Thursday, March 24, 2011

Almost two years later......

I am finally back here, catching up on all the changes. We lost Mysty last month, at 8 years of age, but I still have two daughters of hers, and Chicago is still bumbling along- he's quite spry even at 8 years old. Can you believe the golden babies in the previous post are going to be two years old as well?

So, let's get on with the pictures of this spring's early growth......

Babies in their nest.......

The first biddies of spring.......

Chicago in his dotage......

More ducks than I need......

Frick and Frack, aka 'Cheech and Chong', the glimmer tiwns who need to have their own herds. Anyone want to buy a really nice Nubian buckling from the SafeHaven Nubian herd?

My Boer buckling, Sherman. We won't speak about any march through Georgia, thank you- he is a tank!

Andy, my year old Anatolian Shephard/Pyrennes cross livestock guardian dog- he takes his job seriously, buy is still a goofball.....

And lastly.......Little Bit the llama, a rescue who unpacked her bags and moved in. She loves Polka Spot!

Have a wonderful Spring!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There's gold in these hills.....

This is Mysty.

A couple of weeks ago before she kidded, we took pictures of her while she was in early labor- she was so huge that we thought she would have quads!

I've always loved her udder and the way she milks- she is wonderful on the milk stand and always a lady, to be sure.

Now, this story isn't really about Mysty- it is about Winsome and her triplets.

Winnie is one of my Guernsey girls. She came from Joan Stump in PA in January and is not a pushy goat- she also has been very polite, so much so, that I feared she would not hold her pregnancy. When Winnie arrived, she became frightened and ran, until we gave her some cookies and then she was just fine. She even found she had friends in the herd from her old home.

So, this last Tuesday, Winnie decided it was finally 'time', so I got her out and made her a place in the shed. Last Tuesday was also a big weather day as well- alternating sun, cold, snow, rain, wind and back again. After two hours of practice pushing and insisting she needed to go back into the barn instead of this nice dry hay to kid on, I let her back in and went into the house for some chicken soup.

After about a half hour, my husband walked into the door and said that there was somone making a huge racket in the port-o-huts. I stepped outside and heard Chicago-

....rubbing his scur violently against the metal. And then I heard a different new baby voice- so we hoofed it out there quick and found Winnie standing wide eyed over three tiny goo covered babies. husband ran for towls and we brought them into the house. Now, Winnie looked like she had one in there- where in the world did she hide three!

And I was very proud of Chicago for being such a good daddy goat and taking care of Winnie by sounding the alarm when the babies needed help!

Winnie is HB1 level BGS Guernsey and these babies are BH2 level BGS Guernsey. Their sire is a purebred BGS Golden Guernsey named S'wind Pendragon, so their names lend themsleves to their mythos- Guinevere, Morgainne, andTaliesin. I tried to get Tally to accept the name Arthur, as it would be a natural progression, but he said he wanted to be Taliesin. After all, he has a 'star on his brow'. :-)

These babies are our first HB2 level kids to be born here, and I could not be happier. Welcome home babies- it makes me really happy to know that my little grandson William will be able to grow up with them and be their friend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Kiddie-Winky Condo

I finally got some work done at the shed, the babies got their kid pens- the first big jug was already up at the shed and we got the old hay cleared out enough to put up some 16' hog panels for walls, feed dishes, water bucket and feeders. This one is much bigger than the baby pen we put up last year, and adding a second one for smaller kids will make things much easier.

I call it 'The Kiddie-Winky Condo'.

When a set of babies gets big enough, we set these up so I can put the little ones up at night after they have dinner, let the mamas back into the doe pen or up into the woods, and milk the mamas in the morning. It also allows me to feed the babies with medicated feed to prevent certain parasites that keep babies from growing out well, not to mention keeping their 'hussy' moms from eating all the babies' food!

The jugs seem to be about 4' by 4', or thereabouts, and very heavy duty plastic. they can be bedded down easily and just as easily kept clean.

