {DaddysTractor.com}

Now all we need is a goat pen!

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Whole Farm Life Thing

The Whole Farm Life Thing {DaddysTractor.com}

I didn’t grow up a farm girl.  Not even close.  So I’m kind of making the whole farm life thing up as I go along.  Like the goats I brought home a month ago.  One of my goals was to get Brett involved in 4-H so he could show the goats and maybe some sheep.  Little details– I didn’t even know how old you had to be to join 4-H.  But what better way to find out than just to show up at the county 4-H livestock fair and question poor, unsuspecting participants!

The Whole Farm Life Thing {DaddysTractor.com}

We walked around and looked interested and sure enough, several families stopped to talk with us.  (Love this about farm families!)  We found out about the “Clover” program which judges showmanship of the kids rather than the characteristics of the animals.  Its for kids 8 and under, so that will be perfect for us!

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Although they spent most of their time playing in a pile of sand behind the bleachers, Brett and Anna also watched a few classes go through the judging process.  Brett is all excited about teaching our goats how to stand properly for a judge.  He wants to start tomorrow.  I’m counting on YouTube to come through for me on this.  Feel free to leave advise in the comments!!

The Whole Farm Life Thing {DaddysTractor.com} The Whole Farm Life Thing {DaddysTractor.com}

Then we ate jumbo hot dogs (fair requirement I’m pretty sure) and played in the sand some more before coming home to leave a massive ring in the bathtub.

This farm life really grows on you.

Categories: Animals, Family | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

What I Now Know About Goats

.Bottle-fed baby goats join us on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Okay, so we’ll just start with the fact that I know I’m crazy.  Because if the 33 laying hens, 5 banty hens, 3 cats and a dog weren’t enough work, I’ve really gone and done it.  I’ve added 2 bottle-fed diary goats.

Bottle-fed baby goats join us on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com}

Currently I’m waffling between thrilled and overwhelmed.  We’ve already discussed crazy.  I’d thought about goats.  I’d pondered the value of goats’ milk.  I’d even vaguely planned for goats.  In a theoretical kind of way.  But then there they were and I was bringing them home in a box that just happened to be in the back of my van.

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They are one and two-week old Nubian dairy goats, meaning that in another year or so (maybe two years if they don’t grow fast enough for breeding this fall) they will be ready to be milked.  But for now we had to run around to get milk for them and bottles and the whole bit.  I spent some time this morning searching and researching and this is what I now know about goats.

The the best milk-replacer available within a 30 mile radius is Doe’s Match by Land O Lakes– don’t they make butter?  Goats need mother’s milk for at least the first day, but after that you can give them milk replacer for any of several reasons; mine was to create friendly goats.  Oh, and I don’t have a mama goat 😉  The kids should be fed 15-25% of their body weight in ounces of formula.  The only way to weigh a goat on a bathroom scale is to weigh yourself, pick up the goat, weigh again and subtract.  Goats getting less milk will switch to grain and hay quicker and be easier to wean, goats receiving more milk will grow faster.  I’m going for grow faster, since these were late-season kids and I’d like to breed them sooner rather than later. The milk replacer in the bottle should be just like human baby milk, warm enough so you can’t feel it on your wrist.

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Horns can be problematic for domestic goats, since they catch in everything!  De-budding within two weeks, or as soon as you can feel a pea-shaped bump, is painful, but quickly over and is much more humane than allowing them to be caught in a fence by their horns all day.  And my most important lesson was to make a friend in the goat world who will help me de-bud these little does tomorrow and has already offered to come help me any time I get in over my head.  Thanks goodness farmers seem to love helping others do what they do!

Bottle-fed baby goats join us on the farm!  {DaddysTractor.com}

And although family and friends who have known me for years will be shocked to learn I’ve adopted goats, few will be surprised that matching pink and purple collars were priorities, as was finding ideal names.  Ms. purple collar with more white on her backside is Fanny Price.  The gal with the pink collar and more brown towards the end is Harriet Smith.  (Characters from Mansfield Park and Emma, both by Jane Austen.)  I thought Fanny and Harriet were good goat names and it leaves me Lizzie, Elinor, and Maryanne from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility for the lambs.  🙂

Categories: Animals | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

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