Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My new goat...






So, it was suggested to me by a great goat lady that the best way to have milk next year is to not send my girls away to be bred, but actually to BUY a young buckling and then sell him again when the girls are bred. I immediately started thinking about marketability-- not just for the buck, but for the kids, when they're born, and so started looking for a smaller buck who would make CUTE babies, but that I could still afford.

After two weeks of searching for something that felt right, I found our new little buck! He's going to be bottlefed by his owners until he's old enough (he's one week old today), and then will come live with us. He's from a beautiful Nigerian Dwarf buck and a pygmy doe and is one of quadruplets-- the only male.


Overheard...

Noah: When am I going to die?
Kevin: You have to get baptized first, then you can die...
Noah: Oh! That's right!

(later, playing DR)

Kevin: Oh, this is serious! You have serious migraines and need shots.
Noah: I don't WANT shots-- I want give YOU shots!
Kevin: Fine, just don't give me a real shot... is it done?
Noah: No, stop wiggling.
Kevin: Is it done, doc?
Noah: No, hold still.... yes...
Kevin: Yay! I get to go home!

Friday, April 24, 2009

We went to the fair on Monday night-- my second time ever-- the first time we've been with the boys (they've been with their grandparents).

Both boys went on rides with Daddy and we went to look at the exhibits, which only made a realize that we would LOVE to have a Jersey cow someday (why are they so pretty????) and a pig... and Keith saw pygmy goat babies for the first time and was reduced to "AWWWWWW."

All in all it was fun. I ended up not liking something I ate (I had ONE thing!) and spent the next morning barfing. I think I just don't digest grease at this point...

The goats are adjusting to their three feedings a day. Star is having a harder time than Clover, until this morning when I went out with a carrot and she sucked on it until she realized that she could chew on it with those sharp little molars in back! Her little white face turned orange pretty quickly after that!

I've been trying to get them to be more interested in their solid foods-- so, shaved carrots, hand feeding, etc. especially when they have been begging for another feeding has seemed to really help. For a few days they were eating more in their three feedings than when they had four... now they're starting to taper down.

Keith can't wait until they're weaned (June 6th!) I think he's tired of buying six gallons of milk at a time :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Conversation...




Me: Say sorry that you were mean.
Noah: (with a naughty green) I'm sorry that you're... MEAT!



I've been over-feeding my bottle-baby goats and got to the point where it would be really nice to feed them three times a day instead of four (makes a HUGE difference!) The hilarious thing is that little Clover (6 weeks now) is doing MUCH better about the schedule change than Star (10 weeks). You would think I was trying to starve Star to death, not that I was  not "on time" for her feeding.

Talk about a creature of habit! She is MAAAA'd!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dr...

I went to Urgent care yesterday, for what I thought was probably the flu and ended up in the ER with terrible vitals-- horribly low blood pressure and a pulse around 135. They gave me four liters of IV fluids and sent me home, saying I had a virus and that I was probably dehydrated, to have my vitals that low. It was a miserable day, and I feel terrible still, today... my tonsils are swollen and puffy, I can't keep food down, and I have a fever when not on tylenol. Interestingly the IV seems to have take care of my muscle aches, if not the low blood pressure.

We're taking Jade to the vet soon to get spayed. She desperately wants outdoor time and loves playing tag with the baby goats, but we do NOT want her to have kittens. Once she's spayed I think she'll be a lot happier.

Baby goats are doing well-- remaining poultry doing well. Oh, and my chickens were not the murderers-- we're now thinking stray cat because the MO was not right for chickens (injuries mostly without blood-- chicksn peck and cause lots of blood).

Now, I'm going to go back to bed with a water bottle and some ginger ale!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

White Flag

I feel very defeated right now. The middle-sized chickens apparently went on the warpath this morning and killed all but one goose and four ducks. One duck is in serious condition.

