Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Random Randomness

This post has no specific purpose, other than to share some random randomness with y'all   :) 

Seriously folks, this is what our weather looked like this past week!  In January.....that's no joke.  Now, later this afternoon, a cold front should be pushed through our area and our temps will be much cooler; like January should feel.


We are down to one barn cat.  Although, she has found that she likes to sleep on top of my car much better than a bale of hay in the barn! 

Rockette (L) and Little Rock (R)

We have obtained yet another horse!  Seriously, I couldn't have made this up!  We now have a grand total of 6 horses!  Rockette happens to be a half sister to our own Little Rock.  They have the same sire, which has a reputation of being very laid back and gentle.  We have seen it in Little Rock; found out Rockette was available and Shane wanted to get her too. His hope is for all of us to ride some good-natured Tennessee Walkers that prance around.  He is hooked on their gait!  What are we going to do with ourselves?  :)  Lord, help me!

And we managed to get that USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture filled out and mailed in a couple of weeks ago.  What a pain in the backside!  The details they ask for.........What did you think about filling yours out?  Did your head spin for a few days afterward like mine did? 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sweet Ginger

Hello everybody! I just had to share what we've been up to lately. I've been absent from my blogging due to the fact that I've "found" something else that has needed much more attention.

I had planned to go into a lot of detail to tell you the story of my new project....But plain and simple.....Someone that lives in same community as my grandmother had a horse that was being neglected.  It bothered my grandmother so much that she would call me and tell me about it.  She and my mother even went and purchased hay and feed for the horse.  They would transport water by 5 gallon buckets to give it a drink.  It was absolutely pitiful.  The owner didn't live by the pen it was kept in, and no one knew of a way to get in touch with her. 

Finally, somehow, my mother got in touch with the woman that owned the horse.  She gave many excuses as to why the horse was in such bad shape.  She said that she had given it away to many folks, but no one would ever come and get it.  She told my mother that it would be a great favor to her for someone to come and get it.  Of course, they called Shane and I because we own horses.  You know, if you own one horse......or should I say 4.......what's one more?!  I couldn't stand the thought of it being neglected, so Shane hooked the trailer up and went to pick her up.   This is the condition that the poor girl was living in.

No forage.......and the days my grandma and mom checked on her, there was no water to be found and no evidence of feed or hay.  The owner did have one condition on us getting the horse......she told my mom that when someone came to pick up the horse, please don't let her donkeys out.  Yep, the horse and 2 donkeys were living in this pen.  My grandma said that the donkeys had just been moved into the pen, they had been roaming around the community eating grass in everyone's yards.

When she arrived, we dewormed her and slowly started introducing a little grain and some hay. 

Her demeanor was very skittish.  Who knows what she had experienced in her life.  I truly have so much empathy for this girl.  I generally don't fool with the horses too much, but she has become special to me in just the few shorts weeks that we've had her.  I handle her every day and she will now lead with the rope.  She also lets me brush her without jumping each time the brush touches her.  She is slowly coming around and is becoming more trusting of me.  I'm glad that we were able to get her out of the situation she was in.  

The day she arrived

1.5 weeks after coming to our farm

Judging by her teeth, she is around only 3 years of age.  Dillon said she looks like a gingerbread cookie, so he named her Ginger.  She may just be a diamond in the rough.  She just needs a little TLC, and she's been getting plenty of it from me.

Oh and by the way......hello Auntie S!  Tell Scooter hi for me!  She said that you read the blog often.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It Was My Lucky Day!

This past Saturday, we managed to get a little break in all the rain that we've been receiving. I went out with Shane while he decided which goats were going to move to what pasture, and ended up being amazed at one of the smaller areas we have fenced off.  The clover has just burst on the scene in that area. The summer grasses had been eaten down in most of the areas, and that is where the clover is flourishing! 

You can see how it is taking off in some areas, while holding back in others.

From time to time, I have managed to try to find a four leaf clover.  My patience usually gets the best of me and I give up.  I decided that I would just glance around to see if I could see one, and wouldn't  you know... I did!  All I could think of was that it was my lucky day!  It's not every day you find one of these.....As a matter of fact, I had yet to be so lucky.  I leaned down to pick this one and noticed another not far from it.  It wasn't until I got towards the house that I realized the other had 5 leaves, not four.

