Sunday, January 18, 2015

Welcome Wingnut

Early this morning, Blaze delivered her kid. I was pretty sure she would deliver some time in the wee hours of the morning. She had showed all the signs of imminent labor, including discharge. So I wasn't surprised when I saw Blaze with her kid at about 3 o'clock in the morning. The doeling was wet and shivering in the cold.

Getting Her Warmed Up

It was around freezing, which isn't that cold around here, but it can be deadly for newborn kid. I had put towels in the barn for the just the purpose of getting a kid dried off in the expectation of Blaze's kidding, but they just weren't enough. So the little doeling got a ride on the ATV to the house. I used up about five towels to get the little shivering thing dry and put a space heater on her for a while so she could warm up.

I was take a risk doing this. There's a chance that the mother will reject the kid after I take the kid away even for short while. But, there's a bigger chance of the kid dying of hypothermia, which kind of trumps everything.

The doeling was so cold that she would barely suck my finger. So, I took her away from mom, while hearing Blaze's protests. When I got the little doeling back to mom, she had a strong sucking response and she was ready to nurse.

Trying to Figure It Out

Newborn kids have the instinctive need to nurse, but they're not particularly equipped with roadmap. As a result, the little doeling was trying to nurse anywhere but the udder. What's more, they don't necessarily want you to show them where it is. So after much struggles, I managed to get her to drink a bit. I then left mom with the kid and went back to the house. By the time I got inside, it was 6 o'clock. I stumbled to bed, knowing at least the doeling was in good hands (hooves?) with her mother.

Her Name

Unlike my other Lamancha crosses, the little doeling has these huge helicopter ears. Her mother, Blaze, is a Boer cross, and has the drop ears of a Boer. Lamancha goats are often called "earless." They actually do have ears, but they're just very tiny. This girl is bucking the trend of my herd as every baby goat this year was born with Lamancha ears.

My husband came in from feeding the critters in the barn and told me that her name is "Wingnut." Her ears are so big that I had a hard time arguing against the name. I'll be taking pictures of little Wingnut and put them on the blog soon. She is, adorable, of course.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Underwear Gnomes and Turkeys

Wild turkeys
It’s hunting season, which means that my and my husband’s lives go on hold for 5 weeks to try to fill our freezer. Actually it goes on longer than that when you count in upland bird season, fall bear, and anything else we care to look for when it comes to meat.

Despite the reports of great hunting, we we’ve been struggling to get all our tags filled. Yes, we got our two antlerless tags filled, and occasionally managed a wayward grouse, but everywhere we’ve went, we’d run into the wrong species, sex, or the wrong unit to hunt the critters.
That’s why when we ran into the Tom turkeys, we were surprised.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Processing a Deer


Deer
This year, we decided to process our own game meat. We did it largely because the cost of game processing has gone up and after dealing with one hefty bill, we decided that we would butcher our own deer should we have the chance to get another one this hunting season.

Luck would have it that a rather large buck did wander into our sights and my husband took him with one shot. The shot destroyed the buck’s lungs and broke the spine, so by the time we got there, the buck was dead. So, I had to figure out how to process the deer after we got him home.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sustainable Me: Carnival of the Sustainable Blogs

I'm going to try a new feature this month and see how it goes.  I'm calling it "Sustainable Me: Carnival of the Sustainable Blogs."  I figure this gives me a good chance at taking a look at all the blogs I really want to see and posting those I think are worth looking at.  So, without further ado, here are a roundup of blogs that I think are worthwhile.


A Mindful Carnivore: Tovar Cerulli's Quest for the Answer, Does Hunting Make Us Human?

If you're into sustainability, you'll make less of a carbon footprint and have a sustainable resource if you hunt. So, when Tovar Cerrulli, the vegetarian turned hunter, put up his blog post, "Does hunting make us human?”: A collection to savor,  I knew I had to check it out.  He links to some very profound pieces about hunting.  Even if you disagree with hunting, read these pieces.  You may find them enlightening.

Maya Made: All that Glimmers IS Gold

Maya has been doing her holiday magic and comes up with awesome crafts.  In All that Glimmers IS Gold, she literally paints feathers, rocks, and leaves with gold.  Pretty cool.

Ethical Foods: How to Plan an Eco-Conscious Holiday Feast

 Ethical Foods has a great article on how to plan an eco-conscious holiday feast.  No, I've not gone all silly on you.  I still love my meat, and I'm not into vegetarianism, although I do like vegetable dishes. They're mostly talking sustainable.  Which means eating local.  I'm all for eating seasonal and local, which is why this article slips into my list of blog posts.