I was really attached to the geese, in particular, and, on top of the challenges we've been having with the homestead lately this feels like more than I can bear. I care deeply about each and every animal we have here, so losing them is devestating. Especially in such a stupid, pointless, meaningless way!

I'm sure that one of the factors in this devestated feeling is that the horrible muscle and joint pain I had during my pregnancy with Noah has returned. Nothing helps and I ache all the time.

I just feel... ready to run up the white flag. If it weren't for not wanting to teach Kevin that you quit when things get hard I honestly think I would sell up all of the animals and just give up on my dream. 

This isn't a dream, it's a nightmare.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saturday there was a lot of rain and hail (even snow in some places!) It's warmed up now, but it made Saturday an adventure, as we had a "farewell" to our three little roosters.

These three (as well as the four hens we are keeping) were the offspring of Blue, the rooster that we ate last fall. Why eat them? Well...

1)Roosters are illegal here
2) Roosters are aggressive
3)Roosters are really noisy and annoying
4) Hens hate roosters

Esp. the third as ours were just learning to crow and, honestly, I'd rather listen to a teenage boy whose voice is changing sing the National Anthem then listen to those roosters trying to figure out how to crow-- it would be more... tolerable :).

This isn't the end of our meat season either. Hubby has decided he hates our geese, so they (5) and half of our ducks (3) will be going away this summer and going to "freezer camp." We'll be keeping the other three ducks (two ducks and a drake) for sustainability :)

I would *love* to have some muscovy ducklings more than the Rouen ducks that we have. For one thing-- they don't quack.

Oh-- and the goats have recovered-- they're doing great-- our best bet is that they had a bacterial issue and that the shots etc. that I had to give them got them through it. They're currently on a very gentle worming system and on something calle DiMethox to prevent Cocci. (ok, I can't spell it). All in all things are looking up.

I also sold the three baby pullets and one duck right before Easter. Also, we lost our little Turkey in the rain storm (electrocuted). So we currently have:

1) Eight Hens/pullets
2) 2 goats
3) 6 Rouen ducks
4) 5 Embden Geese
5) 1 cat
6) 1 Guinea Pig
7) ??? fish

The waterfowl have their own pen, but decided this morning that they're done with it, so they broke free and have spent the day grazing on our grass and swimming in a big water bowl we have out for everyone. I think they're finally big enough that the big hens will leave them alone. That, and the roosters aren't here to hurt them anymore. It's really restful to watch them... they're all so cute and fluffy right now that it's hard to imagine they'll be big and mean in a short period of time!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Update

The goats are looking a lot better this morning. They jumped in and drank their bottles at the same time-- 20 oz for Star and 16 oz for Clover, which is what they usually drink. They are being surprisingly forgiving about the shots I'm giving them (2 2Xs a day each). They have a little bed on the porch near our kitchen door, so they often watch us through the sliding glass door and demand to be let in. 

Not going to happen :)

I'm no longer seriously believing that they're going to die. They're not perfect, but they are alert and alive enough that I'm not afraid to go in the backyard for fear I'll find them dead. That's actually a huge improvement :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Update...

Both goats survived the night, miraculously. They both look a little better today, but Star is still not acting normally. I'm doing all I can... including the fact that I've given 12 shots in the last 24 hours-- serious! That's so weird. I thought I was on the sqeemish side, but I guess this disproves that.

Honestly, without sending tests out to a lab, we don't know what's wrong-- just that they have an infection and scour. I have to keep them hydrated and alive.

I'm exhausted-- caring for the boys, sick goats, trying to do normal daily stuff, etc. is just wearing me out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The baby goats are sick-- we took them to the vet and are putting them on a regimine of electrolytes to help with dehydration. I'm also giving them intermuscular shots two times a day of banamine and penicillin. Things don't look so good, and I'm crushed that they're this sick. Star has a fever or 104 and looks terrible. Both just stand there, looking horrible.

