“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

 These quilts have been waiting for delivery, but they needed binding. 
My best friend from high school, Terry, came and sewed her heart out for me while all the snow came, stayed and melted.
Thanks !

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April (Snow) Showers Kill May Flowers

 Schools were cancelled far and wide in Southwestern PA yesterday.
The heavy, wet snow continued for about 12 hours, leaving broken limbs and downed trees, as well as power outages.
 Britches was not in the mood to come out into the snow at all. My high school pal Terry helped me get him out.
About 25% of one electronet fence was down, while about 75% of the other net fence was flattened by the snow.
 I forgot my gloves in the barn, so the rough hands I now posses are the result of getting cold and wet straightening them out.
Things looked like winter again. After the winter we've had, it probably looks worse than January.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kids and Kids (and Chickens)

Its great to have kids visit and I usually take lots of pictures, and I did on this visit, but these were taken by the (human) kids mom, Elizabeth.
Its nice to see the interaction though other peoples eyes. This is so dear. 
I think these photos are special.
We just don't know what Zola found so delicious looking about the camera, but she couldn't resist trying to get a taste.
The hens will do anything for corn!
 It was great to have such enthusiastic kids.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Silly, Dizzy Goats

 The mornings are full of energy and fun.
Here's a VIDEO of the kids burning off a little steam.

We've moved across the alley and are on lush pasture - for April anyway.

Maternal Instincts

I was heading up to move some fences, and stopped to check on the babies, outdoors for the first time.
They were sunning themselves against the back of the shed. A favorite spot it seems.
As I was leaning on the fence, Saba started snorting and acting quite odd. 
I'd never seen a goat "sit" like this.
She was doing all she could to put her body over and around her babies as she tried to stare down the cats. Even her ears were pointed at the cat. 
Here's more of the action and the sounds of Saba snorting.

That's one thing about goats, they confront. They don't run away. We find it very curious that the goats seem to be most afraid or disturbed by the cats. Only one goat had gone after the dog when she had new kids.  Makes you wonder what they fear.

Why Its Great To Be A Goat Herder

Friday, April 13, 2012

Saba's Twins - Boots and Brianna

Adorable Boots(left) and Brianna will be two days old this afternoon, but you are only seeing them now because my computer time has been restricted with work being done in the house.  
I went out on Wednesday to check on Saba as she had let me know she was not hanging with Speckles "the abuser" in the corral anymore. She chose to hang in the barn with me as I cleaned the stalls, and that's where I left her, as we were having weird, changing weather every hour (really -snow, sleet, hail, sun, wind, snow, sleet...you see what I'm getting at.). I was about to run errands in town and decided to check the barn, even though I had been listening for tell tale noise and heard none. 
I looked into the stall and Saba was quietly laying in the corner. I was about to leave when I saw a big, red blob of placenta nearby. I said Saba, "What have you done?", and stepped in the stall.  Behind her were the quietest newborn twins ever. I was actually afraid they were stillborn till they both moved. 
After the usual neighborhood calls, Allison and I got the kids dried, umbilical cords trimmed and dipped, and moved them to a clean waiting stall.
Then almost as quickly, Boots got his name from Allison when I noticed that all four feet had brown shoes or "boots".
 It turns out the twins were so quiet because they had already done a fine job nursing and quietly continued to do so, without any assistance from the anxious humans!
Brianna has us all excited with her markings and just the fact that we have another doe. Hurray!

So are we done for the year?  Still watching the yearling does, but its too hard to tell.  Maybe Memorial Day??

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Putting Our Best Foot Forward

Bingo, one of Twee's triplets born January 9.
 Its time for the kids to look their best to be chosen to compete in this year's agricultural fairs.
4-H participants have been emailing and calling and the visits have begun. They are looking for stocky, square kids that they hope will make good weight gains. 
They also look for a goat that already keeps his tail up and head high.
Britches has grown fast from his February 22 birth
A natural stance doesn't hurt at all.
And attitude!
 Belle, the triplet doeling, may be sold for future breeding purposes.
 Ariel is ready to breed and actually was exposed to Alex, but we need a little more time to see if she is bred. We will keep her Reserve Champion twin Adeline to show again. She also may be bred already.
 Abi is a favorite of mine and has really matured as a yearling.
Here she is behind her twin Ali, who was the 4-H Blue ribbon winner at Westmoreland Fair last August.

I expect most of these goats will find new homes this year as the summer goes on.  We started kidding with 14 goats and had 12 kids - so far. We still are waiting for Saba. We like to reduce our herd by winter for barn purposes, and for our sanity. Going into the winter with a dozen goats would be ideal, but by next year, the count will be up again!

Monday, April 2, 2012