Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another goat boy joins us at Lester's Flat

We added Monk, the new kitten boy last week, and Charlie, the goat boy just today. He is an Oberhasli/Alpine cross, from 2 good dairy breeds. You can see the brown and black OB coloring like little Bart, but Charlie looks like he's going grey, with a lot of white hair mixed in. He is young though, born in April just like Rosie and Tony (who we traded him for).

We saw Tony today, all grown up. Almost didn't recognize him because of the black markings on his face. And I didn't notice until we got home that Rosie is getting some black on her face as well. (in the middle, top photo). Tony and Rose were our first kids born here, and Lucille, the all-black goat is their mom.

Charlie will be the sire of our herd...the only intact male. We had to get a buck who was no relation to the others. Usually people keep the bucks separate from the rest, and only put them together for breeding. We will learn as we go whether or not we can leave them all in our one little goat shed. This may be the reason why The Husband claims we need a new barn...

Poor little Rico (last photo) got banded today. You might be able to figure out what that means in this context... So he is not very interested in the new guy, just sunning himself in the grass. So far they are not picking on Charlie like they did with Bart, and the smart boy is hanging out with Lucille, the true leader of our gang.

If all goes well, Charlie will breed Lucille and Rosie in the next few months and we will have more kids next spring.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Monk has arrived!

Sophie made a trip to the vet's office for some recurring old age issues. There was a fairly long wait because there was a husky having a hard time delivering puppies in the back. You could hear Momma Husky moaning the whole time.

In the waiting area, there is often a large crate with kittens that have been picked up somewhere and need a home. This time there were 3 feral kittens who all were just barely recovered from a bout of conjunctivitis. One was missing an eye, all 3 had sort of weepy misshapen eyes. Two black females, one orange-and-white male.

I called The Husband to kill some time, and asked him to swing by on his way home from work...there was an orange kitty with an excess of personality that he might want to meet. Hub came by, hung out for a bit, and on his way out the door said bring home the orange one.

I did not, but when I did get home he told me he never got my message, he just stopped by because he knew I would be there with Sophie. He didn't even know that I was liking the orange kitty with the weepy eyes.

We talked about it and went back to get kitty the next day. Husband wanted to call him Daniel (as in Daniel and the lion's den). I voted for Monk, short for Monkey because he was such a little lunatic climbing all over the cage and his 2 sisters. Tough decision, we both liked both names, but I think we have settled on Monk.

Will says the jury is still out on whether we should send him back to where he came from. The little monkey is having a party up there chasing Will, and Will chasing him. There is some hissing and growling, but it's been less than 24 hours and I would say they are getting along pretty well, considering.

Jury is definitely still out on whether we will introduce the little monkey to Woody. For the moment, both cats seem happy to stay upstairs. Not sure what we'll do when we both go to work on Monday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More sad news

Having just lost Bart, our little buckling who just never got healthy, on Saturday we lost Helen, one of our first goats. She was the doeling, daughter of Lucille the black goat. She had her first kid this last May, little white Rico who is with her in the photo.

Bart had recurring health issues which caused us to send him back to his owner for a month. He returned to us for about a month and just never seemed to improve. And he never seemed to grow, at all. The Husband found him dead in the barn one morning. It looked like he was sleeping, all curled up.

Helen has been healthy girl all along. She had a difficult labor with Rico (who we were going to name Rita) but she was fine after that, and a good momma. Then, about a week ago, she started looking skinny, and losing some hair. Not too concerning because she was otherwise fine. Then, Saturday morning, The Husband found her on her side in the shed, unable to get up. She got worse within a few hours while we were trying to figure out what to do.

Because it was a weekend, we had to take her to a vet about 40 minutes away. She was thrashing about and moaning the whole way there in the car. The vet said it was probably either listeriosis or meningeal worm, neither of which is easily treated. He also said she was so far along, and so quickly, that the prognosis was not good, so we reluctantly decided to have her put to sleep.

So sad, and so difficult, but still the right thing to do. Poor girl! Little Rico misses his mom, and I think Lucille misses you most of all.

Rest in peace Helen and Bart.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ducks are much bigger, piggies still small

Nice sunny day for taking pics of the new kids: 8 baby ducks still well cared for by mom, and the 2 new piggies quickly destroying all the plants in the pig fence—which we left in there for them to destroy.

We sold the 7 full grown ducks (mom duck's siblings) to a local guy who told us several different stories as to what he was going to do with them. I choose to believe the story about his buying them to keep his lonely Pekin duck company. The other stories didn't have so happy an ending.

And now that the mean male ducks are gone, we have let mom and babies out for a wander. The males were beating up on momma and her babies before, so we locked the kids and momma all up in the pen where we previously had the baby chicks. The boys were also beating up on the 2 new duck girls who are both still hiding out in the chicken coop. We will try to lure them back here sometime soon.

Baby pigs have not grown a bit since yesterday. They are exploring the wild forest in their fenced area—quite different from sharing a mucky stall with their huge momma and 12 other siblings. They play and play and play, and then both pass out and take a nap. Enjoying summer while it's still hanging on! Just like us.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New pigs in town!

Our favorite pig breeder, Tammy in Smyrna, is no longer breeding pigs. This year we found a place in Fly Creek, the B&B Ranch. I did a search for heritage pig breeders, and found this huge ranch—several hundred acres—just a few miles from here. They have a B&B with fresh pork, goat and chicken/eggs raised right on the farm, and also an equestrian center.

The horse in the photo is for the inexperienced rider...

The piglets we got are a mix of Berkshire and not sure what the other breed is, but Berkshires are black and the momma is white/pink. Our little piglets are Fiona the black girl, and Richie the spotted boy. Berkshires are supposed to be the Angus of pork. Not sure if the meat will taste any different from our other cross-breed piggies, but either way, fresh always tastes good!