Monday, May 31, 2010

Clearing Continues

This used to be a total leaf canopy, look how much sun can now get in to help grass grow.

Lots of wood to haul and cut into firewood.

Hopefully we can convert this into a pasture one day, although we will leave a few trees here and there.

Sod update; I can't believe it is growing out in the middle of the forest.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shots and Coops

Addison and Becca have needed a CD/T shot for a few days and I have been dreading it. I referenced The Goat Spot message board for any useful information and noted that I should have some Epinephrine on hand in case one of the goats had a reaction. When we last took Sara to the Vet he instructed me on how to issue a goat a shot. Ready or not, today was the day.

I figured that in order to get the goats to stand still for the shot that I would need to bribe them with some grain. Becca was first, she flinched when I stuck the needle in but otherwise she just kept eating. Note poor Becca's haircut, she wouldn't sit still and I need more practice.

When it was Addison's turn she didn't even seem to notice, she too just kept on eating. The suprise here was that I didn't even need to use the brown paper bag!

We fenced in the chicken coop with the last of the dog kennel fencing that we picked up at a bargain price. The real victory in this was that the back of the coop was fenced with the FIRST of the sheep fencing! The enclosed area measures 26 feet by 20 feet, that should give the chickens enough room to get started until we let them out to free range. We are still debating whether to string netting across the top or not.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Medicine Woman

OK, here are some of my medical supplies. The tool box makes a great container for the smaller stuff. The goats get the Apple cider vinegar in their water every day. Iodine, vitamin C, probiotics, biohazard container for used needles, bagbalm for utters, bloodstop - be sure to read the following post and comments about why one needs bloodstop by OFG (, molasses, Karo syrup, and more.

You need prescriptions to get most of these as they are reserved for registered farms and/or breeders. Make sure to keep them refrigerated. These are mostly injectables, so if you are afraid of needles they won't be of much help to you. Pictured you will find; Penicillin, Oxytocin, CD/T toxoid, epinephrine (don't give your animals shots without having this on hand), and Banamine (anti-inflammatory).

Inside the box I have a stethoscope, triple antibiotic cream, large syringes, alcohol swabs, scissors, kid colostrum, and a brown paper bag (this is for me for when I hyperventilate after using this stuff).

Finally, needles, more syringes, vet wrap (works great on broken tree branches as well), pill splitter, pill crusher, thermometer, medicine dropper, and two oral antibiotics.

Whew, If we are missing something important please let us know!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Great Escape

I ran some errands this morning before I gave the goats their morning grain, and when I got home I was surprised to see Becca run up to car to greet me. I brought her back to the goat pen and walked the fence line to see if I could find where she escaped. I found a section of the chicken wire bent away from the cattle panels, but it sure seemed awful small for her to fit through. I fixed the gap with some zip ties, but I'm still not completely sure this is where she escaped from.

Addison and Chip seemed unconcerned (pictured above) by Becca's absence. With Addison (hopefully) due in the next few weeks I need to eliminate any possible escape routes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Goat Jail

While my father was here he built a wonderful birthing stall in the goat shed.

Addison, who may be the first to use it this June, appears to like the looks of things.

Here are the four apple trees that we planted yesterday. In just 3-4 short years, assuming the deer/rabbits/goats/sheep/army worms/insects/mother nature don't kill them, we should be able to make our own apple pies.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garden Planted

My parents visited this weekend and with their help we really got a lot accomplished. While my father was fixing the chipper (the Commander is so happy) my mother helped me plant the garden. This year we are going with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, peas, green beans, strawberries, and three blue berry bushes.

The white lattice is left over from the goat shed and will be used to help the peas grow up away from the fence. The deer have had a field day eating them along the fence line in past years.

You can see one of the blue berry bushes in the foreground. We will have to add netting to prevent the birds from eating them, adding avians to the list of things out to prevent us from farming (carnivorous, herbivorous).

****Update**** No sooner than we get this planted than a thunderstorm with hail is cruising through the area. If hail destroys the garden well then &*!#$......

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No Vacancy - Yet!

A flock/gaggle? of turkeys has been wandering up and down the road in front of our house for several weeks. Today, it appears one HUGE Tom decided to see if our poultry area was complete enough to move into. Sara didn't know what to make of him, and he didn't want to get any closer to her than necessary. It appears that they came to a mutual decision to part company without any confrontation. (click on the picture for a close up)

Maybe we need to put out a sign; "Trespassers Will Be Eaten!" We decided against this just in case the bears/wolves/etc... considered US trespassers. The picture doesn't do this Tom justice, he was really big and amazingly colorful. We were thinking about turkeys for next year, even if they seem to want to move in now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garden Tilled

The Commander finally got around to tilling the garden this evening in hopes that we will get the planting done this weekend. The soil looks better than last year, we have been adding goat droppings and hay to the mix. The fence is an attempt to keep out the rabbits, deer, goats, bunnies, etc... We not only have every carnivorous predator know to earth prowling our lands hoping to eat our goats, chickens, and sheep, but we also apparently have every herbivore predator trying to get at our garden vegetables as well!

