Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our New Goat Pen

My Little Farmgirl

While the rest of my daughters love playing outside, riding bikes, loving baby animals, digging in the garden; dear, sweet Ella prefers farming on the computer.  The other day she got some new chickens.  Where did I ever go wrong!

Got Goats?

After the few days prior day from H-E-L-L, yesterday we had a fun day.  I'm on a quest for a goat in milk.  Yes, I am slightly crazy.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.  I've been researching, reading, chatting with goat owners, and I think the Nigerian Dwarf may be the right breed for us.  They stand under two feet tall and weight under forty pounds.  Adorable, petite, and they don't take up a lot of space.  PLUS, they're babies are cute as heck!!!

Nigis produce milk high in butterfat which is very good for cheese and soap making.  Yes, you can drink it too!  At the moment my favorite part about them is due to their small stature they don't produce enormous amounts of milk.  Right now I would only have one milker, but I don't want a gallon a day.  Yes, I could make stuff out of it, but I'd have milk coming out of my ears.  So, it looks like a cute lil Nigi will work best.

Sooooo, yesterday we took a short trek to meet some very sweet Nigerian Dwarf goats.  The girls spent the day in farm heaven while I talked goat.  I'm interested in a a Nigi who recently kidded.  Her name is Webigale, anyone remember Ducktales?  It's been years since I've thought about that show.  Anyway!!  Webby won't come to live with us until her baby is bigger; which at the moment is fine with me.  I'd rather have a bottle baby or two weaned before I take on a new time consuming endeavor.  In the meantime I can go visit the goat babies and the freezer overflowing with rich goats milk.   

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peace at Last

Yesterday was the day from H-E-L-L.  If this is what 37 is going to be like; I'd like to be 36 again please.  UGH!!  After all of the stress, frustration, anger, and yes tears it was a 6 day old goat that settled me.  Finally back home, I was in the lamb/goat pen, cuddling little Tanner while his buddies played at my feet, I found peace.  A pink and orange sunset was filtering through the trees, and the only sound came from the babies around me.  I finally relaxed, let go, found peace in the quiet of dusk.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Goat Milk Before Coffee

At barely 6am, I'm not thinking about my first cup of coffee, well I sort of am; I'm thinking about the 4 day old baby goat in the basement bleating for his baba.  As the coffee trickles into the pot, I'm heating up 6 ounces of livestock milk replacer.  With a quick swig of coffee in me, I'm off to cuddle Tanner, and give him his baba.  I snuggle the tiny Lamanche cross in my lap as he sucks down five ounces of milk.  Tanner is much calmer than our lambs and much quieter.  His little bleats are silent compared to our boisterous lambs  His little body cuddles up against my chest as he nurses without stopping.

Tanner's buddy, Luna, been moved outside to the big girl pen with the lambs.  Her constant escape of the pen I Frankensteined out of wire dog crates had become an issue.  I didn't want Luna to injure a leg hopping out or getting into mischief in the basement.  I feel bad that she's been banished to the out of doors, but she'll be much safer.  Tanner has a gaggle of adoring fans who spend the majority of their day cuddling and fawning over him.  Once he's a bit bigger he'll join the girls outside.  In the meantime, our sweet little buckling will have to endure constant attention from his fans.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's official...

looks like round 1 brought us about a foot.

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

One of my girls even asked when we were getting our tree.  It looks more like mid-January out my window than April 16.  Yesterdays, snow dumped at least a foot on us, and the never correct weather people are threatening us with another 6+ inches of the heavy, white stuff.  Yuck!  So much for garden plans and fence building.  I'm stuck inside planning the farm, and plotting against my hubby.  How hard would it be to keep a milk goat?  We wouldn't have to buy milk from the store again.   What would happen if I cross breed wool sheep with hair sheep?  Maybe it's time to stop daydreaming and clean the house.  

Actually, I'm being glared at by a hungry pony while I sit here procrastinating.   I'm not ready to leave the warmth of my house and coffee for a trip into Antarctica.  I used to laugh at the folks in Alaska with their 9 months of winter;  I can't do that anymore because we get the same weather here in the Rockies minus the subzero temps.  Ironically during our spring storm I caught a glimpse of robins playing in the pines.  They're a sign of spring, right?  Maybe we'll get lucky and mud season will begin soon!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

We have survived week one with our two sweet bottle lambs.  Cosette, or Cozy as we like to call her, turns three weeks old today.  She is slowly warming to "baba time," and will only take about 3 ounces of sheep milk replacer at a time.  Cozy does have a love of alfalfa; I watched her chow down on that yesterday.  Chloe has become her baba buddy; Cozy does best when Chloe gives her a bottle.  Luckily our tiny little lamby is gaining weight and growing!

