Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Can "Like" Us On Facebook

I've created a facebook page for Deep South Kikos.  If you'll notice to the right of this post there should be a facebook badge.  If you click on that, it should take you to our page.  You can "like" our page and keep up with each new post from the blog.  I will put up a link on our facebook page each time the blog is updated.  Hopefully this will be a beneficial thing for us to keep connected with everyone.  It's still a work in progress, but hopefully I'll get all of the kinks ironed out with all of this technology stuff ;)

Happy Hump Day !

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watching for Kiko Kids

This past Saturday we rounded up all of our kiko does to move them to another pasture as they near kidding time. 

They decided after they had crossed the road that they would like to hang out and graze in the back yard rather than move on.  Shane got to put Davie and Alex (our border collies) to good use.  The youngest border collie Alex hasn't had a lot of formal training, but she is picking it up pretty quick while she works alongside her mother.  If you look closely in the right hand side of the photo below ( you will probably have to click on it to make it larger) , they both are in the "down" position awaiting their next command.  

We are excited to see what this spring's kid crop brings.  We have some Pistol Pete daughters that have been bred to Rooster as well as some of Rooster daughters bred to Pistol Pete.  We truly want to improve the animals that are produced here on our farm with each year, so we always look forward to the kidding season.  It's the beginning of choosing replacements to keep for our main herd.   

4 yr. old kiko doe

We are not planning on selling any of  our  does or doelings  until we have our herd numbers built up.   Each year we cull really hard, so then we have to choose replacements.  We are building our numbers up with better quality animals being added with each kidding.   Of course those that do not work out as making the cut for replacements, are taken to our local stockyard. 
6 yr. old kiko doe

I hope to have some pictures of some kiko babies to share with you within the next week.  I'm sure it will be an exciting time around here.   I will be out there every day weighing and tagging them, so pictures will be coming, that is if I can only remember to take my camera :)
6 yr old kiko doe

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fried Snake

The past couple of days we've been having extremely windy weather. When the winds pick up like they have been doing, it's not uncommon to find some limbs that have fallen on our electric fence. Last night when I went outside, I could hear the fence popping. It sounded like a small limb had landed on it somewhere in the pasture across the road. I made a mental note to go out in the morning and remove the limb. 

This morning as I went to find where the limb was located on the fence; I quickly found out, that in fact, it had not been a limb touching the fence. This is what I found.......still popping each time the current pulsed down the wire..... 

fried snake

Somehow this snake slithered up the fence just right and crossed over the electric wire and ended up getting zapped.  I'm not sure what kind of snake it is, but a snake is a snake........I don't like any of them!  So I had to proceed with a very looooong  stick to remove it.  I just shuddered having to think about it again...

Happy Friday Everybody!  Have A Great Weekend!  ( Now that you've seen a creepy snake photo :) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feeding the LGDs

Well, yesterday was the day for the monthly dog food "run". We get eight 50lb bags each month. We have 4 adult anatolian shepherds, 2 adult border collies, and 5 anatolian shepherd puppies to feed currently.  Not many folks around here have LGD's and they don't understand why we would want to have an "extra" expense like that.  Shane always tells them that our dogs are like employees here and they work really hard at protecting our livestock.  We haven't had a loss due to predators since we have added them to our farm.  The expense of having and feeding the LGD's is nothing in comparison with the peace of mind we have that knowing our livestock is protected from predators day and night.  Our border collies are such a great asset too.  They really make it easy to round up the goats or cattle when we need them to.  It sure beats getting out there on foot and trying to do it.  ( Boy those were the days!! ) Click here for an interesting article about Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD's).  It has a lot of information regarding  LGD's.

While Shane was at work, we decided to unload the food ourselves. The young man below was a real good helper for the job.  He even had his own dolly to use.  Of course I had to load/unload the dolly for him, but it's nice to have the kids want to give a helping hand.  Such valuable life lessons can be learned on helping out with the least I think so.

We store it in a metal box in our barn to keep the mice out of it.  It seems to work real well. 

