Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Help me Pleeeaaase!!!!!!!!

I have two great ideas on how to get your sweetie to help more with the goats..... Shhhhh....this is all very secret stuff. The first one I wouldn't recommend to anyone. However, it has absolutely worked the best. Break your heel bone and end up in a hard cast for 4 months...Leaving poor sweetheart HAVING to do EVERYTHING goat related....OMG....I was terrified. In the beginning I gave him tons of lists and tons of the end he had his own program going he would, so often, tell me...OMG!! The goats thrived and worked their own brand of magic. He has favorites now....knows most of their names and cares about them oh so much more. The change was amazing :) :) I think the key here is to realize even though it might not be exactly "your way"it might just do. The second idea perhaps only works here...hehehe Go start the project on your own....give it one heck of a try...Of course you won't be doing anything right... and here at least, sweetie will eventually take the project over. Tails Up! Beth

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cold Weather Tips

1. Give your little goats straight right out of the tap HOT water. Mine all love it and drink it like tea. If you want them to drink more.... you can put a tiny splash of molasses in it. I fill 2 unused 5 gallon gas cans with water and haul it out there on a child's plastic toboggan. It'll slide even without snow. The sleds can also be very useful to haul hay etc.
2. Use snow as an insulator .... my Mike and I shovel snow all around the buck shed....think igloo.... I think it might actually keep the water buckets from freezing as fast too.
3. Free feed hay...Keep those 4 stomachs moving food through constantly.....generates heat 4. I don't believe in artificial coats.....It smashes down the fluffy insulation of their own coats. The only time I might use them is if one of the goats was feeling under the weather or a newborn. A sweatshirt sleeve cut off with leg holes added is a quick fix for the little ones. An old insulated vest with the zipper along the back works great for a goat that's larger
5. We have a few pieces of old plywood wired to posts to act as wind blocks near the feeders. I want those little pregnant goats to get out and move around even if its nasty. Exercise is important.
6. 15 below expected??? last night....put in new bedding HEAVY :) So cold you're worried about frostbite on those tender ear tips?.....a coating of Vaseline will take care of that...along with possibly saving chicken combs and feet.
7. In my bigger barn we insulated the steel walls last year with tons of Styrofoam egg cartons and meat trays ....always recycling... and Mike added plywood on top ....with the 4 heat lamps on in there(hung like chandeliers)...I always worry about cords ....the water doesn't even freeze in there...My new babies are toasty :)
8. A little advice for the poor caretakers.....there's a saying at the post office and I am a walking carrier. "There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" Wear what you must, this isn't a fashion show ... lol ..... and there's no need to suffer :)
Next year the newer biggish barn I have... WILL have fencing and electricity and insulation .... and I will have a warm place for my bucks. Then I will not worry anymore :) Maybe........
Happy New Year! Is it spring yet?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Show and Tell

I have posted a PIC titled Merry Xmas and Happy New Year (never too late)I have a customer who requested a Christmas Pic of her two new doelings to she could blow it up and give it to her little grand-daughter because the babies were just too small to leave yet.I was excited!!!!! ...what a fun Christmas project, as I certainly didn't expect to have Christmas babies again ever and really wanted a PIC for the web site.Out I ready and battery loaded...two huge extra large garbage bags full of empty beautiful presents, plastic ornaments...lights....all the usual stuff. Ready to set up my pending masterpiece :) I must admit I had considered just duct taping bouncy1 and bouncy2 and stuffing them in stockings....(just kidding) I set everything up in a kidding pen and its just a DISASTER...Dam is screaming...babies are screaming....they are just TERRIFIED of my Christmas extravaganza.I spend hours out there and shoot and shoot and shoot. Off I go into the office....Praying at least one of these hard sought out pictures might turn out acceptable. Go to download and all I get is CARD ERROR!!!! over and over again.Life is not good at this moment....I NEED a picture TODAY.While at wal mart...considering buying a new camera...I see beautiful wreaths for sale cheap. That's it I'll just stick their little heads in it while they lay calmly in my lap...I think to myself... and this is the first shot that I took. Note to self....#1 photo cards go BAD over download download AND of course....Keep it simple stupid!!!!!
Happy New Year!
Tails Up!

"The Goal"

Back to the blog........been along time...geez
However this time..... I have a set goal :)
To document my journey to the homesteading, self suffiecient lifestyle I crave.
Only in America would you have to retire in order to obtain such a
Michael and I both have VERY physical jobs and as we both look at that 50 year old mark.....sometimes in pain....WE know we want something different....Both of us being FAR from lazy....I know this goal is obtainable....It's just a matter of getting there. Collecting the expensive tools and knowledge I know we will need and enough money to survive on. Survival is the key word we debate about what we feel is absolutely neccesary in our lives.
Am I running away?....NO no means....I'm running to.....

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Give me Shelter

Goats appear to be very adaptable to almost any climate. But if given a choice, I know that they would choose to be "high and dry" Mine run for the barn if it even threatens rain. A three sided shelter is a must. That could be anything from a large dog house to a huge barn. When considering a shelter please keep two things in mind. #1 Drainage......My barn and sheds are on tamped gravel foundations and covered with rubber dairy mats that provide ease in cleaning yet allow drainage. #2 Ventilation.....Ammonia fumes are dangerous to a goats lungs. An airtight home would not be healthy. Windows or openings of some sort that are not reachable should be desired. Do yourself a favor and place a bunch of these in the buck house too :P I currently have to lock up my little darlings at night because coyotes are a real threat here. Perhaps in the future as my herd grows I will have to invest in an LGD.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Our newest addition...."Sid Vicious"

Meet Sid our newest addition....I wasn't looking for a new cat....He just refused and I mean REFUSED to leave my mail truck while on my route. It was pretty darn cold outside...not that the truck is It just amazed me how on day one he got along with just everyone here with the exception of the mice. Apparently some things are just meant to be. What a little mini mouse killer....thus his name. He's making my other three cats look very spoiled and lazy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sundays :)

Tomorrow is Sunday. I love Sundays :) Every Sunday I strip and clean the barn. The goats love it. They are soooo My barn floor is gravel covered with dairy mats. I'll pull all the used shavings and directly use them as mulch for all my gardens,spread them around my trees, making it easier to mow and put them anywhere else I don't want weeds to grow. No more buying mulch for me. I have a seemingly endless supply. Thank goodness they seem to break down quickly while providing fertilizer too. I use all my wasted hay as bedding along one wall. I will stir it up like crazy because compost needs oxygen to decompose. I might also mist it lightly with a water sprayer depending on how dry it is. Then I put down a light layer of Sweet pdz and fog a light layer of diamatious earth along the walls just in case any bugs like lice decide they might want to move in. Refill the the loose minerals and kelp and baking soda containers and then I roll on the floor in the new shaving and play with the goats. A perfect morning :)