The vet also told us to take them off of the cow's milk and put them on goat milk replacer, so we've made that change too. Hopefully this will all be enough to save them.

We had the option of putting them in the clinic to get IVs etc, but it would have cost us between $400-600. We just can't do it, so I'm trying to do the work the IV etc would have done.

I REALLY hope its enough!

Escape Goose!


Yesterday morning I ran out to do morning chores and realized that we had 1 goose instead of five. Very shortly, as they are loud, I discovered the other goslings had squeezed through the chainlink fence into the alley.

Quick as anything, I grabbed the boys, stuck them in the stroller and went running down the street and to the alley, only to return with some very excited goslings, getting their first, and hopefully only, ride in the stroller!

There's no denying that livestock tend to be escape artists. Since then I have put goslings back in their pen over and over and over again.

Why do the ducklings, for whom it would be much easier to escape, stay put? I have no idea! But I appreciate it! Chasing five goslings and three chicks is more than enough, thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Drew...






Drew discovered this morning that Clover will take her bottles from him, so now he's helping me with my chores! Yay for a big helper!

Not all fun and games...

Well, Clover has Diahrea and has for three days. Today Star started up with it. They're both really active and having fun and I'm doing all I can to help them, but it's a little nerve-wracking. It's like... having kids :)!

Both girls have really started to get super friendly. Clover will crawl into any willing lap and Star is finally coming to me to be fed instead of me having to catch her first. They're also eating standing up and two at a time instead of singly and on my lap. It does make me feel like a mama goat, though, esp. when I'm not moving fast enough and Clover starts to suck on my pants :).

Hubby built a corner pen in the big chicken pen for the baby 'chicks' (three chicks, one turkey poult, seven ducks, five geese) and it's taken a lot of stress off of my back to have only two fowl areas to feed and water instead of the four we had at one point. I've been giving the babies access to alfalfa and the geese are already looking fat. Good thing too, as they are destined for the freezer. The majority of the ducks and the turkey will end up freezer fodder too.

Hubby is head over heels in love with the middle-sized chickens, so we'll only be eating the males and keeping the others as layers. We should end up with eight laying hens if the ones I think are cockerels really are...

As most of you know, I have a pretty serious allergy to alfalfa, which means I have to scrub up frequently and am having trouble with my hands and arms as an effect. I live with tons of lotion slathered all over my arms and battling the 'scabs' I get when exposed to alfalfa (hard to explain, but if you've ever seen my mom's hands on a bad day, it's identical!). I try to avoid touching it as much as possible, but it's a sacrifice I have to make to have my homestead as I've always dreamed about.

Having the animals is keeping me more active this pregnancy and I think Kasen is thriving partly because of that. I'm eating better, too. I've had a couple days of still joints so far, and some bad nausea and headaches, but not quite as frequently.

And... I'm half-baked! Today! 20 weeks! Woohoo!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Clover has decided that, as I give her milk, I am now her mama. She likes to like and nudge me and cuddle as much as possible. If I'm sitting anywhere it's moments only before she appears in my lap for a snuggle.

Star is a little more stand-offish, still. I have to catch her before I feed her and she leaves when she's done guzzling. I've tried holding her on my lap and grooming her, but she's just not that interested. Trying to catch her to feed her can be challenging as she is small and very fast and agile. I'm hoping she'll warm up to me eventually.

After all, I've only had them since Saturday.

Meanwhile, homesteading has been a lot of daily chores with moments of cuddling a baby turkey and ducks and baby goats. The garden, for the most part, has to be replanted thanks to the local squirrel, so it's mostly a loss at this point.

Currently we are home to:

15 chickens (4 week-old pullets, 7 16-week old chickens, 4 laying hens)
7 ducklings
5 goslings
1 turkey
2 goats
1 cat
1 guinea pig
5(?) fish

Other than whittling down, we are done. We have enough animals!

Speaking of which... ultrasound tomorrow!