August 6, 2015

End of the age of the goats

I haven't posted in over a year. I know, yikes! Well I'm back, but it's to say that I'm done with this blog. Goats, unfortunately, no longer fit into my life. The experiences I've had with them were wonderful, but I've moved on to other things. And, after moving, we can't really have farm animals at our new location. And there's really no reason to blog on my goat blog if I don't have goats anymore.

I'm not going to take down this blog, though. I'm going to leave it up for the sake of the dozens of posts that are on here. Who knows, maybe they'll be helpful to someone sometime.

This is not goodbye. I have a new blog, where I post about other things. It's still pretty new and is just starting out, but I hope you'll go take a look at it. Warning: I have a music player on it that starts automatically. I'm going to try to change it so that you have to actually hit play, but at the moment it's a hazard if you're in a library or supposed to be quietly doing homework. =D

Thanks for being so awesome and reading this blog while it lasted. I hope you'll keep tabs on my new one, and maybe even subscribe!

March 11, 2014

It's that time of the year...

...when the longing for some cute, fuzzy little baby goats and their mother's creamy milk is very intense. I keep imagining the little animals curled up together in fresh straw, or bouncing off of bales of straw and leaping into the air. New kids also have a wonderful baby smell. I cannot stop fantasizing feeding warm milk to kids and hearing them suck it speedily down, white foam circling their mouths.

If I don't find a remedy soon I might go crazy. I have no baby goats. I have one milking goat who refused to get bred, and two almost-yearlings who were too small to breed. I'm feeding three goats, and getting 1/2 a gallon a day of milk. Hay is expensive right now, too. On the bright side, though, at least my amazing Roxy is still giving 1/2 a gallon a day! Good little girl. But  I still want some babies.

I would like get another doe. Hopefully a small one (thinking miniature) who will be able to produce well for her size. Someday we might move closer into town, in which case smaller is better. Either a milking or pregnant doe would work, but I'm leaning towards pregnant because of the babies included. Ah, the dreams I have of baby goats every night. I actually have my eye on a couple of does, and could possibly end up getting one. Only possibly. But I'll let you know haw it works out.

March 4, 2014

First Spring Rain

We're having an early Spring this year. Of course, it's not technically "Spring" yet and  won't be until March 20th. But it is raining, so I'm calling it Spring. There is something so fresh and earthy about a Spring rain, that makes one want to dance and sing, cuddle baby animals and laugh. However, woe is me, we might not be having any baby goats on the farm this season.

Although we left Roxy with a wonderful little buck for nearly two weeks in early December and she did indeed go into heat while she was there, she never seemed to get pregnant. We brought her back last weekend, but I'm afraid that she didn't get bred while there. All hope is for that she's tricking me and will suddenly drop some unexpected babies in either April or July. Since I don't think she will, I'm not drying her off. I'm going to keep milking her and try to breed her next September for late January or early February kids. Maybe she'll keep her milk production at no less than half a gallon a day for the next few months if I'm really nice to her... she can be hard-headed, like me.

'Till then, I'm planing to to find myself either a pregnant or recently freshened dairy doe. I think I'll be looking for a miniature or Nigerian one. They are so cute and easily handled. It's obvious to me that it could be hard to find a goat of that size that produces much milk, but that isn't to daunting to an optimist! (I'm not sure if am an optimist, though... hmm...) Anyway, wish me some luck!

Aw, shucks. The rain turned to snow. Don't count your chickens before they hatch! Or, in this case, don't count on Spring until it's sprung! (Yes, I know that was lame. :-P)

January 9, 2014

The Deep Litter Method

Cute but unrelated picture
This winter, I don't have to clean my barn. Not once - all winter! I can say to my friends as they clean out their barns, "Ah, I remember the days when I had to do that every week..."

The reason the I don't have to clean my barn is that I am using the deep litter method. Instead of shoveling out the barn when it gets messy, I simply cover the old bedding with a layer of new bedding, alternating between layers of wood shavings, and layers of straw. This keeps the inside of the barn clean looking and smelling. The shavings absorb moisture, keeping the barn dry, and the straw is a good insulator. If an area is too smelly or damp, I will sprinkle baking soda on it, which eliminates the problem. Another of the nice things about this method is that this bottom layers of bedding will start to compost. The heat, but fortunately not the smell, from the composting will seep up, keeping the goats warm on cold nights. This method also saves bedding. Think about it: it takes a lot less fresh bedding to simply cover old bedding then it takes to keep some goats warm on a freezing night.

What could be better? I don't have to clean the barn in below freezing temperatures, the goats are kept warm, I save money, and when I do clean out the barn in spring I'll have fresh, rich compost to start my garden on. I only wonder why I didn't do this last winter. This winter, you should consider not cleaning your barn.