Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This is our girl Autumn. We lost her last night during kidding, she was not able to kid the baby. It was too large for her. We loved her very much, and will miss her.

Monday, April 26, 2010


This is Pepsi, our alpine doe that we are selling after she kids. I think I will name one of her kids Soda Pop. Her name is Diet Pepsi afterall, because her mother was called Pepsi.

Babies, barns, chickens...

So this post is a post because I am too lazy to do posts! So I am rollin in all in one, its the way I roll today folks.

Lila's buck, one of them, he is sold to the woman down the road who prefers horns so he doesnt have burned circles on his head. Nona's little girl was done last night, I think I am calling her Ima Dean.

Nona with her girl, her buck is with Tad and Lila's 3 kids are here with BB our meat goat, and Zoe, our brood goat! She seems to be happy to let anyone be her suckling which is uncommon amongst goats.

Some of these guys are muddy, I tried today to clean one up with some warm soapy water but the fight that ensued wasnt worth it! These babies want to jump about, head butt each other, taste things, sleep in the feeder to cause me grief and be overall just way too adorable! How will I rid our land of ANY of these when I cannot sell them??? Just kidding, we are selling them. Lila's bucks are sold/listed for sale, her doe we are keeping and as for Nona's buck, not sure. We will either eat him, or sell him. Her doeling, well she be my new pet!

Our new little barn, we dont have the fence up yet but thats all it lacks. Frank, Eric, Jeffrey, children and myself built this, though of course Eric and Frank did the larger amt of work and I did the larger amt of photo taking.

The building is simply not perfectly square, seems to happen when you are working with a building that was still partly together. The pitch of the roof was changed so we had to buy shingles, couldnt find the same color but it looks fine this way. Still needs trim/paint and the door only closes on outside. I dont like this, I go in with goats and I cant keep them in!

Poor lighting here sorry, this is the inside. The roof pitch change gave me so much more space! I am loving the little building. I rather wish that the doors had "windows" of some sort, a framed bit of plexiglass or something bc its too dark in there having only northern window. There is plenty of space for a small feeder, lots of sleeping/playing room for babies and right now the 2 mamas go in with them also. Frank put a 2x2 scrap across 3 studs so a hanging water bucket on the wall. This helps keep the water from being soiled, you know, like when a goat backs up to the water and allows some droppings to fall in? What? That doesnt happen at your place? Well maybe your goats love you more than mine love me.

Lillith had her babies on saturday afternoon. They are boer/nubian cross, so good for meat or as a meat brood goat. They are both does and can breed and give birth to meat goats and because they are half nubian, will give plenty of good milk.

These girls are not named yet, the little one here at the bottom has wry tail-wears to one side, and folded ears. Both are boer traits. It doesnt affect the little doeling, her sister is a blondie and hasnt these problems. We are selling both of these little girls, we had intended to eat her babies if they were bucks but these are not. Lillith isnt proving to be a good mama, she is poor at cleaning and feeding so we will be bottle feeding them starting today.

These are our ducks. They are very nasty, they were cute and sweet and they are still cute and can nearly quack, the best thing about being a duck is the quacking. But oh help me they are MESSY and NASTY and GROSS and GOOEY! They poop and make the water just FILTHY with their food. They wash their food down with water, but because the water is set on an upside down feed pan, they cannot walk in it so that is a plus. We will have to give them a complex of their own and a little pool and house because they cannot soil the chicken yard/barn with their nastiness!
Excuse the lighting, I am at the back of the north/chicken barn here. This is the way I solved the duck/chicken water issue. The ducks, however, most prefer to be outdoors even in pouring rain so we gave them a bucket outside also. We keep them in the chicken complex simply by shutting the gate, the chickens fly over and are free range all day only be closed in at night. The large and medium size chickens are free range and the coop in the right of the picture holds smaller chickens. We have also a roving coop of broiler chickens and 2 boxes of tiny chickens in the garage. Too many chickens! Its okay, we will eat some.

Okay so it was a long post, I am chatty and rambly but I always have been so if you are here then you knew that and dont mind, or you love my photos and dont read my chatter so either way, its a great union.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So many babies!

We have had more babies! The one in this picture was a wk old yesterday, he is one of Lila's boys. He has been sold to a fellow goat herder, and so he wasnt disbudded. She wants him to have horns.

