Saturday, February 27, 2010

I'm not neglecting the ponies....

All this goat talk... do not think i am neglecting the ponies, lol! The weather has just been yucky so I have been feeding them, going over them all with a shedding blade, then letting them chill out and stuff their faces. I am REALLY impatient to get back to working Brego so I can get him under saddle again now that I have a saddle that will fit.

I've also been busy clearing out the brush along the ditch at the end of the road since instead of fixing the hole at the end of the driveway the road commission ignored that issue and decided to focus on the brush blocking clear line of sight on the road. I am sure that is going to delight the neighbor and probably make her mad at us. And we still have a huge mud pit that forms at the end of the drive. Same story, different decade. Only now my neighbor is going to be TICKED. yay.

I decided what kind of shelter I am going to make for my goats. I'm going to make one of these:

Goat shelter made with cattle panels and tarps.

It will be fairly easy to move around if I want to, and if weather gets really REALLY bad I can lock them into the stud stall in the barn. Eventually I'll have a few sheds out there but for now this will get me started and by next year when I have kids hitting the ground I will have individual pens/shelters for each mom to kid in.

Now i just have to figure how to get all the cattle panels I will need for shelters and fences home, lol.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What i learned about goats...

Copy and paste from the goat forum, because i am crashing hard and I am soo tired. To anyone who knows nothing about goats most of this will flitter right over your head. I'm still trying to get a grasp of it myself.

OK, what I learned from my visit with Anita... the minute I have live goats in front of me all of my breed preferences go out the window and i just like them all. She has quite a few goats of assorted breeds, her daughter shows them in 4H. The 2 day old babies were 75% Boer 25% Toggenburg. I really know nothing about udders yet, but i could see that the does teats were very nice (as in they looked like they would be easy to milk, not big sausage teats or anything). The babies really REALLY showed the Boer, and i was tempted to stick one in my pocket. Cute little redheads with adorable floppy ears and the sweetest little voices.

She has 4 or 5 yearling does she will be looking to sell. They are all 50% Boer crossed with dairy breeds, one is Saanen/Boer, two are Oberhasli/Boer (I REALLY like these two), and i don't remember what the others were, they were still in the barn so i didn't get to meet them. I saw the Oberhasli that was the mother to the two Ober/Boer crosses and she is GORGEOUS (at least to a complete newbie who knows nothing about goats yet). I know 4H may not mean much compared to breed shows but they have all kinds of ribbons and stuff for her from 4H the last few years.

She lost two of her bucks last year to old age (her Boer and her Oberhasli) and has a Kiko she just got. She said if i don't want to have my own buck she and three other local people have bucks they would let me use. So I may amend my plans and instead of getting 3 does and a buck just skip the buck and get 4 does. i REALLY fell in love with one of the Boer/Oberhasli does. She followed me everywhere and when i stopped to pet her she rested her head in my hand and sighed and closed her eyes. She had sold them as babies but got them back recently (because of this economy the people who bought them couldn't keep them, had to move or something).

So... so much for my original idea of looking at minis. She did have a Pygmy but those Boer/Oberhasli crosses just REALLY took my fancy.

She had a pitiful looking Mini Mancha wether with elf ears. She took him in a while ago because no one wanted him and she said he just lives there because he has no where else to go. I had to remind myself i am looking for animals that can earn their keep, not more rescue animals! I just wanted to scoop him up and tell the poor homely little guy that he was beautiful. I'm such a sucker.

At any rate, I am seriously considering buying the two Boer/Oberhasli crosses as soon as i get my tax refund, and will look at the others she has for sale at that point.

I also have recommendations for a local vet who knows goats and is willing to work with people who are capable of doing much of their own vet work (HIGH priority for me). Judging from the amount of milk and meat she says she gets from her dairy/meat crosses when breeding them to her meat buck it really sounds like that would work for what i want quite nicely. She also offered to coach me through milking and making soap if i want. And she said if there is another breed i prefer she can help me track them down. But i really think I like those Boer crosses.

I have a date with a goat lady!

Her name is Anita, she lives down the road and around the corner from me. I got her name and number from Outback Jack at Outback Jack's Feed and Seed in "town". I was going to call her right away then all heck and hulabaloo broke loose over Tiff's adventure. So now that things have calmed down from that... i called her this morning and we talked for about 10 minutes.

I explained where I got her number and who i was and jack had given her a heads up that I would likely be calling. She said her goats are free ranging in her yard as we speak, lol!! I explained that i was looking for LIVESTOCK goats, and i want multipurpose animals for a small amount of milk, land clearing and meat, but that most folks i was finding are dairy or pet only and as soon as the topic of meat comes up they shut down. She said she experienced the same thing and explained that she started with meat goats and dairy goats and was finding that they had a huge surplus of milk that was going to waste. So she cross bred some and came up with goats that will work for their small family. Then she said, "Would you like to come over for a bit this evening and chat, see the goats?" I was all, oh, yeah, what time? that would be great... then she said... "I just had a pair of babies born two days ago."