Each pasture that we have our livestock guardian dogs in has a portable dog feeder.  This particular one will hold a 50lb bag of food.  This is real helpful with feeding them, because the food is always there and they can eat it whenever they get hungry.  There is no competition like it was when we used to feed them in separate bowls every afternoon.   

The cage surrounding it, keeps the goats from being able to eat the dog food, because they will do it.  There are still one or two that have been able to figure out how to get in.  I'm not sure if you can see the wire criss-crossed  near the top of the cage, but that was used to make the opening smaller.  Since that wire has been put there, I haven't observed any goats getting in.  Before, the opening was large enough for 2 of our goats to get in.  None of the others would even attempt it. You know how it is though, there's always one or two of "those kind" in a crowd :)

We pour the food in through the top of the feeder and the lid provides protection to keep out the rain (of course it has to be closed ;)   However did have a problem with one of the animals figuring how to open it.  One of our horses had figured out how to open the top and eat the dog food.  He could really put some of that food away before we could catch him.  

Now the top of the lid is secured with this strap.  The horse hasn't gotten past that one yet.  We also have 2 hooks on the back of the feeder and hang it slightly off of the ground....maybe about  a good 6 inches.  We noticed the fire ants would find it quite quickly when the feeder sat directly on the ground.  They don't seem to get to it with it hanging up like that.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Caption for this photo, anyone?

I was sitting out in the pasture the other day and this heifer came close to me for some close ups.  Of course, the most clear of them all with her facing me, was this one.  The kids laughed when they saw this picture, so of course I have to share.

What do you think would be a good caption for this photo?   Comment below, or visit our facebook page to leave a comment. I'd love to see what you can come up with.  Happy, happy, happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Puppy Love

I had these photos stored on our computer with the intentions of sharing them a while back, but I kind of forgot to. So today, I am trying to get this whole thing rolled out. The quality isn't so great due to my camera, but I absolutely love the "love" being shared in the photos. We have Jael one of our anatolian LGD's in a pasture with some heifers and bucklings (young male goats). Jael has 3 pups out in this pasture with her "learning the ropes". I've been noticing that the heifers are really interested in checking out the puppies up close and personal. 

We're talking, really up close and personal.


When they get close to the puppies, it seems so hard for them to resist giving those puppies some love.  They (puppies) know it's coming so they just sit there and take it.  You know, it's like that one aunt who comes for a visit only to walk in the door and  pinch the little one's cheeks.

I've never seen any of our cows doing this.  It may be just that the youngsters are curious about the puppies, but I found it to be so funny.  

I love the look in this last picture.....the pup has a look about her that screams "Help!   Will she please stop licking my ear!"  

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

This Is How We Roll

Or maybe I should've said, this is how we "un-roll"......  You'll see what I mean.

We've tried various ways to put out the hay for all of the animals; cows, goats, and horses. When we have all of them co-mingling in the same pasture, there is a problem with how they are able to eat together  harmoniously. We have a rack that Shane made for the goats, but it is a little small for the cows and horses to be able to eat the hay. With the hay ring, the goats have the ability to climb right on top of the hay and make a mess on the whole bale for the rest of them.

So here's the solution to the problem.  The hay is unrolled every other day in the pasture.  Only enough hay is put out to last for 2 days, in order for them not to waste any.   In the photo below, you will see all of the animals following the tractor across this particular field getting ready for some hay.  You should see and hear all of the commotion when they hear that John Deere fire up.  And boy can they move when they see it enter their pasture!

Below you will see Shane cutting the string from the bale in preparation to unroll it out in the pasture.  You can also see those impatient critters running in to sneak a few bites before he can even get it unrolled. 

He puts the bale down in the correct position so that when he "bumps" it with the spear on the front of the tractor, it will unroll (you know, kind of like cinnamon roll, or a pecan wheel ).

All of the animals scramble to get to a place where they can stand and munch on the hay.  There's plenty of space due to it being rolled all the way out, so they don't have to all pile up in one spot to try to fight to get some.  It works out rather nicely, I must say.