Since the jug has a screw off lid, a heat lamp can be placed through the top and still be safe for keeping little ones warm on cold nights.

My husband came out to the barn today to prep the hay conveyor for being sold- there was this hen, I think a Golden Comet, who had recently come into the flock that would not leave either of us alone. Methinks she was hand raised and is quite friendly. So, when my elder daughter came out to give me a hand with something, this hen decided that my daughter was the person to bond with. The hen jumped up into her lap and began to cuddle in my daughter's arm. What a hoot!

The last thing that happened today was getting to see a couple of colts that had been born at Carver's Orchard in Cosby. We went for lunch, and to pick up fresh apple cider and grapefruits. this was our reward!

(Stay tuned- the next farm field day is coming- Memorial Day weekend- I'll make an announcement soon.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Spring! ....Well, almost

Young master Willian Salem Snyder-Bush made his entrance into the world on January 29, 2009, to a much relieved Katie and Chris. After two hours- yes! two hours! - of labor, he plopped out and began to charm everyone he meets.
Am I a proud Grandmommy? Yes, I am . :-)

These are our spring goat babies so far.......
With the exception of the little guy sniffing the blue bucket above, all the goats in this picture are looking for new homes. Over the next week, we will have several Saanen does have their babies and then we can start milking for the year-
I've got several does that need to find new situations, and most kids will also need to move their sweet selves to new digs. I've got three Guernsey milkers that need to go after they kid, so if you want to get into the BGS Guernsey program here is your chance. With the exchange rate really good just now, it's not as pricey. And there will be three Saanen milker, plus all but three doe kids that must leave, to keep the herd manageable in these uncertain times.
Email me for particulars......

Friday, December 19, 2008

Once Upon a Cold Night Long Ago......

This material is copyrighted,
December 1998
by Betsy Hultin.
It had been a blustery day out in the pastures.
Shenai and the other does had stood with their
backs to the wind all day long, not wanting to go
very far afield. Not much browse this time of year
anyway and Shenai knew her kids would be born
very, very soon.
Agba, the shepard boy, blew his horn and the does
ran, ears flopping, towards him, shoving their noses
in his pockets looking for treats. He rubbed their ears
and looked carefully at each one to make sure no one
was limping or not well. He watched as Shenai slowly
made her way down the slope towards him. She was
his favorite doe. As they made their way into the
welcoming shelter of the barn, the first stars had come
out. And the chill of the night made Shenai shiver.
Agba began the evening feeding and milking. He looked
up at a commotion in the yard on the other side of the
barn. Uncle had had many people coming to him for a
place to stay, there was a counting going on and Agba
had never seen this many people in the streets of
Bethlehem before in his short life. And he had never,
ever seen Uncle have to turn away people from his Inn
before tonight.
All the does munched satisfyingly on the fragrant hay
Agba gave them. To Shenai, he gave a little extra grain
for he too knew her time was near. Her eyes followed
Agba wherever he went and Agba put Shenai in her own
stall, the one all the does who kidded in the barn went
into. Then, he put hay into the manger there and offered
Shenai a bucket of water, which she drank eagerly.
Having finished feeding the does, Agba went to gather up
the cows and milk them too. Brother had put the sheep
into their cote just before Agba had finished milking the
does. It was a game between them to see who would finish
first and sample Mother's cooking. Since Father had died,
the family took in extra boarders at the Inn to help pay for
food and the taxes the counting would surely increase.
Agba always smiled because his does asked so little of
him, but gave him so much in return.
As Agba walked out of the barn towards the Inn, he
noticed a couple entering the yard from the street.
A man and his wife, who was very soon to have her
child. The woman looked very uncomfortable and Agba
offered her some fresh milk from the does as her husband
went inside to speak with Uncle. Uncle came out of the
Inn with a determined look on his face and the man very
close behind him. There was no room.....and then Uncle's
eyes fell upon the woman who was so soon to give birth.
Mother came out of the Inn as well and looked at Uncle
with knowing eyes. She helped the woman off of her
donkey as Uncle spoke carefully to the man. They both
walked into the barn and soon came back out. The man
motioned for his wife to come in the barn and bring all
their belongings. Agba went to Shenai and told her she
would have to give up her place for this woman who
was so tired of carrying herprecious burden. As Agba
led Shenai out of the stall, the woman looked at Shenai
and rubbed her ears. Shenai saw the gentleness and
strength there and knew she and the woman would give
birth on this very night so close together.
A small meal was prepared and Brother brought the food
to the special visitors. The tired woman laid down on the
hay where the man had spread a blanket for her. Shenai
looked through the fence of the pen she had been
returned to where the rest of the does had bedded down
for the night. The woman looked back and closed her eyes
and went to sleep. So did Shenai.

