Archive for the ‘goats’ Category

Redneck Water Fountain and Baby Goats

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

I really, really wanted a water fountain for our deck. I wanted to relax on the deck and hear the trickle of water. I’m not sure when I became obsessed with this, but obsessed I became. I wanted a water fountain dammit! But everything I looked at didn’t exactly fit what I had in mind.

So I decided we would just make a water fountain all by ourselves.

I told Bernie my plan and he said “Just tell me what you need me to do.”

Bernie is all manner of awesome like that.

So, that’s what I did. I told him my simple plan and, although I believe he was unimpressed with the whole water fountain idea, he agreed it was doable.

Here was my idea…….a 28 gallon galvanized wash tub, the old hand water pump daddy gave us about 25 years ago, a platform for the hand pump to sit on, a small water pump, and some water. And with those requirements, we set to work.

A couple of hours later, I had a Redneck Water Fountain!

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It surpasses all I had hoped for.

And it drowns out the sound of little baby goats crying “MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY” every time I step out on the deck :) Although that’s another sound that actually never gets old………..

And speaking of baby goats, I’ve got pictures for ya……but first, look at this pretty Indigo Bunting that showed up at my bird feeders.

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He apparently told his friends, and we have several that show up each day now. They are beauties and tickle me no end.

Speaking of beauties that tickle me……

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There are two food buckets there……but they prefer fighting over them one at a time……

They really enjoy playing on this old log.

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And this spool.

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Precious Anna Mae.

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Sweet, sweet Gloria.

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Oh, and you may be wondering where Mirrie is?

She’s busy being a poop.

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She’s decided she isn’t happy about not being the only baby. She’s a snot to Gloria and Anna May.

So Gloria and Anna May have their own paddock. And their own place in the barn.

I hope Mirrie will come around. But if not, we’ve got a workable solution.

And I’ve got three babies out there.

Don’t tell Mirrie though………..

Settling In

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Our little goat babies have had a tough 24 hours. This is the first full day away from mama, their herd, and their original home. I understand this, but I won’t lie…… it’s been a little tough on all of us.

But, today is a new day. And Anna Mae and Gloria eased into it. We spent a great deal of time building trust.

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We made many baby steps, and soon we were playing.

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Even posing for pictures.

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But mostly playing.

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It’s stressful having babies here again. It’s stressful trying to convince Mirrie she’s no longer the baby.

But we’re gonna take this one day at time.

And every time I look at these two sweet faces, I know it’s all worth it.

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The babies are settling in. I’m sure enjoying helping them!

New Kids on the Block

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

We decided to adopt two adorable 8 week old Nigeria Dwarf does, and today we brought them home!

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They were pretty nervous about the whole thing – being the new kids and all.

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I told Mirrie earlier to expect some company, and she seemed a little skeptical about this idea…..

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She questioned my seriousness on the subject……

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And asked if I was sure this is a good idea…..

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I told her it would be just fine. I’m not sure she believed me……

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The chickens actually seemed pretty excited about the prospect of new babies.

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Or maybe it was the scratch they were excited about….

We named the new kids Anna Mae and Gloria. They are just adorable and so sweet. They have beautiful blue eyes.

And they are very black. If you have black animals, you probably know that taking pictures of them can be very difficult. If the lighting is not just right, the details of their features are completely lost. I took several pictures of Anna Mae and Gloria in the barn, but it was dark and none of them turned out at all. And a flash made their beautiful eyes glow…..

I will post better pictures once they settle in and I can let them out in the paddock. Right now they are spending some time in a stall in the barn.

But right now, I have goat babies to play with!

Remember Me?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

I’ve been woefully remiss in my blog posting. The past couple of months have been filled with lots of good things, and a few not so good things.

I’m gonna start with one of the not so good things.

We lost Duke about the time I stopped blogging. It was truly a difficult time for me. He had been sick for quite a while and, in all honesty, we should have probably put him down long ago. He had a good life, and he was quite the rooster – big, handsome, and a fierce protector of his flock. I have never heard of another rooster that would chase chicken hawks, let alone attack them and, on one occasion, pin them to the ground. Duke will always hold a very special place in my heart.

A good thing that happened is that my hens finally started going broody for me, and we ended up with one that hatched out five chicks:

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And one that hatched out four:

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Unfortunately, a predator killed both of the mama hens within two days. The four chicks were two weeks old at the time, and the five chicks were three weeks old. That same week, something got our big rooster, Pico. It was a stressful and sad week to say the least. After finding Pico’s feathers scattered across the yard, I decided to put the chickens on lock down for a few days.

