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Friday, 16 May 2014

I now have a better appreciation for people who run Daycare Centers (and dairies.) Caring for baby goats at different stages and times of feeding, while still trying to hold down a full time job, has me running ragged. Last Sunday we brought home 5 babies that were either bottle babies or on a lambar/lamb bar (i.e. big bucket of milk with nipples).

The bottle babies are destined to be wethers that will be companions for our new buckling

 Jethro

They will move with him when he moves into a separate 'boys only' area. These are my NCIS boys. The breeder was already calling the buckling 'Jethro' and so I will give him some kind of NCIS-type registered name for the main character, 'Leroy Jethro Gibbs.' His sidekicks were named Tony and Tim.

They are tiny now and are being fed four times a day. Photographing them is like trying to catch birds in flight, or popcorn as it bounces around.

 Tim

The older kids are getting grain, hay, and beet pulp in addition to their milk. The oldest babies are getting grain, hay, and beet pulp and are completely confused by this whole lambar thing and why it's so popular with everyone else.

 Sparrow & Feather

The oldest girls are happy to have the company of other goats and everyone enjoys playing Romper Room. I was happy to see the tiny guys holding their own in the group so I didn't have to separate them long.

 Rosie & Elsa

 Tim, Tony, Elsa, Jethro, & Rosie

I also have a better appreciation for the amount of milk baby goats drink. Since I had always let my does raise their babies, I grossly underestimated how much milk these little guts can consume. Holy cow! I look forward to getting them weaned. I won't try this again until I'm retired and am able to devote more time feeding them and running back and forth to the store for more milk. I do have to say they are the most adorable little critters and a most welcome addition to our family.

 "More milk, please!"

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bull calves who kick Livestock Guardian Dogs end up going to the sale barn instead of staying on the farm and breeding the young heifers.

    "Your loss, Fireplug."

So we were all up bright and early this morning to take Fireplug to the sale barn where he once again proved he is an idiot by attempting to crawl UNDER the chute gate at the sale barn. This resulted in him getting his head stuck.

 It took him about 3 minutes to figure out how to un-stick himself. Yes he is Son of Paisley. No doubt about it.

I assured Briar that even though she didn't get to eat his heart, he may be in her next taco!

 "yyyeck!"

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 06:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, 07 May 2014

Clover and her babies, Dash & Dottie, went to live with the Grandbabies this weekend.  My mother had been babysitting the goats for two weeks (thanks Mom!) while the kids built a pen (i.e. Goat Palace!) for the goats.

The grandbabies already have Sally, the most adorable little Pygmy goat you'd ever want to meet. Sally is exactly what you want in a child's goat. She is small. She is friendly. She is bonded to the kids and follows them like a dog. Sally has now made me a believer in Pygmy goats!

So now they've gone from a one goat family to a four goat family!

 Sally meets her new friends.

 Grandpa shows the kids how to hold branches down for the goats.

 Real Farm Girl with her goats

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 05 May 2014


I want him gone, Gone, G-O-N-E, GONE! Paisley's idiot bull calf launched an unprovoked attack on my baby goats
yesterday. Their Big White Dog immediately launched a counter attack to chase him away from them and that sorry bastard kicked my Livestock Guardian Dog smack in the head! There was much screaming and shouting. (that was me!) The bull abandoned his attack on the goats.  

From my angle she took a direct hit to the side of the head. I checked her for broken teeth but she seemed okay. I'm sure at the very least she has a concussion since she took a heck of a smack.

After checking Briar out I informed Other Half that I wanted that bull GONE! G-O-N-E! GONE!

To the sale barn or to the butcher. I don't care which.

I promised Briar that if he went to the butcher I would let her eat hamburger, or his heart, I don't care which.

 "Heart, please!"


Unlike the Border Collies who live to have confrontations with cattle, Briar was quite shaken by her blow to the head. I noted that she was pretty leery of the cattle last night, so instead of leaving her on patrol, I locked her in the pen with the babies. Unfortunately this left my sheep unprotected, thus tonight the calves will have to stay in the arena so Briar can patrol the farm all night.

Since I posted this rage on Facebook, a friend pointed out that Briar was entitled to a Dairy Queen Dip Cone. Ah HA!  Good point! So she is. But since Briar is terrified to leave the farm, she got Ben & Jerry's this afternoon instead.

Someone needs to teach Briar how to eat an Ice Cream Paycheck because if she didn't have a headache before, she certainly had a brain freeze after she gobbled down that ice cream.

  "Oooh, I'm kinda woozy."

Full Disclosure: the bull in the photo is not Paisley's calf, Fireplug, but simply one of the other bull calves that I had a close-up picture of. I don't have any close-up pictures of Fireplug. And now the only picture I want of that little bastard is one of him leaving in a cattle trailer. Or maybe a steak on my plate. . .

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 04:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 02 May 2014

     There is a peace that comes with tending the flock. It is gift yielded only in the company of gentle beasts who live in the moment.  The easy pace of sheep and goats forces the shepherd to slow down, lulled by the steady grinding of teeth that turn plant fiber into milk, meat, and wool. This heals and renews the soul just as the pecking and scratching of chickens rejuvenates the land.

     A child knows when she is happy, but it takes many years for the woman to recognize something which stirs her soul. After years of trial and error, years of experimenting with societal expectations, she finally understands the 'click' - that something which clicks into place and fills an emptiness not even realized.

     Since Biblical times man has been tending the animals, alone in the wilderness with his flock and his God.  The world spins faster now, pulling us farther and farther away from the still quiet voice inside. Yet some of us stumble upon the answers of our ancestors - peace through the patient grinding of teeth, the pecking and scratching, which slows down our world and stirs our soul.

Webster's Dictionary has multiple definitions for the word.

Tending:

1) (archaic) to listen

2) to pay attention

3) to act as an attendant, to serve

4) to have or take charge of as a caretaker

5) to stand by in readiness to prevent mischance

     While on the surface we are the caretakers of our charges, I note the archaic definition 'to listen.' Is this not what all the quiet grazing, browsing, and pecking beg us to do? Listen. Listen to the silent screech of pulled grass, the pop of the branch as it swings back in place, the brush of soil thrown behind upturned feathered rears. Listen to the birds. Listen to the morning glories open. Listen to sunflowers turn. Listen to the earth. Listen to your soul. Listen to God. Just listen.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:34 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email

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