Sometime later, Shenai awoke. Her sides hurt and she
needed to push. Suddenly a bubble popped out, followed
by a pair of little hooves and a nose. A strong push and
her son was born. She set about cleaning him up and he
stood almost immediately. But she needed to push again
and this time, a doe, with ears down to her knees. Shenai
cleaned her and both kids stood to nurse. The other does
wanted to see what was going on, but Shenai was very
protective. She growled at the other does.
Suddenly, Shenai realized that the rest of the does were
not looking at her babies.There was something else
happening in the barn and all the animals were watching.
The light became so bright that all the animals needed to
squint to see just what it was. And where was all the light
coming from?

Suddenly Agba awoke and saw the light in the barn. He
ran out of the house and into the doe pen. The light had
startled him as well and he thought the barn was on fire!
When he saw Shenai's babies he put his arms around her
neck and hugged her as tight as he could. Shenai licked his
face and he laughed.
Agba stood up and looked in the direction of the kidding
pen. The light was so bright, he had to sheild his eyes. He
picked up the little doe and carried her with him to get a
closer look at the wonderous sight in the kidding pen. Agba
became aware that there was more than just the man and
woman in the pen. There were things he simply could not
explain there, men and ladies with what looked like wings!
Dressed in flowing white, glowing garments! And the
singing! He had never heard such beautiful voices in his
life! Then he heard a bleat. It was the little doe, nosing
Agba for milk.
The light began to fade and the singing quieted. And then
he heard a different sound....not a baby goat. He had
heard his Aunt's baby when she was born. That was the
sound! The woman had her baby as well and Agba
wanted to run and get Mother to help, but the woman
just looked at him with a secret smile and motioned for
him to come closer. He looked into the manger where he
had put the hay for Shenai earlier. There was a small baby
there. So small, but so beautiful! And He glowed! The
woman had wrapped him in rags that she had torn from
her under dress. She told Agba that the baby was named
Jesus. Agba knelt beside the manger and touched the
babe's hand with hisfinger, but the babe wasn't interested
in Agba's finger. He was interested in the four footed
creature Agba had put across his neck. The baby coo-ed
and grinned to see the new doe kid. Agba held the little
kid so the baby could see and the baby laughed! The kid
snorted! Everyone was full of joy!
Then suddenly the baby reached up with both arms and
touched the baby doe on each side of her head, right where
the horn buds grow. (And to this very day, that is why
goats have little cow-lick swirls of hair just where their
horns buds are.)
The little doe looked startled and snorted again. Then
everybody laughed. By this time, Mother, Aunt and Uncle
had come in the barn to see what was going on. (Later,
Brother would complain he had slept through it all!)
Mother brought the woman some old clothing which the
woman was very greatful for. Then Mother told Agba it
was time to go in to the house, for the new mother and
her new baby to rest. After all, tomorrow was the counting
and everyone must go.
What Agba didn't know was that many things were going
to happen in the coming days that would help him grow
to be a very wise man when he grew up. Right now, he
just wanted to go to bed. He put the baby doe back into
the pen with Shenai and her brother, then went into the
Inn to his bed, to dream of the beautiful singing men and
Shenai just watched and chewed her cud. She knew that
secret smile the woman had. And she knew the gift that
the baby in the manger brought. And that is why, if you
will go to the barn quietly on Christmas Eve, it is the herd
queen who tells the story of the baby doe and the beautiful
baby child.
And sometimes, not all the time, the does listen even more
closely to see maybe, just maybe the beautiful singing men
and ladies come in the night to sing with the herd queen
before she passes the story to her own daughters.

