April 30, 2009

What's More Fun?

What's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Well kids under a mineral tub of course!

April 27, 2009

New Kids on the Block

These are pictures of some of the goat kids born on the farm this Spring. Some pictures are of newborns only a few minutes old and others are of kids that are a bit older. The new kids have kept us well entertained with their playful antics. The farm is always just a little bit more fun when there are young goat kids around!

A red doeling takes her first nap in the sun after being born.

This doeling gets her first taste of milk.

DH calls this doeling Japan because she has their flag on her side.

All the kids love to play on the tree stumps.

I call this buckling "WhatWhat" because he is already chasing all the other kids around, clucking at them and acting like a little buck. When he does this it sounds like he is saying "whatwhat".
These four girls must have found something interesting.

A new doeling takes a wobbly first walk.

I never get tired of the miracle of new life on the farm.

This good mom thinks her new buckling is very special.

This young buck tried to come into the world bottom first, but according to my mom so did I so I won't hold that against him. He is a colorful young buck for sure!

Jumping on tree stumps must be a lot of fun!

No pictures please..go take some of that diva Emma...she loves the camera!

I really love this doelings markings and she is as sweet as she is pretty.

April 22, 2009

The Brush Pile and the Gourds

Sunset on the farm
Last summer we had a few black walnut trees cut down on the farm. Where they were located they would have eventually had to be cut down anyway so we decided to go ahead and have it done. The little bit of extra money from the trees really helped out at the time too. The down side is we were left with two large brush piles in the goat pasture that need to be cleaned up still. Most of it will be used as firewood as soon as some extra time can be found to cut it up and stack it. Until then, the goats are having a grand time testing their agility as they climb on the limbs and play "king of the brush pile".

These two Boer kids are having a good time playing on the tree limbs. The two larger goats behind them are the yearlings "Cherry" and "Blackberry". (You have to look close to see Blackberry after the sun goes down like this.)

A young Black headed Boer buckling holds still long enough for me to actually get a picture. This is one of Nifty's kids. Nifty is the deep sleeper that almost gave me a heart attack one morning.

Trouble's daughter Annie is really starting to look like her mom!

The birdhouse gourds and other plants were not doing well in the house so what did not get planted yesterday, I went ahead and set outside in their pots. I will plant the rest of the gourds tomorrow. I am using an old cattle panel as a trellis, it is not the prettiest thing but it was free and a good way to recycle an old, bent cattle panel into something useful again. By summer it will be covered up by the plants anyway, hopefully!

Meme of 8 and a Forgotten Tag

I have to agree with Cat over at A Girl and a Farm, this is a fun tag! She had tagged me for a photo blog post quite some time ago and even though I had every intention of following through with this tag, it just slipped my mind! Better late than never I always say!

For this tag I'm supposed to post the 6th picture in the 6th photo folder in my photos.

This is a picture of one of the two ponds on the farm. On the other side of the pond, standing at the edge of the water is one of our livestock guardian dogs. This picture was taken the end of March, so the grass was finally starting to green up but there wasn't any leaves on the trees yet.

I also recently got tagged by Alix at Casa Hice to post the meme of 8. I don't think my answers will be as interesting as hers but here it goes anyway.

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To

1. Getting the vegetable garden really going.
2. Getting out of debt.
3. Being an aunt in July!
4. Moving out of the mobile home and into the farm house.
5. Summertime.
6. The economy turning around.
7. The last spring due does kidding.
8. A better job than I have had in the past.

8 Things I Did Yesterday

1. Tried to take some pictures of the goat kids.
2. Planted some gourds.
3. Planted some flower seeds.
4. A lot of laundry.
5. Called ABGA to get a couple questions answered.
6. Paperwork.
7. Cleaned up backyard.
8. Talked to my mom.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

1. Win the lottery!
2. Build a really nice milking parlor to milk the goats in.
3. Make everyone happy.
4. Fix the lawnmower.
5. Always know the right thing to say.
6. Speak a second language.
7. Train all the goats to wait patiently then line up politely for their grain with no fuss.
8. Be able to know the outcome of all decisions ahead of time.

