Saturday, March 30, 2013

Herd Relocation

Since the goats have started their second round of kidding, they have been having them everywhere.  

They have been up in the rocks above the house and out in the hay field.  This makes it very difficult to check on them since they are so spread out.  
 So yesterday we rounded them up and moved them to the field below the barn.
 The older kids are enjoying the round bale.  
 It will be much easier to keep an eye on the ones kidding now.
These two had just kidded before we moved the others and the little ones were not strong enough to go so we left them in the hay field overnight.  Once again Bumble and Bea showed their amazing instincts.  Bumble went with the lager part of the herd and Bea stayed out with these two.  Unbelievable.   
I've ended up with two more bottle babies so far.  The larger one is the twin I mentioned a couple of days ago.  The little tan one was a triplet born yesterday.  She was out of it and too weak to nurse and the nanny was too wild to work with.  J caught another one that had just kidded so I could milk her to give this one some colostrum.  Names anyone?

Kid count 34

Friday, March 29, 2013

Disappointing Results

I took E to the State 4-H Horse Judging contest Saturday.  My sister Linda went with us.  There was a Quarter Horse Show and a cross country jumping competition going on at the center too.  
 This is the contest where the top 10 individuals get to be on the state team.  E was on the state team 2 years ago and V was on it last year.  E still has another year of eligibility for the team and we (I) were hoping she would make it this year.
 There were 4 halter classes, 4 performance and 3 sets of reasons.
 E places 2nd in halter and 5th in reasons.  According to how she placed the classes she only dropped 20 points in performance but didn't place in the top 10 in that category.  We were then shocked she didn't place in the top 10 overall.
I've been waiting for the official results to come out and it turns out that she go zeros on 2 classes.  Instead of individual cards  that are turned in at the end of each class they now have a scantron sheet they fill out for all of the classes then just turn in the one sheet at the end of the contest.  Apparently, E (aka - Miss. "I know how to fill out a scantron.") marked two classes on one line and left the other class blank.  She would have been 2nd in performance and 3rd overall.  Tough lesson learned.  Now we will have to try again next year.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kidding Round Two

This was when the goats were suppose to start kidding, not 5 weeks ago when they actually did.  It was also suppose to be warmer at the first of April than in the middle of February but that isn't working out either. 
 These were born Tuesday afternoon.
They were up and nursing despite the cold and snow.  Another goat had twins right at dark.  J and I went out and milked her and tubed the kids to make sure they had something overnight.  But this morning one was down and out of it.  We brought him in, tube feed him and put him on the heating pad.  He's up and nursing this evening but now the nanny won't take him back.  It's always something.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Never Ending Winter

I'm sure most of you are feeling the same way.  It seems like this winter will never end.  
 Another day of all day snow and wind.  School was out for a snow day.  I think they will be going into June now.
 J still spends most of his day feeding the cattle.
 I couldn't resist this picture of Emma - nose to the wind.
 Joe has been feeding the cattle between 5-8 bales a day all winter.
 There's not much left.
 The robins have arrived so spring can't be that far off.
This was the 9th calf born today.  Something's happening every day.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Browsing Goats

Despite the new layer of snow, the multiflora rose bushes are starting to put out. 
 This is exactly what we got the goats for.
 They have started going to town on eating the new growth.
 This one however, had the white pine tree in it's sights.
 Ah, success.
 You would think with all of those thorns that the goats would be a little more careful in their eating.  But they just open wide and wad it in.
I read recently that a goat is worth $10- $25/acre as brush and weed control.  This is much better than me or J getting out there with the backpack sprayer and hiking up and down these steep hills.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Just Kit Sunday # 7 (guest appearance by Emma)

Kit - "I am not going to play with the dog."
 Emma - "Happy, Happy, Happy."
 play, play, play
 Emma - "What? I was not playing with the cat."
 play, play, play
Kit - "I was not playing with the dog."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Best Friends

Did I say Brother and Otoelene liked each other?
 Well, here's the proof.
 They were standing head to head when I walked past them on the way to the barn this morning.  When I turned around Brother was already lying down and Otoelene was walking around him to lie down next to him.
Nap time with a friend.  Aren't they precious?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Is it Spring yet?

Not really.  
 It looked a little like spring last week.  The temperature actually got near 60 even if the wind was blowing at 50 mph.
 The daffodils looked a little different this morning when the temperature was 16 degrees.
I don't know about you but I'm ready for some warm weather.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Friday"s Fences #74

Otoelene and Brother seem to have become good friends.  They hang out a lot together.  This morning on the way down the driveway Brother had the road blocked.  He started licking on the hook while Otoelene came up behind and started chewing on the spare tire cover.  E finally had to roll down her window and use her tennis racked to get Brother out of the way.  Guess she didn't want to be late for school.  
 Anyway, I like how the sun is highlighting Otoelene but wish Brother wasn't in so much shadow.
I really like how interested they were in the calf.
For more fences click HERE.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Calving Season

Our cows have started calving.  Most people around here have their spring calving season staring in late January or February.  J has been going against the norm and not calving until the end of March.  Usually, (but not necessarily this year) the weather is better by now. 

 Two heifers have calved so far.
 I love the speckled faces.
And another speckled one.  
We have 25 heifers to calve this year.  I think Brother and Otoelene will keep an eye on things for us.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making Due

We have always seemed to just make due with what we have, only getting stuff when we really have to.   When we bought our farm 17 years ago it was pretty basic.  There was not a whole lot of items left behind by the previous owners.  We are still making use of a lot of the things that were left.  
 There was this very old and very heavy cast iron trough.  We've fed a lot of bottle calves out of it.
 This barrel is still in the same place we found it, next to the working chute to hold stuff when we are working on the cattle.
 I can't remember how long it was before I decided, "I own this now, I'm going to put up some nails where I want them."  That was a very liberating day.
 This cup has come in handy to scoop loose salt out of the bag.  Are there even any Hop In stores around anymore.  "Stop in at Hop In."  I believe they are trying to outlaw this cup size in New York now.
 And the salt goes out to this old tub who's stand has long ago rusted away.  (Frosty and Snowflake are growing fast aren't they)
 There had been a double wide on the farm at one time.  The only thing left from it was the cinder block foundation.  We stacked and restacked those blocks more times than I care to remember.  Now some of them reside in the water tank to provide an escape route for baby goats that fall in.
This scoop is what made me think of this subject today.  It too was left in the barn and has been one of my favorites.  It's just perfect to measure and scoop the grain out for the odd animals that are usually at the barn.  The current calf is getting 3 1/2 scoops twice a day.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Temporary Fence

We've used this temporary electric mesh fence for several seasons now.   It's been a real labor saver. 
 We use it in the winter to fence the goats out of the overflow hay lot.  J use to put in metal post and run 2 strands of wire.  That kept the cattle out but didn't phase the goats.   This has worked great for both.
 The hay lot is now empty so it's time for us to take up the fence.  First step, unhook from electricity, then pull all the post up and lay flat.
 V helped fold it up then roll it up.  It's not difficult but the process can be messed up which makes it harder to lay out to use the next time.  V's comment, "I see why father doesn't like to do this.
Now it's stored in the barn to maybe be used next month when the goats are suppose to start kidding for real.
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