Monday, March 14, 2016

Our Days Have Been Busy

We decided to bring all of our does into the pasture in front of our house to have their kids. Before we could do that, we had to separate all of the yearling does to put back in another pasture. We'd hoped to do this before kidding started but wouldn't you know, one doe kidded the morning of the move.  We left her there and rounded up the rest of the group.  We have to take them across the road because our "goat" catch pen is on the other side in a different pasture. There's no way we could separate without the smaller pens and gates....those things are a lifesaver!

Making the trip across the pasture.

Dillon's grandpa gave him his old four-wheeler around Christmas.  He's always happy to hop on that thing and go out to see how he can use it to help around the farm.  He brought up the rear of the herd along with our border collies to drive them across the road.  

We also moved an LGD, Delilah, into the field with the bred does. She's never been with kids, so we weren't sure how she would do.  I knew we'd have to keep our eye on her.  We've had some of our female LGD's want to steal the kids from the mamas and try to take care of them as if they were the mama.  We've also had some that were immature and like to run and chase kids......neither of which we want.

Delilah with the first set of twins

So far she has done very well.  She's very gentle with the kids and keeps just enough distance from the does while they are in labor.  Shane and I have both been very impressed with her!

We had a young first-timer have triplets.  We really do not like triplets, because there are times when one just isn't as thrifty as the other two because it's always fighting to get milk while the most dominant ones are able to nurse.  This mama has done a fantastic job.  She has a very strong maternal instinct, which is one of the reasons we love kikos!  As soon  as she had those kids, she started taking care of them like an old pro.

First-timer with triplets

Not only is Delilah a very good guardian that's working well with the does and kids, she's very friendly! That silly girl followed me on this particular day and kept flopping down in front of me trying to get me to pay attention to her.  I happened to finally look down at her because she was lying so still and this is what I saw.  She appeared to be grinning at me.  It made me chuckle, so I snapped this shot with my phone.


Of course with the good, there's always got to be some bad. We had a doe, that for whatever reason, decided she didn't really want to raise twins.  She had two bucklings and decided to keep one and it appeared that she abandoned the other.  One morning I went out to check on her with her kids and I found this little fella freezing cold barely alive. I brought him in and gave him a good hot bath to get his body temp up.  We got his temperature up and then I tubed him.   I decided our homeschooling at that point would be with a kid bundled up in a heating pad in my lap.  

He started to show signs of improvement but still wouldn't nurse the bottle, so he was tubed again.  Later, he did manage to drink some warm formula from the bottle, but his health just started declining. 

By the end of that day, we already knew in our hearts he wasn't going to make it.  We tried very much to get him back to health, but it doesn't always work out that way.  We've had positive outcomes and really wanted that for him.  It was a sad night for Mallory and me.  We'd tried very hard, but he didn't make it.  

After all of the strain of the previous day, Dillon and I were out checking on kids.  A rain system was moving in and we wanted to see how the new kids were handling the rain.  I looked ahead and noticed that his yearling doe had somehow made her way to this pasture with all of the mamas. He asked me for a little help in getting her back to the pasture she was supposed to be in.  We decided to take her for a ride on the Kawasaki Mule. 

All I could picture was that crazy thing getting her hoof on the gas pedal and taking us for a ride! We've had it happen before and I'll tell you, it gets exciting when someone/something else has the gas pedal pushed to the floor while you're behind the wheel.....especially when it's an animal that's trying to get off.    I did manage to capture a shot of us.  I told Dillon people driving by would think we were crazy riding around with the goat.  Maybe we are a little crazy, who knows? It worked well and got her back to where she belongs!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Our 400th Kid

Last week our 400th kid was born! Of course, that isn't the 400th of this year, but 400th since we started tagging every kid born with a scrapie tag. I'm guessing we started solely using scrapie tags back in 2009.


This is the best picture of the doe that Shane could get.  She's what I call a runner!  I really don't like these does when we have to get our hands on them.  Shane loves them.  He said they're survivors....more natural, which is true.  However, when we do FAMACHA checks you can only imagine how fun it can be rounding up those flighty runners.  They actually take off across the field looking like a Tennessee Walker high stepping!

Below are Dillon and Mallory with the 400th kid.  They were kind enough to let their daddy take their picture with the little buckling.  They're getting to the age now where they really don't want their photos taken at all! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hiding Out

Shane was out in the pasture the other day putting up a strand of hotwire along the top of the fence in one of our pastures.  He's hoping this will keep any bucks from being interested in jumping out. 

He text me some pictures of  something that he just so happened to see hidden in the grass. 

Luckily he didn't stir them up or I'm sure he'd have felt like he'd gotten zapped by the hotwire!  The nest looks loaded.  I've never seen any like this so close to the ground.  Be careful while you're out and about.  These guys can be hidden anywhere!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Summer Snapshots

If you don't want to see a lot of photos, just skip this post.  Since I haven't blogged hardly at all, I thought I'd include some snapshots of our summer.  The farm was chugging right along, however, I didn't take many photos.  Of course I took many photos of our kiddos.  So here are just a few snapshots of what we've done over the summer :)

Doing his absolute favorite to hunting


She loves this dog!