"And it came to pass in those days, that there was a decree
from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed."
- The Gospel of St. Luke, Chapt. 2, Verse 1 KJV

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Gift of the Old One

By Eunice Day, Washington ME

The young couple had made their usual hurried,
pre-Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt
their elderly parents with their small herd of
goats. The farm had been named Lone Pine Farm
because of the huge pine which topped the hill behind
the farm, and through the years had become a
talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark
in the countryside.

The old folks no longer showed their goats, for the
years had taken their toll, but they sold a little milk,
and a few kids each year, and the goats were their
reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's

Crossly, as they prepared to leave, the young couple
confronted the old folks. "Why do you not at least dispose
of "The Old One". She is no longer of use to you. It's been
years since you've had either kids or milk from her. You
should cut corners and save where you can. Why do you
keep her anyway?" The old man looked down as his
worn boot scuffed at the barn floor and his arm stole
defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her to him
and rubbed her gently behind the ears. He replied softly,
"We keep her because of love. Only because of love."

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man
and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward
the city as darkness stole through the valley.

So it was, that because of the leave-taking, no one noticed
the insulation smouldering on the frayed wires in the old
barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the "Old One".

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the
hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a
cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife
to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved
goats. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing
heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground,
helpless before the fire's fury.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking,
glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife.
They thanked those who had come to their aid, and the
old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon
his shoulders as he clumsily dried her tears with a frayed
red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much,
but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas.
Let us, therefore, climb the hill to the old pine where we
have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down
upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared."

And so, he took her by the hand and helped her up the
snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back
of his hand. As they stepped over the little knoll at the
crest of the hill, they looked up and gasped in amazement
at the incredible beauty before them. Seemingly, every
glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in
the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine,
and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its
top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like
spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas
tree such as this. Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of
wonder and incredible joy as he pulled his wife forward.
There, beneath the tree, was their Christmas gift.

Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the trunk of the
tree, was the entire herd, safe. At the first hint of smoke,
she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led
the goats through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never
looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping daintily
through the snow. The kids were frightened and dashed
about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling,
hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they
licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The milkers
pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved
calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now,
she lay among them and gazed at the faces of those she
loved. Her body was brittle with years, but the golden eyes
were filled with devotion as she offered her gift-
Because of love.

Only Because of love.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More oddities and other stuff from around the farm

OK, so this is not something from around the farm. This has been in the news of late, at least FOX has been doing some snarking about it.

This is a picture of the "Montauk Monster", said to have washed up on the beach of Montauk Island in NY. No one has been able to identify it yet, and several websites have been running contests to see if anyone knows just what it is. It may even be some sort of Hollywood FX sort of hoax to get people's attention and away from more important stuff like.........

....The Giant Grampus. I saw this on the porch of a local store and it just sat there for hours, its' little bug-ly brain wondering how it got there and where it needed to go when it left, if it could find its' way to where it needed to go anyway......

This is the season when all sorts of strange insects appear. Can anyone ID this fly?

These moths were on the tree outside my front door. They did not make it through the night- a cat, most likely trying to be helpful, assisted them in disengaging themselves....Oops!

Now this is really important! I found a farmer who grows barley, along with hay. He raises his own corn, oats, barley and other feed for his cattle so he does not have to buy it. His family is one of the folk from the area who is a multi-generational farm family. And it looks like they will be farming for many more generations. It brings a tear to my eye.......
The goats are very pleased with the choice of feed stuff here- they have taken a liking to it and have put on some of the bloom I had been getting from alfalfa hay, which I can no longer get locally because my hay man passed away last year.
Of course, there are other uses for barley which we may try- beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!