Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kissing The Goat

Our children's missions class at our church held a Kiss the Goat contest to raise money for some of their missions projects. They chose 10 adults in our church that they wanted to have kiss the goat and made a jar for each one. It was then up to the church and community to decide which of the 10 it would be. The person with the most money in their jar was the chosen one. Our pastor, Bro. James, had repeatedly said that he wasn't going to be the one to pucker up. Well guess what? 

" Bro. James meet Milkshake, the goat......Milkshake, this is Bro. James......"  

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Bro. James was such a good sport.  He even held this pose, in the photo below, for some time in order to  have it documented.   Thanks Bro. James!

All of this took place in our kid's playground area at the church.  Today was our Fall Festival, so there were plenty of kids around.  It was so funny how all of the kids just wanted to play with the goat and nothing else.  Milkshake had never seen so many kids.  I think she is still in shock from having so many of them playing with her. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

50's and Pumpkins and Birthdays, Oh My!

There have been so many things happening here and there that I feel like I have been  a rubber ball bouncing from one thing to the next!

The kindergarten classes at the school celebrated being in school for fifty days by having a "50's" day. All kids were encouraged to dress up 50's style. A friend of mine had a costume from when her daughter celebrated 50's day a couple of years earlier. We borrowed it and it worked perfectly! I did put one of Mal's uniform shirts underneath the top because it was a little large and was falling off of her shoulders a little, but that shirt did the trick. 

50's cutie with her beloved puppy Patch

The kindergarten class also made a trip to Mitchell Farm's in Collins, MS to visit the pumpkin patch.  The night before the trip, the temps dropped down to the 40's.  It was such a drastic change from the mid 80's during the day that we had been used to.  We all had chattering teeth the whole tour.  It was kinda miserable to some folks. I personally prefer the cooler weather.  You can put many layers on to stay warm when it's cool, BUT in the hot weather you can only peel so many layers off before you might possibly get arrested know what I'm saying ;)
Picking out pumpkins
Mitchell Farm's also had many, many fields planted in beautiful sunflowers.  We tried to get the class together for a little snapshot in front of them. That was a job!  Between 5 of us with cameras maybe one photo turned out.  Those little stinkers couldn't be still for 2 seconds to look at the camera.  They were so excited to see what was coming up next.

My baby girl also wanted a horse birthday cake for her birthday.  I went to Wal Mart to pick out one from the bakery but I was completely disappointed at what they had to choose from.  I ended up going by Mallory's request and purchased all of the things needed to make her cake.  I stressed out major for this one!  Do these things look like they will equate into a beautiful "horse" birthday cake?  

Well they worked out fine.  She thought it was the best cake ever!  That is what was most important.  She wanted a horse with her baby....check.  She wanted green icing for grass.....check.  She wanted a wooden fence......check.  It turned out like what she'd asked for. She even picked the blue icing for the writing and border.  Best of all, she could keep the horses and play with them afterwards!  

Happy Birthday!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Name ideas anyone?

We have yet to come up with a name for this little guy. We have all bounced names around, but none have stuck yet.  We're hoping to come up with one, so he can start getting used to hearing his name.  Do you have any ideas?

I absolutely love having him here to visit with everyday.  I will go out in the field where he is and he will come running up some days, where other days he will slowly and curiously come to check me out.

It is so funny to watch him playfully aggravate his mom.  I guess all kids like to push their parent's buttons from time to time just to see how far they can go ;)  In the this picture, he kept getting right in her way when she was coming to see me.  No matter how she tried to move around him, he kept getting in from of her and blocking her path.  

He is very curious about the goats that are located in the pasture that joins theirs with only a fence separating the two.  When they come up to get water, he can't resist going to watch them.  It's like he's trying to figure out why those creatures look so different.  

We try to put our hands on him everyday.  I think he isn't so wild because of that.  He will try to nip at us, and I just tap the tip of his nose with my hand and tell him no.  He will actually stop doing it after I have done that.  Every now and then he tries it again, but I definitely don't want him to think it's okay to bite.  I do understand that they are curious and trying things out, but I don't like the nipping.  He will just have to nip at his mom, not me. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Day of Family Fun

This past Monday, our kiddos were out of school for Columbus Day. I figured what better time to take them on a little family outing! So much of the time we are busy with school, life on the farm, and just life in general that we forget to just get away for plain ole' family time.  Dillon has been wanting to go to Battleship Memorial Park to see the USS Alabama for about a year now.  I had planned to go in the spring when the weather is usually pleasant, but we didn't really have a spring this year.  It went straight from winter to summer.  The weather was even a little warm for this time of year, but Monday was the day!

USS Alabama battleship in the background
We were able to walk on the deck to check out some of the weapons that were used on this battleship.  It's very fascinating!  I couldn't imagine being at war while at sea.  My older brother is in the US Navy, and he loves what he does.  I am so thankful for those in the military that are willing to serve our country!  

Looking through the sights
Not only was the trip fun for the kids, but it was very educational.  There was so much to see and learn, that I think we may have to make several more trips.  I don't think either of the kids would mind that at all. 

Shane with the kids.  That girl is SO silly!

