This is the milk I was able to get from Becca Boo yesterday, looks like she is done for the year. Addison and Gidget dried up quite a while ago so it looks like the milk supply has come to an end. The Commander is heart broken as he can barely stand the taste of store milk anymore.
A few years ago we all would have had a good laugh at the thought of "running out of goats milk", who does that? That would have been analogous to running out of moon spice!
That all change one fateful day when I read thisblog post by OFG. She followed it up with this one and the rest was history.
I made mutton stew today, it was darned good. I'll give approximate instructions but understand that I don't ever use exact measurements.
Two thick mutton shoulder roasts cut into chunks.
Roll the chunks in flour and salt then sear in a pan of olive oil and garlic.
Three potatoes (last ones from the garden) cut into cubes.
Three hand fulls of baby carrots.
At least one cup of chopped celery and onions.
Toss at least one tablespoon of thyme and some ground pepper into the crock pot.
One can of asparagus.
One can of beef broth and one can of onion soup.
Mix everything in the crock pot along with 1/4 cup flour and cook all day. Add some water after 4-5 hours to ensure everything is floating! Stir in a can of peas before serving.
Some homemade bread covered in butter along with a cool glass of fresh goats milk make the dish! The flavors of this dish really jumped out at us. I used wheat flour by accident and we could really taste it on the mutton and in the broth, it gave things a real hearty flavor. The asparagus made its presence known in a big way. The potatoes absorbed a lot of the broth and they tasted very gravy like. Carrots always have a strong taste, especially when cooked whole. The mutton gave the whole dish a kind of greasy flavor but it was in a good way. The whole house smelled wonderful and the dogs kept walking around drooling.
Killarney is doing something very odd, he is rounding up the three girls in his pen and moving them up against the back fence as far away from the other barns as possible. So whenever I go out to see them they are all standing in the back forty away from shelter, food, and water.
Is he concerned about little Bablo in the pen next to his? Bablo sits by the fence and cries and cries to rejoin the flock. I don't think he likes sharing space with the two goat boys.
On the other end of the property Laura paces the fence line and calls to the other girls. She completely ignores Hoss' attentions so she and Azalia at least get to eat and drink.
The Commander brought Killarney and the girls into the barn just after noon and stalled everyone with food and water, but we aren't going to get much breeding done with this arrangement.
How do I fix this? Do I move Bablo in with the girl goats? Will Killarney get over his obsession?
It snowed last night, hard! It is still snowing. The snow blower got its first run of the season and we had to salt the driveway as well, yuck. Happy White Friday!
It was also moving day as the sheep breeding groups were established. Kia and Avalon were not very excited to see Killarney.
Killarney on the other hand was very excited to see them! He was all tongue wagging this and lip curling that - I guess that is supposed to be attractive for sheep.
The chickens were less than impressed. So unimpressed were they that most of them refused to leave the coop at all today. I'm sure the 21* F temperature and -1* F windchill didn't have anything to do with it. I had the Commander put some extra food and water inside the coop tonight to make sure they get an opportunity to eat something.
Juliette and Diablo spent the day outside picking through all the food the chickens didn't eat. This will be Juliette's third Winter so she knows what to expect at least.
With the rams joining the girls little Bablo needed a place to stay so he is moving in with the goat boys. I'm sure the smell won't have any impact the quality of his wool. I saw Bablo trying to itch his belly on a few of the girls so it definitely time for him to find other quarters.
I hate going into the pens when the rams are mingled with the girls, I just don't trust them. The girls don't seem very trusting either as of yet. The Commander had to bribe everyone with grain to get them into their barns for the evening.
Laura is used to being the boss so the move to the ram pen to join Hoss has her very agitated. She is still bigger than him so this will be an interesting situation to monitor.
Poor little Azalia has to be in with Hoss as well because Killarney is her father. She has never been away from her mother Gardenia so I'm going to have to watch her closely for signs of excessive stress.
