Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anatolian Shepherd puppies

Our puppies are getting out and about.  I tell you, these are the cutest little things.  It's so hard for me not to pick one up and bring it to the house with me. 

This one below has won me over with his face. 

I'm telling you, it is SO hard for me to let this one be a livestock guardian dog.  I think he would be just fine right in our home guarding it.  Just look at this face.....

I know, I know.....A 200 pound Antaolian Shepherd wouldn't be a practical pet for our home.  We tried to have a "pet" LGD before.  It didn't work out.  It wasn't fair for her to get to go in and out of all of the pastures to mingle with our other LGDs.  She literally teased them.  She would climb over the gate and get in with them, just to show them it was "ok" to climb back out without getting in trouble.  We had to send her to a home without any other LGD's so she could just be a pet. 

I love this little gal too.  I got to experience her first attempts to stand in the world.  I tried to video it to share with everyone, but the wind was really blowing yesterday.  It messed up the sounds terribly.  Hopefully I'll get the chance again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A day out

I know... I know....It's been a while since I've put any news up  lately.  Sorry.  Baseball season is in full swing, so it's been a little busy around here.  But I will do my best to fill you in on things going on here at the farm.

Yesterday, I turned the cows out into the front pasture for a couple of hours to let them graze on some clover and rye grass.  The back forty doesn't quite have enough green.  To start off,  I stood near the catch-pen and called them up.  Some came running quickly up the hill, some were not as quick.  When they came to the catch-pen (as we call it) or corral,  they all stopped and tried to figure out what I wanted them to do.  Once one made the move to come on through, that was all she wrote!  They came stampeding through to get to the greener grass on the other side.  

Can you see the little calf in the picture?
He's quite the runner too.
Can't seem to get an "un-blurry" shot of him yet!
Mmmm  Mmmm Good!

While the cows did their grazing for 2 hours I pulled myself up a 5 gallon bucket and had a seat!  I put myself in the kid goats play area to try to get some pictures of them, but they were a little weary of me.  I came to them when they were first born, put them in a five gallon bucket and tagged their tender little ears.  I guess I'd be weary of someone like that too!

The kids were scattered everywhere.  This spot seems to be the "popular kids" hangout.  They are here everyday soaking up the sun or hopping skipping and jumping off of the little bluff.

This little doeling decided after posing for me that she needed to lie down.  Now this is the life!  While she lay there to get a little rest, she decided to nibble on some clover.  She didn't even have to get up.  You can't ask for better than that!

After spending my 2 hours with the goats, it came time to push the cows back into the back 40 again.  I went to the gate to open it for them to go through, and I about had a heart attack!  I stepped off of the mule to get the gate, and I saw something move on the ground.  When I looked down I saw a snake....My mind couldn't process what kind of snake it was, was it a poisonous one.......All my mind did was tell my mouth to scream.  I let out a scream from the bottom of my soul that I do believe was heard all the way to Texas!  When I finally recollected my thoughts, and my legs (they had turned to noodles) I realized that it was a chicken snake.  A snake none the less, but I wasn't in fear for my life.  I remembered that I had my camera on the mule, so I thought I would bravely get close to get all of my loyal and faithful readers a nice picture! 
on the ground beneath the gate
Now wasn't that awfully nice of me to do that?  The snake was a little camera shy.  He started the slither off, so I had to move quickly.  He slithered right on over to a bucket that was laying on it's side, and went in.  Me being the brave one that I am, walked right over to that bucket, squatted down, and peeked my head in with the camera in front of my face to get an ever better picture. 

He was staring right back at me.  Oh yes, we were looking at each other eye to eye.

With that being said, I guess I should be a little honest.  If it weren't for the zoom on my camera, you guys wouldn't be so lucky to see these shots (lucky you, huh?)  I stood back at a VERY large distance to take these photos (better safe than sorry).  I don't care what kind of snake he/she was, because a snake is a snake to me.  They give me chills and cause me to dance around like a lunatic at the sight of them, as well as holler/scream like you've never heard before.  I also do that with spiders as well.  I just couldn't go on and let you believe that I was that brave.....Now my husband.....that's another story.  If you aren't familiar with our rattle snake encounter, click here for the story.  Beware, it's not pretty!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Update from the field #3

To date, we have had 66 kids within 10 days.  There are a few does left to kid, but some of them were bred for a later kidding date, and a couple are "stragglers" as Shane called it.  So he sort of got what he wanted, most of the kids born in such a short time.   Also a short note:  if you ever wonder if a kid in our pictures is a male or female look at their ear tag.  We tag females in the right ear, and males in the left ear to help us keep them apart when we're out there checking them out in the field.  Although, I did mess up one of them....Ooops.  The poor fella is labeled as a girl.  Hopefully it won't affect him too much ;)  This little doeling below has won our daughter's heart.  She has already told me that we can't ever sell her because that it HER goat.  She likes this kids looks. 