So there you have it.....That's how we roll :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I had taken some photos of our fencing around here to show how we made our raggedy cattle fence keep in the goats. Anyone out there that has had experience with goats will tell you that they can manage to get out of just about any fence. I read in a book one time to throw a bucket of water at your fence; any place the water got through, so will the goat. We've learned many times how easy it is for a goat to end up on the other side of the fence. For the most part, we don't have any problems with them getting out when we have them in our "goat secured" pastures. We still have 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile of fence to make "goat proof".

The photo below has the existing fencing that has been on this farm for at least 40 years; minus the electric.  We have places that has at least three layers of fence stacked on the top of each other.  The barbed wire holds in the cattle well, even though it is pretty shot in  a lot of places.  The goats will step, jump, fly, or dance right on through that barbed wire.  It will not hold them in. We now have insulators attached to the fence posts and have run one strand of hot wire near the bottom.  They have total respect for that wire as long as the charger is putting out at least 2500 volts, our charger is on average 9000 volts so you can imagine.  All it takes is just one little experience with it and they don't want to get near it again.  We have been fortunate because many others say that the one strand won't do it for them.  We have an insulator that is 10" and it seems to give the goats a little more stretch to get over and this seems to do the trick.   We also like the 12 gauge high tensile wire for a couple of reasons, it's easier to see when riding the fence line, it will carry the current better and it will not break as easy.

For the gate below, we have "goat proofed" this area with a braided rope-type strand stretched across the bottom of the gate.  I think it was purchased at Premier.  Here is a link to what it looks like. 

"Goat proofed" gate

Just by putting the metal hook on the end of the insulated handle in contact with the "live wire" it causes the hole strand at the gate to become electrified.  This keeps the goats from even trying to get through.  This particular gate has a pretty good size opening under the bottom which would allow those critters to slide right under.  With that strand stretched across there, they don't even look twice. You can even mount this type of electric gate up higher to stop those aggressive bucks from beating down your permanent metal gates.  This will also help prevent those LGD's that like to climb, from climbing over metal gates.

Here is a closer look of the hook and how it is simply placed into the loop onto the existing hot wire just to make contact.  If you will notice the black doughnut to the left that is suppose to be the connector for the electric gate.  We happen to have a nice loop hole at the corner insulator that works fine so we don't use the connector that came with the electric gate.

This handle is insulated so you can grab it to move the electric gate in order to pull through the gate.  Once you remove the hook the electric gate becomes dead and you can hang it on the metal gate as you open and close the gate.

This is how the other side of the rope is attached. It is looped through this plastic insulator that is screwed into the fence post. Pretty simple. 

This month's Goat Rancher is devoted to fencing too (and farm facilities). I do believe they carry this magazine in Tractor Supply stores (you can even view it online). Click here to be taken directly to the Goat Rancher website to learn more.  You will find lots of information here related to goats.

****Thanks to my hubby Shane for help with getting all of the correct information to you.  I had him proof-read and add several things.****

Friday, February 3, 2012

"I Wish I Could Be A Horse"

My sweet girl and I had a conversation yesterday that I had to share. She said, " Mom I really wish I could be a horse............ buuuuut.. ............. God wanted me to be human instead."  She absolutely loves horses so much that she wishes she could have come to this Earth in the form of one, instead of being a "human girl."  I got this picture yesterday while she was talking to her little colt.  It was such a sweet moment between the two of them.  (This one's for you Mr. Shows.) 

Below is a picture of some of our crossbred does that we have put in the pasture with our horses.  Don't they look like they've got it made in the shade?  They were all lounging around chewing their cuds without a care in the world.  Must be nice......then again I don't think I'd enjoy sitting in the pasture surrounded by fireant beds and horse poop while chewing on a wad of grass, hay and weeds.  Nah, I'll pass on that one :) 

Taking it easy

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A foggy morning with my camera

I got my camera today and of course it is really yucky outside. I just took it straight out of the box and tried it out without playing around with any of the settings.  Of course Sonny had to come check out what I was doing.  He is so nosy :) but I do love him.

I tried to get some pictures of the colt, too.  He needs a good bath.  All of this rain we have been having is making a big  muddy mess.

You can see how foggy it is here today in the picture below. 

Hopefully I'll get to play around with my camera and get the settings figured out.  Maybe I'll be able to get some better photos to share with you all. 

Hope you have a great day today!