8 Shows I Watch (I do not watch a lot of TV and we no longer have cable so this was difficult.)

1. Hell's Kitchen (online)
2. Rescue Me (when we had t.v)
3. Trading Spouses (when we had t.v.)
4. Almost anything on the Discovery Channel.
I know this isn't 8 but I just couldn't think of that many.

Now I'm supposed to tag 8 other people, but I just couldn't narrow it down so if you are reading this and you think it is fun, do it in your blog, too!

April 19, 2009

Black Velvet

Introducing "Black Velvet" to the farm and yes, she is as soft as she looks. I got the idea to name some of the new kids I will be keeping this year after favorite songs, so of course this pretty doeling had to be named Black Velvet. How often do I get the chance to name a goat after such a favorite song of mine. "Black Velvet" was number one on the charts in 1990 which dates me a bit, but it is still a great song.

Almost as good as the "Goats in the pasture" song.

April 18, 2009

What the Hail?

It has been a stormy evening here in Kansas, with thunder, heavy rain and a short but pretty impressive hail storm. I heard it hitting the roof first, then the hail started hitting the windows and as the storm went on I was sure they would break, but they did not. I was less concerned about the windows than I was about the goats. They have not one shed but 3 sheds and the horse trailer to choose from. Still, I couldn't help but worry about the kids. Did they know enough to go in them during a storm? As soon as it was reasonably safe, I did check them and they were all OK, in the sheds with their mothers. Here are some pictures taken after the hail storm.

The back porch after the storm.

Standing water beside the porch with the ice pellets floating on the water. Why does this picture make me want a cup of hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows?

Don't worry, that wasn't good hay that got rained on, just some old hay set aside for the garden.

Look how much water and hail piled up on this tarp!

April 17, 2009

Look What the Cat Dragged In......Again.

I know that some people do not like snakes. I happen to think they are interesting, beautiful and useful creatures, but that doesn't mean I want one as a house guest. Snakes are clearly not allowed in the house, yet here was one sitting on my living room floor again and he looked rather ticked off.
I knew that the last time a snake found it's way into the house that Lily the cat looked guilty, but the evidence was circumstantial so she didn't even get a slap on the paw. Some time had passed but I knew she couldn't stay on the straight and narrow for long. Lily is getting more brazen and the snakes are getting bigger, but this time she was caught in the act. She was spotted carrying this harmless but rather annoyed racer snake in the house from her secret cat door under the bathroom cabinet she doesn't think I know about. I let her have her secret because she stopped leaving any stinky little treasures in the litter box for me to scoop up and dispose of. Litter box duty is at the top of my least favorite chore list. Horse poop, cow poop, goat poop, none of it bothers me a bit. I rather enjoy that type of work, but cat poop just stinks. Give me a barn to clean out over a litter box any day.

She dropped the snake on the living room floor and then had the nerve to act like I was the criminal when I took it away from her. I can understand, she probably worked hard for that scaly souvenir but I have to draw the line somewhere and a snake murder on my living room floor is a pretty good place to draw a line. Actually Lily is no killer but she is a habitual kidnapper. She catches them and brings them home to smack around and torture, but usually lets them go alive in my house, both snakes and mice alike. I would respect her more if she just killed them quickly, especially the mice! The last snake escaped Lily without injury, but this one wasn't as lucky. He had a couple small puncture wounds but they were down pretty far on his body so hopefully he will be OK. No wonder he looked so ticked off.

I asked my snake wrangling partner Jamey to hold him so I could take some pictures then we let him go. I regret that I didn't think to put some tamed iodine or something on the puncture wounds before we released him, but it didn't occur to me until afterward. This snake was taken further from the house and released at the woods across the road, so hopefully Lily won't find him again. That poor snake has been traumatized enough. There is no need for a trial, Lily is as guilty as they come. The punishment...her secret cat door is getting patched over. Now she will have to beg to be let in and out again and it looks like I will be back to cleaning out the litter box. Just beautiful. So I guess it is really a punishment for both of us.

Clicking on pictures makes them bigger.

April 13, 2009

We Had Easter Babies!

