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Kids will be Kids

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We had 4 kids born this spring here at Castle Argghhh! Two doelings and two bucklings. Last fall, John and I drove out to Leavenworth Jefferson Electric Co-op to get some cable spools that were going into the trash, and set them up as a playground for the goats.

The goats had little interest in playgrounds, to our disappointment. But this morning, after I fed goats, bunnies and farmyard fowl, I noticed that there is finally interest in the spools. The big goat is Boomer, our wether, and he is having a grand time playing king of the mountain with the little kids.



He was born earlier today. His mama is Morgan La Fey. John took the photo.64morgan and buckling.JPG


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This is Maggie, my yearling doeling who nearly died last Thanksgiving. Doesn't she look cute now?

Poor John was tasked with taking care of the critters Friday and Saturday whilst I attended an American Majority seminar in Kansas City. As soon as I got home on Saturday afternoon, we got in the car and went to a housewarming party at Josh and Ann Warren's home - an old Victorian that they are rehabbing - great house, but oh the work must be very hard with those hugely high ceilings (at least12 feet high).

When we got home, I went into the barn to feed the rabbits. Those sneaky goats managed to break into the rabbitry and eat about 20 to 30 pounds of Professional Rabbit Feed. They also knocked stuff over and freely pooped wherever they felt like it.

I was pretty concerned about the goats - they can get bloat from eating too much grain or rich grass and die from a bacteria that develops from all that gas. The goats always have free choice baking soda available to them (yes, baking soda), as it helps to keep the PH in their rumen at the correct level. I decided to encourage them to have more baking soda by putting about 12 cups of it in a feed bucket - they all ran to me when they saw the bucket and all of them ate at least 1/4 cup of the baking soda. This apparently worked to stem the gassiness that was sure to turn into Bloat, they are all just fine now.

Oh, and the baby bunnies have all opened their eyes - they are teh cute!

Yesterday, mowed the yard. There is a slow leak in one of the big rear tires of the mower, which really irritates me because I just replaced the two little wheels in front with solid tires that will never go flat. It was not cheap, but worthwhile. I don't think I can do that with the big rear wheels, though, because they really act as shock absorbers. So I fill the tire with air everytime I mow now, I guess.

Today, I need to start the two buckling kids on preventative coccidiousis treatment. Sulamet for 5 days, then wait a couple of weeks and repeat.

To make that easier, I built a small pen in the pasture, as I was building it, all the goats surrounded me, curious as to what this new thing is. I left the door to it open with hay and water inside and I'll let them sniff around it and jump in and out of it while I'm planting the herbs I was supposed to plant yesterday!! LOL!

Then I will bring some goat feed into that pen with me and hopefully capture the two little guys long enough to dose them. It's just an oral dosage, so they shouldn't be too awful!

Hopefully, I will not be too worn out after wrestling with the kids and I will be able to finish shearing at least Horus. I think I will bring the goat stand outside and put it against the barn, so he can't fall or jump off one side while I'm shearing the other. It's a lot easier with two people, but I don't have that option available to me today and I really need to get better at shearing these guys!

Today, our French Angora Rabbit kits are really starting to move around a lot - one of them was actually out of its nesting box! I put it back in as their eyes are not yet open, and I figured it would be better off with its siblings. I promise, promise, promise to get some pictures of them today.

They look much nicer with some hair instead of being all nekkid and stuff!!

Hope everyone has a great day today!

Tuesday Farm Report

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Yesterday, my friend, Robin, came over and held goats for me while I trimmed their little hooves. I realized tha I have got to finish shearing them ASAP, before the lovely mohair starts to felt - however, even if it felts, I believe I have a good use for it. I'll experiment and test my idea before revealing it.

After my goats had their pedicures, I went over to Robin's farm to trim her goats' feet. She has dairy goats, and they are much larger than my Angora Goats, so it takes quite a bit more muscle to give them pedicures. My shoulders feel it today.

Willy is finally looking good after his horrible winter. He's been getting about 15 to 20 pounds of Equine Senior feed a day for the past couple of months, and finally, I believe he is regaining the weight he lost. This is a good thing. Petey has been gaining probably too much weight, because if I don't feed him at the same time, he steals Willy's food. I need to remember to call the farrier - they are both without shoes at the moment, and really need a trim!

I'm still trying to determine if I should go to the trouble of getting more chicks or not. I can order 25 Ameracaunas from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, MO for around $75 after shipping. It will take them about 4 to 5 months before they start laying and they will need special feed for the first 6 weeks of their lives. Hmmm. Is it worth the investment or not?

I plan to get my DR tow-behind brush mower going tomorrow - I've got some brush and weeds in the horse pasture I need to start mowing down, as well as on the side of the road. It is a County Road, but I honestly don't know if they will have the funding to mow them this year, with the budget crunch everyone is in.

Today, it's mow the lawn day, and hopefully, plant the herbs I bought last week day!

The Leavenworth Farmers' Market had its opening day on Saturday, May 1. I got there bright and early with eggs and yarns and my spinning wheel.

This year, I have raised the price of eggs to $3.50 per dozen. No one objected, and they all sold by 9:30 am. The price of chicken feed has skyrocketed in the past year.

