It rained here Sunday night, the 15th of January, so I put the goats and turkeys into the barn to stay warm and dry. Monday morning I opened the barn door and let the goats out into the barnyard. I'd fed them, the chickens, turkeys and ducks. I collected the eggs and took them to the house. Returning to give everyone fresh water I heard one of the little goats bleating over and over. "What's your bellyaching?" I asked as I was turning on the hose and then I looked, and ran to grab my camera...
This is 'D' with her first ever baby. We didn't even know she was pregnant. So this was a huge surprise!
He's a little buck that we ended up naming Lil' Scheister - and boy is he a little shit He's into everything. Mom didn't quite know what to do with him other than lick him. He would get close to try to nurse and she'd back up. It took about 5 hours before she'd let him. In the meanwhile I ended up milking her and feeding him by bottle. We'd hold her still and force her to let him - eventually she got the hang of it and now everyone is fine.
Two days later on Wednesday night we had another addition
This is Daisy and her mom is 'J'.
J was more than willing to feed Daisy, but Daisy was so incredibly tiny when she was born that she was having trouble. We had to hold her and squirt into her mouth for about a 24 hour period. Then she would nurse for a few seconds and be done. But she is a week old now and has the strength to eat and jump and play... and she's so cute.
It turns out that there were 2, but one didn't make it. That must be why this one is so small, because the other was rather large in comparison. Okay - I'm posting the picture, but on another page by itself. Don't click if you are squeamish.
I'm told by Lady S that it's rare for a first freshening to be twins. Next year I'll be more prepared.
Me with Lil' Scheister and Sharon with Daisy
I love this picture - this is J & Daisy. J is resting her head on Daisy's back.
D & Lil' Scheister
J & Daisy
The first time I saw him in here I thought he was stuck, so I took him out. A few seconds later he was back in, then out, then in... His name fits.
Daisy hasn't figured out how to play with the ball yet.
Kevin & the babies
Aren't they all so cute! Daisy really is SO much smaller than Lil' Scheister - it's not a trick of the camera.
J is telling Kevin, "Hey! Give me my baby back." She was not happy.
This is where our new families are living in the barn. My fabulous father-in-law (to be) fixed this up for me so that the Moms can have their own half of the back side of the barn - J is very aggressive towards D & Lil' Scheister. I had gone out to the barn one day and there was a Mom & baby on one side, and a Mom & baby on the other side, but Lil' Scheister was getting bunted around like crazy. So I did a double take and the Moms were in the wrong pens. I'm guessing that J jumped over and was kicking D's butt, so she jumped over to the other side to get away. It was easier to move the babies so I did. When I put Lil' Scheister down his Mama came up to him and he'd run. I picked him up and he was shaking. He must have been bunted pretty good. I had to hold him to his Mama to let him smell her to know it was her. Then he gratefully began to nurse. So today I go out there and this is what I find: 2 Mamas and 1 baby and Lil' Scheister on his own. I'm guessing that D jumped out into the barn, climbed up the hay, over the table that is conveniently placed and into J's pen. I opened the pen and she ran back to her baby.
Hey there - you're not supposed to be over there!
Goats are notorious for wasting hay. Whatever drops on the ground stays there. Then it gets stepped on, peed on, pooped on, and not eaten. I have been going through a lot of hay - at around $22 a bale. I needed a way to give it to them, but not have it wasted. The pallets I've been collecting have come in handy on the farm - one was used to resolve this problem... I cut one in half, placed it in the corner, screwed it to the floor and to the walls with some L brackets and put the hay in the back. It's open enough for the adults to put their heads in, but not enough for them to get in there and poop. The babies can, but they are only playing with food so far, they don't really eat it yet.
A better view
What about the big goats?
Did I tell you in an earlier post about the day Chauncey was trying to kill me in the field? (Or mate with me, not sure which.) He would rear up and charge. I ducked behind trees, smacked him with a stick, yelled at him, screamed at him - 20 minutes later I'm exhausted and scared. He eventually came up to me and started pushing, so I grabbed his beard and walked him to his pen. He was pissed and kept charging the gate trying to get to me. SO...
Chauncey slid under the fence and went to visit the ladies at the neighbor's house. I brought him back only to have him do it again. I went over to see if Eric (owner) wanted to swap for a female, but he wasn't home and never got back to me. I even called. In the meantime, Chauncey has been next door loving life. It's only been about 3 weeks now. (Should I feel guilty? Because I do.) It's not that I don't want him back, but I don't want him back. If Eric decides some day that he doesn't want him I'll have to try to get rid of him.
Where's Waldo? Oh I mean Chauncey?
He doesn't come when I call anymore, but he still looks my way.
And what about Diamond? She's really lonely. She was okay when D&J were her companions, but now they are staying in the barn with their babies. Any time I work outside she is by my side, or near by. I make it a point to spend lots of extra time with her. We go for walks, I talk to her (no she doesn't talk back), I pet her all the time.
And why would Chauncey leave? Because there are a lot of females next door who are no longer pregnant - and because I believe that Diamond IS pregnant. Check out this picture of her - she's looking a bit wide.
I had gone to Washington over New Years to babysit my beautiful granddaughter Cara and when I got back I thought that Diamond was just getting fat - but she's getting fatter still. And she's very calm these days.
