Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We have kids!

Well the buck kid must have read my post about being well behaved, and he cleaned up his act. On Sunday, June 16, we came home in the CR-V with 3 registered Saanen dairy goats: the black momma, Lucille; her doe kid, Helen; and a buck kid from a different momma, Jack. Saanens are usually all white, the ones with color are called Sable Saanens. Full black Lucille is unusual for her breed, but it's not so unusual that she would have a white kid. Helen is wearing the collar so we can distinguish her from Jack, but as they are growing, Jack is built more like a boy, and Helen is developing some black markings, including a black stripe down her back.

Lucille was named by The Husband, and I chose Helen and Jack because they are family names related to a different Lucille, my Grandmother Helen's cousin. Of course I had to get permission from my Uncle Jack to use his name for a goat, but we might still change his name to Bucky Pizzarelli (the goat, not the uncle). That's another story for another day.

The weather has been kind of strange. Too hot, then too cold, then almost perfect like today, which is just a bit too breezy.

The little hen that lays the little blue eggs is still the only one of the 4 babies who is laying, and she is doing a great job of giving up those little treasures almost every day. It is the crazy summer season here by the lake, and Anna is selling my eggs in her shop faster than the girls can lay them. Watch, the babies will kick in just as the season winds down, and then we'll have to be more creative about using up all those good fresh eggs.

I wonder if goats eat eggs?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Such a proud momma I am!

I didn't think I would get eggs from the chickie babes for at least another month—but look what was in the nest box today! My first little blue egg! (Maybe this explains all the squawking and singing I heard from the girls this morning...) It is from the Araucana mix, the honey and grey colored one in the photos. Not only is she a pretty girl with interesting feathers, but she lays interesting eggs as well.

Red Meanie, who was attacked over a month ago by the dog across the street, is still recuperating with the little girls in their satellite coop, next to the garage. Maybe it's because 3 of the 4 babies are Rhode Island Reds, like herself, that she likes to hang with them. Or maybe it's because she wants to be as far away as possible from Ben (the dog). The babies are all now free ranging like the other big girls and Roo, but unlike the big kids, they don't travel far. Meanie spends most of the day with them back here by the house, only occasionally going out to the real coop by the road. Their favorite place to hang, all 5 of them, is under the car in the driveway (third photo).

I am nearing the end of my treasure hunt in Chazoo's barn. I did one more pick-through yesterday and found a few cool things, but I have been through almost everything already. There are some folks who are coming to buy a few more things next week (I hope) and then I am going to call it quits. When I finish I will post on here the fun stuff that I succeeded in selling on eBay and Craig's List, and let you know my total earnings. I am close to $300 so far, but I only keep half of that. Still, it is nice to be paid for having fun.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Goats are coming!

We went to Karen's farm today to meet the goats we are thinking about bringing to Lester's Flat. She offered us a doe kid, and a buck kid, both just a few weeks old. One was born the day before my birthday, one a couple days after. The black doe is momma to the doe kid, and the buckling belongs to a different momma, but he nurses off this momma as well.

We thought we might take all 3, but now that Karen has them all in together, the buckling is pushing the doe kid away from the milk. If they all work it out before Karen delivers them next Sunday, we could still end up with all 3, but probably will get only the 2 girls. Note to little bucky: behave yourself and you might get to come along for the ride!

They are sable Saanens—anything other than white is called sable. The doe kid, on the right in both photos, has some grey markings on her nose, back and tail, and she will probably get more grey as she gets older (don't we all!). The buck kid will probably stay pure white.

As for the closeup of the brown girl (I think she's an alpine) she was trying to convince The Husband that she should come home with us instead. She doesn't have any babies, so we'd have to take her and her BFF, the white girl in the background. She was quite the fresh girl, biting us both while we weren't paying attention. Quite the personality...and it almost swayed us both.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Still spring in mid-June

I prefer the spring-like temperatures in June to the 90° we had in May. I really thought that "spring had sprung", so I planted up the large pots (above) only to have the weather go from 90° in the daytime to 30-something° at night just a few days later. I lost about half of what I had planted. The apple trees that are always FULL of blooms were just starting to open their blossoms when the freeze came through and killed them all. This may be the first year since coming up here that we get no apples at all!

Thankfully there have been no further chicken health dramas, and all of the injured are recovering. Roo, with his naked, feather-free butt, has been somewhat humbled by his Jack Russell encounter, but not so much that he still doesn't try to kick me now and then. The baby chicks are almost adults now. It's good that they will start laying eggs soon, in the summer when all the egg-buying folks are here in the North Country. We are selling about 3 dozen eggs a week, and could probably sell more if we had them.

I put up an ad on Craig's List last week for "Fresh Ham and Eggs." Yesterday, a very nice gentleman with the last name of Meyer (my unmarried name) bought $78 worth of hams and bacon. He was kind enough to tell me that $3 per pound is too cheap, so next go-round with pigs we'll have to up the prices to $5 per pound, at his suggestion. I took down the Craig's List ad and will have to retrieve the flyers I posted around town—we'll save the rest for us and for friends. Some friends and family members have expressed their disgust at our sending the cute piggies to "harvest," but as Mr. Meyer stated yesterday, it is nice to know where your meat comes from, and that the animals were well cared for. He tries to buy all of his meat locally, and none from a grocery store, and that's an admirable goal, I think.