Thursday, March 3, 2011

The kids are here! The kids are here!

Patty naps with little Lena
Too much FUN! Having purchased kids at weaning only, I've never had babies this tiny and adorable before. Patty gave me a surprise introduction to keeping itty bitty adorable kids. She had hers before Holly, who we were expecting to go first. Patty's doeling was only 8 inches tall at birth. She looked too tiny to function, but function she does! She's every bit as boisterous and happy as any kid I've ever seen. She appears to be naturally polled too, how lucky. We named her Thumbalina, Lena for short.

 Next came Holly's twins. She had a big sturdy buckling and a small dainty doeling. They seem to be opposites in every way! He's mostly black, she's mostly white. He's a wild child and in your face, she's reserved and a little bit shy. He's big, she's small. He had horn buds, she's naturally polled. I'm sure as they grow I'll find more. lol

Rigby and Mordy drying under the lamp.
 All three of the kids have already been claimed by the first people to lay eyes on them. Lena went to the vet to be disbudded and one of the techs there decided she had to have her as a friend for her lonely LaMancha wether. That's when we realized that she didn't need disbudding!

The twins were claimed by their first visitor when they were only two days old. Our neighbor Rachael, just fell in love with the buckling and his antics. Turns out that her boyfriend wants a doe. Perfect! Brother and sister get to stay together! Since Rachael put her claim tag on them so early, she got to name them. The little doeling is Rigby and brother is Mordecai.

Mordy wasn't lucky enough to be polled so he had a quick trip to the vet to get disbudded and castrated. We do things with as little insult as possible here, so he was anesthetized for the procedure and given an injection for pain before he awoke. Once he was fully conscious he was up and running and you would never have guessed he'd had anything done. I know there are plenty of folks who would have just put him in 'the box' for the disbudding and simply banded him instead of castrating. But it's horrific to see how much pain it causes them and for how long they have to endure it. Banding may be cheap and accepted... but I don't think it's kind.

So... back to the fun stuff. PICTURES! I've included a handful below. I just can't get enough of these babies. Check back soon, I'm sure I'll have more posted before long.

Lena, barely a handful at birth. 

Cell phone for size reference.
Lena meets Graham!
Trying to master climbing. It took her a few tries.
Sweet Patty, such a good mama.

The new kids next door!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tsnownami is here!

Well the weathermen were right on the money. The blizzard has officially arrived. It's white-out conditions and the drifting is just beginning as the wind is picking up. I hear they even closed I-70 between Kansas City and St.Louis. That's something I expect to see happening between KC and Colorado... not here in Missouri.

Holly in her room
The good news is, my hard work paid off and the goaties are all snug in their shed. The jugs aren't finished yet, but I do have one far enough along that Holly can be separated from the rest. She's the queen and can be quite the bully. I still need to put up the plywood and insulation in that one, then it will be done and I can work on finishing up the second one. They're actually pretty comfortable in there with a heat lamp and a heated water bucket.

The ponies however, aren't as opposed to the snow as the goats are. I've got a couple inside in stalls, but the others are outside. Since they didn't get wet before the snow started, they're completely covered but no one looks cold or unhappy. All but one of them has a great winter coat, and that one is wearing a blanket to keep him warm. They're all milling around doing their pony things... not huddled up looking miserable. I can hear the wind growing in intensity though and if it continues, I may have to put everyone in the barn early. They hate being locked up, but I plan to put them all in stalls tonight. It's going to get VERY cold after dark and I'll sleep better knowing they're protected from the wind. Even if they DO act like they've been put in time out!

Fathead and Red
Here you see my Quarter Horse, Fathead... who'll be 24 in April, and Red... a coming 2 year old Quaterpony colt. I've had Fathead since he was a yearling and Red was born here.They're the oldest and youngest in my herd. I watched them for quite a while trying to see any sign of chill, but they're happy as clams out there. Presuming that clams are happy of course!

As for the barn cats, chickens and ducks... they're all sharing my feed shed with a heated water bowl and all the hay they can snuggle down in. The chicken house just wasn't keeping the snow out, so I carried them all to the feed room. I'd rather clean up chicken poo than lose one to the cold!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trying to beat the weather

We have kids on the way... our first to be born here on the farm. I'm excited but nervous for the nannies. We have another winter storm on the way and the weathermen are saying it'll be our worst storm of the season. We could be looking at anywhere from 8-17 inches of snow by Tuesday, depending on who you believe. So... I've been working feverishly to try and get the maternity ward put together before it hits. (It's bad enough trudging out there to do chores in the frozen tundra, much less trying to finish a project in it.) My hope is that I'll get it all done with plenty of time for the girls to get used to a new routine and be stress free when they start having those babies.

The two jugs I'm building will actually be dual purpose. Once the girls are done kidding, the two bucks will take up residence there so we don't have any MORE unplanned pregnancies. Not that we really tried to prevent these. They'll each have their own 'room' with a door to an outside, private pen. Since the space in the goat shed is only 12'x12', I've split it into the three spaces. One half of the square (6'x12') has big double doors that open to the goat yard, the other half has been divided into two 6'x6' stalls. I'm building sliding gates that will function like pocket doors in a house to prevent the billies from butting the gates off their hinges like they've done to the horse stalls in the barn. When the gates are closed, it won't matter which side the boys are butting from, the doors should have plenty of stopping power. Well... I hope so anyway!

I saved scraps from our house remodel project to use in the shed as well. I have squares of plywood that I plan to cut to fit along the walls to eliminate any floor drafts that might eek in through the old lap siding. I also saved scraps of insulation to put behind it for additional protection. 

Once I get the private suits finished, I'll take some pictures to share.

Peter, Patty & Paul when they were babies themselves.
Holly's in the foreground. She should be the first to deliver.