My Nona girl/herd matriarch kidded yesterday. She gave us one enormous buckling, and 1 large doeling. The doeling, pictured here, has a black eel-hair down her back- and is otherwise white. You must look closely to see the eel, she is larger though not heavier than the 1 wk old babies of Lila's.

We havent named ANY of them yet! I know thats terrible, we just cant come up with any names. This is Nona's doeling again, she has a thicker face and body than Lilas, this is the alpine in her. The saanens are a bit daintier looking.
This is Lila's, not sure if buckling or doeling but this one has been disbudded. This leaves a round burn mark on the horn area, I know it sounds awful! My friend Amanda helped us disbud them this weekend. Nona's buck was born with horn buds and they have to be burned tonight or tomorrow. No options for horns here, we sold a horned buck yesterday and have the other horned one for sale. They are not safe, in our opinion.
All five babies! I am amazed that the 1 day old babies are large/larger than the week old babies! Lila did have triplets, but they were huge anyways! Larger than expected even for twins I would have thought. Nona's were enormous though, especially the buck. She had a hard time birthing him pain wise, though she was capable of doing the job alone. We stayed with her in the stall just in case she needed us.
Lila's babies, her one buck will be named by his new owner and we are working on the other two. These babies LOVE the pallets that are about, and the stumps, and whatever else they can climb on.
Nona's kids again, they are so cute! I want to just squish them, they are so very soft and fuzzy. They dont mind being carried about and loved, and they have huge appetites.
And again, Nona's kids. We put them out as soon as it was warm this morning, the other babies were very interested in the like sized creatures. They have been following the chickens around, head butting them, and now they have these guys!

Awww Nona being sweet... She does love these babies, I see her and Lila with their babies and it feels cruel the idea of bottle feeding. I couldnt have taken them away, I know that for some people bottle feeding works best. It didnt bother me to own bottle babies, but it would hurt my heart to take them from their mamas unless it was needed. They do such a good job, these two mamas. They look for their babies if they are off playing too long, they clean them and love them and snuggle with them. I think it is creating larger, healthier babies not to mention happier. Its just a natural way for all involved.

Excuse Lila's hindquarters here, she will be a little yuck back there for a few days. She has all of her littles here, they are very curious. I love how their ears move with their moods.

Even with three, Lila produces enough milk. Sometimes the three are fighting over teats and they dont know yet that two are all there are. They look for another, whichever baby didnt get a teat in time!

Nathalie with Nona's huge baby girl.

Tad with Nona's huge baby boy! This guy is enormous! I cant believe he is barely a day old, they were actually born yesterday at 3:30 and 4:10 aprox so they are not yet a whole day old.

We have more goats due in a few wks, thankfully we have a short break here to finish the fencing around the new little barn so we can lock away babies in there at night when they are a bit older. Right now they go into kid stalls with their mamas, but I have only 2 kidding stalls so they will need to move out for the next set of does to kid.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gone Country

Yesterday, we bought a tractor. Frank drove to Wichita to look at a tractor that our friends, Amanda and Jeremiah found online. We have been looking at tractors, and on wednesday Frank drove to see a tractor 4 hrs from here that wasnt worth the drive. It had no brakes or transmission (they needed to be rebuilt) and the man failed to tell us this. We were disappointed to say the least, both with the drive, fuel cost and lack of tractor. We continued looking though and thursday morning, yesterday, we had an email from Amanda with this link.

The tractor needs some work, the reverse doesnt work right now, which means the PTO doesnt engage thus a tiller cannot be run yet. We dont have a tiller attachment, so that works out. The tractor came with a bucket, blade and a bushhogger. Something that we will be grateful for this summer when the goats are picky and dont keep their yard "mowed" well. The blade and bucket will be wonderful for moving/pushing earth, leveling, spreading rock in the drive, moving snow in the winter etc.
So this isnt a good picture. Nathalie was given the camera but she and Tad were both feeling really punk because they are not allowed to drive it. Tad will of course drive it, once we are used to it and have done a little maintenance. He has driven a tractor, the big yellow truck, the mower and can now shift the s-10 succesfully and is excited that I am teaching him to drive it. Nathalie, however, is not going to learn to drive anything for some time. She cries about this, but I tell her that we love her enough that we want her to live, thus we dont let her drive yet. Anyone who knows and loves her can say this is good, she has many many skills but hand eye coordination isnt necessarily one.
We are looking for parts and attachments for this tractor, it is a Kubota. Its very cute, and small and perfect for us. Its older and will need some maintenance, but it will make our lives so much easier in so many areas. Its official though, we have gone country. We raise our own food both fruit/veggies and meat, we have our own eggs and milk, do our own construction projects, avoid leaving home, we wear hats and boots and now we own a tractor. We love this life...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tiny babies

Oh my goodness they are mine, in my barn, yet looking at the pictures makes me want to run out and squeeze them!!! We had babies, shall we say Lila had babies on monday early afternoon.