Does that mean that I will be even luckier?  I, of course, had to document my findings with a snapshot.  You know, just to prove that I am lucky! 

Heck, I'm so lucky that we were able to get the goats rounded up, after that, and do a quick FAMACHA check on them. The rain continued to hold off the whole time.   Now, don't you wish you were so lucky?

Crossing the road; Alex the border collie waiting for the command

We managed to get the goats across the road without a hitch!  Those border collies are truly amazing help to us.  There was a time when it was just Shane and I running around out in the pastures to round up the goats.  That was a sight to behold!  The border collies make it look way better than we did! 

It doesn't hurt to have 2 little goat ranchers to boot.  They are quite a bit of help too!  Oh and it doesn't hurt to teach them a little responsibility in the process.  They are very proud of themselves being able to help out.

I also wanted to show you  a picture of my work desk for the day.  The clipboard is a spreadsheet with all of our goats ID # with their previous FAMACHA eye scores written on them.  All of the other stuff has been in the back of that mule since we worked on fencing 2 weeks ago.  The fence work has been halted due to all of the rain.  It's just too wet out there!

Hope ya'll have a great Tuesday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Noises Really Annoy Me

This morning I was folding laundry in the living room. I kept hearing a ticking sound and it was starting to bug me  ( I have sensitive ears.....or should I say noises really annoy me ).   I realized it was coming from outside. When I stepped outside, I knew instantly what it was. Something had fallen onto the electric fence. When the electricity pulses through, if something is on the wire, it will pop. We had some rough weather yesterday and a windy night. I figured something must have blown onto the wire. I walked out in the pasture, following the sound, and found it to be farther away than I thought. I was amazed that I had heard it in the house, because I ended way out in the pasture. I got closer to the sound and didn't see anything on the fence, but it looked like it was touching against the tree. I figured it was because the tree was wet and the moisture made it pop so loud. I looked closer to notice that it was in fact, not the tree. I could see a spark each time it would pop. Can you look at the picture below to tell what it was?  Click on it to make it larger.  Its' between the wire on the left and the tree trunk on the right.  I used my camera on the my phone to take this photo.

It was a huge fly.  That thing was just popping away on the fence.  It sounded like the time I went outside to only find this snake draped across the wire.  Our energizer is capable of putting out 10,000 volts but we average 8500 volts.  You never know what you will find around here. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Kiko Advantage

I realized that I hadn't shared The Kiko Advantage video here on the blog. I don't know how I managed that! This is a short video showing the advantage of Kiko breeding influence in goat production.   Also some of the benefits of grazing goats with cattle.   It really is an advantage!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dinosaur Phones No More!

The beginning of December my old dinosaur flip-phone was starting to give me a little trouble.  I started perusing other options through my cell carrier and  I kept coming back to this thing called an iPhone.  I asked around, looked some more, and finally decided to upgrade to an iPhone.  I'm totally new to this whole thing, but I am hooked!  The possibilities are endless with it.  It is so much more than a phone.  Being that we are starting the new year, I've set a few goals.  Get more active, eat healthier, and try to get rid of unnecessary things (clutter) in our home.  This phone has an app, that I've been using, called MyFitnessPal that I love!  It's like a food and exercise diary.  Just enter in some information and it calculates calories and helps you set and follow goals.  Amazing!  

You can see in the picture above of just a few of the apps that I use.  I like IHeartRadio, it plays music constantly of any genre I choose, while I get through my chores.  I faithfully use the weather app from our local weather station which keeps an up to date view of the weather radar at my fingertips.  It came in handy with all of the bad weather that we had come through on Christmas day.   It also has a camera to use with  Instagram to be able to share your photos effortlessly.  To most, this may be no news.  For me, I am excited to see all of the great features it has; and those that are yet to be discovered.  Hopefully this will enable me to  do so much more!

Like snapping this photo of our oldest helping me with pulling up fence posts and t-posts from an old fence row that we have taken down.....

Hard at work

A snapshot of the goats and LGD's coming to check out what in the world we are doing.

What are ya'll doin?

Another of cows getting some tree limbs with leaves to munch on like candy ( I shared this one on facebook instantly on this day to our farm page

Photos from our Farm Bureau monthly meeting.  The commodity for the month of January is sweet potatoes, so one of our members prepared some baked sweet potatoes.

