Friday, December 30, 2011

Farm Flashback Friday to 2009

I decided to do a "Flashback Friday" post.  It was nice to go back and read the happenings of that time and know that we have come a long way in preparations for our goat's kiddings.  We now plan for the kids to arrive when the weather is much more suitable for being born out in the pasture.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and a Happy New Year!


Here are the photos I promised!  It has been one crazy kidding season!  You'll have to read our December 2009 link on the website @ to get the whole story.  Many lessons learned.  Hypothermia with kids, tube feeding, overprotective guardian, etc........           

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Catching up....

Boy oh boy! Have we had an exciting month! I've been behind on the news as usual, but I must say I'm spending more time enjoying everything that's going on more than thinking of my next post.....I guess it's been a little vacation :) 

Taylor, Mal, Dillon, Alex, Peyton, Noah

Our oldest Dillon is now the big "9". We had a trip to our state Farm Bureau Annual Meeting planned around his birthday, so we invited a few friends over at the last minute and had pizza along with an ice cream cake. Shane and Paw Paw got a fire going so we gathered around a bonfire and enjoyed each other's company. It was really nice! 

Dillon received many nice birthday gifts, but I must say there has been one that has brought much entertainment to us.  It is the "Dart-Tag" gun set by Nerf.   The darts have a velcro tip that will stick to the opponent's "uniform" .  There's no denying if you've been hit.  Those things really stick.  Of course you get some pretty "cool" goggles to keep your eyes protected from all of the flying darts.  You will see in the photos below, how much fun Dillon and Shane have had with these.  It is very entertaining for me.  I stay out of the firing range and just laugh at them.  My poor treadmill has finally got some use lately. ;)

Fort behind the treadmill

Some serious father and son bonding going on when this game is played. 

For our 10th anniversary, Shane planned a surprise weekend getaway for the two of us.  He knew that I had always wanted to go see Graceland, so we made the trip to Memphis.  I had no idea we were going.   It truly was the best surprise ever!!  I absolutely loved being able to see all of the Elvis artifacts.  I grew up watching old Elvis movies and videos with my Aunt Lynne.  She was so in love with Elvis, and I guess that rubbed off on me as a kid.  Such good memories! 

Happy 10th Anniversary!
Of course, they had a photo opportunity for you to have your photo taken in front of a green screen that would show up the background of Graceland in the photo.  I must say that it was rather expensive, but I didn't pack my camera, so I wanted to have some sort of photo from the trip.  It was so cold that morning and the picture was taken outside: hence our large jackets.  If you are an Elvis fan, I would recommend making the trip.  It was wonderful! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Day Out and About

It seems like everything happens when Shane is not home. The other day was no exception. Shane and the kids left for their ride to the parade, while I stayed behind to finish cleaning the house before I was to leave.  I jumped out of the shower and looked at the clock and realized that I didn't have a whole lot of time to get ready, if I didn't want to be late for the parade. So off I go running around the house like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything ready (including myself... of course) Not only did I have the parade to go to, but I also had to take our sweet daughter to one of her little friend's birthday party. Oh...and I planned on trying to squeeze a little Christmas shopping into the day as well......OK, so I'm back to the story at hand.....sorry....sometimes I go off in tangents ( actually a lot ;)   So as I was walked out the door to get into my car to leave, this is what I saw in my yard 

Goats....yes it is not uncommon to see goats here on the farm, but they are generally supposed to be in the pasture on the other side of the fence.  I didn't hire them, on that day, to do a little landscaping.....oh no....they decided to get out to sample the acorns and all things green on the other side.  

So there I was.....sort of dressed up.... well, by dressed up I mean: my hair was washed and dried, makeup was applied, my nice jeans ( you know the ones without all of the manure stains, holes etc.on them), my nice boots ( you know the ones without all of the stuff mentioned before on them).  I felt pretty good.....I was dressed and ready to go and would have arrived right on time. 

BUT, the goats had to be back in a safer area than in my yard and the highway.....So I proceeded to wave my arms (like a crazy lady) while running towards them to get them headed down the road in the right direction.  Those acorns must have been really good because they paid me no mind.  I ended up taking my jacket off and swinging around by one of the arms to "shoo" them in the right direction.  I swear if we had a video camera here, we could totally win some funny video contests.  This place has produced many, many, many, funny situations; even if they didn't seem so funny at the time. 