Recipe of the Week: Sourdough Oatmeal Muffins Recipe

One of my fellow bloggers on Mother Earth News came up with this yummy sounding recipe.  If you try it before I have a chance to make it,  let me know how it turned out.



How do you like Sustainable Me?  Should I continue this weekly or monthly?  Do you know of any blogs you think are worth mentioning?  Let me know and if I find something I enjoy, I'll share it with everyone!



Monday, November 10, 2014

Roundup: Hunting, Harvest, and Preparing for Winter

November always equals insanity.  It's close to the end of the year, the holidays are nearly upon us, I have way too much work as a publisher to get done, and it's hunting season.  Basically, my life is a disaster.  My critters figured this out too.  So, here are some of the happenings around the homestead.

Molting Chickens


My chickens stopped laying.  One week I was pulling in dozens of eggs, and now, nada.  They've decided it's time to molt which means no eggs.  So, the dogs are getting the older eggs and I'm eying the chickens to see who goes to freezer camp.

 

Disastrous Incubation


My last hatch was back in October and it ended in disaster.  We had 3 chicks and 3 turkey poults hatch and NONE lived longer than a week even with a new Brinsea brooder.  No idea why.  Perhaps they had coccidia. I think I'll try again in the spring when I can keep the guys outside.

 

Hunting


You know it's November when we're scurrying after critters.  Most of the hunting has been painful because they're the wrong species, the wrong sex, or the wrong game unit.  All of it means a load of frustration.  Still, if we're going to fill our freezer, we've got to continue looking.

 

Weather


I'm normally okay with whatever the weather brings.  Only we've been stupidly warm in the 50s and 60s.  Now it has poured buckets and we're supposed to have a low of -9F later this week.  No, you can't make this up.

 

Wood


At least my husband was on the ball and got a whole bunch of wood cut and split.  We still need a lot more split, but at least we have enough firewood for the winter, if nothing else.

Goats


We have a new goat pen! After we placed Rocket, we split the horse pen and now the goat and Sid the llama has half the pen plus a portion of the inside of the barn.  Now, everyone can get out of the weather.

 

Scarlet the Horse

 

Scarlet doesn't seem lonely in the slightest. In fact, she's relieved Rocket is gone.  (Go figure!)  So, she keeps an eye on Sid and the goats but acts like a happy horse.

 

CHECK OUT OUR NEW FEATURE NEXT WEEK!!


Next Week: Look for our new carnival!  I'll be doing a round up of some of the homestead, sustainable, local, gardening, farm, hunting, and food blogs I like.  Comment below and I'll check out your blog for Sustainable Me: Carnival of the Sustainable Blogs

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First Frost


A surprise doeling
Bolt and Frost
Bolt was looking thinner and thinner. Despite multiple wormings, extra food, and putting her into a pen to gain weight. With both her and Blaze failing to have healthy kids, we were seriously thinking of putting them into freezer camp. Our reasons were practical. Being Boer mixes, they tended to consume a lot of food. They were no good for milking because they carried double teats on each side and didn’t produce as much milk as my dairy goats. So, with Bolt failing to conceive this year and Blaze having a stillborn, we both decided to write off the Boers as a learning experience.

READ MORE HERE...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rude Goats

Bucks with horns like this one can be pretty dangerous.
The other day I went to see some bucks for sale.  I have two of Oreo's daughters that I'm keeping, which means I have to find a new buck to breed them to get milk from them.  This will be Oreo's third rut, which means he maybe has two more good years.

I looked around and found a possible buck.  He was even a LaMancha.  So, we went to look at him  with the thought of getting him.

He was huge and in rut.  Yes, Oreo is in rut, too, but not like this.  This buck had his horns and swung them around at me when he was annoyed.  He came across as what I would consider a dangerous goat -- if there can be such a thing.  It wasn't the bucky behavior -- it was the lack of respect for humans.

What made his behavior worse was that there were at least five other intact bucks running around loose along with several does in season.  Of course, the people didn't think that the younger bucks could breed their does (Oh, yes they can!) and the younger bucks were sure trying to.  I guess they didn't believe in wethering bucks that they wouldn't use for breeding.

My husband now looks at Oreo in a different light.  By comparison, Oreo is a gentleman.  Sure, he's bucky, but then, that's what he is.  And I'm not concerned that he's going to hurt me.

I was interested in one of her younger bucks, but they haven't called me back, so it may be just as well.