Happy Easter Dym!
Dym did indeed have her babies on Easter this year. This is the first time a goat has ever kidded on a holiday here at Shiloh Prairie Farm. The kids came with the rain, luckily it was nice and dry in the kidding pen but a steady rain fell on the farm all evening, flooding the backyard and forming large puddles of standing water outside the pens and sheds that evening. It was actually kind of peaceful sitting in the kidding pen listening to the rain while Dym kidded, never mind the fact I sunk up to the top of my shoe in the water outside of the door afterwords. At about 6:30pm she had a 10.5 lb doeling and a short while later she had a big 12 lb buckling. I really kind of thought she was going to have triplets but she just had two very good sized twins; which I think is great because I prefer them to have twins over anything else.

Dym's new doeling

The doeling came very quickly, in fact Dym was just checked and before I got back out there with the kidding box she had already had her. Notice the dot of color on her back? I guess that is going to be Joker's mark, because not only does he have a spot on his back like that but so far he has passed it on to almost all of his kids. The buckling took a little bit longer and was presented incorrectly with one front leg back. All I saw was one big head and one leg coming out but with a little bit of help Dym's buckling was born too. It is possible she may have been able to have him herself anyway like that but it certainly made things a lot easier on her and increased the kid's chance of survival that I was there.

Dym's new buckling

This is the reason I do like to be there when they kid, it is rare that one is not positioned right but it can happen. The one I never want to see is a kid with it's head folded back, as that is one of the hardest types of births to straighten out because their head often tends to keep folding back over whenever you let go to pull and obviously it can not be born like that. This is one of the few cases when a lamb puller can come in handy. Just a note, if you ever have to "go in" to reposition a kid the doe will need antibiotics to prevent infection.

Chicken Nest Box Giveaway and Worms

Hey, do you have chickens? Don't you think they deserve some quality nest boxes? I mean after all you are eating their children, the least you could do is give them some fab new nest boxes in return. Show your chickens you appreciate their contributions by entering Life on a Southern Farm's awesome contest for a chance to win a new 2 hole chicken nest box.

Speaking of chickens, I bet GAFarmWoman's chickens would have loved to been at my house last night! After a heavy, steady rain all evening I tromped through standing water and walked up to the back porch to see this.

Earthworms! Lots of earthworms climbing up the side of our mobile home to escape the mighty flood of ankle deep proportions no doubt. "Get to the roof!" they were probably yelling to each other..if in fact earthworms could yell. Then I looked at the flooded backyard through the still falling rain and wondered if they knew something I didn't.

The sun is peeking through the clouds today. I hope the earthworms can crawl down as well as they crawled up, otherwise there is no doubt several dozen baking earthworms on my roof right now. If my ladder was taller maybe I could save them but alas, I am too vertically challenged to reach; as ineffective as FEMA. Afraid you are on your own earthworms, watch out for the birds.

Clicking on pictures will make them bigger.

April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
Sweet Easter Fun Facts
  • Easter is the second most important candy-eating occasion of the year for Americans. According to the National Confectioner's Association, Americans consumed seven billion pounds of candy on Easter in 2001. Only Halloween sees Americans eating more candy!

  • Each Easter season, Americans buy more than 600 million Marshmallow Peeps. Yellow peeps is the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue and white.

  • In the early 1950's it took 27 hours to make one Peeps chick, today it takes 6 minutes.
  • In all, 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made for Easter every year. Of those chocolate bunny chomping Americans, 76% eat the ears first, 5% start at the feet, while 4% favored the tail first. So what part of the chocolate Easter bunny do you eat first and what does that say about you? Have you taken the chocolate bunny test?

Easter Crafts

1. Did you know you can make a cute little Easter basket using a paper plate, construction paper and ribbon? Visit this link to find out how.

2. I have decorated a lot of Easter eggs, but I have never had a tie-dyed one! Allfreecrafts.com tells you how to make them.

3. This would be a fun craft to do with children, a fluffy lamb pencil holder. Hey that is pretty cute, I wonder if I can make one that looks like a goat? (You didn't think I could get through one whole post without talking about goats did you?)

Speaking of goats, Dym the Nubian still has almost 7 hours to have her kids on Easter this year. Today is her 150 day due date. The farm has never had a goat have kids on a holiday before, come on Dym! Don't you want your kids to have cute Easter names this year?
I hope everyone has had a very Happy Easter!