What used to be $6 or $7 for a 40 pound bag of feed is now $10 to $11.

I need to at least break even on the eggs. In the summer, I don't have to feed the chickens much because they are true free-range chickens. I get up in the morning, let them out and they wander around the farm eating weeds, bugs, seeds, whatever is around.

Some chickens prefer hanging out in the goat pasture, others like the horse pasture and still others like to hang around the house - hoping beyond hope that John or I will appear with leftover pasta or some other treat for them.

I need to renovate the nest boxes this spring or summer. Many of my chickens have taken to laying eggs in the big barn, in the hay. I check their favorite spots a couple of times a day to collect the eggs there, but it would be better if I can get them to all lay in regular nest boxes.

Many customers on Saturday came to me for eggs because they love getting the occasional green and blue eggs from the Araucanas. I guess I'll have to get more of those, since they are so popular.

There is one little old lady, though, who only wants "real farm eggs", you know - the brown ones!

Most people don't seem to understand that the egg color comes from the breed a chicken is, not what they are fed or where they are raised.

Introducing the little buckling born on Monday of Serafina. This picture was taken about 45 minutes after he was born.

As yet, I have not named him. He's a bouncy little guy, and at birth was the same size as Belle's son, Stitches is at one week of age.

Anyone have suggestions for his name?

Waiting for some kids

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Both Belle and Serafina are verra verra preggers. Because I let the bucks run with the does all the time, I have no idea when they got that way.

Goats have a 5 month gestation period. Angoras are seasonal breeders - pretty much, they can get preggers from September through January. That's a long time to try to figure out when these two goaties got knocked up.

Serafina is a bitch. She is getting a little less bitchy than when I first got her, but she will not let me check her to see if she is 'bagging up' - which means her body is getting ready to produce milk for her kid and her udders start growing. Generally, when they start bagging up, that means they are nearing the time for kidding.

Belle doesn't mind me checking her, but she is very funny about it. She acts like I have cold hands or something when I check her udders and hunches up funny. Belle's udders are kinda squishy at this point, and growing, but I hope she is still some time away from kidding, but darn, I could be wrong!

My friend, Robin, had 2 of her milk goats kid last month - she knew they were pregnant, but did not expect them so soon, and Robin has been raising goats a lot longer than I have! So, every morning, I go out, I call Belle and Serafina and check to be sure they have not already dropped their kids.

I'm honestly not too concerned about Serafina - this will be her 5th delivery (she is 6 years old). Belle, though - well, this will be her first, and she is a smaller goat than Serafina. Right now, she looks almost as wide as she is long.

I have all the kidding supplies ready. Non-latex gloves if she needs help getting the kid out - the iodine for dipping the umbilical cord in, and nutridrench for goats to give the does a good boost of energy after they give birth. (among other, emergency kind of things). I still need to build a mama/kid temporary stall where they can bond to each other for a couple of days before letting them out with the herd at large.

I will take pictures as soon as the new arrivals get here. Stay tuned!

Update on bunnies and goats

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I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this here, but last November, I drove over to Herbal Maid Fiber Farm in Rosebud, Missouri and purchased 6 French Angora Rabbits. 4 does and 2 bucks. They each have their own 30x30 cage, and the cages are stacked 3 high.

I have the rabbit cages set up in the old milking room in the barn. I discovered that cleaning those cages was pretty difficult because my wheelbarrow does not go through the doors from the milking room to the larger barn area, so I had to either push the wheelbarrow through the goat pasture and through the door to the outside, or carry the 30x30 litter pans to the narrower inside doors and try to tip them just right so I could empty them into the wheelbarrow parked outside the door. It was a pain either way.

So, I looked for some kind of a wheelbarrow that would go through the inside doors, and I found one -

And it works well. (And if you want one, please get it by clicking on that link and I will get a gift card from Amazon!) The bunny's cages are being cleaned much more often because it is so much easier with that dump cart.

As for the Goats - Oh, my, they are such naughty, naughty goats! I looked out the garage door a little while ago, and there were goats in places where goats are not supposed to be! They were all out and hanging with the chickens. Buffy and Gunner and Kiki were all sitting on the hill keeping an eye on them, so they were safe, but as soon as I walked out the door, the goats all looked at me, and started sidling into the barn and then back through the gate that they had managed to open.

This is actually quite gratifying. Back when we first had the goats, if they got out, chances were that Serafina and Morgan would take off like the wind. We had quite a time finding them once, they were gone for days. Apparently, they all seem to realize that this is home now.

I might even try taking them out and letting them graze in back without a fence, if they will stay close. They will come running when I call them if they think I have treats for them. Maybe i don't have to build a bunch of fences for them.

Update: Here is are a couple of photos of the goats in escape mode: That's Horus!

and, Miss Maggie:

Yes, Maggie is quite tiny. She is the goat we almost lost last November - she spent Thanksgiving night in the kitchen, and I was terrified that when I got up in the morning, she would be dead. But, she is a very tough little doeling, and is now running around, jumping and playing like all the other goats!

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Angora Goats category.

#Haiku is the previous category.

Angora Rabbits is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.