Yesterday afternoon, all through the night, and in the early morning hours we had some of the worst weather.  It rained and poured buckets of water.  I have to say at least it wasn't freezing weather.  I was so worried as to what I would find this morning when I went out to make rounds.  I just knew we had some kids get washed away in that downpour.  Let me tell you, those are some tough little goats.  They were stashed all over the place.  They were soaking wet, but were just as lively as they could be.  I was so thankful!  The goats are able to stand beside our barn to get under the eave to keep the rain from falling straight down on them, but this storm had rain blowing sideways.  I also noticed some of the does stayed right out in the rain with their kids.  Absolutely amazing!   

I feel like all I've been talking about lately are the goats, but we do have other animals.  Take a look at 2 of our horses checking out a kid goat.  They were so cautious when they walked up to look at it.  When I snapped the picture, the camera flashed and they tore out of there like crazy mad horses.  It was so funny.

Sonny and Sally looking at kid goat

This picture was taken right outside my back door.  These ladies were soaking up some sunshine.  We are still watching these girls to find out which ones will be keepers. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Update from the field #2

As of today,  58 kids have been born.  It is a sight to see all of those little kids running around and jumping all over the place.

Yesterday we had 2 sets of triplets born.  I can't even tell you how I was feeling when I saw a doe standing there with 3 kids.  It's not something that we get too excited about.  The funny thing is, one of the does was a first timer last year and had triplets then.  They all died in that awful storm we had, they were washed away in the stream.  So she decided to repeat the triplet thing again.  I tell you they have the most beautiful color.  Yes, I know that color has nothing to do with production......but I do like to see all of the different colors and markings. 
1st group of triplets

2nd group of triplets
We will  have to keep an eye on the does and her kids to see if we will need to pull one off of them.  As for now, they are doing okay with the triplets.

I caught this 2 day old kid already starting to nibble.  He was checking out everything about that stem with his little lips.

Jael and her puppies are doing well.  We ended up having to move them out of the pasture where the does are kidding.  We put her in our cattle trailer in  a small lot behind the barn. 

Shane found a first time doe wandering about and one newborn kid unattended near where Jael was with her pups.  He had a gut feeling to look in where Jael was, and she had taken a kid under there with her pups.  The kid was dead.  He put 2+2 together and took the other kid to that doe.  She had bloody ears and face.  We figure Jael had decided to fight for those kids.  She did the same thing last year during kidding ( she was about to have pups).  We figured since she already had her pups, it wouldn't be an issue.  Wrong.  I think she is so maternal, that it is she thinks it is her duty to try to take care of all of the little ones whether they are canine or not.  After looking closer, another doe that had kids the same night had a beat up looking head and face.  She must not have backed down.....she still had both of her kids.  The new mom must have been shocked.......  Although, she is now taking good care of her little one.  We will not be able to have Jael with pups (or expecting) near goats that are going to be kidding. 
The pups are little butterballs.  There are 3 males and 3 females.  It is so hard to resist picking up one of them and snuggling up to their puppy breath.  Here are the latest pictures.

Laid back!
I tried to publish this on Friday night, but the heavy rain was causing our internet connection some trouble. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Update from the field

So far, we've had 25 kids. All of the does have had twins, except one of our first-timers. She had this little 4.10lb kid. One thing I have noticed different this year is that these kids have a serious "fight or flight" response. As soon as I get near, their ears raise straight up and when I take a step closer they run. I'm talking about only a couple of hours old kids running. Not a short distance either. I am amazed how quickly they get away from me! Most of the kids born are out of Gold Digger, so I'm wondering if it comes from him.

These two kids are famous for getting in this old dead tree and hiding from their mom. She walks all around it hollering for them, and they don't make a peep to let her know their in there. If you will notice the little white doeling in the back, she stayed in this position the whole time I was taking their pictures. I guess she thought if she didn't move a muscle I wouldn't see her. Her brother, on the other hand, came out and started posing. Too funny!

Milk does a body good

Warming in the sun
Shane and I were talking last night about culling a doe that leaves her kids while she goes out to graze. We culled really hard and heavy the past couple of years. Now we have great does that raise twins, good FAMACHA scores, hooves, etc. We have to always work to improve our herd each year, so just trying to figure out where to draw the line for this year. We have several does out there, that do not let their kids get out of their sight. They graze right there with their kids beside them. If the kids won't follow them through the pasture, they turn right around and go back to them. Then there are other does that will start grazing in the morning without their kids. They will make rounds all out in the pasture with their kids left behind in a hidden area. I will be taking notes on the differences, and we'll have to see how to go about making that decision. If she raises good kids, it will be hard to cull for that reason; BUT we really like those excellent mothers that are 100% attentive to their kids.

Commercial buckling and doeling