I squealed right into the phone. "BABIES!"

So I will head over there about 4:30 this afternoon, and meet her and her goats, and talk about having goats.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Soo tired, and impatient, but excited...

The horses are all shedding like fiends (YAY!) so spring is just around the corner. Even with all this snow we have had over the last week we've had some warm temps (and by warm I mean like 34 degrees, lol) and the sun has had the snow melting off the roof.

All the drama over the last few weeks (it seems to go on and on and on... we've had a reprieve for several days but I have no doubt we will have it creep back up) has worn me out. I've distracted myself from other people's drama invading my life by knitting emphatically, hugging my horses 14 times a day, venting about it to my dog and reading about goaties.

We got our taxes done saturday, the day tsu had one of the most Blarg-worthy birthdays ever. Virtually everyone who isn't married to him or isn't a 50% contributor to his genetic make up forgot it was his birthday. My ex in laws remembered, though, and gave him a card the weekend before. How weird but delightful is it that they remembered?

Anyway, prior to having taxes done i always convince myself we won't actually get a refund. We now get to claim Tiff every year, even though this was our year anyway. So I now know that i will get enough to get a little goat shed, some fencing and some goats.

I already have names picked out for my stock. I like to have themes in my names. My girlie horsies get names from songs. My boy horsies get names from media (book or movie characters or names of actors, etc). My goaties will get names after herbs, weeds and other non-tree type plants. But i am kind of combining my girliehorse theme with my goatie theme here at first.

See, I've had these names I wanted to use since i was a teen... My dream was to have a 4 in hand team of driving horses to use the names for but that is never ever going to happen, and i honestly think they will be perfect for my goats.

My buck will be named Parsley, and his harem will be named Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. I plan to keep a wether from my first kid crop to be a companion to Parsley and his name will be Chickory. The other babies won't get names unless they are doelings that will be added to my milk/breeding herd, because (and non-meat eaters or folks who can't handle the idea of raising your own food just skip this part, k?) I don't name food. If you have a name, you are family, if not... you are food.

here is where some folks who know me are kind of confused... because these animals, despite how much I want them and am excited about getting them and how much i will probably fall madly in love with them... are livestock. They are a crop. That means they may not have a forever home here because they are not pets. They have to earn their keep, otherwise all but my favorite two will have to go. because there is a difference between pets and produce when you live on a farm, and my goal IS to have this place be a small almost self sustaining farm.

But this presents me with an issue. These days a LOT of goaties are just pets, or pets you can drink milk from. So I am making sure that everyone i talk to understands that i will be raising goats for a tiny amount of milk but mostly for meat (and land clearing/upkeep). This has already caused a few people to say they won't sell to me. Which is perfectly fine with me, that is why I am being upfront about my plans/goals for these animals. I would hate for someone to sell me a cherished pet then have them discover down the road i am eating it's babies! can you imagine how horrible that would make someone feel? Yeesh! I could never do that to someone!!

So now... I am just waiting on Uncle Sam to give us back our money so i can get my little shed, my fence and then.... my goats!!! The waiting is driving me nutty.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Revenge is sweet, but karma is sweeter.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I have always thought that revenge is a dish best not served at all. All it really does is lower you to the other person's level, no matter how much they might deserve it. i firmly believe that the words, "The best revenge is to live well." are true and I have lived my life that way with no exceptions that I can recall.

Don't get me wrong, I have daydreamed of revenge in great detail (this revenge often involves super glue and genitalia), but I have always felt that by acting on it I would somehow diminish myself and end up a lesser person for it. I need to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not flinch.

"Those who plot the destruction of others often perish in the attempt." ~Thomas Moore

However, part of the reason I have been able to live this way is because I firmly believe that, as the bible says, “whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap.” In Wiccan belief there is the Threefold Law also known as the law of Threefold return... The Law of Threefold Return basically states that whatever you do returns to you threefold, good or ill. Even secular wisdom states, "What goes around, comes around." It's not about punishment, really... or reward. It is about balance. In order for the world to balance, the good must get their reward and the bad must get their reward, each in measure to their actions.

As sweet as revenge may have been, to stand by and watch a person harvest the bitter fruit of the seeds they have sown... knowing you had nothing to do with it, but that what ever greater power or force that is... be it nature finding it's own level, God dealing out his vengeance, or just dumb luck... has settled the accounts and "brought the chickens home to roost"....

well, there isn't much sweeter than that.

As delightful as it may be to dig a hole and watch someone who has wounded you fall in, it is soooo much more delightful to watch them fall into a hole they dug for themselves.

Enjoy that bed in which you sleep, you made it yourself and have no one else to blame, despite what you may think.

As for my bed... it is so very warm and comfortable, and safe... filled with love and joy and too many pets. If this is the harvest from the seeds I planted... I guess i wasn't all that bad after all, now was I?