We had a serious change of housing plans the morning we picked up Addison. The idea of bears breaking into the blue barn proved to be too much so we decided to move her into the woodshed. The Commander emptied out the last remaining remnants of the firewood into the garage, and we then disassembled the garden fence and set it up in front of the woodshed.
Since this will be temporary I used spare boards to set up a mineral and baking soda feeders, as well as a water bucket holder.
An old shelf currently fills the need for a hay/alfalfa feeder.
I threw down some woodchip and straw for to cover the floor and she moved right in when we got her home. It is just amazing to see how small she is.
Our first dairy goat, Addison, arrives this coming Saturday, 13March2010. I feel like I am a first time mother all over again. I find myself checking through the list of supplies and materials over and over, looking for something that I may have forgotten. I keep wondering what type of grain and minerals I should feed my new girl, so I keep feeling like a pest as I email the breeder for information. Our local farm store doesn't carry much in the way of goat products, and the feed store isn't much better. The guy at the feed store said he might be able to order some for us. It's like searching through the isle of baby food wondering which one to pick. The man said some farmers use calf feed and minerals others use horse feed and on and on.... Anxiety is building along with the anticipation- can't wait to bring the bundles of joys home but worried if we are equipped with enough gear and knowledge.
Did I say bundles, well I guess I need to introduce Chip, Addison's new wether companion. Chip is the chocolate cutie on the right.
As I watched the Commander lug a bale of alfalfa and a bale of straw out to the Blue barn, slipping and sliding in wet 2+ feet of snow I had to suppress a chuckle. We have no fences and will have to keep the babies out in the garden until the ground thaws. The Commander has to shovel the snow out of the garden this weekend and then he set up an igloo dog house for the goats to hide in. They will reside in the now repaired blue barn at night - that is until the snow clears and then a new building will be set up for them to live in. Here's hoping the bears stay clear.
Icelandic chickens was our goal, but the seller would only let them go in lots of 25. The seller stated that the mortality rate was approximately 25%, so we could expect to have 17-18 survivors. Lets say that they turned out to be 50/50 rooster to hen, that would leave us with 9 hens and 9 potentially hostile roosters. After we thought about this for a while we decided that having too many chickens may be just too difficult for beginners, so what could we do?
A trip to the local farm store revealed that they bought peeps in lots with all the local wood-be farm types, thereby allowing us to combine our order with the others in order to obtain 8 Golden Wyandotte hens and a single Rooster. The Wyandotte's are supposedly calm, cold hearty, good layers of large brown eggs, and somewhat frost bite resistant.
If you need to get information about the various types of chickens out there or hints on keeping them alive you could do worse than to visit the Back Yard Chickens website. http://www.backyardchickens.com
The same process allowed us to pick up 10 Guinea Hens (5 purple and 5 lavender), and they will all arrive the first week of June. This will give us time to set up the coop and fencing, the weather SHOULD be warm enough for us to raise them in the garage (away from the house predators), but unfortunately this means no eggs until late fall.
I am an Ocicat. My duties include; security (rodents), counter intelligence (predators), infiltration (sneaking) and night surveillance.
I live in NE Minnesota on 10 wooded acres with; my best friend Mocha, three dogs, chickens, Guinea Hens, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Cascade Sheep, Icelandic sheep, and a few humans.
When we moved here it was completely wooded, our plan is to turn this property into a working homestead.