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!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Goat Field Day in Amite, LA May 2014

Last week, I posted a flyer about a field day that was being held in Amite, LA. We were able to attend and I must say, we had a great time! It's always so nice to catch up with fellow goat friends and of course, make new ones. The first part of the day was held at the LSU AgCenter.

There were several topics presented the first part of the day.  Our first speaker was Roberta Mckowen, DVM.  Her session was focused around the priority pyramid that's in the background of this photo.

I took another pic a little closer, because I really agreed with the pyramid........especially the bottom/first priority being knowledge.  Shane and I had read/gathered as much information as we could before we purchased our first goats.  We even visited other farms and talked with several goat ranchers before we dove off into the adventure of raising goats.  Even though we've been raising goats for several years now, we are still learning.   

There were also presentations from a Sweetlix representative regarding mineral nutrition for goats.  It was very informative!   It's amazing the decrease in issues with your herd's performance when proper mineral supplementation is practiced.  Minerals play a very important part in their overall health, which is true with any other livestock.

While we were in sessions, Mr. Mike Kimball was busy preparing goat jambalaya for us to enjoy.  He had a specific method to his system.  I was very impressed with his set up.  You can tell he's done this more than a time or two.

Mike's world famous goat jambalya in the making

Dillon getting to help Mr. Mike out

I will say, I've tried goat meat prepared many different ways.  This was THE BEST I've ever eaten.  The flavor was perfect! I'm telling you, if you don't think you would like goat meat, you should definitely try his jambalaya. It was out of this world good! I don't know if his recipe is top secret, or if he has any special ingredients.  Maybe I can get him to give me the recipe to share on the blog :)

Everyone enjoying the good food

After lunch, we all loaded up and headed out to Nic Girgenti's farm. 

They put a few goats in the working pen and if anyone was interested they were able to see how FAMACHA checks are done with the goats. Earlier in the day, Dr. Jim Miller, DVM did an excellent presentation on parasite management. FAMACHA checks is one of the best methods to use when it comes to parasite management!

If you'll notice, they had some very nice equipment to use to handle the goats.  The equipment can be such a lifesaver! I do remember a time when we caught up goats using our two running feet and only a lasso and leg crook.....long story there, but I will tell you herding them up with the dog and having a head gate is AH-MAZING compared to the previous method :)

Getting the goat in the head gate

In the photo below, Nic is showing how to hold the goats eyelids in order to see the mucous membranes to check for anemia (which is most often caused by the Barber pole worm; Haemonchus contortus )

Nic demonstrating how to check for anemia using FAMACHA method

Mr. Mike opening the side gate to let the doe back to the pasture

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Branding Day #2

About 2 months ago we gathered up the yearling heifers that we'd retained for our herd. It was time for them to be branded with their identifying number. Shane and Dillon got all of the tools that were necessary for the days work and fueled up the generator that would be used to power the "branders".  They are electric, instead of the other method of heating up the brands with fire. I wrote a blog post back in 2012 when we first tried out the this method of branding.

We rented a squeeze chute for the day from a co-op.  It was different than the one we're used to using, but it did help us get the job done.  You can see it in the background.  I had to share this picture, because of the two dogs sitting in the back of the mule.  Of course, without our family pitching in the help us, we couldn't be where we are.....but I will say without these two dogs, I'd probably be bald! They are such a lifesaver when it comes to rounding up the cows or goats.  Just send them out in the pasture and with a few voice commands, they will bring the animals to you.  Way better than what it used to be when we first started ;)

Alex and Davie; border collies

Shane getting ready to brand

  This is a picture that I snapped yesterday while out checking on the goats.  You can see how well their brands have turned out.  It's much better than trying to read their ear tags. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Proud Boy

The day that our oldest has awaited for what seems so long, finally arrived a while back. You see, Dillon worked all last summer earning money and made payments towards his very first kiko goat. He's been after his daddy to let him buy one for some time. Shane finally made a deal with him and all we've heard about is how he is going to have a herd better than ours. Dillon is just a tad bit competitive.  He sees how much goes into selecting good breeding stock to work towards improving your goat herd, and he's up for the challenge!  

He chose to breed his doe to Pistol Pete.  Of course, the first thing he said was that "The kids will be colored if Pistol Pete is the daddy."  We've tried to stress the importance of not getting caught up in breeding just for color.  He understands, but what can I say......the more colorful goats are eye catching.  However, I don't care to have a pasture full of beautifully colored goats that can't manage to take care of themselves. 

Anyways, the day finally came that his doe kidded.  She had twin girls.  He was so ecstatic! He did all of the routine checks with his goat and kids.  He weighed and tagged the kids and has begun the adventure of being a goat rancher.  It's so fulfilling to see your children learn such valuable life lessons!  

Getting the weight

Putting in the ear tag

Weighing the other

Can you tell he is one proud boy?  And I couldn't be a more proud mama of that boy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

While I'm working on other blog posts, I thought I'd share a few photos from this past weekend.  We celebrated Mother's Day here at our house.  We had several mamas in attendance to celebrate the day. The pics were snapped with my phone, so they aren't the best quality, but they are treasured nonetheless!  Everyone was about to leave and my sister mentioned that we should try to get a few pictures.  The children had all changed from their church clothes to play clothes which they had definitely been playing very hard in :)

Me, my mom, my grandmother "Scooter", my little sis, and of course my girl Mal
Shane and his mom

The reason I am called mama

My sis, mom, brother and I
A very special thank you to my husband who planned the whole day.  He grilled and cooked lunch for all of us mamas.  His idea was to get us all together at one place and for us to just relax and enjoy the afternoon.  I have to say he did an awesome job! He grilled, whipped up the side dishes, and even made homemade vanilla ice cream! 
My honey and I
I had an absolutely wonderful Mother's Day! I consider myself blessed beyond glad that God chose me to be a mama!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Goat Field Day May 17

A good friend of ours, Mr. Nic Girgenti, will be hosting a Goat Field Day at his farm this coming Saturday, May 17.  He sent an email with this flyer attached with all of the information.  It was in PDF format, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to get it in JPEG to upload on the blog.  Soooo, I took a snapshot of it with my phone and uploaded it to the blog.  I apologize if it's not real clear.  If you click on the photo, it should make it larger and easier to see.  

We are looking forward to being able to attend.  Topics for the day will be improving pastures, controlling parasites, and managing the integration of small ruminants on a farm.  They will also be offering FAMACHA certification for $10.  I have to say getting certified to do  FAMACHA with our goats was the best thing we ever did!

Also, I've been told that Nic's brother in-law Mike will be cooking some goat jambalaya for this event....yummy!  I believe you won't want to miss it! So if you live within a reasonable distance and are interested in learning a little more about goats, I'd recommend attending.  Hope to see you there! All contact information is located on flyer.  However, if you have any questions, I will be glad to direct them to Nic.  Just leave a comment on this post in the comment section.