Sources for candy facts:

April 11, 2009

Mexican Cornbread

1/2 lb. pork sausage
1 pkg Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup cream style corn
5 tamed jalapeno rings chopped
3 green onions, chopped
8 oz pkg shredded cheddar cheese

Brown and drain sausage. In a large bowl blend next four ingredients. Add the sausage, jalapeno and green onions. Blend well. Fold in cheese. Spoon mixture into a greased 9x9 baking dish. Bake @ 350 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Top with Velveeta cheese dip.

Velveeta Cheese Dip
1 lb Velveeta.
1 small can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles.

Cube Velveeta, put in microwaveable bowl and add Rotel. Heat in microwave until melted, stirring every 3 minutes.

April 09, 2009

Growing up and Twitter

One of the joys of living on a farm is the blessing of seeing how plants and animals grow and mature. Not long ago I posted about my vegetable sprouts, and I am happy to say most of them are growing by leaps and bounds. I have had to transplant many of them to larger containers already. My tomato seedlings are still spindly though. I can grow zucchini, cucumbers and most vegetables from seed like nobodies business but not tomatoes; they hate me. Tomatoes and me, it is like a bad relationship...so one sided...so disappointing. They all always start out well but then some of them will wither up and die before they ever get big enough to transplant outside in the garden. Once they are that big I have great luck growing them but it is just getting them all to that point that has been a challenge. So if anyone has any advice for growing tomatoes from seed I would love some tips while there is still hope for my poor, little tomato sprouts and me.

The goat kids are growing up fast. They look good this year and unlike the tomatoes... no love / hate relationship here! The pregnant does were due in two waves this year. The first half is over and the rest of the herd is due from now until the last week of April. The kids bounce around so much it is difficult to get decent pictures of them sometimes. I got this one at night when I caught a few of them sleeping on the overturned ramp to the milk stand.

In other news I have decided to try and get with the times and see what all this fuss about Twitter is. So if anyone would like to follow me on Twitter you can check out the sidebar of this blog and my user name is "ShilohPrairie" there. I am new to it and still figuring things out. Gosh I sound 72, not 32...shoot I mean...33, yea I tried to forget that birthday!

Edited to add: I am starting to realize today that my life might be entirely way too boring for twitter. LOL I also have a facebook page under the name Jennifer Fulton.

April 07, 2009

Extreme Sheepherding

A few guys, some great dogs and a flock of sheep wearing LED suits put on a great show!

April 06, 2009

Trouble's New Kids

Trouble must have heard the rumor that we were thinking of retiring her from breeding after this year because she decided this last birth was going to be a special one. She had two really beautiful doelings this year. Trouble has always had twins except for her very first kidding when she had a single but she has never had two girls before and they couldn't be prettier! She has always been a great mother as seen in this video of the proud mom and her two new kids only a few minutes after they were born.

Trouble is not the only doe that has kidded the last week or so. There is now 15 new baby goats on the farm. So far it has definitely been a doe year here. The count right now is 12 doelings to only 3 bucklings. We are going to have to paint the barn pink!

April 01, 2009

We Got Sprouts!

I realize that so far this blog has been a whole lot of goats and very little garden. If the weather cooperates and I don't manage to kill my vegetables with kindness this year, I do see a lot more "garden" in Goats in the Garden in the near future.
I did get a bit of a late start though. There is some good, dark compost on the farm just waiting to be scooped up to start seeds in but this year because I was lazy pressed for time I started my seeds in those nifty little peat disks. I also happen to be fascinated by the way they expand with warm water, it is quite neat to watch. It kind of reminds me of black snakes on the Fourth of July. My mother was too worried my sister or I would blow our hand off with a firecracker so it was all black snakes and poppers for me every Fourth of July as a kid...exciting. Probably why I am so easily entertained by something as simple as expanding peat now, but I digress. I planted those seeds about a week ago..

And here are those same seeds today! The 4 types of tomatoes and birdhouse gourds are sprouting. Still no sign of the eggplants or peppers though, but hopefully they will be along shortly. I hope they grow fast because I can't wait to get them out in the garden!