I am fairly certain we had a fox that was picking off our chickens. We had seen a fox chasing a hen in the yard several weeks ago. Bernie scared it off, and it stayed gone a while. But I suspect it started coming back after these chickens.

After a couple days of lock down for the chickens, they were cut loose to resume free ranging. And we haven’t lost another one. Maybe the fox found an easier meal. I certainly hope so.

Since the loss of two roosters, I’m down to Bobby Lee and Floyd. As sad as I was to lose Duke and Pico, Bobby Lee actually seems quite happy.

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He’s such a handsome boy. Floyd is too – but I didn’t get a good picture of him.

In mid-June Bernie’s mama and sister came to visit for a week. That was definitely a high light of our summer. We had a wonderful visit and were tickled to learn they will be back the end of August – with Bernie’s daddy and Julie’s boyfriend in tow!

Bernie’s mama, Kathy, is one of my favorite people, and she’s always a hoot. She and Bernie are very close, and it always warms my heart to watch the affection between them.

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Bernie’s sister, Julie, is such a good friend to me and I just adore her. So does Dolly.

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It was sad to see them go. But knowing that they will be back in short order definitely helped saying “goodbye” just a little easier this time.

So far I feel like this has been a good news/bad news kind of post! And I guess it really has. The next news I have to share with you is definitely a mix of both.

We no longer have the turkeys.

I have very mixed feelings about this.

It makes me sad because I really love Jake, Tanya, Sara, and Turklet2. I miss them a lot. But, on the other hand, it made me sad to see them penned. They were used to free ranging and penning them was difficult on them. So…….. when we learned that Gail, the owner of Deauville Farms, had re-homed all the Fallow Deer she had raised for years, we approached her about taking all four of our turkeys. Gail has many chickens, and she now has a huge pasture that she plans to free range them in. The pasture has 6 foot fencing, with electric wire at the top. Talk about a safe, fun place for turkeys to hang out! We were tickled when Gale said she would be happy to add four turkeys to her menagerie.

That made me very happy. And a little sad. But mostly happy.

So, just yesterday, we loaded up the turkeys and took them to their new home. We also supplied Gail with the turkeys’ favorite treat – Animal Crackers. As it turns out, Animal Crackers are a nice way to introduce yourself to turkeys.

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In the below picture you can get an idea of the huge pasture the turkeys will be roaming in. They’ll stay fenced in the smaller yard for a couple of days until they are sure where “home” is, but soon they’ll be out free ranging again.

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And the old turkey coop in our back yard? That’s gonna get cleaned up good and turned into a place to store all my canning stuff. And the lean-to on the side of it? That’s gonna get turned into a screened in canning room. I’ll be sure to let y’all know how all that progresses…….

The rest of us are doing just fine.

Elvis still has a drinking problem.

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Priscilla enjoys a nip every now and again.

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Diesel enjoys surrounding himself with his favorite toys when he naps.

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And Dolly enjoys laying around looking pretty.

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The chickens enjoy pecking at my painted toenails.

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Say what??????????

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And the goat babies enjoy begging for some Animal Crackers.

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We’ve gotten some lard rendered.

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And some honey extracted.

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Pickle canning season has come in with a vengeance – and I finally got to start using the Tattler lids I purchased at a ridiculously low price last year. I LOVE them, by the way.

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And, thanks to my sister-in-law Julie, I’ve picked up crocheting again and made several of these cute little pot holders.

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And, now that I’ve got you caught up, maybe I’ll get back to posting weekly.

What the heck have you been doing this summer?

Things That Made Me Smile Today

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera on ready all day to capture everything that made me smile. You should be thanking the stars for that right now – I would be posting several hundred pictures…….

But I did capture Tanya sitting on the nest, getting ready to lay her second egg:

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Doesn’t she look so tiny and fragile? Don’t let her fool ya!

And here’s Georgia. She actually got more than a smile out of me with this one:

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We have had such a beautiful day. The weather is great. We got a lot of bee equipment cleaned up in anticipation of the arrival of our hives in a few weeks. And we smiled and laughed a lot. What more could we ask for today? I hope your day was just as wonderful.

Our Saturday

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

We got our first turkey egg! It was quite an exciting moment. The proud mama is the little jenny to the left:

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She came up missing mid-afternoon and we looked all over for her. Bernie finally found her in his boat. He’s begun calling it the “Brooder Boat” since having a chicken hen hatch out her babies in it last year. We picked her up, carried her into the turkey coop, and put her in the turkey nest we built for her.