Burning brush piles on the new land. 

Learning about bugs & she's learning about the ovipositor.  Fascinating!

We made a trip to OH.  Here is the Lockport covered bridge.  We'd never seen one....

Oh Destin!!! What a beautiful relaxing place!

He didn't want to have his picture taken.....can you tell?

Soaking up the last little bit of  vacation before schoolwork starts at home

#9  First year to play quarterback with the Pee Wee youth league

Field trip with our homeschool group.  Freedom Outreach Ranch brought a few animals to show us.

Of course, we did so much more.....but I didn't have photos of everything.  I really do enjoy blogging.  It just takes so much time to sit down and iron out a post.  Family time, homeschooling the kids, chores, and extracurricular activities  just takes priority over the blog.  Maybe I'll be able to balance it all out soon :) Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Breeding Season is Here at Deep South Kikos

This past weekend we moved the does across the road to get them checked one last time before breeding.  We hadn't done FAMACHA checks since June.   We've  had a very dry summer.....hardly any rain at all.  It was a pretty easy check-up for them.  It went rather quickly.  They all did remarkably well!
Now if only keeping the bucks from getting any more stirred up, while moving the does  near them, would've been nice!  We've had  Duke and  Rooster contained in part of our catch pen for a few weeks.  Duke has seemed  to have such a high  testosterone level this year!  He's been quite a pain in our backside due to his eagerness to get with the ladies!  He has managed to find a way out of several fields.  The catch pen managed to do the trick with containing him. Rooster was put in there with hopes of keeping him company.  I am thankful that Duke isn't one of the bucks that continuously beats the gates with his head.....Pistol Pete put some work on several gates/pens with his head.   

When we brought the ladies into the catch pen, we worked them down the chute where Duke is standing in the photo.  He tried his best to figure out how to get in with them.  It was a sight to be seen. Yet another sight to be seen was after the decision was made to let him out in the pasture while we were continuing to check the does. He went around to an area of fence that is sagging and loose.  He put his two front legs on it and over he went.  Problem was that now he was in the holding area with the few does that we'd already checked.  These particular does were going to be put with Copper this year, not Duke.  Needless to say, I ran and ran chasing him....He was so close to breeding one!  Shane finally stepped in and caught him, thank goodness!  All I could see was that he was going to have his way with several before he got caught.  He's the fastest goat ever! He didn't wait one second!  I couldn't even get close enough to grab him with the crook.  Also,  I won't confirm or deny that it may have been myself that had the idea to put him in that pasture :)  Also, no pictures were captured during our pursuit of catching that stinky thing!
Scratch and sniff  :) 
We have an up-and-coming buck named Copper that we are excited to use this year.  His mother is T26,  the doe I wrote about a few months back in this post here. He is actually one of the bucklings in the second picture on that post.   We hope that he will pass the traits of his mother right on down to his daughters. 
He will be breeding a majority of our doe herd this year.  I think several of them were quite happy to see him :)
The buck pictured below is out of a T26 daughter and DSK Duke.  We're keeping our eyes on him through the rest of this year and the  next.  We're hoping that he will be able to join our breeding program.  He's doing well so far.  He's actually quite vocal towards the does and seems to be unhappy that he can't join in on the fun this years breeding season.   

Sorry all of the photos are grainy and not that great of quality.  They were taken with our cell phones.  It's just not practical sometimes to have the bigger camera around my neck while working the animals. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Moving Cows

During the spring/summer, when the grass growth is really coming along, our cows get moved from pasture to pasture quite a lot. This past weekend, we moved the cows to a new pasture. This time, they had to cross blacktop. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky because there are usually a few yearlings that haven't had this experience yet. Sometimes they can get a little "flighty" when they have to cross unknown territory.   Each of us get in position on the outside of the pasture to get ready to try to guide or point  them in the right direction.  We've learned over the years, it's best not to get all excited if one decides to run in the opposite direction that it's supposed to be going ( I'm usually the one that gets all nervous when this happens).  The cows respond better to a slow calm hooting and hollering.  When they get rushed, that's when things can get tricky. 

They're very smart though.  They know when Shane calls them and starts leading them that it's a good thing. They follow him almost anywhere (for the most part).  There will be a lead cow at the front who will make that first step on the road and the rest start to follow.  We also hold our positions to make sure to let the traffic, that comes through the area, know when it's safe to cross.  This particular day we waited until later in the evening when traffic seems pretty low. We didn't have to direct any traffic, so I'd say it was the perfect time!

Notice in this picture below, there are a few calves at the end.  They are the hardest sometimes.  They get separated from their mommas and start to fret when the majority of the herd has crossed the road.  Luckily, we had a couple of cows with new calves in the back of the group, so all of the calves that had bunched up at the end ended up falling right in line with those cows.  It worked wonderful!  A lot of times the border collies have to be used to gather them up and herd them across the road.  On this day, it wasn't necessary.