Me and the kiddies.  There she is again with her silly faces :)

In addition to touring the USS Alabama, we also toured a submarine, the USS Drum.  This photo below was taken inside.  Can you imagine this being where you had to prepare your meals and doing the dishes?  It was such a tight squeeze in there!  I find it so fascinating to see how different things were years ago, too.  I am a total geek when it comes to museums and such.  I love the smell of all of the old things, and I get so excited about seeing all of the historical artifacts.  I am so thankful that there are people out there willing to keep and preserve things for us to be able to enjoy.

This is the "doorway" that you had to go through to get from one compartment to the other on the USS Drum.  Even the kids had to bend and twist to get through them.  For Shane and I being taller, it was a sight.  I would step one leg over and lean back and turn to get through.  I don't know how they do it!  Me being as clumsy as I am, I probably would have knocked myself out a few times by banging my head on the top part.  I can't even walk down the hallway in our house without running my shoulder into one of the walls at least once a day.  You'd think I had a put a little something extra in my coffee ;) 

Along with the battleship and submarine, they also had many different  airplanes, jets, helicopters, and even some tanks. This was the favorite of Dillon and Mallory.  I'm guessing it's the cartoon character that made it such a hit.

I hope all of you have a great weekend.  It is finally going to cool down a little here in the South.  We are hoping to have some mild 70's this weekend with very little humidity.  I am so ready for that kind of weather! 

Happy Friday Y'all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011 Oklahoma Buck Test

I've been meaning to get a post going about the 2011 Oklahoma Buck Test, but I just haven't been able to sit down long enough to do it. It's just as well though. We received an email yesterday saying that some of the calculations were off on the final data that we were given back in Sept. They have reworked the data and have put it up on The Kerr Center's website. You can check it out here.

I think it turned out to be a very informative day.  They had quite a few speakers, lunch, and we were able to catch up with some of our old friends while getting the chance to meet new ones.

Future farm/ranch managers

Shane and I decided to let our two kids sit in on the seminars to take notes for us.  Can't you tell they are absorbing all the information that Dr. Ann Wells is speaking about in her session.   In case you can't tell which are our children, look at the bottom of the picture.  The one with a big "cowboy" hat and the lefty belong to us ;)

There was also a session for the attendees the get to do some hands-on FAMACHA training (eye scoring the goats).  I'm so glad that we learned to do FAMACHA a few years ago.  We try to check our goats every month for with this method.  When we first started doing the checks there were always certain does that had lighter color membranes under their eyelids.  This was due to being anemic from wormloads.  At the end of that year, we looked back at the records and it was always those certain ones that had to be treated with dewormer due to the anemia.  We culled every single one of those does for that reason alone: and boy did we see an improvement when it came to FAMACHA checks.  We rarely, if ever, had to deworm any of our goats........that is until Shane brought in some Boer and Boer influenced commercial does.  I still don't even want to talk about that whole ordeal.  Maybe in a few years................
Dr. Dave Sparks explaining how to use the FAMACHA system to those attending.   He's the guy with the orange hat.

Below you will see a participant holding the card near the goat's eye with the eyelid pulled down to expose the membranes.  On the card there are 5 different colors to use as a guide to grade the goats anemia.  A #1 on the card is blood red, which  is totally healthy and on the other end of the color chart is a #5 which is white and would indicate the goat is severely anemic and is pretty much knocking on death's door.  By doing these checks monthly you will be able to see which animals are resistant to parasites (worms).  You can even take it a step further and do fecal egg counts (FEC).  A  FEC is truly the best tool to check for accuracy when it comes to finding out if a goat is wormy or not.  Anemia can also be caused by lice, coccidiosis, or other issues; but it is most often caused by the barberpole worm.  With a FEC you will be able to determine exactly how many parasite eggs they have per gram of feces.  I could keep rambling on and on about FAMACHA and FEC's but I don't want to bore you to death.  Here is a link to a power-point presentation that I found on the web that pertains to using the FAMACHA system.  It shows pictures of sheep, but it is the same for controlling worms ( barberpole worm ) in small ruminants.
Eye-scoring a goat

After seminars, we had a lunch of pulled BBQ goat meat, and then headed out to pick up the bucks.  Below you will see photos of the bucks from this year's test.

All of the producers and other attendees gathered round to take a look at the test bucks.  As you can see in the picture below, I had someone try to speed through while I was taking this pic.  Boy, did she have plenty of energy that day!  I guess it was due to taking all of those notes for her parents and sitting  through the seminars.  Poor kid! ;)

My little cowboy decided he wanted a better view than anyone.  I think he also wanted to be a big fella and jump right in and help the men sort the bucks.  They had it under control, so he just sat there and watched.  My babies are growing up too fast!  *Sigh.........