**Oh I almost forgot to mention that we signed up for Skype and got a camera to talk with Shane's family in Ohio as well as some of our friends locally.  "Skyping" is also new for us.  I love being able to have a conversation with someone feeling like I'm sitting just across from them in the same room.  Amazing!  This household has gotten bit by the technology bug!**

Friday, January 4, 2013

Greens and Mineral Feeders

While out in the back 40 taking pictures of the work being done, I noticed a pretty good bit of ball clover coming up. It will be nice for the livestock to have the clover to munch on with the hay while waiting for spring/summer growth to come on.

Ball Clover

I also noticed some other "not so great" green stuff sprouting up everywhere in one of our other pastures.  I've written about it many times before.  To read those posts click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.  It's a type of stinging nettle and it is rough!  The weird thing is that it usually doesn't start coming up until March/April and dies off in the summer.  I started noticing this sprouting around the beginning of December.

Stinging nettle

I also took note of this mineral feeder out in the pasture.  I have written a post about how Shane  made the mineral feeders out of recycled things.  You can read that post here.  There is even an article about our mineral feeders in the October issue of the Goat Rancher magazine's Makin' Do column. You can check that article out by clicking here.  It is located on page 22. 

empty mineral feeder

The reason I took this photo is to show how we know when we need to put out more minerals.  This is our cue to fill 'er up again. The cows will turn the feeders upside down when they are empty.  The goats can't do that, but since they are usually co-mingling in the same pasture we pretty much know when to throw a sack of minerals in the mule to put out.  

Hope y'all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back Forty Renovation

In our back 40, there is an area of about 4-5 acres that isn't fenced in. It has a small creek running through it, and it is completely overgrown in brush.   The photo below shows the thick brush.  

Shane took some time off of work for the holidays and to get started on cleaning this area to reclaim it and use it for the goats and cows.  Doesn't that sound like a vacation? :)

This is a closer photo of the thick brush.  If you look closely you can see the old barbed wire fence that is strung in front of it.  That brush is like candy for the goats. They would be like a land clearing company if we turn them out into that stuff.  

Shane took some clippers and a chain saw and went to work clearing out a path for the fence-line.  Even the kiddos were in on the work. Isn't there a saying that goes something like " A family that works together, stays together"?
Family bonding

After getting things cleared, we had to get all of the supplies to the back corner to start.  Although, we did have a small problem though.

Did you notice the horns on "Lil' Sammy Uhaul"?

We've been getting a lot of rain.  The problem is that this area is low-lying and can be a bit wet.  We needed to have our waterproof gear.

I didn't have any rubber boots.  While Shane was in town getting supplies he stopped by Tractor Supply and picked me up a pair.  I think he did a great job!  They are very fashionable for me!  Just the other day I told him that I needed to add a little of my style to my "farm wardrobe".  I always wear the men's version of work wear.  I'm thrilled to add some femininity to my wardrobe. 

Not only did we have a lot of rain, but that small creek I mentioned earlier had to be crossed over in order to get to the back side.  

There were some old railroad ties in our barn, so Shane  put them to good use.

Dillon captured the photo below.  I'm doing what I do best.  "Overseeing"  Shane while on the job, making sure he does it right.  Just kidding ;)  I'm just waiting on him to let me know how I can lend him a helping hand.  We are a team after all!

Finally after taking measurements and making adjustments to the width between the railroad ties, Shane drove the mule over it. 

We were glad to get things rolling.  Finally we could get those supplies to that back corner!  Only problem is that when the mule was loaded with a few of those heavy poles for the corner, a stob put a huge hole in the back tire that couldn't be patched.  Trust me, he tried green slime and later tried plugs.  Neither worked.  A tire has been ordered and will arrive tomorrow.  So much for getting that fencing done.  I will keep you updated on the progress. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Favorite Goat

**This is a blog post written by our oldest, Dillon. We thought we would give him a chance to make a post for all of our readers out there.  He likes to take the camera out and about snapping photos of all of the animals.  He's beyond excited knowing that you guys are going to being seeing his "work". **

Hi, my name is Dillon.  I took this picture last fall.  I was just walking along the road  and I decided to take the picture. I was eight years old when I took it.

She was my favorite goat.  She had eyes like the sky.  This was the first picture I have ever taken.  Mom gave me her old camera.  I hope I can share more of my pictures.