The rhubarb grows great every year for whatever reason, no amount of frost, cool weather, or plain old neglect seems to effect its survival. If only it could give the other plants lessons.

These were sent to us by one of the Commanders sisters, we find her most recent attempt a humor more successful than previous ploys that included the mailing of "stuffed mice"!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mishaps Are Us

Our new Amish built chicken coop arrived Saturday! Unfortunately, it arrived 10 days early, the delivery vehicle created a few large ruts in the grass, and since it couldn't maneuver exactly to the placement sight the coop angles down about 5 degrees to the left. The sight consists of wood chips so a shovel and some strong arms should be able to remedy the situation.

The inside of this thing has one of those removable Plexiglas like floors for ease of cleaning. The fencing isn't in-place yet, but the chickens and guineas don't arrive until early June so we have a bit of time still.

The chipper wars continued with a vengeance this weekend, with the Commander chipping for at least seven hours and reducing six huge brush piles to bits. Unfortunately, someone filled the gas can with DIESEL fuel so when the Commander refilled the tank things ground to a halt. I researched this issue on the net and it appears that if the tank is drained and refilled all should be well - whew, I would hate to think that the new chipper had been destroyed.

The painting on the shed is almost complete! I would estimate that the red coat is 90% done. Unfortunately, I tweaked my back trying to move the ladder Saturday so I have been having to take it easy ever since. The white trim can wait a little bit longer. If we ever get another building we are definitely going to paint the boards before it is assembled.

If I feel better we hope to plant the garden this week, at least the radishes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pathetic Pasture Progress

Above is one of the areas that the Commander has cleared of saplings and large trees. He hasn't cut everything to the ground yet as the sheep are supposed to like nibbling on them, plus he still has several mountains of brush to chip. Back before he sprained his ankle he sprinkled this area with pasture grass seed; the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels loved it!

We found some sod on sale today so we figured it wouldn't hurt to throw some down on the bare areas in the goat pen and in a few areas of the future pasture. We raked the soil and watered the sod, hopefully it will rain tonight. Sara likes it, and so probably will the deer.

It looks really funny and we don't have much hope that it will grow, but it has a better chance than the seed that is in the birds bellies.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Don't Snuggle the Help

One of my best friends was sick on Mothers Day and was going to spend the day alone. I couldn't allow her to do this, so after church I decided to take Becca over to see her. She had never seen one of my goats up close and she was surprised at how friendly Becca was. I had to put Becca in a nappy for the car ride, my friend though it was so cute. When I got home Becca somehow managed to follow me into the house. Mocha and Chai do a great job of keeping our house free of insects and other varmints, but the sight of a goat in the house was a bit of a surprise to them.

Chai decides to size Becca up for a possible dinner invitation.

A wise woman (OFG) I know warned me against "Snuggling the Help", I think I may have failed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Becca's Home

Becca joined our farm on Saturday. Addison and Chip give her the occasional head butt but she seems to be fitting in.

I think she is so cute!

She might think so too!

Moving Day!

The snow melted yesterday and it gave us just enough time to get the Goat shed ready to be moved into. We finished stringing the chicken wire along the cattle panels to prevent any unwanted escapes, the rest of the painting will have to wait. Here is Becca (who finally arrived yesterday) posing on a rock behind the shed.

Chip and Addison enjoying a snack in the pasture area that is on the other side of the garden from the shed. A run allows the goats to access this area.

Addison, Chip, and Becca exiting their goat door and running to see if I have any treats for them.

Friday, May 7, 2010

HO! HO! HO! ......... May 8th?

"Hey, Something is wrong with the rain!"

"I don't like the looks of this."

"Silly Sara, she acts like she likes this stuff - I hate getting wet!"

"Looks like Mom's mate will have to delay the 2nd Chipper War until the woodpiles dry out."

"Mom has more work to do if we are ever going to move into the new house. She has the lattice finished but she still needs to get the fence back up and string the chicken wire to keep silly little Chip from wandering off. If she thinks I'm moving into a half painted house she has another thing coming. The white trim isn't even started!"

"Where did the dandelions and grass go?"

Thursday, May 6, 2010


When I am out working in the yard I sometimes like to stake Addison out in various places so she can browse on whatever catches her eye. Chip normally stays close, bit if he strays off Sara usually runs him back. Addison loves dandelions.

Chip isn't a rocket scientist, but he quickly learned from Addison what tastes good!

I love Addison's blue eyes.

Another satisfied customer!

Goat Pen

We finished fencing in the goat pen area last Saturday using cattle panels! The enclosure included a lot a different things for the goats to do. Above is a picture of "goat mountain" with old railroad ties providing a bit of a balance beam.

This is one of the two spools in the pen for the goats to jump on. A few rocks can be seen in the background.

This is a small pasture area that provides them room to run and/or graze.

Of course Chip had other ideas about our project being finished.

Chip demonstrates that even though he looks fat ........

...... he can somehow squeeze through the wires and escape the enclosure. Infuriating! We are now in the process of stringing chicken wire along the bottom of the cattle panels to prevent Chip from escaping.