Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rainy day Tuesday.....

I was supposed to go to a seminar on handling animals in disasters, but I woke up a bit too late to get all the chores done before the start of the thing an hour and bit's drive from here at UT in Knoxville. I've got goats telling me they want to kid, so who knows when that is going to happen, but the look is sure in their eyes and I don't really want to spend the day away from them. Those long suffering looks that convey the weight of the world- oh my! If I had their worries I'd be a goat- which I am anyway, I'm a Capricorn, born on December 25th. Don't worry about the birthday thing, I got over that a long time ago- in fact, I'm telling folks not to get me Christmas presents, or even birthday gifts, any longer- I've got all I want. I don't need any more 'stuff'. Except for maybe a new AI kit (artificial insemination) so I can use all those dead frozen billy-goats in my nitrogen tank. Or a preg-tone ultra-sound machine.
Bucks are an essential part of a goat farm- either you have them or you don't- some of them can be quite amusing as babies, but absolute lothario's as adults. Take Chicago for example- he's a sweetie pie, but bucks are 'supposed to' have gone out of rut this time of year- yeah, right. Everyone else has. The weather says otherwise for Chicago. It is still colder than dammit and we are carrying water because the hoses are frozen. My pregnant does like to waddle right up to me when I am carrying two full buckets- and who's got his nose stuck up where we won't mention in polite company? Yep, himself. (Gee, maybe they want me!) So we all do this circle dance around me a couple of times until I get around the behinds of some of them and make a dash to the portable water trough. So I smell of 'au d' buc' for a while- and I also use the same barn clothes over and over again until they stand up in the corner by themselves. This conserves water as there is no need to use the washer so much if I do it this way. Sometimes I venture into Newport to the feed store, or just up to get gas at Jack's Market, in my barn clothes- I earned that badge of honor, by golly!
I could put him in the buck pen, but he is still in rut and we don't need 'fighting boys on parade'. Their dominance dances (ahem!) can get quite rough, but it is also amusing to see who the 'bitch' is from day to day. So, Chicago runs loose for now and takes the girls who are the closest 'ladies in waiting' up into the woods to browse a bit-
It still looks like rain, but then it always looks like rain here, unless the weather changes- which is usually about 15 minutes between changes.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Chance would be a fine thing......

The snow from yesterday seems to have gone the way of things enough to let us get in and out of the hollar. I was supposed to go Saturday to pick up some does and take Rosie along- we seem to be conspiring to go on a restaurant critic's tour of BBQ places and other interesting side bars. Maybe Brown Mtn. Or Max Patch. Well enough, since Ammy came back into heat and Chicago bred her. I don't mind late babies from him.
So, the doe excursion is to take place today-
Anyway, I'm waiting for the hens to start laying- we've had fresh milk and cheese from one doe- Ammy, above- and for more of the does to kid, some are due this coming week, so I 'll attempt to get some shots up of the process. I'll put some recipies with goat cheese up soon too- my stufed Portabella mushrooms are to die for.....
We actually got the vinyl flooring on the shed sub-floor before the snow hit- and with any luck we will get the first wall up this coming weekend- 'if' the weather holds, yeah- right....I'll put the process of that up on webshots soon-

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.....

Back in 1994, I bought my first dairy goat- Bonanza Jelly Bean- a Saanen/Nubian cross doe who initiated me into the wonders of goat milk- and off I went into the goat world. I had had a little white 'brush nanny'- aptly named 'Nanny' (pictured above)- a couple of years after I got back from University and taught horsemanship to young girls. The person who stands out in my mind at that time as one who pointed me in the direction of living on the land was Dr. Vicken Totten, who was a resident at the hospital my mother worked at. As one of those 'failure to launch' types, I did not leave Kingsport until I was 30 years old. Whew!
And here I am now, just turned 50, meno-pausal- children raised, working towards a licensed cheese dairy in the Gatlinburg market- and having the opportunity to breed a wonderful breed of goat- the Golden Guernsey from the Isle of Guernsey in the UK channel isles. Not many of those around- about 450 +/- purebred breeding females worldwide.

On this blog, you may find interesting pictures of things around the farm- daily scenes, dogs, goats, kidding season, recipes and this I like to do- Grandfather Moountain Highand Games, all things Scottish, The Wizard of OZ, goat shows, etc.- things like that.
You will also find things about the natural world and all natural ways of creating glowing health and woman's natural wisdom. Like the header says- 'go to the mountians and drink goat milk'-
Go with God and in good health- Betsy