This was taken once they arrived in their new pasture.  As you can see the grass is very tall.  Shane's plan is the cows will help this pasture by knocking down some seed and adding their ever-so-lovely fertilizer :)

Hope you all are having a great week!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Farm is Expanding!

I may have mentioned a while back on the blog that we were able to purchase some property that joined our back pasture. Shane had been in the process of having the perimeter cleaned so we would be able to start working on fencing it in last summer. After his accident, all of that had to be put on hold. Once he recovered and had the go ahead from his doctor, that was one of the main things on Shane's to-do list. He wanted to get all of the new area fenced in. It was a project that would be done in partnership with the NRCS. We (Shane, myself, Dillon, Mallory, & and my mother-in-law Beverly ) would tackle this project nearly every weekend.

This is one of the areas on the property, before any fence work had been done, to give you an idea of how it's transforming.  This was a driveway that once led to an area that had had a mobile home set up.  That's all that was cleared away.

This is a photo that I snapped of Shane a couple of weekends ago bush hogging this area. He had the larger "bat wing" working on this particular day and then he had to use the smaller bush hog because the larger had broken down and had to be repaired.


This is the same area that was shown in the first picture.  The whole area is now surrounded by netwire.  There are goats in this particular pasture at the present time, but they're always out deep in the brush unable to be photographed.  They've been working on this area, but we'd had a lot of rain and it just has been growing like crazy.  It bothers Shane when he's got a vision and it hasn't come to fruition yet.  He is steadily working himself from day to almost dark on this area any free chance he gets in hopes that it will be a nice clean pasture one day.  I'm most certain he will have that accomplished sooner than you can imagine.  

I will try to find more old photos of the land and show you a better comparison.  This just is one area.  In my opinion, it's amazing the transformation that has taken place!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

She Was A Good One!!

Two weekends ago, we weaned our kid goats and took the cull kids to the stockyard.  Along with the cull kids, we also had to cull some of our does.  I had to go way back to 2009 to find a picture of this one particular doe that I wanted to write about. 

T26 2009 photo

We purchased this doe back in 2008.  We weren't interested in pedigrees at the time.  We wanted to make sure that we had good parasite resistant does.  When we purchased T26, her prior FAMACHA checks (that were available to us ) were good.  She had scored 1's and 2's and hadn't been dewormed.  We knew that our farm, in hot-humid south Mississippi, would be the perfect breeding ground for the dreaded barber pole worm.  We purchased this particular doe along with about 25 other FAMACHA tested does (there's a whole other story about that ) in hopes that they would be a good foundation from which we would build our kiko goat herd.  

This particular doe wasn't the biggest framed goat, she wasn't flashy in color.....but let me tell you.  She weaned some of the heaviest kids each kidding season and her FAMACHA scores were always 1-2.  

T26 in 2013 with her bucklings; their 90 day weaning weights were *58 lbs and *61 lbs
Her weight that was taken in the fall before breeding was 111 lbs.  Wow!

Up until recently, did she start showing signs of anemia.  We knew her time with us was coming close to an end.  She was 9.5 years old.  This is what her teeth looked like on the last work day.  She only had two teeth left.  We knew that she wouldn't be able to forage and maintain her body condition much longer.  It had been evident to us these last few months. 

She made the trip to the sale barn, and I'm going to tell you I hated seeing her go! We have one daughter out of her....only 1! Out of all of the years, we had her here, she always had bucklings each kidding.  Lucky for us, we kept one for ourselves from the 2013 crop and he has turned out to be one of our herd sires for the upcoming 2015 breeding season.  We hope he passes on his mother's traits.  She was truly a remarkable kiko goat! 

I pulled out her registration paper from our current herd file to put in the culled goats file.  I was blown away at how many registered kiko goats we have culled through the past 8 years.  It is never easy for us to do, but this is an absolute MUST in order to improve your herd!  I just wish more people could/would practice culling rather than selling just because they have a "papered" goat.  For us it's still performance over their pedigree any day! Anyway, that's a whole other post for another day :) 

papers from goats no longer in our herd

It has been quite nice getting back into the blogging endeavor!  I have missed capturing/documenting what's been going on around our farm.  After Shane was injured last year, I kind of just quit.  Plain and simple.  However, the farm is still going in full swing.  Be on the lookout for more updates from me.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting this post typed up and looking through old data/pictures for it.   Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Bottle Babies

Hi, my name is Dillon and I am 12 years old.  I wanted to update you on our farm life in the South. 

Here's a pic that I took of my bottle babies searching me for food. These are our very first bottle babies.  We have had them for about two months now and they are growing so fast! You can't go anywhere without them trying to go through the fence to get to you.

My sister Mallory and I have four altogether. I have two and she has two.We have saved up enough money to buy milk replacer to feed the babies.  We have made a really big investment in these kids, but it was worth it! We love having "pet goats" that you can walk up to and pet on.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Remember Those Who Served This Day

Thank you to those who have served and those that are still serving our country! We hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day!