We had a great time taking this trip to Oklahoma.  We decided the whole family would make the haul and I'm glad we did.  It's always so nice to get together with goat people.  They really are some of the nicest people.  By the way, if you aren't a goat person, can I just ask that you please not look at anyone cross-eyed when you find out they raise goats?  Not all goat producers are weird.  Seriously.....well there may be some, but you didn't hear that from me!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dung Beetles Part II

I was walking around the pastures a while back checking on everybody, and I came across this beetle in one of the watering tubs we have out for our goats. I picked it up to get a better look at it, and I realized that it was a dung beetle.

floating in water
I just so happened to have my camera handy, so I decided to get some pictures of it up close.  Unfortunately my camera's auto focus is a little crazy so I couldn't get a good up close shot.  I would have preferred to delete my funky pink and wrinkly hand out of this shot, but it is what it is.  As I was taking the pictures this beetle started crawling around on my hand.  It ended up flying away after it had dried a little, which means that I saved it's life!  I like to think of myself as a hero............OK, not really (ha ha)....but I really do like knowing that we have some dung beetles here on our farm.  You can read about my thoughts of them on a previous post located here.  I do warn you that there is a before and after picture of a pile of poo located on that particular post.  The sight of that really doesn't bother me anymore, it's such a common thing around here. You know with so many cows, horses, goats, dogs,chickens, and various wildlife running around here; you just can't get around seeing poop.  Oh. my. word.  I can't believe I am just going on and on about poop!  For those that have not left this blog after all of my ramblings, please forgive me.  I'll try not to do that again :)  

One thing that I'd like to mention is that dung beetles are excellent additions to your pastures if you are interested in pasture management.  They help to "recycle" the "wastes" in your pastures. 

Here are some interesting articles/sites that I found while looking for info on dung beetles: (this is a pdf with 7 pages.The last 2 pages have pictures of all the different types of dung beetles.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The New Colt

Since we are completely new to having a foal here on the farm, I've been trying to educate myself on how to handle them properly in the beginning. We've been told by several folks that own horses that we should imprint the foal as soon as we can by getting out there right after it is born to rub all over it. Well, I didn't get out there right away, but I did manage to get my hands on him the same day he was born. I tell you that he is the sweetest little thing!  This photo was taken last week.

Dixie's Colt  1 week old

While looking up information on the web, I've noticed that it's almost like all other information out there........everyone has a totally different opinion on what is "right". I've read that you shouldn't start fooling with the colt until it gets weaned or even older; others say you should work with it a little everyday right after being born. Personally I don't know which way seems best since I have absolutely zero experience. I have come across one website that I really have enjoyed reading. It is by Julie Goodnight who has a show on RFD TV. I have come across some pretty good Q & A on her website.  She answers questions from regular Joe's out there about all sorts of things.  I have come to recognize that I have allowed one of our horses, Sonny, to have absolutely no respect for me.  I am not real confident in my "horsemanship" and he has figured me out.  I am going to continue educating myself and hopefully gain some confidence.  I really do enjoy riding the horses and even enjoy just going out there in the pasture to pet them and smell them.  Does that make me weird that I love the way a horse smells?  Sorry, but I do.........Oh come on, you know you like to get a good whiff of them too!  Oh and all of that horse tack....the leather....Ahhh what a great smell!  It smells much better than all of these musky bucks running around here these days ;)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Can You Guess What Time It Is at DSK?

We had planned a particular event to occur in the first weekend of October. While it seemed the best date to us, some (mainly one in particular) have continually disagreed with when it should take place. Sooner rather than later appeared to be his choice. 
I had to "rig" a gate to keep it shut, after a rebellious something  had to get out one day while my dear husband was at work.

It really worked, honestly

Holes had to be repaired numerous times in the old rusty fence.  It was realized on 2 occasions that if a hole was made in the fence with horns, it created a doorway to step out of the pasture.  Again the same something ( or should I say someone ) had to be rebellious!  I tell you there is no patience around here!

Shane's handy work

My handy work....enough said!

We've had to tell folks that it usually doesn't smell this way around here all of the time. I'm not sure if they believe us or not.  It seems like all people around here think goats always stink.  When in reality they don't; all  of the time,  that is.

Mallory said, "What is that smell?"

Now that the aforementioned event has taken place,  a couple of fellas have been exhibiting  this very attractive facial expression along with having their coats take on a new color.

Have you been able to guess what time it is around here at Deep South Kikos with all of the clues mentioned above ?

Well if you haven't, I'll fill you in.  We have separated the does into two groups and put Rooster with one group and Pistol Pete with another, therefore it is breeding time for the goats!  We are expecting to see kids on the ground in March, when we will have clover for the does to graze. 

Here is  Rooster with 2  Pistol Pete daughters.  As for Pistol Pete, I haven't been able to get a photo of him since he was turned in with the ladies that isn't blurry.  He's quite the mover!

By the way, it was Pistol Pete that went crazy around here to try to get this breeding thing happening sooner than later.  He caused the gate issues and the holes in the fence.  I'm just glad that we're not having to hold them back anymore.  Pistol Pete was fit to be tied Saturday.  As a matter of fact, he did get tied Saturday........ hog tied.  He ended up breaking out first thing Saturday morning and got in the pasture with our whole doe herd, before we had separated them into breeding groups.  I managed to wrestle with him and get him hog tied until Shane got home.  Yeah, that was an event for sure.  Why does it seem like everything  crazy has to happen while my husband is away from the farm and I'm here by myself ?  It never fails!