Pictures of Diamond on our walk today:
I'm not really slumming with the dogs, I'm just saying hello.
"Oh, Cat Butt. I've seen the dogs do this."
I love how our animals are so comfortable with each other. Scraggles decided to roll around after that affectionate sniff.
Why is there a mouse in the barn?
Yep, Saw one yesterday - ICK! Those kittens I saved better start doing their jobs. Suzie Q comes in and out of the house at will through the doggy door. She's usually asleep in the spare room during the day when she's alone or snuggled up with Scraggles when he's inside for an afternoon nap. Shade we rarely see, but when I do it's usually with Scraggles - as it was today during our walk.
Scraggles on the left, Shade on the right.
Chicken Pox (ok, Turkey Pox)
I thought we were going to lose one of our Toms. One day he was fine, the next day he was swollen up and his skin was turning black. He wouldn't eat and could only drink by my holding a hose and allowing him to put his beak under the water flow to letting it slide down his throat. I was squirting electrolytes down him and gave a dose of antibiotics. This went on for about a week and a half. I was about to tell Kevin to end it and the next morning he started eating (and hasn't stopped!). A few days later he was strutting his stuff with his feathers all fanned out and started to gobble again. After him skulking about it was a wonderful sight. I've never been so happy to see an animal eat.
He actually looks good here compared to how bad he was. Notice my hand in the background on the right picture - GLOVES! It doesn't transmit to people, but I still didn't want to touch him.
Tom Tom - they are both happy and healthy now.
We are down to 8 ducks. One male had a broken leg, so we ate him. Found out I really, really don't like the taste of duck. These guys love being able to run around the farm... and of the 6 females, we get 5 eggs every single day. Someone's holding out...
I have fantasies of an herb garden
Not just any herb garden, but a spectacular one. A huge one... with cooking herbs, medicinal herbs, scented herbs... and so I started digging where I want my garden to be. It turns out that this area has a ton of broken cement blocks and beer bottles under the surface. I may be finished next year.
The future garden area
What I'm dealing with on the surface
Some of what I dug out so far
The wedding date and locale are set. Friday the 13th of April in San Pedro. The dress is ordered and only a few people got a glimpse of it. It should be here no later than April 4th - then I have a fitting. The invitations are in the works. The bridesmaids are chosen and looking for their dresses. The flower girls and ring bearer are chosen. The officiant is chosen. The flowers are ordered. The food is ordered (pizza of course!) The color scheme is black & white with lavender accents.
As far as being registered, gifts are not important to us - but some of our friends requested that we register somewhere,anywhere. What we really need aren't pots and pans, we need fruit trees, plants & seeds for the farm, (as well as things for the animals) but I couldn't find any place that has a registry, so instead we are registered at
http://www.homesteadersupply.com & http://www.amazon.com - for both places we can be found under "Russell Wedding". Items chosen have a very wide price range - some less than a dollar (seeds). I realize that some people don't go to weddings because they feel they need to bring a gift, but can't afford one. We wanted everyone to feel comfortable.
But, Houston we have a problem... the groom still hasn't asked anyone to stand up with him and I still have no ring. And I have no cake. It's becoming comical. It's 2 1/2 months until my wedding day. Should I be in tears? I want comments on this one. Kevin always waits until the last minute to do things, but I'm hoping this all gets resolved before I'm walking down the aisle.
Kevin has been whistling the opening of this song to me for years now... Hit play
Patience - by Guns & Roses
Besides not knowing what I'm doing here on the farm what have I been up to? Glad you asked...
Kevin & I are still in the Master Gardener class. I've been working on getting my 50 hours of volunteer time in. I've volunteered at the water district gardens, at the grow lab and on the phone squad. So if you called in to the Master Gardener help line, I may have answered. I liked it quite a lot actually.
I also took a class at JoAnn's - sewing! Yep, me. I found out why the top of my stitch looks fine, but the underneath part is a jumbled mess... my bobbin needs re-loaded. I learned how to read the back of a pattern. I learned how to make a button hole. I thought that it was going to be so hard, but it was easy - on my machine anyway. I have another class coming up in February where I'll actually make a shirt. YIKES! I'm going to have to choose my fabric carefully because I'm going to have to wear it.
I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow - long over due.
Took care of Kevin when he was in bed for a few days with a fever. He's on the mend now.
I loved the movie 'The Last Mimsy'. Kevin rented it through Netflix and we watched it with his parents - then Luke, (son of Tim & Christina) has one... but he named it Bunny Foo Foo (he's like 3 years old) - I had to have one. Christina found one for me but it was from Amazon.com in the UK and they wouldn't ship to the USA. Luckily I have my wonderful friend Jonathan who lives there and got me one.
Mimsy came this week
I am also starting a Master Food Preserver class on Monday. I'm so excited about this! Class # 01 - Food & Knife safety Class # 02 - Jams & Jellies Class # 03 - Low Acid Canning (Meat) Class # 04 - Acid Canning Class # 05 - Low Acid Canning (Veggies) Class # 06 - Pickling Class # 07 - Fermentation Class # 08 - Freezing Class # 09 - Dehydration Class # 10 - Demonstrations Class # 11 - Final Exam Class # 12 - Graduation
Praying for rain - it's been too dry this winter.
Life has been busy...
A hush is over everything, Silent as women wait for love; The world is waiting for the spring. Sara Teasdale