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It’s just some lattice nailed to a couple of boards, and covered in pine limbs, but she seems to like it. She laid her first egg in it! The picture below was taken after the fact. You may be able to see the fake plastic egg in the back that I replaced her egg with.

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The egg wasn’t quite as big as I expected, but it’s still larger than the chicken eggs.

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And it’s speckled. I have no idea if that’s normal, or if it’s because it’s her first egg. I hope to find out by comparing it to future eggs!

Bernie finished framing and screwing in lattice around the bottom of the deck.

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I really love it. He’s going to build me some flower beds in front of it. I can hardly wait get some flowers in it.

Georgia is getting big.

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I love her ears.

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Mirrie is getting big too, but she still seems like my little baby.

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We got 20 more strawberry plants in the ground today and we cleaned up the horseradish, rhubarb, and asparagus beds.

We’ve had a nice Saturday on the homestead. How has yours been?

Getting Back to Usual

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Things are getting back to normal since I returned from Germany. It’s a cold and blustery day here. Bernie and I bundled up and went outside to get the heater bases set up for the chicken and turkey waterers. I actually remembered to take my camera and get a few pictures to share with you.

Mirrie and Georgia were happy to see us. They are getting so big.

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We’re finally fairly convinced we did indeed end up with one tom and two hens – even if the tom ended up being one we thought was a hen, and the hen ended up being one we thought was a tom. As a result, two of them got renamed. Jake is on the left (he used to be called Tanya) and on the right is Loretta (she used to be called Hank).

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That’s Loretta on the left, Jake in the middle, and Sarah on the right:

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It’s hard to believe how much they’ve grown. You may be able to get a good idea from this picture with Bernie’s legs in it:

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This is Pretty Boy Floyd – the cockerel I kept from the hatch in May:

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My poor hens are finally starting to come out of their molt. These two are the last of the molters, and just starting to get feathers in again:

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This is one of the pullets from the May hatch – I love her coloring:

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Bernie got a nice fire going in our new wood burner this afternoon.

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Elvis kept warm by laying in the sun, across from the wood burner.

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And Priscilla staked out her favorite hiding place on top of the curio.

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And Diesel enjoyed relaxing in the warmth of his bed.

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Dolly has always enjoyed chilling in my chair, but since my trip to Germany I think she’s gotten just a little too comfortable in it.

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It’s nice to be home and back with Bernie and all the critters. I missed them.

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

We let the turkeys and goats out in the yard for a while this afternoon.

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They were all incredibly interested in the area where Bernie was splitting wood, and his log splitter.

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Bernie has actually trained the turkeys. He points….

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And they fly up…..

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Georgia was totally fascinated with this.

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Probably because Georgia doesn’t quite understand the concept of “trained”.

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Bernie gave a piggy back ride or two.

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And then he and the turkeys contemplated the meaning of life.

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Hank really enjoys his piggy back rides.

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I could just kiss the feathers off these turkeys.

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*sigh* Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

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Lean-to and Browsing

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Bernie’s been busy adding the lean-to on the front of the goat barn the last couple of days.

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He never ceases to amaze me what he’s learned to do since we’ve moved here. I think he does such a nice job with buildings – something he had no idea how to do not so very long ago.

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Georgia and Mirrie worked up an appetite admiring Bernie’s handiwork.

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Sometimes Mirrie gets so excited she forgets to quit walking forward while she’s munching.

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Georgia is convinced the best leaves are the highest leaves.

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She does a pretty good job of stretching up to some of the taller branches.

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Mirrie likes to do her browsing a little closer to the ground.

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That way she can ham it up for the camera a little easier.

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Sweet little goat babies.

Georgia and Mirrie

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Each afternoon I open the entrance to the goat barn and bring Georgia and Mirrie out into the yard to play and browse for a while. And each afternoon, their first stop is the milking/storage area where Mirrie tries to get at the sweet feed, and Georgia nibbles a little hay.

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Today, they took off running like crazy once they got outside.

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They were in a great hurry to get somewhere.

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Ah, I see. They needed to get to this tree before it got away.

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Georgia struck out on her own.

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Mirrie refused to be left behind.

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Good thing, too. Georgia found a tasty oak leaf.

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And Mirrie found a small tree in need of pruning.

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Georgia struck a profile pose for me.

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And then they begged some carrots off of me.

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Before too long, it was time to head back to the goat barn. They weren’t very enthusiastic about going back in, until I promised a little sweet feed as a reward. That got them moving.

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It’s never easy walking away from these little faces though.

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