The goats did oblige me on this day to keep all of the passers-by from thinking I had lost my mind waving that jacket around swinging it like something gone mad. All I could think about was that I was not going to make it in time to the parade; but after much hooting and hollering and swinging my jacket, those goats were put back in a secured area. 

There is truly never a dull moment around here.  That is what living on a farm is all about!  Oh and by the way, I made it to the parade just in time to see my family.  You may already know that because I posted a video of them, but I just had to share my event for that day.....


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Parade 2011

This past Saturday, my family (excluding me), decided to make a ride into a little town nearby for their Christmas parade. They hauled the horses about 4 miles outside of that town and met up with some others that were going to ride with them.  This was the first long solo ride for Dillon. His horse did super, considering he had never been in a parade with all of the sirens and noises. Mallory rode behind Shane in the buddy saddle.   She says it got boring....she's ready to ride on her own..... Mom's definitely not ready.

Here's a little clip from the end of the parade.  Shane and Mallory are on the red/white paint (Sonny) and that little guy is Dillon on his horse (Shaggy).  

Shane said that Sonny did give him a little trouble.  Sonny was not happy to be there.  He finally got to see how he behaves with me; which is totally stubborn.  Shane is able to keep him in line......I'm a total pushover which isn't the best quality to have when trying to ride a horse that wants to go his own way.   

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hay Quality

We have always felt that our animals should be able to thrive on a forage based diet alone. Due to us living in south Mississippi, we are able to have forage available year round (most of the time). We have learned  (the hard way, I might add ) that just because you have plenty of forage available, it doesn't mean that your livestock will thrive. If the forage isn't nutritionally adequate, your bottom line can suffer. 

This year, Shane purchased hay from a guy a few miles from our home.  He sent off a sample of the hay to the LSU AgCenter  Forage Quality Lab. You can fill out this form here, and mail it along with your sample + $15. Louisiana and Mississippi forage and livestock producers can submit feed and forage samples for analysis to this lab.  After testing your sample, they will send you a copy of the analysis.   This is a very valuable tool to use to ensure that your livestock are getting the proper nutritional requirements. We  had a deficit of TDN% (total digestable nutrients) and CP% (crude protein) because all of our females are bred; goats and cattle. They require a higher TDN% and CP% than what is available in the hay.  Due to our results, we are experimenting with a Sweetlix protein tub to supplement along with feeding the hay. Right now, our cattle and goats are grazing stockpiled summer grasses with some clover starting to show through.  When our Ball Clover comes up enough to be grazed, we will no longer supplement with the tubs.  The forages available to them, at that time, will provide enough nutrients. 

This year Shane learned of another tool from a MSU extension agent, which is the hay calculator found here.  When you get to the Mississippi forages page, on the right side you will see the word calculator.  Click on that link. It will take you to another page.  There will be a link for the hay calculator as well as instructions on using the hay calculator on this page.  You can enter the data received from a  hay analysis, along with other data related to your operation (different types of livestock to be fed, number of head, number of bales in inventory, etc.) Once all of the data is entered, it will tell you if there is a nutrient deficit or surplus for each breed of livestock produced.  It will also calculate how many tons of hay that you will need for the feeding season.  We both looked at it and decided that I needed to share it with you.  I hope that it is easy to understand.  Sometimes I have so much information to share, that I find it hard to tie it all together into one cohesive post. 

** The website has lots of great information for those that are in this region.**   

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Please Tell Me What To Do

Once again, I've gotten some mustard greens and have tried to get all of the sand off of them. I have washed and washed and washed. There has to be a better way. First I cut them from the roots. It had rained so they did have extra dirt on the leaves. I put them in a cooler full of water, like someone had told me to do. Then I took them out, rinsed and cleaned out the cooler and repeated the process a couple more times.

I brought them inside and then proceeded to rinse them in my sink.  I started thinking that there has to be a better way to do this for just one mess of greens.  So the thought occurred to me to ask all of my friends out there in cyberspace.  What do I do?  Is there an easier way to get the sand from the greens?  I haven't cooked any greens lately because of the sand issue.  Nothing worse than getting a good ole bite of savory greens only to have a grain of sand find it's way between your molars while chewing.  Uggghhh!  We'll see how these turn out.  If you have any suggestions for me......PLEASE......I'm begging.......please leave a comment below to let me know your tricks for removing the sand.