Tad heard a noise outdoors, 15 min after we got home from town. Ran down, and sure enough there was a tiny baby with Lila in the goat girls sleep stall. She was busy birthing a second, she didnt need any help at this point but we had clean, empty feedsacks and towels to put under and also my medical bucket ready to go.

As soon as the second one came out, she seemed finished and okay. We moved her and both kids-1 little doeling and 1 little buckling- to the kidding stall(s). We had 2 clean stalls ready for this purpose.

Once in the kidding stall, I did what is referred to as bouncing. Literally, you just bounce the doe's abdomen. Online sources said it would be soft if the doe is done kidding. Not only was it not soft, it had obvious hooves! Bouncing gently caused contractions and a hoof and head appeared. Not two hooves, 1. So I got gloves on, tried to gently help and it wasnt working, I was a little afraid as it was our first time so I called my good friend Amanda in California. We have been good friends for over 4 yrs, and this was the first time we have spoken. Ever. We have only emailed. She calmly assisted, telling me what to do next, what to look for. She stayed on the phone until Lila managed with little assistance to push out a second buckling.

As it so happens, my friend Amanda came into town yesterday, to my house! I spoke with her for the first time, the day before I saw her for the first time. She and her husband stayed one night here, and this morning both helped me draw blood on the goats. Well, I say helped me, I pretty much helped them. They each drew blood, taking turns holding and teaching me while the other drew blood. I was able to draw one goats blood, I am so slow and unsure of this still. Frank and I drew from 4 of them, 2 were very simple but those who tense and fight, well it took a stronger hold! Our friends have learned how best to hold the goat, much more imobile than we were holding.

Amanda and Jeremiah are now in a town south of us, looking at the area. Jeremiah may take a job here! That would be wonderful, to have such good friends nearby. They are the kind of people who will trade work, which we believe is the forgotten backbone of America. They are both skilled in many trade areas and we hope they enjoy Ks enough to move here!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eric's Kids

Our friend Eric is deployed, and we thought he might enjoy some pictures of his kids on our little farm. Jeffry, Tristin and mom Justina spent the day with us yesterday running outdoor water hydrants, electricity to the bucks pen, running a burn pit, mucking out a barn, chicken and duck care, jumping on trampoline, hanging out with goats and chickens and waiting on Lila (goat) to kid! So this is Eric's post of Eric's kids.

Um, hmmm. Well thats questionable right? Justina! How did this happen??? Oh okay nevermind, thought he may think Autumn in Indiana Jones hat was funny!

Tristin played hard to get most of the day on photos, the best ones I got were him with the dog and him on the trampoline because he didnt know I was taking them. The truck behind him is full of manure that he helped Tad and Nathalie load.
Playing with monster dog, monster barks at most visitors but has done well with Tristin every time. She still barks, but much more playful. I have seen him with his dogs, somehow they behave better for him than they would for me. Maybe I can hire him to provide monsters care?
Sneaking away from the camera, he is in the barn he helped to muck out here and the hat wearing Autumn is hatless in the edge of the photo.

Jeffry in a 5 ft hole. This hole is here because the previous owner was an overachiever! The hydrant has to be 2 ft down because 18" is the freeze line in Ks. Just in case, everyone runs water 2 foot down. This guy? Ran it 5 ft down... Jeffry and Frank finished pulling out this hydrant which was corroded from time and needed replacement parts. Then they ran water from this line down to the bucks pen and set that hydrant in.

This is the kid who waited for Dad to leave to pop his hip out of socket on a track run! Good job Jeff, way to give your mom some extra work. Just kidding... He is okay now, just had some minor problems probably because he has too much energy and moves constantly.

Now these pictures were my favorite. These kids are all pretty skilled on the trampoline, but every once in awhile you can catch a great shot of a flip.

This was just such a day. I sat for several minutes snapping shots hoping that someone would do something spectacular, seemed like everyone was having an ordinary day.

These next 2 pictures are mixed up, this is actually the 2nd photo. This is Tristin landing back on his own 2 feet, something I couldnt have accomplished.