Juliet, will be 5 weeks old tomorrow.  She is definitely better at her bottle than her tiny counter part.  Jules will easily take 6 ounces at a time, and does a happy lamb dance while she eats.  She is even starting to baa loudly when we come out; Jules knows where dinner comes from.  She is the more assertive lamb; Cosette just follows in her big sisters foot steps.  

Baba time has become easier throughout the week.  There is still a bit of lamb wrestling to get the girls to eat, but they actually follow us around to get their bottles.  Juliet, baas when I come outside and call to her.  I wonder if she thinks she can coerce me into an extra snack.  We have quite a few more weeks of bottle time.  Both girls will be weaned when they turn eight weeks old.  All of my little girls are enjoying watching the lambs grow and getting cuddle time.  Soon we'll try to complete the flock, so we can have lambs next spring.  The goal is to raise the sheep or their beautiful wool and for our freezer.

Sweet Lil Lambs


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mmmmm, yummy!!

Ironically this recipe comes from a joke app, but it works and it's delicious!!

Brownies in a Cup

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Water

  1. add all dry ingredients in a large mug
  2. add oil and water
  3. mix until it's consistent
  4. put in microwave and cook for 2:30 minutes or until consistency is cake like
  5. cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Tale of Snow and Shed in a Box

Ahhh, springtime in the Rockies.  I have a love hate relationship with the month of April.  I love it because it's my birth month.  I love it because of the promise of spring.  I hate the April weather.  One day the temps are in the 60s; the next day we're in the teens with snow.  Ugh!!  The wonderful melt, dry driveway, possibility of spring planting has been extinguished by the beautiful snow globe outside my window.  Though I'm enjoying the toasty fire and snugly snow day; I'm not looking forward to the mud that awaits in days to come.

This brings me to the saga of Shed-in-a-Box.  The only way Lil Bit uses it is if I put his hay in there.  Other than that he camps out in the pallet, extra fencing corner under shelter of spindly pines.  He has a dry, draft proof getaway, yet chooses to hang out in the snow.  I give up!!  I fought for weeks to get the shed up, and goof ball will only use it if something delicious awaits him inside.  I'm glad I didn't spend the extra money to build him a permanent shelter he won't frequent.

Our Latest Adventure

Saturday we picked up 2 sweet bottle babies.  After swearing up and down that I wouldn't own wool sheep; we have wool sheep, a pair of CVM bottle lambs.  CVM stands for California Variegated Mutant; a breed created in the 1960s to possess beautifully colored fleece that was good hand spinning.  The breed along with their Romeldale counterparts are quite rare today.   Our little ewe lambs are baby, babies in need of extra care and handling.  Our beautiful brown lamb, Cosette, is only two weeks old.  Her dark gray buddy, Juliet, is four weeks old.  They are beautiful little girls, who should have amazing fleece once they get older.  Let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Springtime in the Rockies

Yesterday afternoon the girls were able to pull out their bikes and enjoy the balmy weather.  By this morning spring had disappeared and winter regained its hold.  I love the moisture,  but I hate the unexpected snows.

Fox: Fiend, Friend and Spirit Animal

For the past week a friendly fox has started to come to visit.  I believe he is the fox our neighbors have named Fritz.  On Easter Sunday he had an encounter with our gray tabby cat, Purrpikitty.  I'm not sure if Fritz wanted to eat her or sniff her.  When I got outside the fox is laying in a snow bank, and Purrky was crouched in the dirt puffed up to the size of a basketball.  

Monday morning, Fritz was back; sitting, waiting patiently by the wood pile.  I crept outside and crouched in the driveway to watch him.  Fritz, being the friendly fox he is, came trotting over.  He sniffed my fingers and later came up to snitch bits of lunch meat from my hand.

I'm playing a dangerous game: enamored by this fox's beauty, his tame nature.  We have chickens that is a tempting treat if Fritz keeps coming around.  Yet, I love to watch him, feel at peace around him.  He seems to come around every once in a while as a guide and friend.  So here I sit wondering if Fritz will plunder my poultry or guide me to the next phase of my homesteading dream.