The rams have returned from Freezer Camp! I sure hope the family likes mutton.
My new freezer is full of the following: leg and rack of lamb on the top shelf, lamb chops on the second, roasts on the third, and ground lamb on the bottom. I estimate we have about 60-70 lbs on ice so it is time to start looking up recipes!
Our Americauna hen laid her first egg yesterday...as far as we know. The Commander found it up in the sheep hay loft while he was moving bales. An extensive search failed to produce any other green eggs so that is how we deduced that this was her first egg.
That morning when the Commander opened the buck's side door he discovered Mamma chicken waiting to get inside. It seems that Mamma chicken has started laying again and she has chosen the buck barn as her nesting area.
I have recently found roosters hiding in the nest boxes at lunch time, I can think of no sensible reason for why they would be doing that. It seems that when they get in the boxes they roll any eggs out into the center aisle, great.
So today checking for eggs consisted of; pulling out a ladder and searching the sheep hay loft (1), running two stinky bucks out of their barn and searching through the waste hay (1), rummaging through the aisle hay in the coop (1), and chasing roosters out of the nest boxes (0). Not a bad haul for a cold winter day, looks like hunting season has begun.
This would be a total luxury. There isn't room in our house for this type of bathtub so the only way it will happen is if we remodel and add an addition. Before a new bathroom can even be thought of we need new windows and a new deck. Oh well.
The Commander wants one of these BAD. Not only would it help heat the house but it can be used to cook during a power outage. Unfortunately we don't have room, the only way to add one of these would be to increase the size of the kitchen. Oh well, some day.
I don't have a recent picture of Addison (brown above) but she has been a real "Hussie" the past few days. When I opened the girls barn the past two mornings she has bolted out and made a beeline for the buck barn and Romeo. If all goes well Addison should be having kids on either April 1st or 2nd.
Gidget wasn't as excited, but she trots over to visit Romeo as well, but on her own time. I guess she figures she had Romeo all to herself the first day and she doesn't mind sharing now.
As I was milking Becca Boo this morning Gidget stood off to the side and screamed continuously at the top of her lungs. The stress level in the barn was at maximum and that may explain why milk production was down.
Only one thing could explain Gidet's crying, she was in heat. Rather than put up with that horrible noise all day I decided to bring her over to the buck barn to spend some time with Romeo. This was a good idea poorly executed.
As I tried to walk her over Molly decided to "help". Her assistance consisted of first trying to bite Gidget's ear and then actually biting Gidget's side. An easy stroll turned into me having to carry a no-longer-very-petite Gidget over to the buck barn with Molly jumping up at me every step.
Once Gidget and Romeo commenced "Courting" Dominick needed to depart the premises. With Molly still trying to help I had to pick up the somewhat stinky buck to be and lug him over to the birthing stall - pew!
If all goes well I hope to have little "kid" bouncing around on March 31, 2013!
Romeo is here to do some fraternizing with the girls! He will begin "courting" Addison, Gidget, and Pebbles this coming week.
I know he will be a Gentleman at all times. He is such a handsome and friendly buck, just a pleasure to have around. His coloring is unique and it will be interesting to see how it blends with the girls'.
The butcher finally came today and took care of Ironwood and Alder. Neither of them were very friendly and it was time for them to go. I was hoping they would have left for camp earlier before they went into rut but it was not to be, I hope the meat isn't too gamey as a result. I think we will get 60-80 pounds of meat back, let's hope we like mutton.
Their departure will allow me to break everyone off into breeding groups next week. The Commander cleaned out the stall today and we just need to hang a few hay racks and things will be ready.
The deer hunters were out in force this morning so I'm hoping they run the wolf pack that has been hanging around off to a different location. I would hate to lose anyone at this point.
All in all it is kind of a bittersweet day. I'm happy the two meaner rams are gone and that I can set breeding groups next week, but I also appreciate the sacrifice the two rams made.
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.