And here we have the picture of the day, or week. Tristin is completely upside down halfway through a full revolution flip. He jumped, flipped and landed on his feet. I love this picture, he and Jeff are dressed the same, dark shorts, socks, and here they are parallel but Tristin is upside down!

Now since men are men and its unlikely they will mention this, we miss you Eric. It was great having you for a few months. Eric and Frank seem to deploy at times that leave them gone at different times. We have had a few good months of Eric and Justina spending the weekends with us, working on projects around here. We still have his family, but its incomplete.
More to come, I have a lot of pictures of our current projects to post. Things Eric and Frank started, or Frank and I started and of course moved on to the next needed project leaving things half finished! We are finishing up a lot of these projects now, and have pictures to show you of fencing, building, tiling and other remodeling things.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


This photo is unrelated to my post, but figured I shouldnt give you another just talking post because for most blogs, talk isnt enough.

We are getting rid of our dog today, she was after another baby goat last night. Well our only baby goat for now, but Nona and Lila are due any moment now and the dog has to be gone before that. So literally, if someone kids today the dog will have to stay locked in a building until I find her a home. I do not trust her to not kill a baby goat by playing too roughly.

Nathalie was up this morning eating her cereal, and informed me that she makes aproximately 12$ a mo because some months are 5 fridays, and since there are 52 wks in a year she makes 156$ a yr. Oh and also mama, 4x9 is 36 and did you know that 11x12 is the same as 10x12 plus adding 10 more so 130 and then just add the last 2? As a final point, Nathalie did the end testing out of 2nd grade singapore math. This is a really good math curriculum. Some math curriculums just get you through, are just same level as public school math. In my opinion and the opinion of many experts, singapore math is the best. Nathalie still struggles with speed in reading, she is in 2nd grade reading but speed comes so slowly to her that she doesnt enjoy it as much as math. Tad on the other hand is also in 3rd grade math, but can easily read 8th grade level books!

So thats our update on school, we will not be doing a lot of school over the summer. Spelling and math review will happen 3 x a wk because it takes less than an hour, they will read daily both alone and out loud and of course will practice violin, spanish and typing. Rosetta stone and mavis beacon are on the computer, and they spend about 40 min between the 2 programs daily. Then violin so for them, they will still have 2.5 hrs daily but only an hr with me. We will get back to school then in september full time, but they will not have to have as much review and hopefully they can join the group class of violin students at that time.

We have many baby goats due, much gardening planned and started, we just finished fencing the 300 ft across mid field to give us a garden/orchard/greenhouse complex, we still have a barn to finish, the laundry room/bathroom tile is done (photo to come) and the bathroom renovation is still in progress! We have had company come and go, and in other news one of my best friends will be visiting me next wk. I have never met her, and never spoken to her on the phone. She has been my friend for, oh I dont even know. How long Amanda, 4 years? 5 years? She was pregnant with her nearly 4 yr old son either shortly after we met or right before. I cannot remember. She lives in Ca and she and her husband are coming down for a job interview here in Ks! We are excited and pleased to meet each other, she and her husband are jack of all trades and also have a goat herd! My children cannot wait to have her children nearby, they dont have many friends who can play in the goat yard fearlessly. I mean lets face it, a 175 pound animal that you dont know with a horn, can be overwhelming.

So thats our day, our week, our busy month, our wonderful life. I will try to put up more recent pictures of our huge baby chicken flock, barn building, fencing, tiling... take a breath. Okay more later all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Might be a redneck

"Hey Tad, when you are finished playing with that lighter can you take it in the house?" Tad is playing with a lighter out by the fire pit. He isnt lighting anything, just playing with it.

"Sure. But mama? I disabled the child proof part."

"Oh good, that was mama proof. I cannot make them ignite with that thing on there."

"Oh well I can, its just easier this way."

I am so pleased he can take care of me already! I dont know about you but those childproof lighters get me every time. I usually just stick with matches. Tad is a fire expert, he can start one in any appropriate area and keep it going all day. The fire place, fire pit, burn pit, whatever. He can light it with a lighter, matches or a fire starter as in a flint rock! Yes I know, he is only 9. Guess what? He was capable of all this as an 8 yr old. He is laying here on the floor right now in overalls, a brimmed hat, barefooted, farmer tanned and slightly grubby looking, building small bombs with plastic eggs. Okay fine they are not bombs entirely. Just baking soda, and he will add vinegar next...